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Philosophy (Public Policy)

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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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Related courses

There are three courses related to Philosophy (Public Policy) that you might be interested in.

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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

MA Philosophy (Public Policy) builds on our long-established MA in Philosophy by offering a specialist route in public policy.

Introduction

You will learn how philosophical theory and analysis can be used to understand and shape public policy, scientific practice and as a force for social and political change.

Through your compulsory modules, you will be introduced to philosophical critiques of society, and of particularly important social institutions, such as science, thereby learning to better understand the world in which we live. You will develop the tools to apply knowledge for use in public life while gaining a solid foundation for postgraduate research in philosophy or the social sciences.

Through a series of optional modules, you will have access to a wide range of philosophical topics which will further enhance your studies and your personal perspective on social issues.

What you'll learn

  • Understanding of current issues in metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, religion, ethics, and practical philosophy
  • Understanding of public policy and how policies are devised
  • Philosophical critiques of society and social institutions
  • Critical reading and critical thinking
  • Communication skills, both verbally and in writing, through open debates and written assessments
  • Practical experience of being part of a university research community
  • Key research and professional skills
  • Training in the forensic, dialectical and analytical tools that characterise good philosophical practice

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

Philosophy and Social Change (PHIL771)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Philosophy is important because it helps us think about what matters most to us. Social philosophy is important because it helps us think about social issues and social change. Arguably, a proper understanding of social issues is a prerequisite for participating in meaningful social change. This module will look at what philosophy can contribute to our understanding of social change, and even social change in practice.

Staff will lead seminar discussions on topics relating to philosophy and social change, with the topics typically arising directly out of their recent research. Topics to be explored might include (dis)trust in science, political polarisation, science communication, propaganda, and philosophy of class, disability, gender, race and sexuality. Students will write a 1000 word op-ed and a 2000 word essay on topics of their choice. Two optional workshops will be dedicated to writing, and will include opportunities for students to get staff and peer feedback on their ideas.

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.

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.

We've set the country or region your qualifications are from as United Kingdom. Change it here


ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

If you’re a Chilean student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with an ANID Chile Scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re an international student from an eligible country, joining a one-year master’s course, you could apply to have your master’s fees paid, up to a maximum of £18,000, and receive additional help with living costs.

CONACYT Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 30% discount on your tuition fees with a CONACYT Award.

FIDERH Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FIDERH graduate loan, you could benefit from a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a FIDERH Award.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining a master’s degree, you can apply to be considered for a tuition fee discount of £20,000 with a Fulright Scholarship. One Fulbright Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FUNED loan, you can apply to be considered for a 20% tuition fee discount. A total of up to ten awards will be available to master’s and PhD students per academic year.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

If you’re a master’s student from Hong Kong or the People’s Republic of China who can demonstrate academic excellence, you may be eligible to apply for a scholarship worth up to £10,000 in partnership with the Tung Foundation.

HRH Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

If you’re a student from Thailand joining a one-year master’s degree, you might be eligible to apply to have your tuition fees paid in full and receive help with living costs. One award is available and only students who are new to the University will be considered.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a resident of the state of Guanajuato in Mexico joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible for a 10% discount on your tuition fees with a JuventudEsGto Scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining an eligible master’s with us, you could apply to be considered for a Marshall Scholarship. If your application is successful, your master’s tuition fees will be paid in full. One Marshall Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary

  • Home students

If you’re a UK University of Liverpool graduate joining a master’s degree with us, you could be eligible to receive £3,000 off your tuition fees. You must have graduated in the last two years and received a widening access scholarship during your undergraduate studies.

The Aziz Foundation Scholarship

  • Home students

If you’re a British Muslim, active within a Muslim community and dedicated to bringing positive change to society, you could apply to potentially have the full cost of your master’s tuition fees covered by an Aziz Foundation Scholarship.

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

If you’re a Turkish student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship.

Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

Do you have recognised status as a refugee or person with humanitarian protection outside the UK? Or are you a Ukrainian who’s sought temporary protection in the EU? You could be eligible to apply for the full payment of your master’s fees and additional financial support.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

Completed a Pre-Master’s at University of Liverpool International College (UoLIC)? We’re offering a £5,000 fee discount off the first year of master’s study to some of the highest achieving students joining one of our non-clinical master’s courses from UoLIC.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re a University of Liverpool International College student awarded a Kaplan Impact Scholarship, we’ll also consider you for an Impact Progression Scholarship. If selected, you’ll receive a fee discount worth £3,000 off the first year of your master’s course.

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for Mainland China

  • International students
  • China

Are you a high-achieving graduate from the People’s Republic of China with a degree from a Chinese university? You could be eligible to apply for a £5,000 fee discount if you’re joining an eligible master’s course. Up to 15 eligible students will receive this scholarship.

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.

We are able to offer a level of flexibility for applicants. Those with a 2:2 honours degree will be considered on an individual basis.

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, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

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
TOEFL iBT 88 overall, with minimum scores of listening 19, reading 19, writing 21 and speaking 20
Duolingo English Test 120 overall, with literacy and production not less than 120, and comprehension and conversation not below 105
Pearson PTE Academic 61 overall, with writing at 61, and no other component below 59
LanguageCert Academic 70 overall, with writing at 70, and no other skill below 65
PSI Skills for English B2 Pass with Merit in all bands
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C6 or above

PRE-SESSIONAL ENGLISH

Do you need to complete a Pre-Sessional English course to meet the English language requirements for this course?

The length of Pre-Sessional English course you’ll need to take depends on your current level of English language ability.

Find out the length of Pre-Sessional English course you may require for this degree.

Pre-sessional English

If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we can use your most recent IELTS score, or the equivalent score in selected other English language tests, to determine the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require.

Use the table below to check the course length you're likely to require for your current English language ability and see whether the course is available on campus or online.

Your most recent IELTS score Pre-Sessional English course length On campus or online
6.0 overall, with no component below 6.0 6 weeks On campus
6.0 overall, with writing at 6.0, and no other component below 5.5 10 weeks On campus and online options available
6.0 overall, with no component below 5.5 12 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no component below 5.5 20 weeks On campus
5.0 overall, with no component below 5.0 30 weeks On campus
4.5 overall, with no component below 4.5 40 weeks On campus

If you’ve completed an alternative English language test to IELTS, we may be able to use this to assess your English language ability and determine the Pre-Sessional English course length you require.

Please see our guide to Pre-Sessional English entry requirements for IELTS 6.5, with writing at 6.5, and no component below 6.0, for further details.

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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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 (Public Policy) 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.