University of Bristol

Arts and Humanities

MA Philosophy


Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road

Second Floor, Union Building, Queen's Road, Clifton

Bristol, England

United Kingdom

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

, MA Philosophy

Format: Campus

Program Description:

The MA in Philosophy will give you a thorough grounding in the core knowledge and skills required for philosophical research, while allowing you to pursue your own philosophical interests in depth.

You will be taught and supervised by members of a friendly and informal department with an outstanding reputation in the UK and internationally. The MA is designed for you to gain full advantage from the research expertise of individual members of staff. For more than half of the course, you will benefit from one-to-one tutorials with a member of the department. You will be guided throughout by a personal tutor who will help you structure your course of study and choose the topics you wish to research.

You will be an active member of our flourishing research culture and will be encouraged to participate in the three weekly research seminars on a wide range of philosophical issues. There is also a weekly postgraduate seminar, where you may present your own work before your peers, helping you to develop argumentative strategies in a supportive environment.

Programme structure

Core units

  • Epistemology and Metaphysics Seminar
    A two-hour, weekly seminar studying core topics in epistemology and metaphysics. This unit is examined on the basis of an essay of 5,000-6,000 words. As with all assessed essays, you can meet with a supervisor to discuss your work and to receive feedback on a draft essay.
  • Philosophical Writing and Research Seminar
    A two-hour, weekly seminar developing bibliographical, writing and ideas-managing skills necessary for philosophical research. This unit is assessed by seminar contributions and presentations.
  • Value Theory Seminar
    A two-hour, weekly seminar studying core topics in moral and/or political philosophy. This unit is examined by an essay of 5,000-6,000 words.

Optional units

You will take three optional units. For each of the three you may choose either:

  • a taught seminar unit from a list of those available. The list changes from year to year but typically includes: Philosophy and History of Medicine, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Psychology, Philosophy of Biology Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy of Mathematics and History of Science.


  • a unit taught by individual tutorials on an agreed topic of your choice.

Each optional unit is assessed by an essay of 5,000-6,000 words.


Satisfactory completion of semesters one and two will allow you to progress to writing a dissertation of up to 15,000 words on an approved topic of your choice. The dissertation is your chance to produce an extended piece of philosophical research that can act as preparation for a graduate research degree. You will have supervisory meetings with a member of staff who will provide feedback on a draft of your work.

International Student Requirements:

IELTS English language 6.5 overall, minimum 6.5 in all bands or equivalent

Facts & Figures

Out State Tuition (per year): 15,500 GBP

Classification: Higher Education Institution (Not Carnegie Classified)

Locale: Midsize City

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