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MPhil in Philosophy

Studying for the MPhil in Philosophy provides an excellent opportunity to engage in focused research at Master’s level under close individual supervision. You will gain advanced expertise in your chosen range of topics in Philosophy and develop the skills necessary to carry out your own research projects. The MPhil in Philosophy is therefore ideal not only for someone who is already thinking of going on to study for a PhD, but also for someone who would welcome the greater flexibility and scope for independent research offered by the MPhil as compared to a taught MA degree.

Programme content

During this two-year research programme, 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 Plato, Descartes, Kant, Husserl and Wittgenstein, and the other covers topic areas including Moral and Political Philosophy, Aesthetics, Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind. We want to give you both a solid grounding in the historical tradition and the key skills to engage with debates in contemporary philosophy. In each of your three chosen areas, you will write two 5,000 word assessed essays, one set due at the end of your first year, the other due at the end of the first term of the second year.

In the remainder of your second year, you will undertake and submit a research thesis of approximately 30,000 words. Completion of year two will earn you the degree MPhil in Philosophy.

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 specialist supervisor for each area, who will agree with you topics for formative essays which you will produce 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 on our Masters programmes, or be research led classes put on for the benefit specifically of MPhil students and PhD students.

Further information

About the course

Programme director:

Naomi Eilan

Full-time study: 2 years

Part-time study: 4 years

How to apply



morena gabriel

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;
  • (l) Chinese Philosophy.

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 availability of a suitable supervisor.