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Routes to PhD

PhD degrees typically last between 2 and 4 years, depending on the route into the PhD. These degrees are aimed at outstanding students who wish to pursue advanced research in Philosophy and ultimately to become professional researchers in, and teachers of, philosophy.

Students normally take one of the following routes to a research degree. The first route is to undertake a Masters-level programme, such as one of our taught MA programmes at Warwick, either with us or at another recognised institution. Candidates in this situation will apply directly to one of our PhD programmes and follow the ‘typical’ PhD course structure.

The second route is to take the MPhil (2+2) programme offered in our department. This programme is designed for candidates who thrive in a more independent learning environment with close one-to-one supervision instead of a traditional classroom seminar setting. The first year of the MPhil entails studying a series of topics under the guidance of a team of supervisors and writing 5,000-word research essays. The second year of the MPhil involves writing a 30,000 word thesis. Warwick MPhil students then have a choice of progressing to year 2 of the PhD programme or exiting the programme with a degree of MPhil; if you take the MPhil as a stand alone degree, you can apply to do a full-length PhD afterwards.

Which route should I apply to?

If your Masters-level degree is one of our MA programmes or a Masters from another university, you should apply directly for the PhD programme at Warwick, whether your aim is the PhD in Philosophy or the PhD in Philosophy and Literature.

If you have not yet started your Masters-level degree but you already think a PhD is your ultimate goal, then the MPhil programme may be right for you. Take a look at the full MPhil course description and compare it to the one-year MA programmes on offer; if you find that the MPhil is better suited to your learning style and research ambitions, then the MPhil might be your best choice.