Ohio-based Justina Or decided to take an online philosophy degree to explore an area of personal interest from the comfort of her own home. She didn't expect to make a career out of it but has gone on to complete her PhD and is teaching philosophy to other online students.
MSc Epistemology, Ethics and Mind
|Year of graduation||2018|
At the moment
I am doing great! I am a proud University of Edinburgh alumna. I finished my PhD in 2020 and found the MSc EEM very helpful to my doctoral journey.
Your time at the University
My experience of online learning has been absolutely wonderful. I loved that there is a combination of recorded lectures and readings.
I was a fully online student. I loved philosophy, so I completed the programme for personal interest. I did not plan on making a career out of philosophy. When I was completing the programme, I was in social services administration managing independent living programmes for people who have developmental disabilities.
I chose the University of Edinburgh because its philosophy programme addressed the specific philosophy subfields I am interested in. Also, the University of Edinburgh is such a prestigious institution, so I felt really honoured to have the opportunity to study there. I also found the admission process really seamless. I hold non-UK qualifications but the University of Edinburgh has such a well established system that it didn’t require additional evaluation of the transcripts.
My experience of online learning has been absolutely wonderful. I loved that there is a combination of recorded lectures and readings. There are opportunities for live seminars and asynchronous discussion as well. I loved that I was able to complete the programme from the comfort of my home yet be intellectually challenged every week! The lecturers were highly supportive. Whenever I had questions, they were always happy to help. They were even very understanding of the time differences among students.
I went to campus for the first time when I graduated. It was an exciting day that I will never forget!
Your experiences since leaving the University
Since I completed the MSc EEM program, I completed a PhD Psychology through distance learning. I feel the MSc EEM program laid a great foundation for my PhD journey because I knew exactly what I wanted to write about for my dissertation thanks to the philosophy program (i.e. Aristotelian human flourishing, virtues, and character strengths).
I am now an online instructor. I get to teach 'introduction to philosophy' courses and a variety of psychology courses. Some of these psychology courses have strong underlying philosophical roots. I often try to sneak some philosophy in to these courses!
Life during Covid-19
I am very thankful that COVID-19 has not affected me much, and I've continued to work at home during it.
I am so grateful for my experience at the University of Edinburgh! The resources the University offers are abundant. I encourage students to utilise these existing resources. As for words of encouragement… trust yourself. You are stronger than you realise, and you can do this!
Online open days
More information on the upcoming open days for distance learning on 26 and 27 May 2021 can be found here: