Philosophy is the study of fundamental questions connected to reality, existence, normativity, the mind, language, thought and our place in the world. Our MA programme allows you to study the many facets of philosophy at an advanced level, with tuition by world leading philosophers. You will learn how to develop your own ideas and your problem-solving skills, and how to be an independent, critical thinker. You will be able to engage with a number of themes that reflect the research specialisms of the Department of Philosophy, such as ethics, metaethics, metaphysics, causation, epistemology, political philosophy, philosophy of emotions and continental philosophy.
The programme consists of four modules (two per term): Knowledge and Reality; Norms and Values; Reason; and Analytic and Continental Philosophy; plus the dissertation. There is one essay assignment per each module. The dissertation is 8,000-10,000 words and takes place over the summer with supervision from an expert within the department.
The Department hosts graduate student seminars which are organised by students with a member of staff in observation. The aim of these is to improve students’ speaking and presentation skills. We also have regular research seminars, half of which are hosted by distinguished philosophers from the UK or further afield and which are supported by the Royal Institute of Philosophy. Other events that may be of interest include the annual Philosophy Reading Weekend and student-led reading groups.
This programme is ideal for graduates of philosophy or related disciplines who wish to widen their knowledge of topics, gain more training in philosophical methodology, and/or narrow down their interests of specialisation in preparation for a PhD.
A first or upper-second class honours degree in a relevant subject (or equivalent).
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time
Please note that this programme is currently undergoing revisions and therefore the content is subject to change.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.
This module will provide a student with the opportunity to become involved in contemporary philosophical research by means of advanced theories in epistemology and metaphysics. Topics to be discussed include the nature of knowledge and reality.
This module will provide a student with the opportunity to become involved in contemporary philosophical research by means of foundational theories in moral and value theory. Topics to be discussed include the nature of values and moral reasoning, moral realism, anti-realism and scepticism, rights and duties, freedom, justice and sovereignty, legality and legitimacy, beauty and the sublime.
This module will provide a student with the opportunity to become involved in contemporary philosophical research by means of advanced texts and theories in the philosophy of language, logic and reasoning. Indicative examples of such texts include some of the most recent monographs and articles in the area.
This module will provide a student with the opportunity to become involved in contemporary philosophical research by means of advanced foundational texts in analytic and continental philosophy. Indicative examples of such texts include some of the most recent monographs and articles in the area.
Students will be asked to devise their own topic and question for their dissertation, with the guidance of an appropriate supervisor and MA Director. There is, therefore, no specified curriculum. This is a student-led module, designed to encourage independent learning, research and thought.
Assessment is by coursework essays of 4,000 words and the dissertation of 8-10,000 words.
The programme aims to:
You gain knowledge and understanding in:
(Several specific areas of the discipline based on a critical study of the relevant literature)
You develop intellectual skills in
You gain subject-specific skills in:
You gain the following transferable skills:
The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact email@example.com.
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
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In The Complete University Guide 2021, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.
Please see the University League Tables 2021 for more information.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, philosophy was ranked 12th for research impact in the UK. We were also ranked 16th for research intensity and in the top 20 for research power.
An impressive 100% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and 97% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.
The main research interests of the staff are in moral and political philosophy, philosophy of language and logic, causality and probability, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of Wittgenstein, epistemology (including social and formal epistemology), ancient philosophy, modern European philosophy and the philosophy of mind.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
A postgraduate degree in philosophy is a valuable and flexible qualification, which allows you to develop skills in logical thinking, critical evaluation, persuasion, writing and independent thought.
Graduates have gone on to positions in journalism, administration in the civil service, education, advertising and a range of managerial positions. Some go on to pursue research in the area, many continuing with PhDs at Kent or other higher education institutions.
Philosophy at Kent prides itself on the flexibility of its programmes. Students are able to negotiate their own paths of study through a full range of mixed-level modules and specialist seminars that reflect the research interests of members of staff.
We offer a wide variety of topics and modules, in all areas of philosophy. Our department is a place of academic brilliance, friendly exchange, intellectual excitement and diversity. In our weekly departmental research seminar, colleagues and philosophers from other universities present their current work, and in our thriving student-run graduate seminar, students discuss their ideas with peers and members of staff. We host a Centre for Reasoning and are connected to the Aesthetics Research Centre, both offering their own weekly research seminars.
Philosophy is part of the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL), which embraces eight other disciplines: classical & archaeological studies; comparative literature; English language and linguistics; French; German; Hispanic studies; Italian; and religious studies. This means that students enrolled on a postgraduate programme in Philosophy can draw on the excellent resources of a diverse team of teachers with expertise in many key areas of European culture.
SECL has extensive facilities to support research, and the Templeman Library has excellent holdings in all of our areas of research interest. The University of Kent’s location is the best in Britain for students who need to visit not only the British Library in London, but also the major libraries and research centres on the continent. The School also provides excellent IT facilities.
We hold a general postgraduate seminar in philosophy once a week in term-time. Active collaboration between departments within the School also ensures that we have a vigorous and lively research culture, with numerous research seminars and lectures, plus conferences organised around the research interests of our staff.
All postgraduate students in SECL receive support and guidance within their departments and from the Graduate School. Within SECL, in addition to the research culture of your department, our research centres combine overlapping interests to foster interdisciplinary support and dialogue, while the Graduate School provides a Researcher Development Programme to equip you with a full range of skills that will improve your effectiveness as a researcher. Research students gain further academic experience by giving research talks, and attending national and international conferences.
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: The Journal of Philosophy; Philosophical Studies; Philosophers’ Imprint; Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society; and Journal of Applied Philosophy.
The Department of Philosophy’s Centre for Reasoning publishes a monthly gazette, The Reasoner, which features exciting new research on reasoning, inference and method. This gazette, available at www.thereasoner.org, acts as a forum for the global community of researchers in this area. A typical issue will contain an interview with a leading figure in the field, several short peer-reviewed features, news items, monthly columns and announcements of conferences, jobs and studentships.
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.