Graduate Diploma in Philosophy


Graduate Diploma in Philosophy

This course is intended to provide an opportunity for students with no background in Philosophy to do advanced work in the subject and to obtain an Honours-level qualification in it.  The course is open to those who already have an upper second first degree, and it may be taken on either a full-time basis (9 months) or a part-time basis (18 months).  The first part of the programme aims to provide students with a knowledge of important topics in Philosophy and also an opportunity to develop essential skills to engage critically with those topics.  In this part of the programme, students take four to five undergraduate modules.  The second part of the programme aims to give students experience in applying research skills to a well-defined problem under the guidance of an expert in the area.  To achieve this aim, students will prepare a written Project based on independent research that is supervised by a member of staff.


Components of the course

Taught modules

Students take 80 credits of undergraduate modules during the course (four to five taught modules).  Of these, 20 credits must be chosen from the following undergraduate first year, first term modules:  Reason and Argument A (20 credits); Reason and Argument B (10 credits); Introduction to Ancient Philosophy B (10 credits).  The remaining 60 credits must be chosen from our 20 credit year three undergraduate modules.

Students may choose their modules from a list of no fewer than three modules per term. This list will be published in advance of the beginning of the programme of study.  The modules available for the year 2016/17 can be accessed below:

The Postgraduate Research Skills Seminar

The Postgraduate Research Skills Seminar is taught over two terms and is designed to provide students with a grounding in the skills necessary to contribute to contemporary philosophical debates.  They attend at least one research seminar or colloquium every two weeks and maintain a reflective journal of their research experiences throughout the Autumn and Spring Terms. Tutorials are held every two weeks during which students discuss their responses to research events as recorded in their journals and provide mentoring and peer support.

The Projects

As an application of the knowledge, skills and experience gained in the previous stages of the course, the Project enables students to produce a sustained piece of critical writing on a topic of their choosing.

In the third term, full-time candidates undertake a 5,000 word Project on a topic chosen in consultation with their supervisor for submission at the end of the term.

Part-time candidates prepare a 2,000 word project during the Summer term of the first year for submission at the end of term and a 3,000 word project during the Summer term of the second year for submission at the end of term.


Course outline

Full-time students
Term 1 Two or three taught modules, including one to two Yr 1 UG modules Postgraduate Research Skills Seminar
Term 2 Two taught modules
Term 3 Project
Part-time students
Term 1 One to two taught Yr 1 UG modules Postgraduate Research Skills Seminar
Term 2 One taught module
Term 3 Project I
Term 4 One taught module
Term 5 One taught module
Term 6 Project II


Teaching and learning methods

The teaching methods employed on the course are lectures, seminars and individual tutorials.

Credit structure

  • Four to five taught course modules (total 80 credits)
  • Postgraduate Research Skills Seminar (10 credits)
  • Project (30 credits)

How to apply


Applicants will normally be expected to have an upper-second class honours degree, or equivalent, in a first degree in any subject. 

You can apply for this course using our online application system. If you've not already done so, please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process. You will need to supply the name and contact details of one academic referee, a transcript of marks from your Bachelor degree and one writing sample of around 3,000 words such as an essay you might have written for your Bachelor degree. If English is not your first language you may be required to supply a certificate showing proficiency in the English Language. 


Apply now   for the Graduate Diploma in Philosophy.

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