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Postgraduate taught programmes

MA Philosophy

Overview: aims of the programme

The MA in Philosophy involves one year's full-time study, or two years' part-time. It is a 'taught' Master's programme, as opposed to a 'research' degree: although there is a high degree of flexibility in the choice of modules, each individual module follows a fixed syllabus. With the possible exception of the dissertation at the end of the programme, original research is not really expected: but the MA may act as a preliminary to a subsequent research programme, normally a PhD. The programme is geared equally to the needs of Philosophy graduates, and those who are converting into the subject at Master's level, having formerly pursued a different subject in their undergraduate work.

Programme structure

Taught modules

Students must earn a total of 180 credits, of which 120 will come from optional modules, the majority of which should be chosen from the list of level 7 modules offered by the Department. Up to 40 credits can be chosen from modules in other departments, with permission of the programme co-ordinator.

Most of these modules are worth 20 credits each, and taught in either the Autumn or the Spring; just one (General Philosophy, which conversion students will normally be expected to take) is worth 40, and spans both semesters.

Some modules are assessed by means of coursework essays; others involve written exams in May or early June. 


The remaining 60 credits will then come from a dissertation of around 10,000 words, to be completed over the Summer at the end of the programme. Students who complete all requirements of the programme with the exception of the dissertation are entitled to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Philosophy.

Further information

For additional information concerning the programme, follow the links below:

To view the Programme Approval Form (full programme regulations, also known as the PAF), visit the Quality and Academic Support Office webpages.
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