Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

MA Philosophy and Politics

UCAS code: VL52

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Philosophy and Politics

Philosophy

Philosophy has been at the core of Western intellectual life for at least 2,500 years. It is central to our understanding of the world and of our place in and interaction with it.

Philosophy provides the tools by which the presuppositions of all areas of intellectual and practical activity may be systematically and critically examined.

While there are different approaches that philosophers have taken, characteristic of philosophy is the emphasis on the use of:

  • argument

  • critical enquiry

  • rigour in reasoning

  • clarity of expression, including the making of pertinent distinctions

Philosophy at Edinburgh

The University has a strong historic connection to the subject, counting Adam Ferguson and Sir William Hamilton among its former students.

Edinburgh has one of the UK’s largest philosophy departments and the Philosophy Society attracts high-profile speakers.

Our programme is structured in such a way that you will cover the basics of Western philosophy. Later in the degree, you will have the opportunity to select from a wide variety of courses from Philosophy of Well-Being to Feminism.

Politics

Politics focuses on a variety of issues in including political theory, public theory and international relations in Europe, Russia, Africa and the US.

You will gain knowledge on a range of political:

  • systems

  • institutions

  • processes

  • ideas

This will enable you to develop and apply your knowledge and skills to the understanding and evaluation of political issues and problems in the contemporary world.

This will include the morality of political action, and the limits of freedom and justice.

Studying Philosophy and Politics together

This combined programme enables you to gain an in-depth knowledge in both subject areas, and the opportunity to specialise in the topics that interest you most.

Year 1

Philosophy

You will study:

  • Greats: From Plato to the Enlightenment

  • Morality and Value

  • Logic 1

These courses introduce you to key topics in:

  • the history of philosophy

  • morality and ethics

  • the nature of argument

Politics

You will also study two compulsory courses in politics:

  • Politics and International Relations 1A: Concepts and Debates

  • Politics and International Relations 1B: The Global Dimension

Option courses

You can also choose to take Philosophy of Science 1, which looks at philosophical problems and assumptions around science.

Year 2

Philosophy

In philosophy, you will take two courses:

  • Mind, Matter and Language

  • Knowledge and Reality

Politics

You will also study two compulsory courses in politics:

  • Comparative Politics in a Globalised World

  • Political Thinkers (an introduction to political theory)

Option courses

You can also choose to take courses in other subjects with links to philosophy and politics.

Year 3

Philosophy

You will take the Philosophy Dissertation Preparation Course. You will also choose six courses from a range linked to our areas of expertise.

In philosophy, topics are linked to the major areas of the subject:

  • language, cognition and science

  • morality and value

  • knowledge and reality

  • history of philosopy

Politics

In Politics, topics may cover a wide range of subjects such as:

  • British politics

  • populism

  • human rights

  • gender

  • African politics

  • the Middle East

Year 4

You will choose another four to six courses from a wide variety available.

You will also complete either an independent dissertation on a philosophy or politics topic of your choice, or a coursework dissertation through two extended essays in philosophy.

Our facilities

The majority of teaching takes place at facilities located within the University's Central Area.

You can use all the University libraries and computing facilities.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad in Year 3 through international exchange programmes.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by a mixture of coursework and exams.

In Year 4, you will also complete either an independent dissertation on a topic of your choice or a coursework dissertation through two extended essays.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2021/22)

The philosophy and politics courses you study throughout your programme provide you with the analytical and critical-thinking skills that are highly valued in the workplace.

Previous graduates have gone on to work in:

  • education

  • commerce

  • journalism

  • finance

  • law

  • computing

Some graduates also choose to continue with their studies and pursue a research or academic career.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAAA-AAAA (achievement by end of S5 preferred). BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAA - ABB.
  • IB: 37 points with 666 HL - 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at 5.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

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.

SQA, GCSE and IB

For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components.

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

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

English language requirements

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Philosophy and Politics

Additional costs

None.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding