Entry requirements

If you are applying for a PhD then you will usually need to hold a good Masters qualification in Philosophy or in a relevant subject. Any academic and professional qualifications or relevant professional experience you may have are normally taken into account, and in some cases, form an integral part of the entrance requirements.

If you are applying for distance learning research programmes, you will also be required to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study by distance learning.

If your qualifications are non-standard or different from the entry requirements stated here, please contact the admissions tutor.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

By pursuing research in Philosophy at Birmingham, you will joining a vibrant and dynamic research community thanks to the Department’s diverse research interests and approaches.

Our expert supervision spans a wide range of areas, including: Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science; Philosophy of Language; Philosophy of Logic; Philosophy of Mathematics; Moral Philosophy (theoretical and practical); Metaphysics and Epistemology; and Philosophy of Religion.

You can study in traditional PhD format, or through our PhD by Papers option. Rather than writing a single book-like thesis examining a single topic, a PhD by Papers gives you the choice of writing a thesis comprising of several separate (though thematically unified) papers, in the style of philosophy journal articles.

Birmingham is one of the first philosophy departments in the UK to offer a PhD by Papers option and, although this style of PhD thesis is very popular at top US departments and offers many advantages for students, it is rare in the UK. The advantages include:

  • Ideas don’t always come in book-shaped packages. Our PhD by Papers format recognises that, allowing you greater scope to follow your interests
  • If you would like to become an academic philosopher, you will need to publish in philosophical journals, preferably before finishing your PhD. Our PhD by Papers means your work towards publishable papers is always work towards the PhD thesis, improving your academic job prospects along the way

The PhD by Papers format is an option for all Birmingham Philosophy PhD students and is not a separate course of study. Simply apply for the Philosophy PhD as normal.

You can study our Philosophy PhD full-time or part-time, on campus or by distance learning. The College of Arts and Law is experienced in delivering high-quality distance learning to students all over the world

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    72 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

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