University College London Philosophy
University College London Philosophy
This programme aims to provide an understanding of a range of central philosophical debates. All major areas of philosophy are available for study, covering branches such as moral and political philosophy, metaphysics and epistemology, and drawing upon the writings of philosophers both ancient and modern to contextualise your studies.
- Key Information
Programme startsSeptember 2018
- UCAS code
- Full-time: 3 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2018
- London, Bloomsbury
- Applications per place
- 6 (2016 entry)*
- Total intake
- 65 (2018 entry)*
* Figures relate to Philosophy subject area
- No specific subjects.
- English Language at grade B, plus Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs
- A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects, with no score below 5.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Advanced
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
The first year begins with several introductory lecture courses, providing a foundation for later studies. The programme covers political philosophy, examining questions about the state, liberty and laws; moral philosophy, questioning distinctions of right and wrong, and our motivation for choosing between the two; epistemology which investigates the nature of knowledge and belief; metaphysics, which attempts to grasp the nature of things; and logic, which imparts principles of sound reasoning.
Your second and third years will be spent studying a range of subjects from metaphysics and epistemology and the philosophies of mind and language, to moral and political philosophy, aesthetics and phenomenology, and the history of philosophy.
The programme is designed to ensure that the central areas of the subject are covered, while also allowing you to choose from an array of optional modules, some of which may be taken from other departments at UCL.
An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Introduction to the History of Philosophy I
Introduction to the History of Philosophy II
Introduction to Logic I
Introduction to Logic II
Introduction to Moral Philosophy
Introduction to Political Philosophy
Knowledge and Reality
Philosophical Study Skills: Reading, Understanding and Essay Writing
All first year modules are compulsory.
Our teaching is based on lectures and seminars that complement each other. In your first year, you will be introduced to the basic elements of philosophical reasoning through lectures, seminars and small-group tutorial classes. In years two and three your chosen modules will be taught by an expert from within our department through a combination of lectures, related seminars and classes.
Assessment is by a mixture of coursework (essays) and written examination. You may also elect to submit a dissertation as one of your optional modules.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Philosophy BA.
This programme will assist you in constructing and assessing philosophical positions and arguments, thereby teaching you how to analyse and present complex ideas. Furthermore, it will provide you with an understanding of a wide range of traditional and contemporary philosophical theories. Such skills are transferable to non-philosophical contexts.
The discipline of philosophical training, and in particular its emphasis on rigorous argumentation, logic, and clarity of thought and expression, makes philosophy graduates highly suitable for a wide variety of careers.
Many recent UCL graduates have excelled in the legal profession, training as both solicitors and barristers, while others have entered publishing, journalism, finance, the civil service, Parliament, or local government. Philosophy graduates are also sought after as programmers and systems analysts. A high proportion of students go on to further study in philosophy.
First career destinations of recent graduates (2013-2015) of this programme include:
- Investment Banking Analyst, J.P. Morgan
- Full-time student, B.Phil in Philosophy (Ancient Philosophy Track) at University of Oxford
- Full-time student, MA in History of Art at UCL
- Assistant Private Secretary and Diary Manager, Cabinet Office
- Full-time student, GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law) at BPP University
Data taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.
The degree programme at UCL is varied and expertly taught. In the first year, each module is designed to give you an introduction to a wide range of disciplines allowing you to find the areas that interest you most. My favourite module is Introduction to Logic as it is something that I had never tried before. Through it I acquired an essential new skill.Katie Roach – Philosophy BA (First Year)
- UK & EU fee
- £9,000 (2016/17)
- Overseas fee
- £16,130 (2016/17)
Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance
The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.
Application and next steps
In addition to looking for outstanding grades in your academic record, we also assess your application for evidence of your ability to engage with philosophical arguments and your skills in reasoning.
How to apply
Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.
Application deadline: 15 January 2018
Selection will be made on the basis of information contained in the UCAS application: achieved and predicted academic grades, the level of interest in, motivation towards, and experience of the subject as indicated in the personal statement, the reference supplied, and any relevant contextual factors.
In addition applicants may be asked from time to time to provide further information, such as AS module results, or a response to a questionnaire.
For further information on UCL’s selection process see: Selection of students.
The Philosophy MA enables students to benefit from the acknowledged expertise of UCL’s lively, close-knit intellectual community, and also access the stimulation and dynamism of London’s wider philosophical community. The programme offers the flexibility for recent graduates in the subject to study chosen topics in greater depth.
