UCL Philosophy
YouTube IconLinked In IconSoundcloud IconTwitter IconFacebook Icon

Graduate Open Day logo

MA Programmes

MA Philosophy Structure

Structure

The programme consists of one 10,000 word Dissertation and 8 modules taken for credit.

Credits for Dissertation = 60

Total credits for courses = 120

Total credits = 180 

The Dissertation component is mandatory, as are the two Philosophy Research Preparation Seminars PHILGA11 and PHILGA12. Conversion students must also take the two General Philosophy courses for conversion students (PHILGA09 General Philosophy 1: Ethics & Political Philosophy & PHILGA10 General Philosophy 2: Knowledge & Reality).

1st Term

Students take four 15-credit courses. These are: the MA Research Preparation Seminar, and three other MA courses coded PHILGA… 


Conversions students must take the following TWO General Philosophy courses: 

  • PHILGA09 General Philosophy: Moral & Political Philosophy (UCL MA students only)
  • PHILGA10 General Philosophy: Knowledge & Reality (UCL MA students only)

All MA students must take the Philosophy Research Preparation Seminar, which introduces students to graduate study in Philosophy and provides a forum for philosophical discussion. (This course is restricted to UCL MA Philosophy students.)

2nd Term

Students take four 15-credit courses. They must take the Philosophy Research Preparation Seminar, and three other MA courses coded PHILGA… 

In either the first term or the second term, students may take one 15-credit course from another department, with the approval of the MA Tutor (a maximum of one course in the whole year). (With the approval of the MA Tutor, Philosophy courses in the School of Public Policy/Department of Political Science will not be counted as courses in another department.)

3rd Term

Any modules assessed by unseen examination will have the exam in this term. 

Students will work on their Dissertations, under supervision from their Dissertation tutor. The summer term allocation is for three supervisions; these usually run as follows:

  • Plan and suggested readings 
  • Discuss drafted written work 
  • Further revisions to drafted work

Some supervisors may give feedback on a penultimate draft in the summer vacation. 

MA PPE of Health Structure

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), optional modules (75 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core Modules

  • Philosophy Politics and Economics of Health
  • Health Policy and Reform
  • Cost-benefit Analysis and Health

Optional Modules can include:

  • Global Justice and Health
  • Translational Clinical Science
  • Contemporary Political Philosophy I and II
  • Global Health and Development
  • Comparative Human Rights Law
  • Public Ethics
  • Introduction to Philosophy of Science
  • Ideas of Health and Sickness in Industrial Society
  • Science, Governance and the Public

Dissertation

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words. They are assigned a supervisor for the summer term when they undertake this project.

Timetable

Modules

MA Orientation

Click here for the moodle site with the MA Philosophy course handbook (UCL log-in required).

MA Philosophy Regulations

Scheme of Award

  • The MA course consists of credits to the value of 180.
  • Each student must take modules to the value of 120 credits and submit a dissertation to the value of 60 units.
  • Each student must normally take Research Preparation 1 and Research Preparation 2, each of 15 credits. These are graded on a ‘pass / fail’ basis.
  • For classification purposes the six modules that are given a numerical value are treated as if they had the value of eight modules, so that the dissertation contributes one third of the overall mark.
  • For the purposes of classification, any mark above 80 is capped at 80.
  • For ease of calculation, the overall average is determined by multiplying the dissertation mark by three, summing the product with the grades for the modules with numerical marks, and dividing by nine.

In order to pass a candidate must:

  • Achieve an overall average of 50 or higher (rounded)
  • Achieve a mark of 50 or higher on the dissertation.

A failing dissertation cannot be condoned.

Up to two modules in the range 40-49 can be condoned, provided the overall average is above 50.

If the overall average is below 50 (rounded), or the dissertation is below 50, or the candidate has a fail below 40, or three or more papers in the 40-49 range, the candidate fails.

In order to achieve the award of Merit a candidate must: 

  • Achieve an overall average of 60 or higher (rounded)
  • Achieve a mark of 60 or higher on the dissertation.
  • Have no marks below 50, no condoned marks, no-resits, and all marks based on first attempt. 

