Postgraduate study

Epistemology, Ethics and Mind (Online Learning) MSc, PgDip (ICL), PgCert (ICL), PgDip

Awards: MSc, PgDip (ICL), PgCert (ICL), PgDip

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study, Full-time

Online learning

Funding opportunities

The programme 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.

Brittney Currie (USA) MSc Epistemology, Ethics & Mind, 2016

This innovative online programme offers you a thorough grounding in contemporary philosophical research. It allows you to take advantage of Edinburgh’s remarkable range of expertise in the core philosophical areas of:

  • epistemology
  • ethics
  • philosophy of mind and philosophy of cognitive science

Our state-of-the-art e-learning software and extensive digital resources allow you to gain a world-class graduate qualification online.

You will also benefit from the flexible structure of the programme. You will develop your own specialised interest under the expert guidance of our distinguished academics.

What will I learn?

You will be offered core courses in philosophical methodology and in the areas of epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of mind and cognitive science. There are advanced option courses available in epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of mind and cognitive science, and also an option course in philosophy of science.

You will thus gain a broad foundation in the research methods used within philosophy, and also a deep knowledge of the central philosophical areas of epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of mind and cognitive science.

Is this MSc for me?

This is an online programme only and you can customise your learning in areas you are most passionate about.

The innovative online format of the programme and the flexibility of study it offers makes it accessible to those with family or professional commitments, or who live far from Edinburgh.

It provides an excellent preparation for further research and knowledge of philosophy, whether you choose to pursue this in further in academic research or in a professional career.

Reputation, relevance and employability

Edinburgh has a proud and distinguished place in the history of philosophy and has long been associated with some of the field’s most important thinkers. Our philosophy department, one of the largest in the world, is now home to academics leading research into a wide range of contemporary topics.

Our students’ research projects are often published in academic or professional journals.

Our programme has an excellent reputation among employers and further research opportunities. Many of our graduates have gone onto PhD training and we have a high academic job placement record.

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).

This is an online only programme that will be taught through a combination of:

  • short video lectures
  • web discussion boards
  • video conferencing
  • online exercises

You will have regular access both to faculty and dedicated teaching assistants, including one-to-one interactions.

You will also interact with other students on the programme as part of a dedicated virtual learning environment.

Find out more about the benefits and practicalities of studying for an online degree:

Compulsory courses

You will study compulsory courses in philosophical methodology and the areas of:

  • epistemology
  • ethics
  • philosophy of mind and cognitive science

Options courses

Advanced, optional courses are available in:

  • philosophy of science
  • philosophy of religion.

Possible exit routes

The programme is also available as either a:

  • Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip)

Dissertation

In taking the full MSc (2 years), you will write a dissertation on a research topic developed in consultation with your supervisor.

Further information on the programme structure can be found on the degree programme table. This is currently up to date however please note that there may be changes for future academic years.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScEpistemology, Ethics and MindUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2022/23
MScEpistemology, Ethics and Mind1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2022/23
PgDip (ICL)Epistemology, Ethics and MindUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2022/23
PgCert (ICL)Epistemology, Ethics and MindUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2022/23
PgDipEpistemology, Ethics and Mind9 MonthsFull-timeProgramme structure 2022/23

This programme provides you with a range of knowledge and skills to prepare you for a variety of career paths including, but not limited to, further study in a PhD programme in Philosophy.

The MSc/PgDip/PgCert in Epistemology, Ethics and Mind aims to:

  • provide you with a broad knowledge of contemporary philosophical work in epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of mind and cognitive science
  • provide a basis for research in philosophy, especially in the core areas of philosophy constituted by epistemology, ethics and philosophy of mind and cognitive science
  • provide a broad grounding in the research methods of philosophy
  • develop your analytical skills

You will also gain transferable skills in:

  • written and verbal communication
  • group and teamwork
  • time and project management

This programme provides you with a range of knowledge and skills to prepare you for a variety of career paths, including, but not limited to, further postgraduate study in philosophy.

