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Studying for the  MA by Research in Philosophy will give you a firm philosophical grounding and a mastery of your specialised area of study.

The MA by Research Philosophy, which is taught primarily by intensive one-one supervision, enables you to collaborate with students and academic staff at weekly seminars, reading groups, lectures and guest speaker events.

You will critically engage with, and reflect upon, current philosophical debates and focus your research to suit your interests.


Tailor your studies to suit you

Our course is distinctive in the respect that it involves three supervised essays, an oral presentation and a dissertation. You will have intensive one-one supervision with several members of staff on specialised topics throughout the course of your programme.

You are required to attend classes on research methods and skills, and a weekly seminar at which you will present parts of your ongoing work. Individual supervision sessions are arranged independently with members of staff.

 MA by Research Philosophy students are also welcome to join the PhD seminars, departmental reading groups, and the visiting speaker sessions that take place during semester time. In this way, you are trained in how to conduct academic research.

Your training and supervision will provide you with an excellent preparation for future study towards a PhD, should you wish to continue your philosophical research.

Independent learning

You are able to choose the topic of your essays and dissertation and are allocated a supervisor to help you with reading, research resources, planning your work and developing your ideas, all the way to final submission.

Small group seminars generate lengthy debates among students and lecturers. We all have an opportunity to use our voice and bring our intuitions to the table, which inspires me to explore areas I have not yet considered and to open my mind to new philosophical ideas. ... academic staff support and motivate me to enjoy the process of independent research and write-up.


Philosophy postgraduate

Career preparation

We're passionate about helping you achieve the career you want. As well as encouraging you to develop key skills and competencies throughout your degree, our friendly staff are on hand to offer advice and guidance on where a philosophy degree could lead you.

A philosophy degree will allow you to develop and hone a broad range of skills which are valuable across a wide range of careers. Among others, you can expect to learn how to:

  • communicate ideas clearly and precisely
  • think clearly in the abstract
  • consider social and ethical issues in a structured way
  • formulate complex problems
  • build a sound case for your views
  • criticise arguments effectively
  • engage in productive debate
  • develop high-quality literacy skills
  • undertake independent research
  • work effectively to deadline.

Knowledge sharing activities

We run a number of events throughout the year dedicated to stimulating and fostering research. Events include:

  • 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 PhD students
  • staff-student and student-organised reading groups on classic and contemporary texts
  • the highly regarded annual Ratio Conference, sponsored by the journal, which is edited by Prof. David Oderberg in the Department.

Why study with us?

Pursue your own interests and study in a Department that ranks in the top 125 in the world for History, Philosophy and Theology (THE World University Rankings by Subject 2023).


Our research

100% of our research is of international standing (Research Excellence Framework 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions – Philosophy).


Meet our experts

Our academic staff are experts in a wide variety of philosophical topics, with particular strengths in moral philosophy, philosophy of language, metaphysics, Aristotle, Aquinas, Wittgenstein, and aesthetics including the philosophy of film.