In order to achieve the award of Distinction a candidate must:

  • Achieve an overall average of 70 or higher (rounded)
  • Achieve a mark of 70 or higher on the dissertation.
  • Have no marks below 50, no condoned marks, no-resits, and all marks based on first attempt.


Consideration of borderline:

If the overall rounded mark is 69 (59 for merit) the candidate is borderline. (Raw mark of 68.5, or 58.5 or above)

An award of a Distinction can be made

  • where the mark in the dissertation is 70 or above; and
  • where at least half of the taught credits are at or above 70, after rounding; and
  • where there is no mark below 50, after rounding; and
  • where there are no re-sit marks and all the marks for the modules are first attempts.

Equivalent consideration should be given to the award of a Merit. If the weighted overall mark is 59, an award of a Merit can be made

  • where, after rounding to the nearest integer, the mark in the dissertation is 65 or above; and
  • where at least half of the taught credits are at or above 60, after rounding; and
  • where there is no mark below 50, after rounding; and
  • where there are no re-sit marks and all the marks for the modules are first attempts.

If any candidate on a Masters programme fulfils each of these criteria, the Board of Examiners must award either a Merit or Distinction, as appropriate. These criteria must be applied to all candidates on Masters programmes. All criteria must be satisfied. 

PPE Health MA

MA Philosophy Modules Marking Criteria

Distinction (A = 70-74; A+ = 75-80)

Characteristics: exceptional thoroughness and clarity; exceptional insight or critical ability; originality; clarity and rigour of argument; extensive reading; demonstrated ability to formulate responses to questions in novel and relevant ways. Answers which address the question directly and proceed lucidly from one paragraph to the next throughout the essay. Answers need not be 'perfect': Distinction marks may be awarded either to work which, though not faultless, exhibits exceptional intellectual qualities (sophistication; originality; judiciousness), or, conversely, to work which, though not exhibiting any truly exceptional intellectual qualities, possesses virtues of composition and clarity to a markedly high degree. An A+ mark is reserved for work which shows an obviously superior understanding of the complexities of the issues involved and which the examiner considers distinctive in its excellence.

Merit (B = 60-64; B+ = 65-69)

(N.B. to achieve an overall merit 65 or higher is necessary in the dissertation - see regulations here

Characteristics: well organized, clearly expressed; direct and relevant response to the question; evidence of good analytical skills, critical thinking, and wider reading; effective grasp of concepts; relevant use of illustrative material. Answers which show a good command of the subject and use this knowledge to construct a soundly structured and argued piece of work, which may nonetheless also display some faults (missing certain aspects of the question, containing patches of weaker material, or holding back from giving voice to the writer's own views). Avoiding most of these faults is required for B+.

Pass (C = 50-54; C+ = 55-59)

Characteristics: shows a general understanding of the question; relevant but limited reading and use of examples; competent reproduction of ideas and concepts from lectures and textbooks with little evidence of independent, critical appraisal, or of wider reading; illustrative material of general relevance but not fully integrated with the text. Answers which show a sound knowledge of basic considerations and arguments, but which present considerations outside an analytical framework, fail to cover some key aspects of the topic, and/or make insufficient reference to the question.

Condonable Fail (D = 40-49)

Characteristics: shows an understanding of the question and the broader subject area, but gives little evidence of detailed knowledge or reading; contains serious mistakes or misunderstandings, unsupported assertion, and/or irrelevant material; fails to cover many key aspects of the topic; poor organization; poor expression; wholly uncritical approach; unsupported assertion. Answers where there is some grasp of the topic and some evidence of basic knowledge – of taking notes and reading basic textbooks – but little beyond that.

Fail (F = 39 and below)

Characteristics: fails to provide an answer to the question set; shows no more than a very general acquaintance with the field; absence, or near absence, of organization; complete, or almost complete, lack of relevance; errors or incoherence revealing failure to absorb basic material taught on the course; consists only of notes making isolated points.

MA Supervision List Summer 2015

The supervision list will be posted online at the end of the Easter break 2015.

MA Dissertation Submission

Deadline

Two copies of your MA dissertation are due in the Departmental Office by 4pm on Monday 1 September 2014.

