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Philosophy MA

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Study a broad range of topics covering everything from pre-Socrates to the present day in a department consistently rated among the top philosophy departments in the UK. 

The course covers all major areas of philosophy both contemporary and historical and is suited both to philosophy graduates to expand their philosophical knowledge, and to students with first degrees in related subjects to introduce them to key concepts, arguments and texts from across the philosophical spectrum.

Key benefits

  • Offers an amazing selection of optional topics with global reach, 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.
  • The opportunity to study Philosophy without any gaps.

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

Department Department of Philosophy



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Philosophy MA

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Course detail


This course is suited both to students with an undergraduate philosophy degree and to those moving into philosophy from another subject at undergraduate level.

If you are a graduate of philosophy, we will consolidate and improve your existing knowledge, and provide you with a firm foundation for subsequent independent research. If you are a conversion student, our General Philosophy module will introduce you to key texts, concepts and arguments from across the philosophical spectrum. This module, along with your choice of optional subjects, will prepare you for further research in philosophy.

Over the duration of the course you will earn a total of 180 credits. Sixty of these will come from a dissertation of around 12,000 words, which you will complete over the Summer at the end of the course. If you satisfactorily complete the course before the dissertation, you can exit the course without completing a dissertation and we will award you a Postgraduate Diploma in Philosophy on the basis of your 120 credits.

You will earn your initial 120 credits through your choice of optional modules. You will take most of these in your first or second semester, and they are each worth 20 credits; General Philosophy is the exception; it spans both semesters and is worth 40. If you do not have a background in Philosophy, we will normally expect you to take this module. It will introduce you to basic philosophical methods, techniques and terminology, and it will acquaint you with some of the most important and influential writings on the subject.

Otherwise, you will have a completely free choice of modules, although you should note that some modules are likely to be more accessible to students without a philosophical background, while others, particularly the more specialised ‘topics’-based modules, might appeal more to those who do already have a grounding in the field.

Optional modules are mostly taught through two hours of lectures and seminars every week. If you gain permission, you may take up to 40 credits from modules outside the Department of Philosophy. You will complete the course in one year, from September to September. You should ensure that you are available to attend seminars at least two days a week.

Course format and assessment

You will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Your performance will be assessed through a combination of coursework and written/practical examinations.  Forms of assessment may typically include exams and coursework essays.  Coursework contributes approximately 70% and examinations approximately 30% to your final mark although this will vary based on the modules chosen.

This course is primarily taught at the King’s College London Strand Campus, in the heart of central London, putting you close to all our facilities and within easy reach of the cultural attractions of the Southbank and Covent Garden. The library and computing facilities are easily accessible, together with the opportunity to use the University of London library at Senate House.

Please note that locations are determined by where each module is taught and may vary depending on the optional modules you select.

Regulating body
King's College London is regulated by the Office for Students.


Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 180 credits.


Required Modules
Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 180 credits. You are required to write a dissertation of 12,000 words.
Optional Modules

In addition, you are required to take 120 credits from a range of optional modules which may typically 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)
  • General Philosophy (40 credits)
  • Mathematical Logic: Limitative Results (20 credits)
  • Metaphysics (20 credits)
  • Metaphysics II (20 credits)
  • Modal Logic (20 credits)
  • Perspectives on Death & Killing (20 credits)
  • Philosophy, Literature & 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.

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.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant courses of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Entry requirements & how to apply

Philosophy MA entry requirements
Minimum UK requirements 2:1

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

In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme.

International qualifications    Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language Requirements Band C  Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal and a non-refundable application fee of £70 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 will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Philosphy MA checklist
Personal Statement Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages). You should use your personal statement to discuss your intentions for the programme, and the route that has led you to it.

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes One academic reference is required. A professional reference will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago. In some cases, we may request an additional reference from you.
Writing Sample Yes

Please also supply a writing sample of approximately 3,000 words with your application. The writing sample need not be a philosophy essay, as any writing that demonstrates clarity of thought and critical thinking skills can suffice. However, an essay that provided evidence of interest in philosophical concepts and argumentation would be advantageous.

Other Optional Applicants may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of their application.


Application closing date

 We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 31 March 2020. After this date, applications will remain open if places are available, but 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 31July 2020 or from UK/EU nationals after 28 August 2020.

 Please note you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline and places are filled before the final deadlines above and we are unable to process more offers.


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 Home/EU fees: £9,990 per year (2020/21)
  • Full time overseas fees: £22,350 per year (2020/21)
  • Part time Home/EU fees: £4,995 per year (2020/21)
  • Part time overseas fees: £11,175 per year (2020/21)

Students starting their programme in 2020/21 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2021/22.

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 before 1 June 2020, payment is due by 30 June 2020.


  • If you receive an offer between 1 June 2020 and 30 June 2020, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.


  • If you receive an offer between 1 July 2020 and 31 July 2020, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.


  • If you receive an offer on or after 1 August 2020, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.


  • If you receive an offer in late August, payment is due within 2 days 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.

Career prospects

Our graduates go on to careers in teaching, management and the financial or public sectors amongst others or further study. 


Next steps

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