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MA in Philosophy and the Arts (P-V7PN)

This interdisciplinary degree allows you to combine study of philosophy with any or all of three arts disciplines. Warwick has been a home for interdisciplinary work in philosophy and literature since the early days of the university, and this new degree is the successor to Warwick’s long-standing MA in Philosophy and Literature.

The degree is housed in the Philosophy Department, which is unique in the UK in offering world class research across both the Continental and Analytic traditions. As a result, you can study major figures and debates from both schools of thought (including Hegel, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Derrida, Deleuze and the Frankfurt School on the one hand; Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind and Language, and Moral and Political philosophy on the other). No other Philosophy Department in the UK offers such breadth, giving you a chance to combine the rigour of the Analytic tradition with the substantive concerns of the Continental across an exceptionally wide range of philosophers and fields of enquiry.

The MA Philosophy and the Arts has the additional advantage of allowing you to bring the philosophical topics from this range that interest you into dialogue with first order research in the arts, generating a wealth of possibilities. Past students have written on Neo-realist Italian Cinema and the Metaphysics of Time, The “Artist’s Sanction” in Contemporary Art and the Philosophy of Intention, and Poetic Form and/as Philosophical Insight.

Programmme content

The degree is designed to take advantage of Warwick’s strengths across Philosophy, English and Comparative Literary Studies, History of Art, and Film and Television Studies. Warwick has excellent research strength in all of these areas, and it also has lively scholarly interaction across these fields, especially through the programming of the Centre for Research in Philosophy, Literature and the Arts (CRPLA). On this programme, you will participate in this intellectual community, pursue advanced study in two or more disciplines, and address questions about Philosophy and the arts that speak to students’ individual interests.

  • A first degree in philosophy is not required to study on this programme. However, some evidence of grounding in philosophical and/or theoretical study of one or more arts is essential.
  • You will take a core module entitled Topics in Philosophy and the Arts, and then the further structure of the degree will depend on whether you choose to take the dissertation or non-dissertation route.

If you write a dissertation you will take a total of four modules (allowing a choice from two departments in addition to Philosophy). Your project can be supervised by faculty members from any of the contributing departments. If you take the non-dissertation route you will take six modules in total, (allowing a choice of modules from all four contributing departments).

Whether you want to continue on to PhD study or whether you’re looking to enter a career outside of academia, this programme is a great foundation. Broadly, this is a degree on which you will have a chance to learn from specialists in the visual, cinematic and literary arts, and from philosophers deeply interested in the arts.

You will also be able to tailor your study in these fields to your own specific backgrounds, interests and goals. For example, if you wish to focus on Philosophy and Literature you can do so through your choice of options, by selecting modules (and developing a dissertation project) in Philosophy and in English and Comparative Literary Studies. Alternatively, you might choose to study different combinations, e.g. to focus on Philosophy and Film, or Philosophy, Literature and History of Art.

The Centre for Research in Philosophy, Literature and the Arts runs a seminar series and hosts a range of events bringing these fields together outside of the classroom. As a student here you will have access to all of these activities and are encouraged to participate in them. Participants on the degree also have the opportunity to organise the annual Graduate Conference in Philosophy and the Arts.

Further information


James Welling, Glass house 9818, 2009 (image courtesy of the artist)


James Welling, Geometric abstraction #04, 2009 (image courtesy of the artist)