Philosophy MPhil Stud
The normal route to PhD study in the department
is by way of undertaking the two-year MPhil Stud initially. Students who
have completed the MPhil Stud (or an equivalent) will have gained
sufficient depth and breadth of knowledge to progress to the two-year
(minimum) PhD. There is a provision for those who have sufficient
graduate training in Philosophy to be admitted to the three-year MPhil/
UCL Philosophy aims to give research students a broad-based postgraduate education and to prepare them for research and for an academic career.
To this end, various distribution requirements are imposed upon the selection of courses at the MPhil Stud level before specialisation in the PhD.
It is anticipated that over the two years of their degree students will have to choose some courses from each of three broad groups:
• Metaphysics, epistemology and related areas (e.g. philosophy
• Ethics, political philosophy and related areas
• History of Philosophy
In their first year, students take the following three compulsory courses (worth 15 credits each):
- Recent Philosophical Writings
A three-term fortnightly seminar for all research students, run by two members of staff. This seminar focuses on the recent philosophical literature. Students give presentations and it is expected that each MPhil Stud student will give a senior seminar presentation during their two years on the course.
- Practical Criticism I
Close reading of a classic philosophical text, for first year MPhil Stud students only (Term 1).
- Practical Criticism II
Close reading of a classic philosophical text, for first year MPhil Stud students only (Term 2).
In addition, students must take seven optional courses (worth 15 credits each), usually distributed as follows:
- Term 1 (three courses)
- Term 2 (three courses)
- Term 3 (one course)
These courses can either be MPhil Stud courses covering some region of philosophy in depth, or Research Seminars in which faculty members present their latest research.
In the third term, students work on their dissertation with their supervisor.
In their second year, students must take the following two compulsory courses:
- Recent Philosophical Writings
fortnightly seminar for all research students focusing on recent philosophical literature and run by two members of
Students give presentations and it is expected that each MPhil Stud student will give a senior seminar presentation during their two years on the course. (15 credits)
- Thesis Preparation
A weekly seminar in which students present work in progress from their theses (30 credits).
In addition, students must take three optional courses in Term 1 (worth 15 credits each). In their second term, students receive individual supervision on their thesis project, and the third term is spent entirely working on the thesis.
Rules governing choice of optional courses:
Students must take SEVEN optional courses in their first year, and THREE in their second year.
Students’ choices among optional courses are constrained as follows:
- They must take at least SIX dedicated graduate courses over the two years.
- They must take at least TWO courses from each of categories A, B and C.
The A, B and C lists correspond to a rough division of philosophical
- A - 'Theoretical' (epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind and language, logic etc.)
- B - 'Practical' (in the Kantian sense) and/or 'evaluative'/'normative' (ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics)
- C - History of philosophy.
Entry & Application
UCL Philosophy admits graduate students to work for the degrees of MA, MPhil Stud, MPhil/PhD, and PhD.
On the whole, it is felt that those who have such a goal will, in the first instance, be better served by the MPhil Stud, since it provides a broader background and training in philosophy, before proceeding to the PhD.
The deadline for applications to the MA Philosophy, MPhil Stud and PhD is 5 January.
All applicants for research degrees (MPhil Stud, MPhil/PhD or PhD) should submit two short pieces of work; c. 2,000 words each, with their application. When using the online admissions system there are various points where you are able to and/or required to upload certain documents. Please note that you are only able to upload documents less than 2 MB in size and in the file formats .doc, .docx, .jpg or .pdf. More information about uploads is available here.
You can upload the writing samples instead of one of the other documents requested (e.g. CV, English language certificate or Transcript).
More guidance on the writing samples can be found in our FAQ's here.
MPhil Stud: a first-class UK Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
MPhil/PhD: a one-year research degree in Philosophy or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
Exceptions may be made in the case of candidates with strong upper second class Honours degrees, or equivalent qualifications, supported by good references.
In exceptional circumstances, applicants for research degrees who will have completed sufficient graduate training in philosophy by the time they enrol will be considered for admission as MPhil/PhD students.
Decisions concerning eligibility for entry at this point in
the programme will be made by the admissions tutor when reviewing
The preferred route to studying for a PhD in the department is by taking the two year MPhil Stud degree first. When applying online for the MPhil Stud online the course code RMPPHISING09 in the Research Subject Area / Taught Programme Title section.
The number of new research students registering each year about 10. Overall there are roughly 50 research students in the department.
Research Affiliate Applications
The department warmly welcomes graduate students who are working towards higher degrees at other universities and who would wish to do either course work or research in London for a period normally of one year.
Arrangements can be made for the award of grades or other credits that may be required by the degree-giving university.
Postdoctoral students may also be admitted for short periods, and the
experience of the department is that such arrangements are highly
beneficial. Finally, the department accept students who (for financial
reasons etc.) wish to enrol on a part-time basis; and this lengthens
their period of study.
- For more information visit Study Abroad
Recent graduates have gained prestigious fellowships (University of London Jacobsen Fellowship and All Souls College Oxford Prize Fellow and Oxford Career Development Fellowship) as well as postdoctoral placements in Europe (University of Antwerp, Merton College, Oxford, Somerville College, Oxford and the Institute of Philosophy at UNAM, Mexico). Others have gone on to lectureships in various UK universities (Cambridge, Oxford, Manchester and Stirling).
Page last modified on 04 jun 13 15:13