Modes and durationFull time: 1 yearPart time: 2 years
Part-time students will usually study half the modules in their first year and begin research on their dissertation, then compete the remaining modules and dissertation in the second year.
Tuition fees (2017/18)
- £9,840 (FT) £4,970 (PT)
- £20,540 (FT) £10,430 (PT)
Application datesAll applicantsOpen: 3 October 2016Close: 1 February 2017
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.Location: London, Bloomsbury
A minimum of a lower second-class Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with a strong degree in a non-philosophical subject are welcome.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
The programme allows students to develop an advanced knowledge of problems in contemporary analytic philosophy, the history of philosophy and the study of value. It provides students with an understanding of a representative range of central philosophical debates and of the nature of philosophical problems, and encourages them to develop and defend their own viewpoint.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), six optional modules (90 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
These modules introduce students to graduate study in philosophy. Students will give short presentations on central topics and classic papers which form the basis of discussion.
- Research Preparation in Philosophy 1
- Research Preparation in Philosophy 2
Options may include the following:
- Global Justice and Health
- Texts from Early Modern Philosophy: Hume
- Early Wittgenstein
- Philosophy of Mind
- Moral Responsibility and Moral Dilemmas
- Greek Philosophy
- Nineteenth Century Philosophy
- Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science
- Metaphysics of Science
- The Self in Early Analytic Philosophy
- Sartre’s Philosophy
- Epistemology of Disagreement
- Recent Work in Practical Philosophy
- Graduate Studies in the Philosophy of Language
- Perception and its History
All students undertake an independent research project in any area of philosophy taught and approved by the Department, leading to in a dissertation of 12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is taught through a combination of seminars, lectures, and supervisions. Students’ performance is assessed through examinations, presentations, coursework, and the dissertation.Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Philosophy MA
Applicants for this programme may be eligible for a number of funding opportunities, including UCL graduate scholarships.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this programme have become successful lawyers, journalists, theatre directors and novelists among other careers. Those who perform sufficiently well on the MA can expect to pursue further research in philosophy in London or elsewhere.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Research Assistant, Universität Zürich (University of Zurich) / Université de Fr
- Paralegal, marshall levine associates
- DPhil Population Health, University of Oxford
- GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law), City University London
- PhD Philosophy, King’s College London
The programme equips graduates with the skills to analyse complex ideas, develop independence of judgement and originality of thought, evaluate arguments rigorously, present views lucidly both orally and on paper, and question orthodox views. The programme provide an ideal basis for future academic study and many graduates proceed to research degrees in the UK and abroad.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The department has strengths in philosophy of mind, language, political and moral philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology and the history of philosophy.
Our students benefit significantly from our location in London, which is one of the international centres of philosophical activity. London is home of a number of renowned journals (Philosophy; Mind & Language; Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society) and hosts regular visiting speakers from across the world. Over 60 philosophers are active in London making it one of the largest and most varied philosophical communities in the world.
Student / staff numbers › 20 staff including 4 postdocs › 25 taught students › 61 research students
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK’s higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Philosophy
74% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL’s research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
What our students and staff sayStaff view
“UCL has one of the best philosophy departments in the world. With the other London universities there are interesting talks, workshops, and conferences taking place all the time. Most of my work is on causation, laws of nature, and probability, and the relationship between these three things. Work on probability and causation is a cross-disciplinary venture, involving philosophers, computer scientists, statisticians, and psychologists, among others.”
Professor Luke Fenton-Glynn
Philosophy MA, Philosophy MPhil/PhD
UCL PhilosophyStudent view
“The Philosophy MA programme provides students with a high degree of autonomy in the learning environment. Students are allowed to choose freely from a wide range of modules to his or her liking. When it comes down to assessment, students are encouraged to come up with a topic that he or she is interested in. ”
Arthur Hue-Yeung Hu
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Who can apply?
The MA offers a means to study philosophy for an additional year after completing an undergraduate degree and also provides a good basis for work outside of universities. Philosophy graduates who wish to develop a career in teaching philosophy are advised to apply directly for the MPhil Stud.
- All applicants
- 1 February 2017
Applications close on 1 February each year and early submission is recommended.
For more information see our Applications page.
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Philosophy at graduate level
- why you want to study Philosophy at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your academic and/or professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme offers.