Philosophy MA


Fact file

MA Philosophy
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Entry requirements
2:1 in philosophy or related subject
7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
University Park
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


A flexible programme that allows you to specialise in your area of interest and helps you develop sophisticated analytical skills.
Read full overview

Our MA enables you to take your studies and passion for philosophy to a more advanced level. The course will help you to develop sophisticated analytical skills. You will be taught in small groups in a stimulating environment. Teaching draws directly on the extensive and world-leading research expertise of staff within the Department of Philosophy. You can choose your own pathway through the course, and will also be encouraged to engage with our vibrant research culture. All MA students undertake a dissertation, which enables them to pursue in depth a research question of their choice.

Key facts

    • The Department of Philosophy is a centre of excellence in research and teaching and especially strong in the areas of metaphysics, social philosophy, mind and language, ethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of science.
    • The latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) panel (2014) graded 69% of our research activity as being ‘world leading’, or ‘internationally excellent’, with the remainder all of a quality that is ‘recognised internationally’. In recent years the department has attracted several external funding awards, and a number of externally funded research projects are underway in the department. 
  • Funding opportunities are available via studentships, scholarships, and other sources.
  • Our libraries give you online access to many philosophical texts and leading philosophical journals
  • In the latest postgraduate taught experience survey, 100% of respondents in the School of Humanities said, “The course is intellectually stimulating” and “The course has enhanced my academic ability”

Course details

The course, which can be pursued one year full-time or two years part-time, comprises six modules (three per semester for full-time students) and a dissertation that is completed over the summer. By your choice of topics within modules, you have the chance to pursue your own specialised pathway through the course. The modules cover a range of philosophical topics, such as ethics, political philosophy, social philosophy, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, etc. The dissertation, on a topic of the your choosing, is closely supervised by a member of staff.



Full-time students take three modules each semester. One is a faculty wide module and five are subject modules. Each semester there will be opportunities to sit in on third year lectures and seminars that are paired with our MA modules with the exception of “Philosophical Topics”.

This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list, and may be subject to change. Prospective applicants are welcome to consult the Philosophy Postgraduate Admissions Officer for more information.

Philosophical Topics

This module will cover several topics focusing on work of seminal influence. You will be taught in a small seminar with an emphasis on developing the research and writing skills through smaller and more frequent assessments. 


This module will cover topics in ethics such as:

  • Normative ethical theories
  • Applied moral problems
  • Are ethical judgements the sorts of things that can be true or false?
  • Can ethical judgements be justified? If so, how?
Social and Political Philosophy

This module will cover topics in social and political philosophy such as:

  • Philosophy of law (including criminal justice)
  • Global poverty
  • Philosophy of social categories (including race and gender)
Mind and Metaphysics

This module will cover topics in the philosophy of mind and metaphysis such as:

  • Modality
  • Causation and laws of nature
  • Dualism
  • Memory and perception
Knowledge and Language

This module will cover topics in epistemology and philosophy of language such as:

  • Theories of knowledge
  • Social epistemology
  • Contextualism
  • Discourse about fictions
  • Proper names


Professional Development modules

All students will take one of the following two modules:

Research Methods: The Laboratory of the Arts

This module enhances students’ research skills, to support engagement in high-level research on a disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and transdisciplinary basis. An array of research techniques and methodologies will be critically reviewed and students will develop skills in gathering research insights from a range of sources drawn from across the Faculty.

Arts in Society

This module is designed to encourage students to think about the broader context of the Arts: to appreciate, evaluate and communicate the value of the Arts beyond the academy. Students will engage with the practices and techniques required to produce advanced research and develop the skills to communicate this research to a variety of audiences.



The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



UK/EU Students

The majority of postgraduate students in the UK fund their own studies. Financial support and competitive scholarships are available, however, and we encourage applicants to explore all funding opportunities at the earliest opportunity.

Funding sources include the following:

  • The Midland3Cities Nottingham Masters Studentships, for students interested in going on to pursue doctoral study. Awards cover the equivalent of home or EU tuition fees and provide a stipend (amount varies: for 2016 entry, the stipend was £8,400).
  • The Digital Humanities Centre Scholarship, which pays an amount equivalent to UK/EU tuition fees for one year of full-time or two years of part-time postgraduate masters study. It can be awarded as a tuition fee or a stipendiary scholarship.
  • The Lillian M. Ruff Postgraduate Scholarship, a scholarship equivalent to the full cost of the UK/EU fee for a part-time taught MA course in the School of Humanities at the University of Nottingham.
  • And government supported loans.

For up-to-date information about funding opportunities, please visit the Department’s funding page.

The University also has a funding website which you can search. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.




Our postgraduate students move into an extraordinarily wide range of careers following their time in the School.

Undertaking postgraduate work fosters many vital skills and may offer a head start in the job market. Studying at this level allows students to develop qualities of self-discipline and self-motivation that are essential to employment in a wide range of fields.

The course also provides the theoretical training required for progression to a research degree in philosophy or to pursue a career as a professional philosopher. A postgraduate degree from The University of Nottingham shows potential employers that students are academically able, well-motivated and hard-working, and are therefore capable to undertake any further form of career-specific training.

Average starting salary and career progression

According to independent research, Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and over 2,000 employers approach the University every year with a view to recruiting our students. 

In 2016, 96% of postgraduates from the School of Humanities who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £22,370 with the highest being £30,000.**

The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research.  
**Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career Prospects and Employability

The acquisition of a master’s degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, or as preparation for further academic research, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential. Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.


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This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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The University of Nottingham
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