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Postgraduate taught programmes

MA Philosophy of Psychology

Overview: aims of the programme

The MA in Philosophy of Psychology involves one year's full-time study, or two years' part-time. It is a 'taught' Master's programme, with each module following a fixed syllabus, as opposed to a 'research' degree. 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 (which may but need not have been Psychology).

Programme structure

Taught modules

Students must earn a total of 180 credits, of which 120 will come from taught modules. These break down as follows. There are four (semi-)compulsory 20-credit modules in this programme:

The reason why these are only semi-compulsory is because, in cases where a student has already covered an almost identical syllabus in the course of their previous studies, there would be little point in their doing it again here. But, in practice, the only case where this issue might realistically arise will be the first Philosophy of Mind module. But then, also it is not formally part of this programme, students in the programme might be especially interested in 7AAN2003 The Concept of Mental Disorder: that module will therefore be deemed an acceptable substitute to one of those listed above. In addition, students who don't already have a background in Philosophy will be expected to take the 40-credit module, 7AAN4021 General Philosophy, which, together with the others, will most likely bring them to their 120-credit target. Philosophy graduates will not be eligible to take that, but can pick any other MA modules instead, to achieve the same 120-credit total.

Once the above requirements have been satisfied, you may choose from the wide selection of MA modules offered by the Department.

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. This must be on an approved topic in Philosophy of Psychology or Philosophy of Mind. Students who complete all requirements of the programme with the exception of the dissertation are entitled to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Philosophy of Psychology.

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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