MA Philosophy

Year of entry: 2024


Degree awarded
Master of Arts (MA)
1 year
Entry requirements

2:1 honours degree (or the overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject area such as philosophy, or a humanities degree with a philosophy component such as politics, PPE, English literature or social sciences. 

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply online

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning

Course overview

  • Learn from research-led teaching by experts in a wide range of areas of analytical philosophy. 
  • Benefit from dedicated support in dissertation planning, research and presentation skills, including help preparing for PhD research. 
  • Enjoy seminar-style classes with an emphasis on staff/student interaction.

Open days

The University holds regular open days, where you will have the opportunity to find out more about our facilities and courses.  

On this day, you will find out more about the School, our resources, and meet academic and admissions staff who will be able to answer any questions you have.  

For more information, see open days and visits .


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2024, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MA (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £12,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £26,000
  • MA (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): £6,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £13,000

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for international students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit postgraduate fees .

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).


We offer a number of postgraduate taught scholarships and awards to outstanding applicants, such as the Manchester Humanities International Excellence Scholarship .

The Manchester Alumni Scholarship Scheme offers a £3,000 fee reduction to Manchester alumni who achieved a first-class bachelor's degree within the last three years and are progressing to postgraduate study. 

For more information, see our  Fees and funding page.

Contact details

School of Social Sciences
Contact name
School of Social Sciences Admissions Office
+44 (0) 161 804 9198

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

2:1 honours degree (or the overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject area such as philosophy, or a humanities degree with a philosophy component such as politics, PPE, English literature or social sciences. 

English language

Applicants whose first language is not English should meet the following language requirements:

  • IELTS Academic test score of 7 overall, including 7 in writing with no further component score below 6.5
  • TOEFL IBT 100 with 25 in writing and no further score below 22 in each section. TOEFL code for Manchester is 0757
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of 76 overall, with 76 in writing and no further score below 70

Pre-Sessional English Courses

We will consider applicants who do not meet these scores but you may be required to complete a pre-sessional English language course at the University of Manchester prior to the start of the course.

To be considered for a pre-sessional English language course for this programme we require the following minimum IELTS (Academic) scores:

6 Week Pre-Sessional Course : IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.5 in writing and no more than one sub-skill of 6.0.

10 Week Pre-sessional Course : IELTS 6.0 overall with 6.0 or above in each sub-skill 

If you have not yet completed your current academic study and are interested in studying a pre-sessional course, you must hold an IELTS for UKVI (Academic) test certificate to ensure that you are eligible for a separate visa for the English language course.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Applicants from Majority English-speaking countries

If you are a national of a   majority English-speaking country   (or have studied for a full bachelor's degree or higher from one of these countries) you may be exempt from submitting further evidence of English language proficiency.

Application and selection

How to apply

Advice to applicants

Please note, due to the high volume of applications we receive the course may close before the advertised deadline and as such, early application is advised.

If you meet our entry requirements but we are unable to make you an offer you may be placed on a waiting list. Candidates on a waiting list will receive an offer only if places become available.

Course details

Course description

Philosophy at Manchester offers an intellectually stimulating and supportive postgraduate environment. You will be taught and supervised by members of staff who are all actively involved in research.   

The MA Philosophy course combines:

  • in-depth study of specialised areas of analytical philosophy; 
  • extensive research training to provide the skills necessary to complete a master's dissertation and; 
  • a dissertation supervised by a member of staff with expertise in the area you wish to study in more depth.  

The course is ideal if you want to do a PhD in Philosophy or want to improve your employability through the development of rigorous critical, analytical and research skills.   

It provides a deeper knowledge of a wide variety of areas of philosophy than is possible at undergraduate level, and equips you with the ability to plan, organise and work autonomously on a substantial individual project. This project will take the form of either a 60-credit dissertation (10,000 words), or a longer 90-credit dissertation (15,000 words).

We also: 

  • host a wide variety of conferences at which you can hear cutting-edge philosophical arguments from leaders in the field, ranging from small workshops to large international conferences;  
  • offer bursaries for conference trips;  
  • deliver outstanding student support, The University of Manchester library is one of only five National Research Libraries, and one of the best-resourced in the UK.   

