MSc by Research

An opportunity to focus in detail on an area of your choosing, while still being able to take some taught courses

Programme structure

The MSc by Research is a research focussed programme intended for those students who already have a good background in philosophy, typically from undergraduate study.  The programme itself can be tailored to your research interests with options to take some specific courses while working on your research dissertation. 

Full programme structure

Help with your application

Research Proposal

Your research proposal will be used to consider whether supervision can be provided for the research that you propose, so it is important that your basic aims and area of investigation are clear.  For MSc by Research applications we are looking for a short proposal of around 500 words. 

We do not expect substantial detail, but you should explain the area which you plan to research in as much detail as possible. The MSc by Research degrees are in part intended to provide any research training that you might need in order to be able to carry out higher level research. If you know that you have specific research training needs, you can explain this in your proposal. If you plan to continue to study for a PhD after an MSc by Research, you could also briefly explain how you hope that your MSc work will prepare you for PhD research.

Our research interests

Before making your application it is a good idea to look at our research interests in order to check whether your proposed topic fits with our research expertise.

Research areas

Work sample

As part of your application, you will be asked to provide a sample of your written academic work in English from the last 2 years on a relevant topic of your choice to demonstrate your suitability to the MSc programme. If you don’t have an existing piece of academic work that would be suitable, you should provide a short essay, approximately 2000 words, analysing a piece of philosophy you have found interesting. This could be an analysis of a book chapter, or a philosophy paper.

Find out more

Fees, funding and how to apply


If you would like more information about submitting your application and the admissions process please do not hesitate to get in touch with the School Postgraduate Office.

Postgraduate Office

  • School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Contact details



Room 1.06
Dugald Stewart Building
3 Charles Street

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