MRes Philosophy (Part time)

"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

Key facts

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), UEA was ranked eighth in the UK for its research impact in Philosophy (Times Higher REF 2014 Analysis).

Take your philosophical studies to the next level. Explore your own ideas and interests, develop your ability to think independently, and design your own topics to explore.

This programme is designed to give you the skills you need to undertake your own research in philosophy. Our aim is to help you develop as an independent thinker, giving you time and space to find a topic for further research, especially with a view to apply to study at  PhD level. You can take the MRes by itself, or as the first year of a 1+3 programme if you’re already applying for the PhD.

Our academics are at the forefront of their fields, they’ve published widely and have shaped the development of philosophy across the world. With their guidance, a research-driven programme and a variety of workshops and research groups, there’s no better place to follow your passions and expand your mind.

Overview

Whether you’re destined for a philosophy PhD and a career in academia, research and teaching – or you simply want to extend your experience – this course will take your philosophical studies to the next level.

During your MRes years, you will work week-by-week on essays you choose and plan in collaboration with your tutor. You will work on three modules with at least two different tutors, and will undertake a core methodology module. This means you will be able to sample several areas within philosophy and work with different mentors, before choosing your dissertation topic.

The philosophy department at UEA is dynamic, friendly and committed to nurturing your emerging philosophical voice. Join our varied and inclusive research team, and you could work with us on philosophy of mind and language, political philosophy, philosophy of the social sciences, ethics, environmental philosophy and more. You might examine issues in philosophical method, or alternative approaches, such as experimental philosophy. UEA is a centre of excellence in Wittgenstein and we also have expertise in ancient philosophy, phenomenology and the history of analytic philosophy.

You’ll also have the opportunity to explore links between philosophy and literature or film, or the border with linguistics, political science, environmental science, mathematics, economics, or classical studies/ancient science.

Alongside your studies, you will attend a range of research events and seminars, including the postgraduate workshop (where you’ll share work in progress and feed back on other students’ work) and the research seminar (with distinguished visiting speakers from Britain and abroad). You might also join the regular Wittgenstein Workshop, or other specialised research meetings.

Course Structure

You will take four taught modules over four semesters, starting with a compulsory module with seminars that explore the different approaches and methodologies that figure in the various traditions of Western philosophy.

Your three other taught modules consist entirely of guided study and essay writing with a supervisor, and are taught through one-to-one tutorials. To set up your supervision for these three modules, we match your interests as far as possible with an available expert in the department. You will then meet with the specified supervisor and together you will plan a sequence of tutorial deadlines and essay questions. The typical procedure is that your tutor agrees an essay topic with you, then you research and write your essay for a deadline two weeks later. After you submit the essay, you will attend a tutorial to receive feedback, discuss and agree the next assignment, and so on (much like the Oxbridge teaching system).

You will normally take one of these modules in each semester, and work with one tutor for three essays around a particular theme or topic. For assessment, you will submit two of the essays you have written for each module, after revisions that take account of the tutor’s comments.

Alongside the four taught modules, there are regular workshops for all graduate students. Participating and sharing your work at these workshops is the main activity prescribed for the research training component of the dissertation module. At these workshops you’ll meet and discuss your ideas with PhD students and taught MA students. Some sessions are devoted to skills in the use of bibliographical resources, career development and research applications.

When your taught modules are complete, you will start your dissertation: this is usually your task from May to September in the second year. This will be on a topic of your choice, agreed in consultation with the course director and under the guidance of a supervisor.

It is also 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 (for example, developing your ability in ancient Greek or German).

Teaching and Learning

The main focus of this degree is on developing your independent research skills. So most of your learning is self-directed study in preparation for your essay tutorials. You’ll be able to make use of UEA’s state-of-the-art library facilities, learning how to locate relevant literature for your studies using the online databases and our many subscriptions to journals in the field.

You’ll receive one-to-one tuition on your essays for the three supervised study modules, and on your dissertation drafts during your work on it. In the core methodology module you’ll be taught in a weekly seminar or small group session. You’ll receive written feedback on your coursework for this module.

In postgraduate workshop meetings you’ll share work you’ve prepared for other essays and receive peer support and discussion, with comments and suggestions from the rest of the graduate community. A senior academic will oversee these workshops and give feedback on your performance in academic presentations.

The dissertation is your opportunity to develop a longer piece of written work. The one-to-one teaching for that task is geared towards advising on bibliography, and giving constructive criticism on draft sections, so that you can revise them and bring them together to form a coherent whole. This builds upon your earlier experience in the small essays for the supervised study modules. It also gives you a sense of what’s involved in preparing a PhD thesis, which might be your next step.

