MSc Philosophy

An ideal foundation for future research

With one of the largest philosophy departments in the world, we offer you a wide choice of subject areas to study and a diverse, supportive learning environment.

You can keep your studies general or focus on one of the areas of philosophy where we have particular strength.

Philosophy at Edinburgh is well-known for its research strength in Epistemology, Ethics and Meta-Ethics, Philosophy of Science, and Mind and Cognition, but we have recently developed new areas of specialisation, in Gender and Race, Applied Ethics, and Enlightenment Philosophy.

You can also take advantage of the highly interdisciplinary nature of research within Philosophy and draw on teaching and research both elsewhere in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences and within other relevant Schools.

We also offer the following related programmes in philosophy:

Why study Philosophy at Edinburgh?

  • Philosophy is rated 4th in the UK by Times Higher Education for the quality and breadth of the research using the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021).
  • We're ranked 6th in the UK and 20th in the world for philosophy (QS World University Rankings by subject 2024).
  • An opportunity to follow a broad programme in philosophy or focus on one of our key areas of specialisation.

Showcasing Philosophy at Edinburgh

Programme structure

The MSc Philosophy is the flagship taught postgraduate degree in philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. The programme can be taken full time (over one year) or part-time (over two years). The degree consists of 180 credits, with a standard load for a full-time student consisting of three 20-credit courses in semesters one and two, and then the completion of a 8,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choosing over the summer (due for completion in August).

As a student on the MSc Philosophy, you will be able to take advantage of the world-leading research culture here at Edinburgh, with a wide range of research talks and events. We are committed to providing innovative and engaging social events throughout the year on a variety of topics.

Course options

Compulsory courses:

  • Phil Skills (a 0 credit study skills course for students without a background in philosophy)
  • Philosophy Dissertation

Optional courses vary year to year; recent courses include:

  • Applied Ethics
  • The Computational Mind
  • Epistemology and Evidence Law
  • Ethics of Artificial Intelligence
  • Freedom, Consent, and Political Obligation
  • Islamic Philosophy
  • The Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Indian Philosophies of Mind and Language
  • Philosophy of Information
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Self, Agency and the Will

When to apply

If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa, then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

Find out more about the degree programme and how to apply:

Connect with us

If you have any programme-specific enquiries please get in touch with the programme director:

Dr Berislav Marušić (Programme director)

Feel free to get in touch with our friendly Postgraduate Team with any questions you might have about academic or English language requirements, course information, enquiries about your application and information on arriving at the University.

Postgraduate Team enquiries:


How to apply and fees & funding information:

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