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Philosophy MA

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Geared both to philosophy graduates, to consolidate and expand their philosophical grounding; and equally to conversion students, to introduce them to key concepts, arguments, texts and techniques from across the philosophical spectrum, while also bringing them up to a high level in selected specialist areas.

Key benefits

  • Offers a wide selection of optional topics, both current and historical, covering the entire philosophical spectrum from aesthetics to logic and everything in between.

  • Open both to Philosophy graduates and to those converting into Philosophy from other subjects at undergraduate level, with pathways appropriate to their different needs.

  • Located in the heart of London.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake No set number.

Course leaders

Dr John Callanan

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 7000 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

DepartmentDepartment of Philosophy



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Philosophy MA

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Course detail


Students must earn a total of 180 credits. 60 of these will come from a dissertation of around 10,000 words, to be completed over the Summer at the end of the course. (A student who satisfactorily completes the course up to the point of the dissertation may exit the programme without completing one, and will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Philosophy on the basis of their 120 credits).

The initial 120 credits will be earned through optional modules. Most of these are confined to either the first or the second semester, and are worth 20 credits; General Philosophy is the exception, and spans both semesters, and is worth 40. Students who do not have an undergraduate background in philosophy are normally expected to take the 40 credit General Philosophy module. This module introduces basic philosophical methods, techniques and terminology, and acquaints you with some of the most important and influential writings on the subject.

Otherwise, students have a completely free choice, although it should be noted that some of these modules are likely to be more accessible to conversion students, while others—particularly the more specialised 'topics'-based modules—might appeal more to those who do already have a background in the field. These modules are mostly taught through two weekly hours of lectures and seminars. With permission, students may get up to 40 credits from modules taken outside the Philosophy Department.

Full-time students will complete the course in one year, September to September. Part-time students take two years, and are required to get 40 to 80 credits (but normally 60 or 80) in the first of these, and then 100 to 140 (but normally 100 to 120, including 60 from the dissertation) in the second. General Philosophy, if it is taken at all, must be taken in the first year.

All students, including part-time students, should ensure that they are available to attend seminars at least two days a week. 

An indicative list of modules can be found under the 'Structure' tab.

Course purpose

This programme is suited both to students with an undergraduate philosophy degree and to those converting into philosophy from another subject at undergraduate level. For philosophy graduates, it will consolidate and augment their existing knowledge, and provide a firm foundation for subsequent independent research. For conversion students, there is a General Philosophy module which is designed specifically to introduce them to key texts, concepts and arguments from right across the philosophical spectrum: by means of this module, in conjunction with their own choices of optional subjects, such students will also be prepared for further research in philosophy.

Further literature

Intending applicants may consult the department's current student information for full programme details.

Course format and assessment


You will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars.


You will be assessed through coursework and/or examinations, along with a 12,000-word dissertation.


Year 1

Required Modules

You are required to write a dissertation of 12,000 words.

Optional Modules

You will take 120 credits from a range of optional modules that may include:

•           Early Modern Philosophy (20 credits)

•           Foundations of Analytic Philosophy (20 credits)

•           Foundations of Phenomenology (20 credits)

•           Greek Philosophy I: Plato (20 credits)

•           Greek Philosophy II: Aristotle (20 credits)

•           Greek Philosophy III: Special Topics (20 credits)

•           Indian Philosophy I: The Orthodox Schools (20 credits)

•           Indian Philosophy II: The Heterodox Schools (20 credits)

•           Kant I: Critique of Pure Reason (20 credits)

•           Kant II: Moral Philosophy (20 credits)

•           Medieval Philosophy (20 credits)

•           Nineteenth-century Continental Philosophy (20 credits)

•           Twentieth-century Continental Philosophy (20 credits)

•           Aesthetics (20 credits)

•           Epistemology (20 credits)

•           Epistemology II: Special Topics (20 credits)

•           Ethics (20 credits)

•           Ethics II: Special Topics (20 credits)

•           Ethics of Science & Technology (20 credits)

•           First-Order Logic (20 credits)

•           Gender & Philosophy (20 credits)

•           General Philosophy (40 credits)

•           Mathematical Logic: Limitative Results (20 credits)

•           Metaphysics (20 credits)

•           Metaphysics II (20 credits)

•           Modal Logic (20 credits)

•           Perspectives on Death and Killing (20 credits)

•           Philosophy, Literature and Method (20 credits)

•           Philosophy of Biology (20 credits)

•           Philosophy of Language (20 credits)

•           Philosophy of Medicine (20 credits)

•           Philosophy of Mind (20 credits)

•           Philosophy of Mind II: Special Topics (20 credits)

•           Philosophy of Physics (20 credits)

•           Philosophy of Psychology I (20 credits)

•           Philosophy of Psychology II (20 credits)

•           Philosophy of Religion (20 credits)

•           Philosophy of Mathematics (20 credits)

•           Philosophy of Science (20 credits)

•           Political Philosophy (20 credits)

•           Political Philosophy II: Special Topics (20 credits)

•           Set Theory (20 credits)

•           Topics in the Philosophy of Medicine (20 credits)

•           The Concept of Mental Disorder (20 credits)

•           Up to 40 credits from a range of master’s modules offered across King’s College London (including up to 20 credits from Graduate Language Modules offered by King’s Modern Language Centre) or at University College London or Birkbeck, subject to approvals

If you do not have a background in Philosophy you are normally expected to take the 40-credit General Philosophy module. 

We regularly review the modules that we offer on a regular basis in order to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. The optional modules that we offer may therefore change, and we suggest that you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates. There are a limited number of spaces available on each optional module, and you will have the opportunity to discuss your choices with your personal tutor.

Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree (or overseas equivalent) in Philosophy or any other field. Conversion students should show evidence of an interest in and aptitude for the subject.

Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal and a non-refundable application fee of £50 applies.

With your application form, you must include a sample of written work totalling approximately 3,000 words. We do not routinely interview applicants, but we may call you for interview; and you are very welcome to call the department to arrange a visit. We aim to process all complete applications within four to six weeks, although this may take longer over holiday periods.

Personal statement and supporting information

You should use your personal statement to discuss your intentions for the programme, and the route that has led you to it. Please also supply a writing sample of c.3,000 words with your application. Further details can be found on the Department website:(

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible.  Our first application deadline was the 31st March 2017.  Applications will remain open if places are available and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full.  For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 30th July 2017 or from UK/ EU nationals after 3rd September 2017.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time UK fees: £9,450 p.a. (2017/18)*
  • Full time overseas fees: £18,420 p.a. (2017/18)*
  • Part time UK fees: £4,725 p.a. (2017/18)*
  • Part time overseas fees: £9,210 p.a. (2017/18)*

Please note: Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee. 

*These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2017, payment is due by 30th April 2017.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2017 and 30th June 2017, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2017 and 31st July 2017, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2017, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to the costs above, you can also expect to pay for:

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies
  • Library fees and fines
  • Personal photocopies
  • Printing course handouts
  • Society membership fees
  • Stationery
  • Graduation costs
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

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Page last modified on 16 May 2017.