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MPhil in Philosophy (P-V7MT)

If you're looking for a taught research degree, this is the programme for you. It'll provide you with relevant experience at first-degree level to carry out focused research in the discipline under close supervision. You'll develop skills and expertise relevant to your research interests.

Programme content

Our MPhil is designed to cover the first two years of a ‘2+2’ programme (i.e. two year Masters plus two years PhD, or equivalent part-time study) towards completion of a doctorate. However, you are also welcome to undertake the 2-year course as a stand alone Masters-level degree, after which you may wish to apply for PhD study.

You will be required to study, and will receive supervisions in, three main areas of philosophy, chosen from two lists (see right hand column). One list covers historical areas including key figures such as: Descartes, Plato, Kant and the second list covers topic areas, including: Epistemology and Philosophy of the Mind. We want to give you the key skills in both the historical philosophy and contemporary philosophy. You'll then choose a third area from either of the two lists. On completion, you'll have sufficient depth in these areas to be qualified to teach them at university level.

In the second year, you will undertake and submit a research thesis of approximately 30,000 words. You will then develop your research into a thesis of doctoral length and standard, in years three and four of the programme. The programme can be tailored to your particular interests, reflecting our department's research strengths, including: Ancient Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind & Psychology, and much more. If you wish to pursue an academic career, then this programme will set you in good stead.

The primary means of study is by fortnightly supervisions, with at least one term of the first year devoted to each of the three areas of study you have chosen. You will be assigned a different supervisor for each area, and will produce an essay (maximum 5,000words, no minimum length) for each supervision. In addition, you will be encouraged to attend appropriate graduate classes to support your supervisory preparation. Graduate classes may be taken from amongst those offered for an MA programme, or be research led classes put on for the benefit specifically of MPhil students and PhD students. Essays written for supervisions are for formative assessment. They are not expected to exhibit the degree of polish and sophistication that will be required for the essays required for summative assessment at the end of the programme. The learning process is built primarily around the regular production of sustained pieces of philosophical prose and their critical scrutiny in fortnightly supervisions.

Further information

About the course

Programme director:

Naomi Eilan

Full-time study: 2 years


Entry requirements





Lists of MPhil papers*

List A

  • (a) Plato & Aristotle;
  • (b) Medieval Philosophers;
  • (c) Early Modern Philosophy from Descartes to Reid;
  • (d) Kant;
  • (e) 19th Century Continental Philosophy;
  • (f) Frege & Russell;
  • (g) Wittgenstein;
  • (h) The Original Authorities for the Rise of Modern Logic;
  • (i) The Phenomenological Tradition;
  • (j) Twentieth Century Continental Philosophy;
  • (k) The Rationalists.

List B

  • (a) Moral Philosophy;
  • (b) Metaphysics and Theory of Knowledge;
  • (c) Political Philosophy and Philosophy of Law;
  • (d) Philosophy of Religion;
  • (e) Philosophical Logic and Philosophy of Language;
  • (f) Mathematical Logic and Set Theory;
  • (g) Philosophy of Science;
  • (h) Philosophy of Art;
  • (i) Philosophy of Mind and Action;
  • (j) Philosophy of Mathematics;
  • (k) Philosophy of Psychology, including Philosophy of Linguistics;
  • (l) Philosophy of Social Science.

* Subject to availabilty of a suitable supervisor.