On our MA in Philosophy you'll engage with key issues at the centre of contemporary debates, and you'll gain up-to-date knowledge of philosophy across a broad range of topics.
The flexible programme gives you the opportunity to choose option modules, and provides training in critical thinking and analysis. You'll be able to create a substantial piece of research following your own interests.
You'll develop valuable transferable skills in research and presentation which will be essential if you are thinking of continuing to study to PhD level. The skills that you develop on the course will also equip you for a range of careers.
96% of the Department's work was judged of international standard in the REF 2014.
The Department is part of our Faculty of Arts and Humanities, ranked 42nd in the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
On the MA in Philosophy you'll study issues at the centre of contemporary debates with a combination of core and option modules. Teaching will be research-led wherever possible, drawing on our strong and diverse research community. We have strong research interests in history of philosophy, philosophy of mind, ethics, aesthetics, and several other fields, allowing you to cover a broad range of philosophical issues.
You'll study seven modules over the course of the year. You'll learn about dissertation preparation across three terms, and will work on postgraduate research skills across two terms. During your third term you and your peers will hold an in-house conference.
You'll study five core modules, and two option modules. Option modules will vary from year to year according to staff availability.
You'll consider topics central to current debates in normative and political theory. You'll explore some of the key issues relating to theoretical philosophy, especially issues in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. With your dissemination module you'll organise and present a paper at a one-day ‘conference’, which will be attended by at least two members of staff.
The Postgraduate Research Skills seminar provides you with the skills necessary to contribute to contemporary philosophical debates. You will be required to attend each of our departmental colloquia, in which speakers from other philosophy departments present their up-to-date research. Tutorials based on these colloquia, or skills sessions, will be held every two weeks, and you will be required to maintain a reflective journal recording your impressions and thoughts on these research presentations.
Course structure and option modules (20 credits each): MA Option Modules 2018/19 (PDF , 509kb)
If you are a part-time student you will study Topics in Practical Philosophy, Postgraduate Research Skills, Topics in Theoretical Philosophy and a Project Essay in Year 1. You'll choose an option module, study Dissertation Preparation and Dissemination Practice in Year 2, as well as complete your dissertation.
Project Essay (20 credits compulsory for part-time students)
This module is designed to enable students with specialised interests to independently pursue a topic of their own choosing. The Project Essay is compulsory for part-time students but can also be taken by full-time students as one of their two option modules.
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Your 10,000 word dissertation enables you to produce a sustained piece of critical writing on a topic of your choosing, and it is worth 60 credits. It will allow you to apply the core knowledge, skills and experience that you have gained in the previous stage of the course.
You'll attend dissertation preparation seminars in Term 1 to enable you to write your proposal, with further support in Terms 2 and 3. You'll be supervised by a member of staff with expertise in the relevant area.
Recent dissertation topics have included the perception of the present, personal identity, the puzzle of imaginative resistance, the preservation of endangered species, freedom of expression, ethics and the environment and the unreality of time.
I particularly liked the broad course content offered by the Department of Philosophy at York, as well as the combination and balance of taught and research elements. The teaching staff are brilliant. Their combination of academic rigour and approachability is winning. They are always happy to provide feedback and discuss lines of thought.Daniel, MA in Philosophy
Find out more about the course from our students.
|Full-time (1 year)||£7,810||£17,370|
|Part-time (2 years)|
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
year 1 fee
year 1 fee
Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).
UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.
Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.
If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.
Roger Woolhouse Prize
Each year a prize of £500 is awarded to the student on the MA in Philosophy programme who achieves the highest essay mark (>72) in the January MA assessment period. This prize is generously funded by the widow and family of Professor Roger Woolhouse, who taught at York from 1969 until his retirement in 2001.
Further information on funding opportunities for Philosophy.
You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.
You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.
You'll be taught by intensive seminars and individual or small-group tutorials, which will allow you and your tutors to systematically explore complex issues at the forefront of Philosophy.
You'll be part of a lively research community at the Humanities Research Centre which includes staff, postgraduate students, postdoctoral scholars and academic visitors from across the arts and humanities.
You will be based in the Department of Philosophy on Campus West. Most of your contact hours will be nearby on Campus West.
Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.
Your work will be assessed in a variety of ways:
You will also receive assignments throughout your course which will provide constant feedback on your development, and help prepare you for your assessments.
Studying Philosophy develops skills that are highly sought after by employers and transferable to many different careers. Our graduates have gone on to roles in marketing, education, finance, IT, the charity sector, tourism and leisure industries, as well as into academia.
You should have, or be about to complete, a 2:1 or equivalent qualification in an undergraduate degree that includes some philosophy.
If you are unsure about your eligibility, or want an informal chat about whether this course would be suitable for you, please contact us.
Visit general guidance on international entry requirements or email email@example.com for further details for this course.
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability.
You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.
Get in touch if you have any questions
We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to deluxe.
Explore campus and city life and hear what our current students have to say about living here.
Lively, full of culture and beautiful, York is regularly voted one of the best places to live and visit in the UK.