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Philosophy MA

The Philosophy MA enables students to benefit from the acknowledged expertise of UCL's lively, close-knit intellectual community, and also access the stimulation and dynamism of London's wider philosophical community. The programme offers the flexibility for recent graduates in the subject to study chosen topics in greater depth.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Part-time students will usually study half the modules in their first year and begin research on their dissertation, then compete the remaining modules and dissertation in the second year.

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£9,840 (FT) £4,970 (PT)
£20,540 (FT) £10,430 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 1 February 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of a lower second-class Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with a strong degree in a non-philosophical subject are welcome.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree information

The programme allows students to develop an advanced knowledge of problems in contemporary analytic philosophy, the history of philosophy and the study of value. It provides students with an understanding of a representative range of central philosophical debates and of the nature of philosophical problems, and encourages them to develop and defend their own viewpoint.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), six optional modules (90 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

These modules introduce students to graduate study in philosophy. Students will give short presentations on central topics and classic papers which form the basis of discussion.

  • Research Preparation in Philosophy 1
  • Research Preparation in Philosophy 2

Optional modules

Options may include the following: 

  • Global Justice and Health
  • Texts from Early Modern Philosophy: Hume
  • Early Wittgenstein
  • Epistemology
  • Self-Knowledge
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Moral Responsibility and Moral Dilemmas
  • Kant
  • Greek Philosophy
  • Nineteenth Century Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science
  • Metaphysics of Science
  • The Self in Early Analytic Philosophy
  • Sartre’s Philosophy
  • Epistemology of Disagreement
  • Equality
  • Recent Work in Practical Philosophy
  • Graduate Studies in the Philosophy of Language
  • Perception and its History


All students undertake an independent research project in any area of philosophy taught and approved by the Department, leading to in a dissertation of 12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is taught through a combination of seminars, lectures, and supervisions. Students' performance is assessed through examinations, presentations, coursework, and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Philosophy MA


Applicants for this programme may be eligible for a number of funding opportunities, including UCL graduate scholarships.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Graduates of this programme have become successful lawyers, journalists, theatre directors and novelists among other careers. Those who perform sufficiently well on the MA can expect to pursue further research in philosophy in London or elsewhere.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Research Assistant, Universität Zürich (University of Zurich) / Université de Fr
  • Paralegal, marshall levine associates
  • DPhil Population Health, University of Oxford
  • GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law), City University London
  • PhD Philosophy, King's College London


The programme equips graduates with the skills to analyse complex ideas, develop independence of judgement and originality of thought, evaluate arguments rigorously, present views lucidly both orally and on paper, and question orthodox views. The programme provide an ideal basis for future academic study and many graduates proceed to research degrees in the UK and abroad.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The department has strengths in philosophy of mind, language, political and moral philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology and the history of philosophy.

Our students benefit significantly from our location in London, which is one of the international centres of philosophical activity. London is home of a number of renowned journals (Philosophy; Mind & Language; Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society) and hosts regular visiting speakers from across the world. Over 60 philosophers are active in London making it one of the largest and most varied philosophical communities in the world.

Department: Philosophy

Student / staff numbers › 20 staff including 4 postdocs › 25 taught students › 61 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Philosophy
74% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"UCL has one of the best philosophy departments in the world. With the other London universities there are interesting talks, workshops, and conferences taking place all the time. Most of my work is on causation, laws of nature, and probability, and the relationship between these three things. Work on probability and causation is a cross-disciplinary venture, involving philosophers, computer scientists, statisticians, and psychologists, among others."

Professor Luke Fenton-Glynn

Philosophy MA, Philosophy MPhil/PhD
UCL Philosophy
Student view

"The Philosophy MA programme provides students with a high degree of autonomy in the learning environment. Students are allowed to choose freely from a wide range of modules to his or her liking. When it comes down to assessment, students are encouraged to come up with a topic that he or she is interested in. "

Arthur Hue-Yeung Hu


Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The MA offers a means to study philosophy for an additional year after completing an undergraduate degree and also provides a good basis for work outside of universities. Philosophy graduates who wish to develop a career in teaching philosophy are advised to apply directly for the MPhil Stud.

Application deadlines

All applicants
1 February 2017

Applications close on 1 February each year and early submission is recommended.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Philosophy at graduate level
  • why you want to study Philosophy at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and/or professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme offers.

Contact information

Page last modified on 20 October 2016 at 12:07 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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