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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.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 31 January 2020

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£11,170 (FT)
£5,660 (PT)
Overseas:
£23,340 (FT)
£11,830 (PT)


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.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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.

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: Advanced

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

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:

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.

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).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Philosophy.

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 is subject to change.

Compulsory 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: 

  • Foundations of Effective Altruism
  • Intentional Agency, Acting for a Reason and Responsibility
  • Early Wittgenstein
  • Epistemology
  • Self-Knowledge
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Global Justice and Health
  • Free Speech
  • Greek Philosophy
  • Nineteenth Century Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science
  • Metaphysics of Science
  • The Self in Early Analytic Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Space and Time
  • Epistemology of Disagreement
  • The Philosophy of Climate Change
  • Recent Work in Practical Philosophy
  • Graduate Studies in the Philosophy of Language
  • Perception and its History
  • Aristotle’s Moral Psychology
Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.

Dissertation/report

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 presentations, coursework, examinations and the dissertation.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

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.

Accessibility

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

Funding

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

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Gay Clifford Awards for Outstanding Women Students

Eligibility:
UK, EU, Overseas
Criteria:
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.

Careers

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.

Employability

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 provides an ideal basis for future academic study and many graduates proceed to research degrees in the UK and abroad.

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

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

Application and next steps

Applications

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 £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

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
31 January 2020

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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020