Programme structure and assessment

This programme comprises two semesters of taught compulsory and optional courses, followed by a dissertation

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 dissertation over the summer (due for completion in August).

One of the main advantages of the MSc in Philosophy is its flexibility. For the next academic year, there are no mandatory courses for the degree (beyond a study skills course for those without a strong background in philosophy), thus allowing you to develop a path that is tailored to your interests. Next year, we are offering the following courses:

  • Islamic Philosophy
  • Self, Agency and the Will MSc
  • The Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Hume's Philosophy of Religion
  • The computational mind MSc
  • Ethics of Artificial Intelligence
  • Epistemology
  • Advanced Epistemology
  • Ethics
  • Advanced Ethics
  • Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science
  • Advanced Philosophy of Mind &Cognitive Science
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Philosophy, Science, and Religion 1: The Physical World
  • Philosophical Methods I
  • Philosophical Methods II
  • Philosophy Skills [a 0 credit study skills course]

Besides these courses, you are able to take up to 40 credits of level 11 courses outside of philosophy, depending on availability and approval from the Programme Director. Recently, courses have included Buddhist Thought, Contemporary Debates in Political Theory, Freedom and the State, and Film and Existentialism.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the MSc programme is the chance to write an 8000-word dissertation on a topic of your choosing. The topic of the dissertation can be wide-ranging, and here you can take advantage of the enormous breadth and depth of Edinburgh’s nearly 40-strong philosophy department. You will submit a dissertation proposal in semester 2, and be assigned a dissertation supervisor, with whom you will have meetings and develop your ideas.

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.

Full programme structure