What our students say

Find out what our students have to say about the online MSc in Epistemology, Ethics and Mind programme

Brittney Currie, USA

Matriculated September 2014

The distance is not a challenge, but a convenience

The Epistemology, Ethics and Mind MSc (online) has fostered in me a strong, foundational understanding in all three disciplines, and as such, continues to promote my maturation as a philosopher, providing me with the tools I need to develop further my personal, philosophic interests. The distance is not a challenge, but a convenience: I have the freedom to read and engage with texts at my own pace, while working a full time job here at home. The synchronous seminars, however, offer that fundamental opportunity for face-to-face exchanging of ideas among classmates, assuring me that, despite the distance, I am nevertheless situated firmly within an enriching community of scholars.

Kristen Cardinal, Japan

Matriculated September 2014

I found the feedback I received on my assignments to be consistently fair, balanced, and detailed

I found the program not only fit my needs perfectly, but exceeded my expectations. Being based in Japan I found it difficult to find a high quality postgraduate level philosophy program locally available in English, which is why I sought an online program. The flexibility for part-time enrollment was also very important for me as I work full time. From the beginning, the program director and administrative staff were exceptionally responsive, informative, and friendly. During the courses, the professors and teaching assistants have been highly accessible and adept in dealing with a unique cohort of students who have a relatively wide range of age and experience compared to traditional students. In addition, I found the feedback I received on my assignments to be consistently fair, balanced, and detailed; it always served to improve both my writing and my approach to thinking about philosophical arguments. I would strongly recommend this program to anyone considering an online postgraduate level program in philosophy.  

Alan McCabe, UK

Matriculated September 2014

The level of support from all staff is superb and students are actively encouraged to discuss, question and challenge the ideas presented.

I searched long and hard to find the right course and I’m glad I did - because I don’t think I could have found a better course than the MSc in Epistemology, Ethics and Mind delivered by the University of Edinburgh. In every respect this course has exceeded my expectations. The course content and materials are excellent. Clearly a great deal of thought and preparation has gone into designing both the materials and the delivery mechanism for the course. Some fairly technical information is delivered in an accessible way that allows the student to grasp and understand the key ideas at the core of the subject. In addition to this, the materials have all been prepared by the teaching staff who deliver the courses - which helps greatly when discussing in tutorials. The level of support from all staff is superb and students are actively encouraged to discuss, question and challenge the ideas presented. Staff are very accessible and make a great effort to support in whatever way suits each individual student. 

Delivery of lectures and other materials is online via an excellent Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It is very intuitive and allows distribution of lectures, online tutorials and written materials as well as providing a space for interaction with other students via video and audio. I found this especially useful for a subject like philosophy, where discussion and interaction is of great benefit. Having completed a number of distance learning courses online I can confidently say that the VLE used to deliver this course is the best I’ve encountered. In addition to teaching staff, there is great support from administrative, technical and library staff - they really could not be more helpful. The structure of the course offers great flexibility to undertake study at a time that suits the individual student and the mix of international students I encountered has been greatly beneficial in terms of sharing ideas. 

In summary, this course is excellent and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to prospective students looking for a high quality experience designed and delivered by world-class university teaching staff.

Christian, Spain

Matriculated September 2014

Being this close to the leading edge provides a special atmosphere of research and discovery 

Having completed a BA in Philosophy, I was looking for an opportunity to continue studying the subject seriously at postgraduate level. One constraint was that I needed flexibility in pacing and organizing my studies in order to make them compatible with my family life and a demanding full-time job. The new online MSc Epistemology, Ethics and Mind was an ideal choice. The excellent reputation of the philosophy department at the University of Edinburgh and the focus on three core fields of philosophy were crucial for my decision to embark on the program. 

Now, some weeks into the second semester of the program, I have to say I am very happy with my choice. The courses are based around weekly recorded lectures and a reading list that you work through at your own pace. Online discussion forums and bi-weekly live online seminars allow further discussion of the lectures and reading materials. The way that these online modes of study have turned out has exceeded my expectations. Both the discussion forums and the online seminars have been very lively and useful so far. It is a plus with regards to flexibility that participation in online seminars is not mandatory and the seminars are recorded so that you won’t miss anything. Online students can also access an increasing library of recently recorded seminars and lectures on current philosophical topics held at the University of Edinburgh. 

Regarding the content of the courses, I very much like the approach of diving directly into problems and debates that are relevant and contemporary. Philosophers from the University of Edinburgh, including lecturers on the programme, have themselves written many of the papers covered. Being this close to the leading edge provides a special atmosphere of research and discovery. It is important for studying philosophy that one does philosophy, i.e. one writes essays or engages in discussions. The courses cover this demand very well. Indeed, each course allows students to submit a voluntary formative essay halfway through the course, as well as the final assessed essay. Additionally, you receive feedback on working papers and more elaborate discussion forum posts I found it very helpful that two tutors accompany you throughout the program, and you usually meet at least twice a semester online with each of them. The involved faculty, staff, and the program director are extremely accessible and responsive, and transmit a caring attitude, which is very appreciated as a distance student. I find it an advantage that the class size is rather reduced, which helps you to feel part of a cohort. 

All in all, I can only recommend this program as an outstanding opportunity to study philosophy at postgraduate level, with a lot of flexibility and without compromising the quality. I certainly look forward to the rest of the program. 

Ash Chakraborty, USA

Matriculated September 2014

This course is a stepping stone for me to achieve, what has been a lifelong vision: a doctorate in Philosophy

The University of Edinburgh’s Online Distance Learning offering of Epistemology, Ethics, and Mind has proved to be a wonderful opportunity as an unique entry point for persons such as myself - with interrupted academic careers and somewhat indirectly related backgrounds - to pursue a serious education in the field. Here are just some of the benefits that have made this such a positive experience for me thus far: 

Convenience (spatial, temporal, and financial)

First, the obvious. By its online nature, this program has quite literally eliminated the need for me to physically be at the University campus while not compromising on the curriculum content. This is a massive benefit that I can leverage from my armchair, halfway across the world. Next, another positive is the on-demand access to all the course materials, lectures, and other content on the portal. For example, I needn’t panic having missed a “live” seminar because I can easily summon the video at any time. Finally, the convenience of being able to keep, and use, my day job to fund my education while testing my academic credentials in the field is a crucial and massive benefit. 

Quality of content and research 

The quality of this program, as is expected from a reputed school, is absolutely phenomenal. The access to world renowned instructors who are at the cutting edge of contemporary philosophical research and debate, and the consequent content they bring into the online classrooms is just the sort of stuff I needed to help launch a serious academic career in the field. Moreover, the program includes access to an extensive library with leading edge research content, and talks on contemporary issues are merely a click away. 

Instructor and staff engagement 

One would be forgiven in assuming that this would be a drawback of an online program. Not here! Every instructor that I have interacted with, even the Teaching Assistants, have been absolutely marvelous, and have treated my inquiries with every bit of sincerity as if I were physically there. From Skyping with my Personal Tutor at any time for guidance, to quality feedback on coursework related material from the instructors, and periodic check-ins by the course director, the engagement and concern shown for student development is on a par with brick and mortar institutions that I’ve been to in the past, if not better. 

Overall, I have no doubt that this course is a stepping stone for me to achieve, what has been a lifelong vision: a doctorate in Philosophy.