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How you'll learn – University of Reading

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  • A centre of research excellence

    Join our close-knit community and pursue your interests

How you'll learn

The MRes in Philosophy at Reading is ideal for self-motivated, inquisitive students who wish to progress their philosophical knowledge.

As an MRes student, you will become an integral and important part of our Department, gaining a firm philosophical grounding and mastery of specialised areas of study. You will be able to critically engage with, and reflect upon, current philosophical debates, and focus your research to follow your interests.

inspiring academics

At Reading you will benefit from exceptionally high-quality teaching provided by leaders in their fields. Our academics are at the forefront of their disciplines and they feed their research into their teaching, exposing students to current thinking and groundbreaking research. You will have the opportunity to interact and engage in debate with renowned philosophers from across a broad range of disciplines, and undertake your studies in a research-intensive environment.


Our Department is proud of its high-calibre research. Join a community which has a measurable impact on the study of philosophy, with an international reputation for excellence. 100% of our Research Environment, and 96% of our research outputs, were rated to be of international quality (2*, 3* and 4*) in the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014).

flexible structure and content

You will be encouraged to focus on an area of philosophy in which you have a particular interest. Essays, presentations and dissertations are typically chosen from the wide range of areas in which our staff have expertise, including: experimental philosophy, moral philosophy, animal rights, philosophy of logic, language and mind, aesthetics, fairness, well-being, political philosophy, metaphysics, ethics, philosophy of the sciences, Wittgenstein, Schopenhauer, global philosophies, epistemology, legal philosophy and the theory of knowledge.

The MRes course is assessed by three individually supervised essays, an oral presentation and a dissertation. In addition, we offer a range of classes and seminars relevant to our students' research interests. MRes students are required to attend classes on research methods and skills, and a weekly seminar at which they present parts of their on-going work. Individual supervision sessions are arranged independently with members of staff.

We do our best to accommodate students with work and other commitments, for example by ensuring that all main timetabled sessions are held over the same two weekdays.

diverse and welcoming environment

You will be helped to settle in during the postgraduate welcome week events, with many excellent opportunities to make new friends and meet new people.

You will have the opportunity to participate in social evenings, seminars and events to widen your social and academic community, within your subject area and both the School of Humanities and the Graduate School. Our healthy student community is a vital part of our school and, during your time with us, you will be able to participate in the Staff and Student Committee and provide valuable feedback to help us maintain our consistently high standards of teaching excellence.

Your studies will be supported by our dedicated teaching staff and friendly support staff, who are here to guide you during your time at the University. You will be equipped with the essential skills required to proceed to PhD research, or into your desired career.

"Reading is so welcoming! As an international student coming here was a very new experience for me, but I instantly met amazing people who helped me settle in. There were so many opportunities to meet people from across the University, and a range of social events and societies to join. The philosophy academics were very much part of this fantastic community, hosting weekly philosophical debates and after-lecture pub trips.”


MRes in Philosophy graduate


Sharing our knowledge

Our Department runs a number of events throughout the year dedicated to stimulating and fostering research. There is a full visiting speaker programme in which leading researchers from around the world present their work to staff and students; a work-in-progress programme in which staff discuss their current research; a graduate seminar for research students; a regular staff-student reading group, as well as informal reading groups on recent and classic books; the highly regarded annual Ratio Conference sponsored by the leading international philosophy journal edited in the Department; and various other speaker events and seminars throughout the year.

Find out more about our master's degree

Take your knowledge to the next level. Our staff are happy to answer any questions you may have or discuss your particular area of interest.

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