PhD Philosophy / Programme details

Year of entry: 2023

Programme description

Our PhD in Philosophy is a 3 year full-time programme. You will undertake substantial original research, which will form a thesis of approximately 70,000 words. 

Throughout, you will work closely with an expert supervisor, with further guidance from at least one extra supervisor. 

Our staff are experts, many internationally renowned, in a variety of key areas of Philosophy. We provide a wealth of opportunities for postgraduate researchers. Some of our main areas of research strength are: 

You will become part of a lively PhD community of around 30 PGRs working on a variety of topics including: 

  • the nature of love;
  • environmental ethics;
  • meaning in art;
  • perception;
  • metaontology;
  • religious faith. 

Our weekly PhD research seminar, run by PGRs for PGRs, will give you the opportunity to present your work and discuss it with your peers. In your final year, you will also be encouraged to present your work at the Philosophy department's research seminar. 

You will have a dedicated working space alongside other Philosophy PGRs.

Teaching and learning

When you become a postgraduate researcher, you will join a diverse and vibrant community of doctoral students from nearly 100 different countries, all studying within the Faculty of Humanities.    

You will be able to work with a specific research grouping that complements your research interests and have access to a variety of interdisciplinary research institutes.   

Our working environments are often spacious and open plan, giving you plenty of opportunities to communicate with colleagues and staff within the School, and you will have your own desk space as well as access to our fantastic range of libraries on campus.   

All of our academic supervisors are research active and will support you to work on challenging research problems and develop rigorous, creative and original research.   

You can expect to meet with your supervisor at least once a month to discuss progress on your project.   

You will have access to a large and diverse community of internationally recognised academic experts offering an environment that will stimulate intellectual debate and development.   

We provide additional financial support for a number of activities related to your PhD, including:  

  • presenting at international conferences; 
  • attending workshops that provide relevant professional opportunities;  
  • conducting fieldwork in the UK and overseas.  

You can also get hands-on, paid teaching experience as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. Graduate Teaching Assistants in the School of Social Sciences are considered to be valued members of the teaching team. As such, we take pride in the opportunities provided for the professional development of graduate teaching assistants.    

Our training includes preparation for application to the Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. This brings a range of benefits as follows: 

  • consolidates your personal development and emphasises your professional practice in HE;  
  • entitlement to use post-nominal letters - AFHEA;  
  • provides a valuable measure of success and is increasingly sought by employers across the education sector as a condition of appointment and promotion;  
  • recognised and valued by a growing number of international institutions.   

For more information, see the  Associate Fellowship HEA .

Coursework and assessment

Satisfactory evaluation of PGRs' work at annual reviews is required for progress on the programme.

Programme unit list

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

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Philosophy PhD Seminar PHIL60290 0 Mandatory

What our students say

See the profiles of our current cohort of PGRs in Philosophy.


The Philosophy Department is based in the Humanities Bridgeford Street Building which allows 24/7 access and has an ample and well-equipped study space for postgraduates.

Disability support

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