Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Philosophy

This programme offers postgraduate teaching in central aspects of Western philosophy in the broadly analytic tradition. The curriculum is research-led, with specialist modules taught by leading figures in their fields, and with a consistent focus on the fostering of intellectual curiosity and the development of independent thinking. The programme allows you to follow your own philosophical interests and provides a sound platform for those wishing to proceed to more advanced research work in philosophy. The course is open to those with a 1st degree in philosophy wishing to progress to more advanced levels of study and also to those without undergraduate training in philosophy. If you did not study philosophy as an undergraduate, you take a special route through the programme.

Entry requirements

Array

Postgraduate Certificate - PgCert

Good upper second-class degree, not necessarily in philosophy. Sample of written work prior to interview. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Master of Research - MRes

A good MA (upper second or equivalent) in Philosophy or equivalent, or, in exceptional circumstances, an excellent (first-class) BA in Philosophy or equivalent.

Students who do not meet these exact criteria may still be considered for entry if they demonstrate the required level of intellectual potential and commitment.
International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip

Good upper second-class degree (or equivalent), not necessarily in philosophy, and a sample of written work prior to interview.

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Course modules

Array

Postgraduate Certificate - PgCert

You take: Any 6 option modules; each option module consists of 10 lectures and 10 seminar sessions run by the lecturer, with set readings every week and assessment by a final essay. Compulsory modules: Philosophical research methods; dissertation.
Option modules:

Please note that the following list is intended only as a guide. For the most up-to-date information on our optional modules, please see our current student pages or contact the Department of Philosophy.

Philosophy of Action;
Topics in Ancient Philosophy;
Philosophy of Art;
Berkeley and Leibniz;
Advanced Topics in Epistemology;
The Biology of Evil;
Evolution and Philosophy;
Fiction and Language;
The Idea of Freedom;
Kant's Philosophy;
Advanced Topics in Metaphysics;
Philosophy of Mind;
Moral Responsibility;
Morality, Nature and Evolution;
The Philosophy of Nietzsche;
Philosophy, Business and Society;
Philosophy and Gender;
Philosophical Logic;
Political Power;
Philosophy of Psychology;
Philosophy of Science;
Twentieth Century Continental Social Philosophy.

MA

You take: Any 6 option modules; each option module consists of 10 lectures and 10 seminar sessions run by the lecturer, with set readings every week and assessment by a final essay. Compulsory module:

Philosophical Research Methods.

'Conversion' MA compulsory modules:

Introduction to Philosophical Argument;
Introduction to Philosophy.

MA Philosophy dissertation:

Dissertation, MA Philosophy.

Master of Research - MRes

The programme consists of 2 core modules (30 credits each at Level 7) and a dissertation of up to 20,000 words (120 credits).

Core module 1, Theoretical Philosophy, is focused on a range of set readings (contemporary or historical) within 1 or more of: logic; metaphysics; epistemology; philosophy of mind; philosophy of language; or the philosophy of science.

Core module 2, Practical Philosophy, is focused on a range of set readings (contemporary or historical) within 1 or more of: moral philosophy; political philosophy; or the philosophy of art and aesthetics.

The dissertation consists in a substantial piece of individual research, of 15,000-20,000 words.

Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip

The Postgraduate Diploma is designed to allow you to choose your own balance of depth and breadth in your coverage of different subject areas.

If you already have an academic background in philosophy, you take:

Philosophical Research Methods: this compulsory module consists of 10 intensive 2-hour seminar sessions focused on the close reading of philosophical texts.

Any 6 option modules (see below for an indicative list of available options). Each option module consists of 10 lectures and 10 seminar sessions run by the lecturer, with set readings every week and assessment by a final essay.

Assessment methods

Postgraduate Certificate - PgCert

Predominantly by essays on set topics.

The core module, Introduction to Philosophy, is assessed by 4 short formative essays and a written examination. Option modules are assessed by submitted essays.

MA

Introduction to Philosophy and Introduction to Philosophical Argument are assessed by written examination. Philosophical Research Methods is assessed by seminar participation and student presentation. Option modules are assessed by submitted essays.

Master of Research - MRes

Essays and a dissertation.

Sponsorship information

The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses - and you don't have to start repaying until 2019. Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.

Qualifications

Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2017 - 1 years
MA Part-time October 2017 - 2 years
Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip Full-time October 2017 - 1 years
Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip Part-time October 2017 - 2 years
Postgraduate Certificate - PgCert Part-time October 2017 - 1 years
Master of Research - MRes Full-time October 2017 - 1 years
Master of Research - MRes Part-time October 2017 - 2 years

Campus details

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Key information

Contact: 
Department of Philosophy
Telephone number: 
020 7631 6383