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Philosophy of Medicine & Psychiatry MA

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Geared both to philosophy graduates, as a pathway into research in Philosophy of Medicine & Psychiatry, and medical (and other) graduates, to introduce them to key concepts, arguments, texts and techniques in the Philosophy of Medicine & Psychiatry.

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge, understanding and skills in Philosophy of Medicine & Psychiatry. They will also have the opportunity to study other areas of Philosophy, selected from a broad range of modules, covering all areas of the subject. 

Key benefits

  • Offers a pathway into the Philosophy of Medicine & Psychiatry, particularly well suited to students whose undergraduate background is in medicine.

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

  • 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 fixed number.

Course leaders

Dr John Callanan and Professor Sherrilyn Roush

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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Course detail


The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge, understanding and skills in Philosophy of Medicine & Psychiatry. They will also have the opportunity to study other areas of Philosophy, selected from a broad range of modules, covering all areas of the subject. Those converting in from other subjects at undergraduate level will be strongly encouraged to take 'General Philosophy' as one of their options.
The programme has three elements:

  • Two core modules, worth 20 credits each: Philosophy of Medicine and The Concept of Mental Disorder. The module Perspectives on Death & Killing is optional but recommended.
  • Dissertation of 10,000 - 12,000 words, on a topic in the Philosophy of Medicine & Psychiatry, worth 60 credits.
  • Around four modules chosen from the MA courses in Philosophy, including General Philosophy, totalling 80 credits (with permission, one course may be taken outside the Department).

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

The programme is geared equally to students who already have some training in Philosophy, Medicine, or Psychiatry and to those who wish to convert into the field of Philosophy of Medicine & Psychiatry after pursuing another subject at undergraduate level (which may be, but need not be, Medicine). It will enable the former students to consolidate their existing knowledge and to augment it with a close focus on issues in the Philosophy of Medicine & Psychiatry. The latter students will normally be expected (though not strictly required) to take a special ‘General Philosophy’ module, which will introduce them to key theories and arguments, concepts and terminology, and classic texts from right across the philosophical spectrum. For students of both kinds, the programme will provide a firm foundation for subsequent doctoral research.

Further literature

Course format and assessment


We will teach you through lectures and seminars. Typically, each optional module will take 2-4hours a week.


You will be assessed through a combination of examination and coursework, as well as a dissertation.


Year 1

Required Modules

You are required to take:

•           Philosophy of Medicine (20 credits)

•           The Concept of Mental Disorder (20 credits)

•           Dissertation (60 credits)

You will write a 10,000 - 12,000-word dissertation. If you are a part-time student, you will write this in your second year.

Optional Modules

If you are a full-time student, you will take 80 credits from a range of optional modules, outlined in the list below.

If you are a part-time student, you will take between 20 and 40 credits from this list in your first year, and then 40 to 60 credits in your second, to total 80 credits over the two years. The list may include:

  • Aesthetics (20 credits)
  • Early Modern Philosophy (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)
  • Foundations of Analytic Philosophy (20 credits)
  • Foundations of Phenomenology (20 credits)
  • Gender & Philosophy (20 credits)
  • General Philosophy (40 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)
  • Mathematical Logic: Limitative Results  (20 credits)
  • Medieval Philosophy (20 credits)
  • Metaphysics (20 credits)
  • Metaphysics II (20 credits)
  • Methodology of the History of Philosophy (20 credits)
  • Modal Logic (20 credits)
  • Nineteenth-Century Continental Philosophy (20 credits)
  • Perspectives on Death and Killing (20 credits)
  • Philosophy of Biology (20 credits)
  • Philosophy, Literature and Method (20 credits)
  • Philosophy of Language (20 credits)
  • Philosophy of Mathematics (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 Science (20 credits)
  • Political Philosophy (20 credits)
  • Political Philosophy II: Special Topics (20 credits)
  • Set Theory (20 credits)
  • Twentieth-Century Continental Philosophy (20 credits)
  • Concept of Mental Disorder (20 credits)
  • Up to 40 credits from a range of master’s modules offered across King’s College London including modules in the MSc in Mental Health, Ethics and Law (Concepts of Psychiatry, Mental Health Law: The Civil Context and Mental Health Ethics (including up to 20 credits from Graduate Language Modules offered by King’s Modern Language Centre) or exceptionally at University College London or Birkbeck, subject to approvals

 We particularly encourage you to consider taking the Perspectives of Death and Killing module.

If you have no background in philosophy we will strongly encourage you to take the 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 (which may but need not be Medicine). 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.