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Philosophy

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What you'll need

As part of the application process, you'll need to submit:

  • School or college transcripts/certificates
  • University transcripts and certified translations if applicable
  • Degree certificates
  • Personal statement outlining your learning ambitions

Our application process

  • Sign into our online portal, Apply Yourself, and start your application
  • Submit your application
  • We'll email you to let you know we're processing your application
  • Track the progress of your application using the Postgraduate Application Tracker (we'll send you a link to the tracker)
  • We'll email you when a decision has been made
  • If you've been made an offer, you can then accept or decline it using the Postgraduate Application Tracker.

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Master of Arts

A Master of Arts (MA) is a master’s degree awarded for a postgraduate programme in the arts.

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Course overview

This degree gives you access to the very wide range of philosophical topics and expertise available in the Department. It's an excellent preparation for research in philosophy, as well as being an attractive postgraduate course in itself.

Introduction

The course is designed to give you the competence and understanding to pursue doctoral research in philosophy, while also acquiring professional skills needed for a broad range of careers. Alongside your philosophy modules you will receive personalised subject-specific research and professional skills training through a practice-based skills module.

The emphasis in the core philosophy modules is on frontier research. Religion, Ethics and Practical Philosophy and Metaphysics, Language and Mind are two team-taught modules in which the department’s top researchers will introduce you to their current area of work. Recent subjects include religious expression, empathy in medicine, social epistemology and linguistic idealism. You will also write a dissertation — an extended piece of independent research conducted under the guidance of an academic expert.

You can use your elective modules to tailor the programme towards your philosophical interests – be that political and social philosophy, ethics and religion, or metaphysics and mind. Or you can add something new to your studies, like Indian philosophy or philosophy of film. There is also a long list of electives from departments across the University that are open to you.

You will actively participate in the research activities of the Department as part of your Research and Professional Skills module. You will have a chance to lead one of the fortnightly Insights workshops with a world-renowned visiting speaker and will contribute to the staff work-in-progress seminar, by giving feedback on the work of our academics. You will gain confidence and knowledge through being part of our research community.

What you'll learn

  • Current research in ethics, philosophy of religion and practical philosophy
  • Current research in metaphysics, philosophy of language and philosophy of mind
  • Depending on your electives, you can focus on political and social philosophy, ethics and religion, or metaphysics and mind; or add something new, like Indian philosophy or film
  • How to conduct research into your area of interest
  • Practical experience of being part of a university research community
  • Key research and professional skills

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Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Studying this course part-time

International students may be able to study this course on a part-time basis but this is dependent on visa regulations. Please visit the Government website for more information about student visas.

If you're able to study part-time, you'll study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Studying part-time means you can study alongside work or any other life commitments. You will study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Semester one

Compulsory modules

Religion, Ethics and Practical Philosophy (PHIL704)

Credits: 30 / Semester: semester 1

This module introduces current issues in ethics, philosophy of religion and practical philosophy, as considered by current staff actively researching them. This research-led module serves both to introduce students with no previous detailed knowledge of the areas studied to such issues, and to show how active researchers approach them while actively engaging students themselves in research methodology and practices. The module thus functions both as a research-preparation module and a module for consolidating knowledge in these areas of philosophy.

M.A. DISSERTATION (PHIL706)

Credits: 60 / Semester: whole session

​Students will write a dissertation (15,000 words, maximum) on a topic that they have researched in depth, under the guidance of their supervisors. There will also be two seminar sessions focusing on the development of dissertation preparation and writing skills.

RESEARCH AND PROFESSIONAL SKILLS (PHIL703)

Credits: 15 / Semester: whole session

This module is designed to assist students in enhancing the research and professional skills needed for postgraduate study of philosophy and for the conduct of future research in the subject or a career outside academia. Over the whole session, there are regular workshops covering key skills for research and for professional life. These are supplemented, by ‘Insights’ workshops with visiting researchers and participation in the department’s research activities.

