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Postgraduate research programmes

MPhil/PhD in Philosophy

PhD in Philosophy

General Characterisation

The PhD programme is exclusively devoted to research in philosophy. The programme lasts a minimum of three years full time study. During this time students meet with their supervisors on a regular basis to work on their dissertation. At the end of their studies students submit a PhD thesis of a maximum length of 100,000 words. The thesis shall ‘form a distinct contribution to the knowledge of the subject and afford evidence of originality by the discovery of new facts and/or by the exercise of independent critical power’. The thesis is examined by two examiners, one external, non-London based, one internal, London based, in a viva.

Click here for information about the thesis submission process.


PhD students are expected to participate in the weekly advanced research seminar. They present and discuss their work in progress in this seminar.


Students will be registered under two supervisors, one of which is the primary supervisor. During their studies students can also work with further supervisors on special topics.

Applicants who wish to work with a primary supervisor based outside the philosophy department are strongly advised to apply to that department for admission as an M.Phil/PhD student.

Online reports

Twice a year students need to submit online reports about their progress via the College online reporting system.


At the end of each teaching term students have a collection meeting with members of the Postgraduate and Research Committee (PARC). In this meeting the past term is reviewed and supervisor assignments are made.

Research Student Journey

This timeline has been designed to give you an overview of the journey of a research student within the School. You can find the timeline here.

Research students can find here information relating to their degree programme:


Further information

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