Philosophy MA

London, Bloomsbury

Immerse yourself in a world of philosophical debates, problems and theories through this dynamic degree. Taught in the heart of London, home to one of the most varied philosophical communities in the world, the Philosophy MA will teach you a raft of transferable skills for academic or professional careers. You’ll learn from UCL’s renowned scholars and celebrated guest speakers, and become part of a lively intellectual community.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
All applicants: 16 Oct 2023 – 01 Feb 2024

Applications closed

Entry requirements

A minimum of a upper 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.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

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.

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

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

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.

Who this course is for

The MA offers philosophy graduates a means to study philosophy for an additional year, and offers graduates from other disciplines a rigorous advanced start in the discipline. The degree will form a good basis for work outside of universities. Philosophy graduates who aim to develop a career in academic philosophy should apply for the MPhil.Stud., which is the route to the PhD at UCL

What this course will give you

The department has strengths in analytic 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 to 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.

The foundation of your career

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. These skills are important across all workplaces. In addition, this degree provides a basis for graduates to boost their profile in philosophy, should they wish to apply for a research degree.


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 use the MA as a foundation for their application(s) to further research in philosophy.


Academic staff in the department are involved in the running of the Aristotelian Society, the main philosophy society in the UK, which holds weekly public lectures at the University of London. 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. Finally, the Royal Institute of Philosophy lecture series, co-ordinated by the Institute of Philosophy at Senate House, are open to our graduate students.

Teaching and learning

The programme is taught by specialists in the field and is delivered through a combination of seminars, presentations and individual supervisions (for the dissertation).

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

Each module has a two-hour seminar each week. A full-time MA student would take four modules in term one and four in term two (each of these terms is 10 weeks long). As a general rule, students should plan to put aside about eight hours per week excluding the class time for each module being studied.


In this programme you will take eight taught modules and the research dissertation.

There are two compulsory modules - the MA Research Preparation in Philosophy 1 & 2 - which provide an introduction to different methodologies in philosophical enquiry and the variety of forms of philosophical argumentation.
The other six modules can be chosen from the list of optional MA seminars running in that year. These usually cover a broad range of specialisms which can include 19th-century German Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, Epistemology, Ethics, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind and Political Philosophy.

The concepts and skills from these modules will prepare you to go forward to do your dissertation in term three for which you will receive supervision from a member of staff with expertise relevant to your project.

First year

First and second terms: students must take three courses and one of the compulsory Philosophy Research Preparation Seminars (PHIL0142 or PHIL0143).
Third term: Submit assessments (if applicable) and start to plan independent study for the Dissertation.

Second year

First and second terms: students must take three courses and the other Philosophy Research Preparation Seminar not taken in the first year (PHIL0142 or PHIL0143).

Third term: Supervisions and independent work on the Dissertation.

Optional modules

Aristotle¿s Moral Psychology

Topics in German Idealism

The Philosophical Foundations of Effective Altruism


Reasons and Normativity

Graduate Studies in Kant

The Philosophy and Ethics of Climate Change

Research Seminar in Realism and Antirealism

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Philosophy.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £15,100 £7,550
Tuition fees (2024/25) £31,100 £15,550

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

Additional costs may include expenses such as books, stationery, printing or photocopying, or conference registration fees.  The department strives to keep additional costs low. Books and journal articles are usually available via the UCL library (hard copies or via e-journal subscriptions).

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

Funding your studies

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

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

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.

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

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

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