You also need to submit this on the Moodle site by this deadline. 

Format

Dissertations should be handed in as follows:

  • Two copies, not in folder or cover, but with the pages of each copy well secured (e.g. stapled or bound) and including the Cover Sheet below
  • Download Cover Sheet (Word doc)The module code for the dissertation is PHILGA99
  • On the front page please put the total number of words (Maximum 12,000: including footnotes, excluding bibliography / referencing)
  • Your dissertation should have a clear bibliography at the end listing all works you have referred to or quoted from.
  • Do not include your name anywhere in the dissertation.

Important Note on 'Computer Failure'

Computer failure is not a sufficient reason to excuse late submissions. Candidates are advised to make back-up copies and store them away from the computer as well as, closer to the submission date, printing out draft copies. This is the responsibility of the candidate.

FAQs


Computing

How do I connect to Eduroam (the UCL wireless network)?

You can connect to Eduroam using your UCL userid appended with '@ucl.ac.uk' (e.g. ucxxzano@ucl.ac.uk) and your UCL account password. 


Modules


What will my timetable be?

Full MA module timetable information is available on the department website via the UCL common timetable system.

How do I confirm the modules I want to take?

Module confirmation is completed via Portico - please read the registration guide.

How do I change a module I have previously confirmed I want to take?

It is not possible for you to change modules once they have been confirmed. If you need to please email Richard Edwards with an explanation.

Which modules are compulsory?

The two Philosophy Research Preparation Seminars PHILGA11 and PHILGA12 are mandatory. Conversion students must also take the two General Philosophy courses for conversion students. All students must take 8 modules in total, including the above, and complete the dissertation component.

What is the different between a 'Graduate Studies' course and a 'Research Seminar'?

The emphasis in a Graduate Studies course is on giving students an intensive grounding in a specific area of philosophy, such as philosophy of language, or normative ethics.This will typically involve a syllabus of pedagogically important articles or book chapters.

A Research Seminar on the other hand is explicitly focused on the current research interests of the module tutor, and will typically involve presentation of the tutor’s own research.

Can I take undergraduate level courses?

You can only take courses with a code beginning 'PHILGA...'. However, many of these modules are also shared with MPhil and/or undergradaute students, often resulting in larger classes and a different seminar dynamic. Information about which modules are shared, and with whom, is available on the course list. 

Can I take modules 'outside' the Department?

In either the first term or the second term, students may take one 15-credit course from another department, with the approval of the MA tutor (a maximum of one course in the whole year).

With the approval of the MA tutor, philosophy courses in the School of Public Policy/Department of Political Science will not count as courses in another department.


RESULTS & ASSESSMENT


When and how do I get my results?

Provisional essay results are released on Moodle - an email will be sent when available. These are provisional until the Board of Examiners has met, by which time marks will have been moderated by a second examiner and confirmed by the external examiner. The board of examiners meeting is usually mid October.

What is the maximum word length for assessed essays?

The maximum is 4500 words, not inclusive of references and bibliography. Assessed work more than 10% longer than this will not be accepted for submission (i.e. it will not be date-stamped or otherwise recorded as formally submitted), but immediately returned to the student with instructions to reduce the word length.The work may then be resubmitted, except insofar as penalties for late submission may apply.

If submitted work is subsequently found to have an inaccurately stated word count, and to exceed the upper word limit by at least 10% and by less than 20%, the mark will be reduced by ten percentage marks, subject to a minimum mark of a minimum pass assuming that the work merited a pass.

For work which exceeds the upper word limit by 20% or more, a mark of zero will be recorded.

What are the coursework deadlines and penalties for late submission?

Essays for first term modules have to be submitted by 4pm on the first day of the second term (moodle and hard copy). Essays for second term modules have to be submitted by 4pm on the the first working day of the third term. Strict penalties are applied when an essay is submitted late. These are normally waived only for medical reasons, provided that documentary evidence is submitted.

Where can I find information about the MA Philosophy dissertation?

Please see the dissertation information here.

Page last modified on 15 aug 13 09:12