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Postgraduate taught programmes

MA Philosophy of Medicine

*This programme has been discontinued and replaced with the MA Philosophy of Medicine & Psychiatry.*

Overview: aims of the programme

The MA in Philosophy of Medicine involves one year's full-time study, or two years' part-time. It is a 'taught' Master's programme, as opposed to a 'research' degree: although there is a considerable degree of flexibility in the choice of modules, each individual module follows a fixed syllabus. 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 Medicine)

From 2017-18 entry this programme will be replaced with the MA Philosophy of Medicine & Psychiatry.

Programme structure

Students must earn a total of 180 credits, of which 120 credits come from modules. There are two compulsory modules for this programme:

  • 7AAN2058 Philosophy of Medicine
  • 7AAN2054 Perspectives on Death and Killing

A further 80 credits will come from optional modules. Once the above requirements have been satisfied, you may choose from the wide selection of MA modules offered by the Department. Students in this programme are especially invited to consider picking 7AAN2003 The Concept of Mental Disorder.

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 the Philosophy of Medicine. 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 Medicine.

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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