We have graduates in PhD programmes across the world, including:

  • University of Oxford
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Illinois
  • those who have chosen to pursue their studies further at Edinburgh

Others are teaching philosophy at community colleges and high schools. Our graduates consistently tell us that the skills they have learned through the degree have influenced their thinking both in their careers and more generally through life.

This programme would be an ideal foundation for further graduate work in philosophy.

Careers Service

Our award-winning Careers Service plays an essential part in your wider student experience at the University, providing:

  • tailored advice
  • individual guidance and personal assistance
  • internships and networking opportunities (with employers from local organisations to top multinationals)
  • access to the experience of our worldwide alumni network

We invest in your future beyond the end of your degree. Studying at the University of Edinburgh will lay the foundations for your future success, whatever shape that takes.

Your application and personal statement allow us to make sure that you and your chosen programme are good matches for each other, and that you will have a productive and successful year at Edinburgh.

We strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. You should avoid applying to more than one degree. Applicants who can demonstrate their understanding and commitment to a specific programme are preferred.

Personal statements

When applying you should include a personal statement detailing your academic abilities and your reasons for applying for the programme.

The personal statement helps us decide whether you are right for the programme you have selected, but just as importantly, it helps us decide whether the programme is right for you.

Your personal statement should include:

  • What makes this particular programme interesting for you?
  • What are the most important things you want to gain from the programme?
  • What are the key philosophy courses you have taken and that are relevant for this specific programme and what are your academic abilities?
  • A short description of a philosophical questions you would like to pursue during your time as a student here and an explanation of why you find it philosophically interesting.
  • Any other information which you feel will help us ensure that you are a good match to your intended programme.

A good personal statement can make a big difference to the admissions process as it may be the only opportunity to explain why you are an ideal candidate for the programme.

References

You will be asked to add contact details for your referees. We will email them with information on how to upload their reference directly to your online application. Alternatively, they can email their comments to:

pplspgoffice@ed.ac.uk

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in philosophy.

We will also consider a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in politics, classics or cognitive science, if you have taken courses in philosophy at undergraduate level.

We may consider your application if you have a background in another related area; please contact us to check before you apply.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 62 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScEpistemology, Ethics and MindUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
MScEpistemology, Ethics and Mind1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
PgDip (ICL)Epistemology, Ethics and MindUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgCert (ICL)Epistemology, Ethics and MindUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgDipEpistemology, Ethics and Mind9 MonthsFull-timeTuition fees

There are a number of highly competitive scholarships and funding options available to MSc students.

Deadlines for funding applications vary for each funding source. Please make sure to check the specific deadlines for the funding opportunities you wish to apply for and make sure that you submit your application in good time.

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5002
  • Contact: pplspg@ed.ac.uk
  • Programme Director, Dr Alasdair Richmond
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5002
  • Contact: A.Richmond@ed.ac.uk
  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • Dugald Stewart Building
  • 3 Charles Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AD
Programme start date Application deadline
11 September 2023 1 June 2023

We operate a gathered field approach to applications. This means that all complete applications will be held until the nearest deadline and the admissions panel will meet to consider all applications received together after that date.

To be considered as having met the deadline, your application must include transcripts and an academic reference.

Applications are held for processing over two deadlines:

Round Application deadline Places awarded
1 1 December 31 January
2 3 April 29 May

Supporting documents and references

Applications must be complete with all supporting documentation to be passed on for consideration, this includes references.

Please ensure that you inform referees of any deadline you wish to meet.

You must submit one reference with your application.

References

You will be asked to add contact details for your referees. We will email them with information on how to upload their reference directly to your online application. Alternatively, they can email their comments to:

Personal statement

In addition to the supporting documents requested on the application form, you should include a personal statement detailing the background of your interest and why you are attracted to the programme.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5002
  • Contact: pplspg@ed.ac.uk
  • Programme Director, Dr Alasdair Richmond
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5002
  • Contact: A.Richmond@ed.ac.uk
  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • Dugald Stewart Building
  • 3 Charles Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AD