MRes Philosophy


The School of Philosophy is the second-highest ranked philosophy department in the UK for students' satisfaction with teaching. It has a long-established reputation for its warm and welcoming atmosphere and for the close interaction between teaching and research.

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"My time as an Mres student in philosophy exceeded my expectations. The faculty was outstanding and in equal measure academically stimulating and supportive"

In their words

Hoskuldur Olafsson, MRes graduate


Eugen Fischer and John Collins have been pleased to see their co-edited collection Experimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and Naturalism. Rethinking Philosophical Method come out with Routledge in May.

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"I was really impressed by the number of modules i could take, allowing me to customise my degree to my expectations. The modules I took were both challenging and intellectually stimulating"

In their words

Kristin Fryer, MA Philosophy and Literature graduate


Catherine Rowett's chapter 'Factual Mistakes, epistemological virtues and moral errors: a study in Augustine's Confessions' has been published in Sophie Grace Chappel (ed.), Intuiton, Theory and Anti-theory in Ethics.

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A Philosophy Master's course with a difference: working with Philosophy tutors, you can specialise in an area that you hope to continue at PhD level, or range widely across a variety of fields within philosophy and at the borders between philosophy and adjacent disciplines, especially in those areas where UEA philosophy academics have a special research interest.

One of your modules in the Autumn explores the variety of approaches and methods that feature in various traditions of philosophy. For the other three modules you take supervised essay work with tutors. A whole-year programme of workshops shared with the PhD students develops your skills in presenting your research to others, and helps you grasp what it would be to work on a PhD. You finish with a substantial dissertation in which you can develop an original idea at greater length.


Philosophy at UEA

The MRes Philosophy degree is a 12 month taught programme tailored individually to developing your talents as a researcher, and building your relations with existing research staff and research groups in Philosophy.

Philosophy at UEA is a dynamic and friendly department with a distinctive research profile. It provides an ideal environment in which your philosophical research can be nurtured and your philosophical voice can emerge. The MRes degree enables you to work on taught essay modules with more than one member of staff and to sample more than one area of our work—guided always by your own interests and enthusiasms, before choosing a topic for your dissertation.

UEA’s particular research strengths are varied and catholic: they include work in philosophy of mind and language, political philosophy and philosophy of the social sciences, ethics, environmental philosophy and a range of methodological issues to do with different styles and approaches to the philosophical task. Interdisciplinary work is encouraged: there is a large concentration at UEA of experts on the links between philosophy and literature/film, experts spanning the borders of philosophy and linguistics, links with political science, environmental science, mathematics and economics, and classical studies/ancient science. We enjoy healthy good relations with world-leading departments in the related areas (including literature and creative writing, politics, and environmental sciences). We are a leading centre of excellence for research on Wittgenstein, while our members also work on ancient philosophy, early modern philosophy, phenomenology, and the history of analytic philosophy.

We host a rich programme of research seminars, including distinguished visiting speakers,  a weekly graduate research workshop, and various specialist reading groups. These add to the vibrancy of Philosophy at UEA and make it easy for newcomers to blend into the research community, forming easy relations with the PhD students and postdoctoral researchers as well as academic staff.

The MRes Programme

The Master of Research is a taught programme, weighted half to the five Masters-Level modules in Autumn and Spring semesters, each of which must be passed separately, and half to the 90 credit Dissertation module in the summer. That is, it is not a “Masters by Research”, but a preparation for research, with a focus on training in good research habits. The aim is to prepare students for independent research, and to allow them time and space for finding a topic for further research, especially with a view to applying for the PhD.

Since the programme is particularly geared to developing your independence, initiative, personal time management, and ability to work with a mentor, it also provides an excellent preparation for many kinds of high-powered graduate careers and graduate training schemes.

There are four taught modules, one of which, in the Autumn, is a compulsory module exploring different approaches and methodologies that figure in the various traditions of Western philosophy. The other three 20 credit modules are guided study and essay writing with a supervisor. These involve matching your interests as far as possible with an available expert in the department, who will agree a sequence of tutorial deadlines. The typical procedure is that the tutor agrees an essay topic with you, then you go away and research it and write your essay for a deadline two weeks later, submit the essay, attend the tutorial for feedback, discuss and agree the next assignment and so on (much like the Oxbridge teaching system). In the first term you work with one tutor, and in the second term with two, working on two different areas or topics. For the assessment you select two out of the essays that you wrote for that module, and submit them (after revisions in the light of the tutor’s comments).

In addition to the four taught modules (20 credits each), there is a year-long research training workshop (10 credits) at which students make presentations and discuss their ideas with the PhD students and the taught MA students. From May to September, you write a substantial dissertation (12-15,000 words, 90 credits), on a topic chosen in consultation with the course director and under the guidance of a supervisor.