Papers, monographs and edited collections by our academic staff are regularly published in international journals and by prominent academic publishers.   

We also host two regular research seminars and events organised by staff and by postgraduates, with papers presented by visiting speakers, staff and PhD students.


  • To develop a strong background in analytical philosophy with exemplary research.
  • Gain analytical skills of a standard to pursue doctoral study.
  • To help you pursue careers in areas that require skills in argumentation, analysis and research.
  • Discover a deeper understanding in a variety of areas of philosophy.
  • Learn through personalised teaching delivery, with small-group research seminar style classes.
  • Individual development of research skills.

Special features

In addition to weekly research seminars, Philosophy at Manchester hosts a large number of international conferences, such as:

  • The Philosophy of Events and Processes.
  • Politics, the Law and Ontology.Faith, Hope and Trust.
  • David Lewis and his place in the History of Analytic Philosophy. 

We are also home to a number of funded research projects , including:

  • The Age of Metaphysical Revolution:
  • David Lewis and his Place in 20th Century Philosophy.Knowledge of Emotion:
  • Expression and Social Cognition.The Architecture of Consciousness.

Teaching and learning

All our master's course units are taught through small-group seminars. The seminars usually involve some general context-setting and guidance from the course convenor, but are often largely focussed on student-led discussion of set texts that you will have studied in preparation for the discussion.

This fosters a proactive and collaborative approach to engaging with the topic and to developing your own views and arguments. All units apart from Research Skills run for one semester.

The Research Skills unit runs through both semesters, the purpose is:

  • to develop your research, writing and presentation skills;
  • to guide you through the planning of your dissertation, from selecting a topic and a supervisor to identifying and reviewing key literature; 
  • to think about what makes for the best philosophical writing.

You are allocated an appropriate supervisor for your dissertations; in practice, you can almost always choose your own dissertation supervisor. You will work throughout the academic year on your dissertation in consultation with your supervisor - focusing on the assessed elements of the Research Skills unit during the teaching year, and then, over the summer, on writing. 

Part-time students complete the full-time course over two years. There are no evening or weekend course units available on the part-time course.

You must first check the schedule of the units to ensure that you are able to attend the seminars for the units you enrol on.

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your unit choices during induction week with your Course Director.

Coursework and assessment

Although assessments vary from unit to unit, many Philosophy course units are assessed through one 3000-word essay, submitted towards the end of the semester. 

Research Skills is assessed through a combination of a presentation, a research proposal, and other written work designed to give you experience of producing philosophical content in a variety of formats and for a variety of purposes.

The 90 credit dissertation is 15,000 words, while the 60 credit dissertation is 10,000 words.

By the end of the second semester, you will have already conducted the majority of the research for the dissertation and formulated a clear overall plan as part of the Research Skills unit, so that the summer can be devoted to writing.

Course unit details

Full-time students take Research Skills (30 credits, two semesters) plus either four or six (depending on dissertation length) additional course units (15 credits each, two/three per semester), plus the dissertation (60/90 credits).  

Part-time students take three (four if doing a 60 credit dissertation) 15-credit course units in their first year, and in their second year take the Research Skills unit (30 credits, two semesters) and the remaining 15-credit course unit (two units if doing the 60 credit dissertation), plus the dissertation (60/90 credits).

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
MA Philosophy Research Skills PHIL60010 30 Mandatory
Philosophical Methods PHIL60021 15 Optional
Epistemology PHIL60032 15 Optional
Ethics PHIL60051 15 Optional
Ethics PHIL60052 15 Optional
Philosophy of Mind PHIL60071 15 Optional
Philosophy of Language PHIL60081 15 Optional
Aesthetics PHIL60282 15 Optional
Landmark Papers in Analytic Philosophy PHIL60312 15 Optional
History of Analytic Philosophy PHIL60511 15 Optional
MA Philosophy Dissertation PHIL70170 90 Optional
Dissertation PHIL70300 60 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 course units

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email:


Career opportunities

Many of our MA Philosophy graduates go on to pursue a PhD in Philosophy.

Others embark on careers including:

  • the Civil Service;
  • journalism;
  • teaching;
  • law;
  • a wide range of related positions in both the public and private sectors.

For more information, see Careers and Employability .

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .