I chose to do an MPhil for two reasons. Firstly, because it gave me great flexibility to work on the topics that interested me the most. In standard taught masters programmes, your studies are restricted to those courses that are made available by the department that year. But the MPhil allows you to work on more or less whatever you want, provided you can find a member of the department willing to supervise them. Warwick has a large and diverse philosophy department so it should be easy to find specialists to supervise you on your areas of interest. Secondly, I chose to do an MPhil because I knew I wanted to continue with philosophy at a PhD level and beyond.
In this regard, the MPhil programme is the obvious choice after an undergraduate degree. It is not that taught masters programmes shut any doors - and many students continue on to complete PhDs and have careers in academia. However, it would be fair to say that the MPhil specifically targets the independent research skills needed to succeed in academia, through one-on-one supervisions and completion of an extended 30,000 word thesis. The MPhil is structured so that you have regular meetings with supervisors to discuss papers you have written. The supervisions are tough - you can expect to have your papers pulled apart at first. However, this just means that when you come to redraft them for assessment they will be that much stronger. All my supervisors have been great and have certainly helped to make my papers significantly better than they would otherwise have been.
Sam Clarke, MPhil Philosophy (2015)
During my undergraduate degree in Theology we covered a large number of topics, including a number of philosophical topics; philosophy of religion, postmodernism, existentialism and continental philosophy, but out of them all continental philosophy stuck in my mind as both fascinating and moving. I decided to follow my interests and begin looking for places where I could study continental philosophy at postgraduate level.
A few universities came up as worth a look, but the university that stood out for me was the University of Warwick, not least because, as well as the wide range of topics covered in the taught Masters degree, the leader in my field of research interest, Keith Ansell-Pearson, was teaching at the university. Finding a university that could deliver high quality teaching, a wealth of experts and leading figures in research were all key to my choosing a university and fortunately the University of Warwick had it all.
The number of courses on offer at Warwick is huge, and with so much choice, it is tricky to pick something that you aren't going to enjoy.
My experience of the Philosophy department at the University of Warwick over the last year has been a whirlwind of excitement, emotion, anxiety and a whole ton of reading and writing. I’ve made friendships here that will last a lifetime, built connections with academics that will help advance my career, and had the opportunity to work with individuals who are the sharpest and most innovative minds of their respective fields.
Current PhD candidate; MA Continental Philosophy (2015)
Most important to me when deciding where to undertake my MA was that the MA in Continental Philosophy boasts a host of modules and a remarkably flexible structure. I really struggled to whittle my module choices down to the required six, because of the range of choice. In addition to a 10,000 word dissertation, you write a 5,000 word essay for each of your six chosen modules. In terms of course content and department reputation, Warwick fulfilled these criteria. Warwick’s Philosophy department is impressively large and varied: whilst it possesses a strong footing in Analytic Philosophy, it also – quite uniquely – offers the chance to study thinkers who are typically bracketed into Continental Philosophy and who are poorly represented in UK departments.
Those who incline toward Continental Philosophy and are looking to establish a solid foundation for a career as a Philosopher can do no better than the department at Warwick. The department occupies the unique space of being a top-tier department that offers classes on thinkers who, whilst being no less important to the Philosophical canon, are very much outside the mainstream interests of UK Philosophy departments.
George Webster, MA Continental Philosophy (2015)