Optional modules

AESTHETICS (PHIL716)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The module intends to facilitate in-depth understanding of central themes of aesthetics and art theory, especially questions about aesthetic judgement, aesthetic experience and aesthetic value. Students will be able to further their knowledge of the history of philosophy as well as the connection between theory and artistic practice. The module is taught by seminar 1 hour per week; students are also advised to attend the PHIL 306 Aesthetics lecture 1 hour per week. Assessment is via a 3,000 essay. Students also take it in turns to give one 10-15 minute presentation in class, formative assessment.

CONSCIOUSNESS (PHIL709)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The module will provide a survey of some of the most significant debates in contemporary philosophy of mind; the topics of consciousness, perception and artificial intelligence will be examined in detail.

Words and Ideas: Realism, Nominalism, and the emergence of the modern concept of the Individual. (PHIL772)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

A series of seminars presenting some of the disputes between ontological individualism (‘nominalism’), which holds that there are only particular things and ontological holism (‘Platonism’), which maintains the basic reality of properties, structures, forms and Ideas. There will be close attention to the etymology and semantic history of philosophically relevant words.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Your experience

The Department of Philosophy is based in the School of the Arts, although teaching will take place across the campus.  Our staff and students have created an environment where critical, independent thinking flourishes, in a city that has a long tradition of welcoming radical thinkers and philosophers. Our friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere makes the exchange of ideas enjoyable, as well as intellectually stimulating.

Virtual tour

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

Why study Philosophy at Liverpool?

  • Our students’ study some of the most profound questions facing humankind, in a city renowned for its rich history of culture, protest and philosophical debate
  • Our friendly, down-to earth atmosphere makes the exchange of ideas enjoyable as well as intellectually stimulating
  • We have a long history of combining research excellence in core areas of philosophy with innovative work at the frontiers of the discipline: from literature to spirituality, Chinese philosophy to animal ethics, neo-Platonism to feminism
  • Ranked 4th in the sector for outstanding (4*) research impact (REF 2021)
  • PHILOS-L. Established in 1989, PHILOS-L is the largest Philosophy mailing list in the world. The list boasts over 13,000 members in over 60 countries
  • We work as part of our amazing city; working with partners in the Bluecoat Gallery, Tate Liverpool, National Museums Liverpool, NHS and more to inspire our thinking and the practices of our communities

What students say...

The support from tutors has been great. I’ve found that they are willing to chat about anything even if it’s not linked to their designated role with you. Whether that’s academic, professional, or personal advice. It’s nice to know that if you’re stuck with your ideas or have questions about certain aspects of academic life they are on hand to help.

, MA Philosophy

Careers and employability

Our programmes aim to equip you with the general and widely applicable analytical, argumentative, and problem-solving skills valued by employers. By placing emphasis on the intersection between philosophical research and curatorial practice, this programme especially equips graduates for further academic research and an international career in the arts.

Career planning

Three career coaches standing outside the Careers Studio

Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

Two graduates in postgraduate robes.

We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

Postgraduate students hold a discussion while sat round a table in in the Liverpool Guild of Students.

You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

Some of our postgraduate students have gone on to a career in academic Philosophy, other career destinations of our graduates include business, curating, cultural management, the media, the civil service and education.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £10,800
Part-time place, per year £5,400
International fees
Full-time place, per year £22,400
Part-time place, per year £11,200
Fees stated are for the 2024-25 academic year.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.


Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re a new international student starting this course with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a discount of £5,000 off your tuition fees.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students
  • University of Liverpool current students and alumni only

Completed your undergraduate degree, or studied as an undergraduate exchange student, at the University of Liverpool?

You could get a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off the tuition fees for this course from September 2024 entry.

  • £1,500 tuition fee discount for eligible UK University of Liverpool graduates
  • £2,500 tuition fee discount for eligible international University of Liverpool graduates.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

Postgraduate taught and research students from Chile are eligible for this scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

The University, in partnership with Chevening, is delighted to offer this generous scholarship to students who are studying a master’s programme and who have future leadership potential. Please note that there is a fee cap applied to MBA programmes that requires applicants to cover any additional tuition costs over £18,000. You will still receive all additional allowances.

