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Philosophy of Medicine MA



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

Key benefits

  • Offers a pathway into the Philosophy of Medicine 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 Jasper Reid and Professor Sherrilyn Roush

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 2569 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Course contact email

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department Department of Philosophy


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

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

The deadline for applications is 01 April 2016 for 2016 entry. Prior to this date all applications will be given equal consideration and considered on their individual merits. After this date applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.


Course detail


The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding and skills in Philosophy of Medicine. 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 Perspectives on Death & Killing
  • Dissertation of around 10,000 words, on a topic in the philosophy of medicine, 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 and to those who wish to convert into the field 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. 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

Intending applicants may consult the departmental Current Students pages for detailed course information.

Course format and assessment

Mostly taught through lectures and seminars; assessed through coursework and/or examinations plus a dissertation.


  • Required Modules

    • Philosophy of Medicine (20 credits)

    • Perspectives on Death & Killing (20 credits)

    • Dissertation (on a topic in the Philosophy of Medicine - 60 credits).

    Although not compulsory, students are especially encouraged to consider taking the Concept of Mental Disorder module.

    Topics In The Philosophy Of Medicine

    Optional Modules

    The following list gives an indication of the kinds of modules we offer, although the exact provision will vary slightly from year to year: please check the department’s module webpages for more information. Each of these modules is worth 20 credits except where specified.

    • Aesthetics
    • Early Modern Philosophy
    • Epistemology
    • Ethics
    • Ethics II
    • Ethics II
    • First-Order Logic (note: presupposes some competence in basic symbolic logic)
    • Foundations of Analytic Philosophy
    • Foundations of Phenomenology
    • General Philosophy (40 credits)
    • Greek Philosophical Texts I: Plato (note: presupposes some competence in the ancient Greek language)
    • Greek Philosophical Texts II: Aristotle (note: presupposes some competence in the ancient Greek language)
    • Greek Philosophy I: Plato
    • Greek Philosophy II: Aristotle
    • Greek Philosophy III: Special Topics
    • Indian Philosophy I: The Orthodox Schools
    • Indian Philosophy II: The Heterodox Schools
    • Kant I: Critique of Pure Reason
    • Kant II: Moral Philosophy
    • Mathematical Logic: Limitative Results (note: presupposes some competence in basic symbolic logic)
    • Medieval Philosophy
    • Metaphysics
    • Nineteenth-Century Continental Philosophy
    • Philosophy of Language
    • Philosophy of Mathematics
    • Philosophy of Mind
    • Philosophy of Mind II: Special Topics
    • Philosophy of Physics
    • Philosophy of Psychology I
    • Philosophy of Psychology II
    • Philosophy of Religion
    • Philosophy of Science
    • Political Philosophy
    • Political Philosophy II: Special Topics
    • Twentieth-Century Continental Philosophy


Career prospects

Further research in philosophy of medicine, or one or other branch of the medical profession; but also teaching, management, the financial or public sector.



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Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£9,000 p.a. (2016/17)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£17,550 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£4,500 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition Fees - Overseas

£8,775 p.a. (2016/17)*

*This tuition fee is subject to annual increases.

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

The Philosophy Department offers bursaries totalling £10,000 annually: the Sorabji bursary, the Peter Goldie bursary, and (for female students only) the Susan Stebbing bursary. There may also be other studentships and bursaries available from other funding bodies. For further information, see the departmental postgraduate funding page



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