The School of Philosophy at UEA can offer graduates a broad and deep education in many areas of philosophy – in, for example, Wittgenstein, Kant and Chomsky, phenomenology, metaphilosophy, C20th analytic and Classical philosophy – but the School has a distinctive concentration of expertise in the area of philosophy and literature. UEA was one of the first departments to concentrate its research efforts on this subject, largely because of its Wittgensteinian leanings, and it is currently one of the country’s leading centres for research in this area. One member of staff focuses almost exclusively on philosophy and literature, and at least three others have made distinctive contributions to its development. In all cases, their research into the subject is informed by a wide knowledge of other arts, especially music and film.
Philosophy and literature is one of the most exciting growth areas in modern Anglo-American philosophy. Over the last thirty years, under the influence of such major figures as Stanley Cavell and Martha Nussbaum, the subject has transformed itself from a minority interest to a major component in the curriculum. It is now widely acknowledged that because the literary form of philosophy is part of its philosophical value, and the philosophical knowledge provided by literature is part of its literary value, both subjects suffer impoverishment when kept unnaturally apart.
The MA in Philosophy and Literature offers a one-year interdisciplinary course in the two subjects, and explores the deep links between them at many levels. Students can choose from a wide range of modules in both subjects, while sharing a research workshop and core units jointly taught by philosophers and literary specialists. This makes the MA a genuinely joint degree, and not one in which the two subjects are only taught in parallel.
The MA is an ideal supplement to an undergraduate degree in either philosophy or literature, and an excellent introduction to advanced research work in either field. When studied part-time, students take two modules a year for two years and write their dissertation during the second year.
The School of Philosophy, ranking in the top 10 philosophy departments in the UK (2014 Guardian University Guide) has a long-established reputation for its lively, stimulating and welcoming atmosphere, with a close interaction between teaching and research. The School's high academic standing was recognized in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, where 35% of its contributions were rated world-leading or internationally excellent.