CONACYT Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

The University of Liverpool has an agreement with CONACYT to support postgraduate taught and research students from Mexico.

FIDERH Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

20% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate taught and research programmes. Must be Mexico national.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US and another is available for a postgraduate research student to undertake a three to six month research stay from the US

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

Up to ten awards are available for Masters or Research students from Mexico in receipt of FUNED loans. The award gives students a 20% reduction in fees for all applications received.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

The University is able to offer competitive scholarships for both postgraduate taught master’s and research programmes.

HLC Scholarships for Postgraduate Study

  • Home and international students

The competition is open to all students who have applied for a relevant HLC programme by 3 July and commence study in the course in the first semester of 2023.

The HLC School comprises the following Departments:

  • Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology
  • History
  • Irish Studies
  • Languages, Cultures and Film
  • Politics

HRM Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

The University is able to offer one award to a new postgraduate taught master’s student from Thailand.

The scholarship is open to all subjects offered as a one-year taught master’s programme.  However, priority will be given to those students who wish to study in a subject area associated with HRH Princess Sirindhorn such as science, IT, medicine, the arts, geography, history and languages.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

Residents of State of Guanajuato, Mexico, wishing to study at postgraduate taught and research levels are eligible for this scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US to cover the cost of tuition fees. Another, to the value of £20,000, is available for Doctoral study visit: https://www.marshallscholarship.org/

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

Postgraduate taught and research students from Turkey are eligible for this scholarship, see the Turkish Ministry of Education website https://meb.gov.tr/ for more information.

University of Liverpool Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

The three awards available cover full tuition fees, visas and support for accommodation and living expenses.

This scholarship is open to support people who have recognised status as either refugees or are under humanitarian protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention. This status must be held outside of the UK.

The scholarship is open for all postgraduate-taught programmes, excluding medicine, dentistry, veterinary and nursing.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

The University of Liverpool will award five University of Liverpool International College students, who achieve the highest academic excellence (minimum 75%) in their UoLIC Pre-Master’s programme, the prestigious UoLIC Excellence scholarship.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

University of Liverpool International College recipients of the Kaplan awards will receive the £3,000 Progression Impact Scholarship, deducted from first-year tuition fees, on successful progression to their UoL degree programme.

To be eligible for our Impact Progression Scholarships, students must apply for one of the Kaplan Impact Scholarships demonstrating their commitment to making an impact across issues of importance to the University and Kaplan. Themes include:

Sustainability
Women in STEM
Community
Career Focus (Employability)

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for China

  • International students
  • China

Details are:
1 (one) Full scholarship
2 (two) £10,000 scholarships
5 (five) £5,000 scholarships
10 (ten) £1,000 scholarships
All scholarships will be awarded after the formal registration at the University and will take the form of a fee waiver.

Please note: This scholarship cannot be combined with any other scholarships or bursaries provided by the University.

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

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Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements

You will normally need a 2:1 honours degree, or above, or equivalent. This degree should be in philosophy or a related arts and humanities subject.

International qualifications

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, you could be eligible for a Pre-Master’s course. This is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. It’s a specialist preparation course for postgraduate study, and when you pass the Pre-Master’s at the required level with good attendance, you’re guaranteed entry to a University of Liverpool master’s degree.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language. International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with writing at 6.5, and no other component below 6.0
View our IELTS academic requirements key.
International Baccalaureate

Higher Level (Grade 5)

TOEFL iBT 88 overall, with minimum scores of listening 19, reading 19, writing 21 and speaking 20
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C6 or above

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new application cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

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Discover more about the city and University.

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Why Liverpool?

Liverpool bursts with diversity and creativity which makes it ideal for you to undertake your postgraduate studies and access various opportunities for you and your family.

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Accommodation

To fully immerse yourself in the university experience living in halls will keep you close to campus where you can always meet new people. Find your home away from home.

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Fees and Finance

Discover what expenses are covered by the cost of your tuition fees and other finance-related information you may need regarding your studies at Liverpool.

Changes to Philosophy MA

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.