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MA Political and Legal Philosophy

Explore contemporary issues in political philosophy and legal theory

Year of entry: 2022 (September)

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2022 (term dates)

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Study issues in political and legal philosophy and investigate them through your own research. 

On this MA you can choose from a wide range of option modules. You'll also be able to create a substantial piece of research following your own interests, with our support. You'll develop valuable transferable skills in research, analysis, critical thinking 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.

You’ll join our postgraduate community across both the Department of Philosophy and York Law School, and will be invited to participate in our broad and diverse research culture.

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University of the Year shortlisted

We're proud to announce that we've been shortlisted for two prestigious University of the Year awards.

  • Times Higher Education Awards 2021
  • The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

Find out more about our nominations

Course content

You'll study philosophical issues at the centre of contemporary political and legal debates. Teaching will be research-led, drawing on our strong and diverse research community. You'll learn about dissertation preparation, and will work on postgraduate research skills. Later in the year you and your peers will hold an in-house conference.

You’ll receive encouragement, support and guidance in selecting and independently studying ideas of personal interest to you, as well as receiving a solid foundation in central areas of political philosophy and the philosophy of law.

Course structure for part-time study

Year 1: Advanced Topics in Political Philosophy and two option modules.

Year 2: Foundational Issues in Legal Theory, Research Skills and Dissemination Practice, one option module and your dissertation.

Dissertation

Your 10,000 word dissertation enables you to produce a sustained piece of critical writing on a topic of your choosing. 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 seminar to enable you to write your proposal, with further support later in the year. You'll be supervised by a member of staff with expertise in the relevant area.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Critically review current scholarship and research on key problems, issues and debates in political philosophy and the philosophy of law.
  • Apply critical perspectives to current research in their field in a technically proficient yet accessible and clear manner informed by current practice, scholarship and research.
  • Work effectively and collaboratively in the planning, organisation, and delivery of significant research events and reports (in a manner continuous with best practice at a professional level).
  • Take full ownership of their own development as researchers and professionals, continually reflecting on their own practice, progress and received feedback, and seeking assistance where appropriate.
  • Give presentations of their ideas and arguments at a professional level (aligned with best practice) to varied audiences.
  • Create detailed and persuasive project proposals at a high level (continuous with best practice in professional research proposals), and initiate, develop and complete substantial independent projects.
  • Attain a sophisticated understanding of the relationship of both political philosophy and philosophy of law to practical real world legal and political problems.
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 from our students.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2022/23

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £9,290£19,950
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
£4,645£9,975

Students on a Student Visa (formerly 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).

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2022/23 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Funding opportunities

Departmental scholarship information

For further information on all eligibility criteria and how to apply for our scholarships see our funding opportunities for Philosophy.

Roger Woolhouse Prize

A prize of £500 awarded to the MA Philosophy student who achieves the highest essay mark (>72) in the January MA assessment period. 

The David Efird Student Prize

A prize of £300 will be awarded to the student who achieves the highest essay mark (>72) in the field of philosophy of religion, or research on contemporary issues or themes using a philosophy of religion perspective.

Find out more about Philosophy scholarships

Living costs

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.

Teaching and assessment

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.

Teaching format

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 political and legal philosophy.

Facilities

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. 

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Philosophy on Campus West. Most of your contact hours will be nearby on Campus West.

About our campus

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.

Assessment and feedback

Your work will be assessed in a variety of ways:

  • you'll write a 3,000 or 4,000 word essay for some modules
  • you'll write a research proposal and complete a reflective journal for the skills element of Research Skills and Dissemination Practice
  • you'll present a paper, chair a session, and complete a funding proposal for the dissemination element of Research Skills and Dissemination Practice

You will also receive assignments throughout your course which will provide constant feedback on your development, and help prepare you for your assessments.

Philosophy seminar

Careers and skills

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.

Career opportunities

  • Local government graduate scheme
  • Management consultant
  • Civil Service Fast Stream
  • Immigration adviser
  • Charity officer for human rights charity
  • Researcher

 

Transferable skills

  • Analytical and critical thinking
  • Constructing and defending a coherent argument
  • Grasping complex ideas
  • Creatively imagining alternative possibilities and problem solving
  • Presenting your research
  • Time management and independent study skills

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent (suitable candidates with a 2:2 equivalent and relevant professional work experience would also be considered)
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Additional requirements

You will need to submit examples of written work with your application. Please see our guidance on submitting written work.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS 7.0, minimum 7.0 in writing and 6.5 in all other components
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 185, minimum 185 in Writing and 176 in all other components
Duolingo 120, minimum 120 in Production and 110 in all other components
LanguageCert C1 Expert High Pass with 33/50 in each component
PTE Academic 67, minimum of 67 in Writing and 61 in all other components
TOEFL 96, minimum 24 in Writing and 23 in all other components
Trinity ISE III Distinction in all components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

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.

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Philosophy Postgraduate Admissions

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York Law School, Department of Philosophy

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