Philosophy MA

Year of entry

Postgraduate Virtual Open Day

Wednesday 15 February. Find out more

Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
12 months full time
24 months part time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in Philosophy or a related subject.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£10,750 (total)
International fees
£22,250 (total)

Course overview

Philosophy student in library

Philosophy tackles some of the deepest and most complex questions about humanity and our place in the world. It also simultaneously sheds light on extremely practical and political issues.

This Masters course will enable you to study the key debates, trends and approaches in different areas of contemporary philosophy whilst improving your skills in research and critical analysis.

If you have no prior philosophical training you’ll learn the many ways of doing philosophy and discover some of the most important debates in different areas.

If you have previously studied philosophy, you’ll have the opportunity to focus intensely on methods, problems, and issues that are new to you or which have piqued your interest in the past.

Core modules on this MA will give you new tools to tackle topics and problems in philosophy from different angles whilst introducing you to the most important ideas and debates for understanding contemporary philosophy. You’ll have the chance to use your new skills to interrogate and evaluate highly practical problems in social philosophy and moral and political philosophy. You’ll also have the chance to use these skills to carry out new work on the deep issues about the nature of reality and our relationship to it in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of logic, mind, language, and metaethics. You’ll also choose from a variety of modules specialising in the areas and topics that interest you most.

You’ll be supported by active researchers in a stimulating environment based around our research centres, with access to library resources covering a broad variety of subjects. It’s an excellent opportunity to gain diverse skills for a wide range of careers, as well as further study.

Students interested in pursuing a PhD in Philosophy will be able to undertake more independent study.

This course is also available to study part-time over 24 months.

Course details

Two core modules will introduce you to innovative methods and ways of doing philosophy as well as landmark ideas, debates, and texts in contemporary philosophy and its history. You’ll be taught how to use experimental and formal methods to approach philosophical problems and have the opportunity to use these approaches in independent and collaborative work shedding new light on philosophical and practical problems.

You’ll improve your skills in research and critical thinking through exploring contemporary issues in areas such as metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and ethics. From this foundation, you’ll build specialist knowledge in either practical or theoretical philosophy.

You’ll also have the opportunity to deepen your interests through your choice of optional modules. Optional modules allow you to develop your own independent project, or study topics in different areas of philosophy, such as feminist philosophy, aesthetics, or philosophy of logic. You’ll continue to specialise when you complete your dissertation – an independent research project on a topic of your choice that allows you to showcase the skills and knowledge you’ve gained. You can also choose to extend your dissertation if you want to go into even more depth.

As a postgraduate student with us, you’ll be a part of the vibrant research culture at Leeds. Our School has research clusters in several areas including:

  • Metaphysics and Mind (Helen Steward, Helen Beebee, Heather Logue, Julian Dodd, Léa Salje, Edward Elliot)

  • Metaethics (Pekka Väyrynen, Jack, Woods, Richard Rowland, Jessica Isserow, Graham Bex-Priestley, Gerald Lang, Daniel Elstein, Robbie Williams)

  • Language and Logic (Robbie Williams, Scott Shalkowski, Jessica Keiser, Jack Woods, Pekka Väyrynen)

  • Gender and Sex (Ellen Clarke, Heather Logue, Helen Beebee, Natasha McKeever, Richard Rowland, Graham Bex-Priestley)

The MA in Philosophy enables you to engage with research in these areas by attending research seminars and events. You can develop the focus of research in these seminars, and ask questions of visiting speakers and faculty staff or students presenting their current work. You’ll then develop your own research in your dissertation or independent project.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Philosophy MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Philosophy MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Landmarks in Analytic Philosophy 30
Ways of Doing Analytic Philosophy 30

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Ethics, Metaethics and Political Philosophy 30
Mind, Language, Reality 30
Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art 30
Feminist Philosophy 30
Existentialism and Phenomenology 30
Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics 30
War, Terror, and Justice 30
Topics in the Philosophy of Physics 30
Philosophy Dissertation 60
Philosophy of the Social Sciences 30
Philosophy: Extended Dissertation 90
Independent Study A 30
Independent Study B 30
Topics in the Philosophy of Biology 30

Learning and teaching

Most of our modules are taught through a combination of lectures and seminars, where you can discuss the issues arising from your reading with fellow students and your tutor.

You’ll also have one-to-one supervisions while you work on your dissertation. Independent study is also an important element of the course, allowing you to develop your skills and pursue your own interests more closely.

Watch our MA Philosophy and MA Global Ethical Challenges subject talk to get a flavour of what it’s like to study at Leeds.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

We use different forms of assessment, including essays, seminar participation and your dissertation.

Applying

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (Hons). It is expected that students can demonstrate an interest in philosophy either via previous study or in their writing sample.

Our admissions team are experienced in considering a wide range of international qualifications. If you wish to discuss whether your qualifications will meet the necessary entry criteria, contact the School’s admissions team. You can also check the accepted qualifications for your country or region.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.


Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. You could study a part-time online course starting in January, or a full-time course in summer. Find out more about online pre-sessionals.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

The link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you need

  • Copies of your degree certificate and full transcript, or a partial transcript if you’re still studying.

  • A sample of your written work (2,000-3,000 words) on a topic relevant to the course. All samples must be typed and in English.

  • A personal statement of around 500 words, in response to the questions asked in the supporting statement section of the application.

The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures receives very large numbers of high-quality applications and regrets that it cannot make offers to all of its applicants. Some particularly popular schools may have to reject many that hold the necessary academic qualifications.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023

This course is taught by

School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science

Contact us

Postgraduate Administration Office

Email: prhs_pgenquiries@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Fees

UK: £10,750 (total)

International: £22,250 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Part-time fees
Fees for part-time courses are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Find out more about funding and scholarships in the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science.

Career opportunities

This course will equip you with a range of in-depth subject knowledge, but it will allow you to develop high-level skills in research, analysis, interpretation and communication.

All of these qualities are valuable to a range of employers across sectors and industries, and we’re proud of our record in preparing postgraduates for their careers after graduation. They’ve gone into roles such as teaching, consultancy, business management, administration, accountancy, law, journalism and the civil service among others.

Many of our graduates also progress to further study, and ultimately pursue academic careers.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Student profile: John Fernley

I enjoyed working with the staff in the School. Working alongside PhD students and other MA students was the most enjoyable part of the course.
Find out more about John Fernley's time at Leeds