Postgraduate study

Philosophy MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Philosophy

There are a number of really wonderful things about this programme. It was a thriving, bright, welcoming intellectual community which made studying philosophy really exciting. I was surrounded by people who made me feel welcomed, who were encouraging me to push myself but in a very supportive environment. Being around this lively scholarly community was also really good fun.

Dr Elanor Taylor MSc Philosophy, 2005 (currently Assistant Professor at John Hopkins University, USA)
Dr Elanor Taylor               MSc Philosophy, 2005 (currently Assistant Professor at John Hopkins University, USA)

Our flagship Philosophy programme offers excellent opportunities to enhance your learning among a large, vibrant and supportive postgraduate and research community at a university that has long been associated with some of the field’s most important thinkers, such as David Hume.

This programme provides an intensive grounding in philosophy, its methodology and techniques of research. It is the ideal programme to lead on to further research and study in philosophy as part of a PhD programme.

We will provide a broad advanced education in philosophy or a chance to specialise in any of our key areas:

  • ancient philosophy
  • early modern philosophy
  • epistemology
  • ethics
  • mind, language and embodied cognition
  • philosophy of science

This programme comprises two semesters of taught courses followed by a dissertation, which you will write at the end of the second semester and over the summer.

At the dissertation stage, you will be assigned a supervisor with whom you meet to plan your reading and discuss your work.

Compulsory courses:

  • Philosophical Methods I
  • Philosophical Methods II

If you choose to follow a specialisation, the courses you choose will relate to that route. Options may include:

  • Advanced Topics in Mind, Language and Embodied Cognition
  • Ancient Theories of Existence
  • Themes in Epistemology MSc
  • Introduction to Mind, Language and Embodied Cognition
  • Meta-Ethics (MSc)

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
MScPhilosophy1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

The programme provides students with very specific research training. For each specialisation students will take core courses which deal with relevant research and also write a dissertation on a suitable research topic under the supervision of one of the members of staff in the appropriate research cluster.

This is the ideal programme for deepening your involvement in philosophy, giving you a grounding in postgraduate work or developing an academic career in philosophy.

The study of philosophy helps develop general intellectual abilities and enhance analytical, critical, interpretive and problem-solving abilities.

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

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: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

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, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, 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.

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
MScPhilosophy1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScPhilosophy2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

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, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • Dugald Stewart Building
  • 3 Charles Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AD
Programme start date Application deadline
14 September 2020 30 June 2020

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

Applications submitted after the deadline date will unfortunately not be considered.

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. We expect you to have a good understanding of the field you propose to study.

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

Further information

  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • Dugald Stewart Building
  • 3 Charles Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AD