UCL Philosophy


Philosophical Studies MPhil Stud

The Philosophy MPhil Stud is one of the pre-eminent UK research Master's degrees in philosophy. Over two years students complete coursework across a range of areas, and produce a substantial research thesis. Students completing the MPhil Stud have sufficient depth and breadth of knowledge to progress to PhD research.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 2 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 10 January 2021

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£5,720 (FT)
£22,230 (FT)

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 Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A first-class UK Bachelor's degree in Philosophy or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. All applicants for research degrees must submit two short pieces of work, of about 2,000 words each, with their application.

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

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

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:


Our research is consistently ranked among the best in the country. The department has a lively and flourishing postgraduate community, and enjoys collaborative connections with other London universities, and the activities of the nearby Royal Institute of Philosophy, the Aristotelian Society, and the University of London Institute of Philosophy.

Research areas

Research areas:

  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Epistemology
  • Ethics
  • History of Twentieth Century Philosophy
  • Metaphysics
  • Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Continental Philosophy 
  • Nineteenth Century German Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Perception
  • Political Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science
More information can be found on the department website: Philosophical Studies MPhil Stud

About this degree

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


The department has a set of funds to offer awards to research students which are allocated on the basis of merit and need. These include: Jacobsen Scholarship, a one-year award of £9,000; one or two S V Keeling Scholarships in philosophy or ancient philosophy, covering UK/EU fees and maintenance matching AHRC funding for either two years (MPhil Stud) or for up to three years (MPhil/PhD or PhD – ancient philosophy only).

There are also the Ayer, Dawes Hicks, Melhuish and JS Mill Scholarships, each worth £200 to £4,500. Other scholarships and sources of funding may be available; please check our Scholarships and Funding website. You should take note of funding application deadlines as these will differ from programme application deadlines.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Dawes-Hicks Award

Deadline: 10 January 2021
£5,000 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas
Based on academic merit

Jacobsen Scholarship

Deadline: 10 January 2021
Up to £9,500 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas
Based on academic merit

UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship

UK rate fees, a maintenance stipend, conference costs and professional development package (3 years)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

G. Melhuish Award

Deadline: 10 January 2021
Up to £3,700 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas
Based on academic merit

Keeling Scholarship

Deadline: 31 January 2021
Fees plus maintenance (AHRC rate) (3 years)
UK, EU, Overseas
Based on academic merit

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


Around ten students are admitted to the MPhil Stud each year, around half progress to study a PhD. Many are offered full fees and maintenance grants (e.g. at UCL, Oxford, Cambridge, and other UK and US universities). Recent UCL Philosophy PhD graduates have secured lectureships, prestigious academic fellowships and postdoctoral placements in the UK and elsewhere (University of Oxford, York University, University of Cambridge, Sheffield University, University of Antwerp and Leipzig University). Those who have not pursued academia have entered a variety of professions, including law, public policy, and publishing.


The range of pre-doctoral graduate-level modules included in UCL’s MPhil Stud programme is unmatched by any other UK philosophy department. This ensures that our research students who enter doctoral work do so with a deep general understanding of the discipline. The department has an outstanding job placement record in a highly competitive academic market that values a range of areas of competence in addition to an area of specialisation. Students also receive training in transferable presentational skills, interview practice and teaching methods. Students who do not continue to academic work beyond MPhil Stud enter a range of professions (see above).


The department has links with US universities (Berkeley, Columbia and Yale). Academic staff are involved in the running of the Aristotelian Society, the main philosophy society in the UK. Others are involved in running the Institute of Classical Studies lecture series, and the Keeling Colloquia and Lectures in ancient philosophy. Philosophy graduate students host a philosophy conference at the start of every year, and co-organise an annual graduate philosophy conference with graduate students at Berkeley. Finally, the Royal Institute of Philosophy lecture series, co-ordinated by the Institute of Philosophy at Senate House, is open to our graduate students.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The intensive two-year MPhil Stud comprises 16 term-long modules (6 compulsory and 10 optional) and a 30,000-word thesis.

Students take the majority of the assessed modules in year one, and focus on research in year two. A certain amount of breadth is required of the coursework, demanding significant papers (4500 words) across several areas. Students are however able to specialise in their area of research, thesis work beginning in the summer of year one, for completion by September of year two.

The programme aims at breadth and depth of study, and the opportunity to develop independent ideas in a sustained piece of research.

Department: Philosophy

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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

Application deadlines

All applicants
10 January 2021

The MPhil Stud start date is September each year. For 2021 entry, applications open in October 2020, and are due by 10 January 2021. Please include two samples of your written work (2,000 words each). For more information see our How to apply page.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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Page last modified on 9 November 2021