It is possible to replace a supervised study module with an appropriate taught MA module  or to work with your tutor on language training along with your essay work (e.g. developing your ability in Ancient Greek or German).

Your result will be based on your marks in all the components of the programme, with the dissertation accounting for half of your final grade.

Course Modules

Students must study the following modules for 180 credits:

Name Code Credits


The module provides commencing graduate students with the methodological foundations for independent philosophical research. Consideration will be given to traditional and contemporary issues and the ways of approaching them that are characteristic of various traditions and styles and genres of philosophy. We shall also consider questions about the nature and scope of philosophy, its role in solving or diagnosing puzzles/confusions in its own and other disciplines, the place of literature and literary examples in philosophical argument, and questions about its relation to empirical sciences. The module is taught in a weekly seminar. The two 3000-word essays are on individually assigned topics reflecting the needs or interests of each student. The summative assessment is on the basis of a single package, comprising these two essays revised, in the light of feedback, for the final submission. This module is geared to the needs of students on the MRes in Philosophy and on the MA in Philosophy and Literature. Students on other MA/MSc programmes are welcome, but please consult the module organiser, since you will need some prior experience in philosophy (ideally a first degree in the subject, preferably including both analytic and continental approaches) or a serious commitment to mastering a range of diverse approaches in contemporary philosophy, some of them quite technical.




This dissertation is for students on the MRes degree in Philosophy. In consultation with the Module Organiser and a potential supervisor, the student proposes a suitable dissertation topic, and is assigned to work with a supervisor. The student prepares a dissertation under the guidance of the supervisor. Initial guidance on bibliography and suitable resources is given by the supervisor, but the student is expected to follow up ideas with independent work and investigations of their own. The student should submit draft chapters to the supervisor and attend for supervision regularly during April to June (and over the summer vacation if the supervisor is available). The finished dissertation should be between 12,000 and 15,000 words long. Instructions for presentation and submission are supplied in the module outline.




The weekly workshop is a work-in-progress seminar for graduate students on philosophy degrees (MRes, MA, PhD). Masters students are required to present their own work in short presentations and to contribute to discussions on other students' work. Masters students are assessed on their presentation and their engagement in discussion and contribution to the success of the whole series of meetings. Presentations from Masters students typically consist of an essay in preparation or recently submitted for another module. MRes Supervisors attend the meetings when their own students are presenting.




This module is taken as the second supervised study module, by students who are taking two such modules in the Spring semester, either in the same year or in successive years. It provides for supervised study on the same model as Supervised Study module 1, or it may also include (wholly or partly) training in language skills for original research (e.g. Ancient Greek, German), in which case language exercises and/or translation tasks may replace some or all of the essay work. Training in logic may also take this form.




The module is designed to train the student in research techniques in philosophy and to develop advanced knowledge and understanding in some clearly defined area of the discipline which may or may not have been studied before, eg. at BA level. The student is assigned to work with a tutor with research expertise in the chosen area. The topics covered, and the manner in which they are covered, will be tailored to the student's prior experience in the field. Three essay questions, with bibliographical research, will be set for work during the semester, to be submitted as formative work to set deadlines (one essay to be submitted prior to each tutorial). Assessment is by submission of revised versions of two out of the three formative essays.




The module is designed to train the student in research techniques in philosophy and to develop advanced knowledge and understanding in some clearly defined area of the discipline which may or may not have been studied before, eg. at BA level. The student is assigned to work with a tutor with research expertise in the chosen area. The topics covered, and the manner in which they are covered, will be tailored to the student's prior experience in the field. Three essay questions, with bibliographical research, will be set for work during the semester, to be submitted as formative work to set deadlines (one essay to be submitted prior to each tutorial). Assessment is by submission of revised versions of two out of the three formative essays. MRes students must take this as the first module in the Spring semester of the programme.




Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Philosophy or a related subject
  • Degree Classification UK BA (Hons) 2.1 or equivalent
  • Special Entry Requirements A 3000 word essay from your previous degree should be uploaded to your online application.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

 We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 7.0 (minimum 6.0 listening, 6.0 speaking, 7.0 writing and 6.0 reading)
  • PTE (Pearson): 68 (minimum 55 listening, 55 speaking, 68 writing and 55 reading)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact


This course's annual intake is in September of each year.

Alternative Qualifications

If you have alternative qualifications that have not been mentioned above then please contact university directly for further information.


All applications for postgraduate study are processed through the Faculty Admissions Office and then forwarded to the relevant School of Study for consideration. If you are currently completing your first degree or have not yet taken a required English language test, any offer of a place will be conditional upon you achieving this before you arrive.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for the academic year 2017/18 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,300
  • International Students: £14,800

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for UK/EU students).

We estimate living expenses at £820 per month.

Scholarships and Awards:

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities has a number of Scholarships and Awards. For further information relevant to Philosophy, please click here.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

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    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515