Research course

Philosophy (on-campus or by distance learning)

University of Birmingham · Department of Philosophy
PhDMA by research

Entry requirements

Candidates are normally required to have at least an upper second-class Honours degree in Philosophy (or a Joint Honours degree of which Philosophy is a component)

Months of entry


Course content

We offer promising candidates the opportunity to study in a department that is strongly committed to delivering the highest quality of philosophical research. Our expert supervision spans across a wide range of areas, including: Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science; Philosophy of Language; Moral Philosophy (theoretical and applied); Metaphysics and Epistemology; and Philosophy of Religion.

The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.

The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff. You can study for a PhD on campus or by Distance Learning.

All research students in the Department are provided with individual, approximately fortnightly meetings with their supervisor, whose principal role it is to guide them through the process of conceiving, researching and writing their dissertations. In addition, you are assigned an Academic Advisor, who assists with more general academic and methodological issues, and a mentor, who provides pastoral care and help with more practical issues. Additional research training is available and you will be provided with office space and computer, printing and copying facilities.

You are also encouraged to attend a weekly PG Research Seminar and the regular meetings of the Department's Philosophy Society, and Staff Seminar, as well as to apply for funds to attend and participate in graduate conferences.

If you are interested in our postgraduate research programmes in Philosophy, please have a look at our research areas and contact the staff member you think seems most suitable, for advice on formulating your research proposal.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days (Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at:

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit:

Fees and funding

UK students
£4,121 FT - £2,061 PT
International students
£13,680 FT - £6,840 PT (DL only)

Please visit:

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
36-72 months
part time
72 months
full time
36 months

MA by research

distance learning
12-24 months
full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate enquiry service
0121 414 5005