Our distinctive research environment offers an interdisciplinary outlook and a focus on methodological and metaphilosophical reflection. We are a leading centre for Ludwig Wittgenstein research – and other staff research interests include: philosophy of language and linguistics, philosophy and social science, environmental philosophy, metaphilosophy, philosophy of literature, film and the arts, Wittgenstein and the Wittgensteinian tradition, phenomenology, and ancient philosophy.

Assessment

We will assess each module through essays or other forms of coursework. For each supervised study module, you’ll submit a package containing the two best essays from the three that you’ve prepared, having refined them with advice from your tutor.

For the dissertation module you’ll submit a more major piece of work of 12,000-15,000 words.  Your credits for this module will include your performance in the postgraduate workshops.

Your degree result will be based on your marks for all your modules and your dissertation.

After the course

This course offers a tailored preparation for PhD research, which is the first step towards a career in higher education. You can make your PhD application during your MRes year or afterwards.

The course can be equally valuable if you’re not sure whether you want to do a PhD, or are as yet undecided on your career plans. By fostering independence, initiative, time management, and the ability to work with a mentor the MRes will prepare you for many different careers. It will also hone your intellectual and communication skills, and your ability to empathise with the views of others.

Career destinations

  • PhD research or higher education careers
  • Computing
  • Politics
  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Charity and environmental work

Course related costs

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs.

Course Modules 2019/0

Students must study the following modules for 40 credits:

Name Code Credits

METHODOLOGY AND EPISTEMOLOGY OF PHILOSOPHY

As a new graduate you will be provided with the methodological foundations for independent philosophical research. Through practical exercises complementing theoretical discussion and philosophical case studies, you will examines various philosophical methodologies from different research traditions, including empirical methodologies, and assesses their strengths and weaknesses. You will also look into the genesis, structure, and status of philosophical problems and theories, as well as the scope, strengths, and weaknesses of both historically important and currently debated philosophical methodologies. On this basis, your module addresses key questions about philosophy: What are the proper aims and purposes of philosophy? In what ways is philosophy similar to, and different from various sciences? In what ways can methods and insights from other disciplines, especially the social sciences, be put to use for philosophical purposes?

PPLP7000A

20

SUPERVISED STUDY MODULE THREE

In this module you'll be trained in research techniques in philosophy and you'll develop advanced knowledge and understanding in some clearly defined area of the discipline suited to your individual needs and interests, which may be an area previously studied , e.g. at BA level, or a new area to be explored for the first time. You'll be assigned to work with a tutor with expertise in the selected area. The topics covered, and the manner in which they are covered, will be tailored to your 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.

PPLP7006B

20

Students will select 0 - 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

SUPERVISED STUDY MODULE FOUR

In this module you'll be trained in research techniques in philosophy and you'll develop advanced knowledge and understanding in some clearly defined area of the discipline suited to your individual needs and interests, which may be an area previously studied , e.g. at BA level, or a new area to be explored for the first time. You'll be assigned to work with a tutor with expertise in the selected area. The topics covered, and the manner in which they are covered, will be tailored to your 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 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.

PPLP7008B

20

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

MRES IN PHILOSOPHY RESEARCH TRAINING AND DISSERTATION

This is the dissertation component of the MRes degree in Philosophy, together with a preliminary weekly workshop which will guide you towards the research skills required for doing well at independent work in philosophy. You'll participate in the workshop during the two teaching semesters, presenting and discussing your work as well as that of your peers, and engaging in the collaborative tasks associated with becoming a critical and collegial member of the research community. You'll then complete a dissertation proposal at the end of the Spring semester, with a view to being accepted to work with your chosen supervisor on a dissertation topic of your choice. You'll complete the dissertation of 12,000 to 15,000 words over the summer.

PPLP7010X

100

SUPERVISED STUDY MODULE ONE

In this module you'll be trained in research techniques in philosophy and you'll develop advanced knowledge and understanding in some clearly defined area of the discipline suited to your individual needs and interests, which may be an area previously studied , e.g. at BA level, or a new area to be explored for the first time. You'll be assigned to work with a tutor with expertise in the selected area. The topics covered, and the manner in which they are covered, will be tailored to your 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 will be by submission of revised versions of two out of the three formative essays.

PPLP7005A

20

Students will select 0 - 20 credits from the following modules:

You may take an option from this range only if you did not take PPLP7008B in the first year.

Name Code Credits

SUPERVISED STUDY MODULE FOUR

In this module you'll be trained in research techniques in philosophy and you'll develop advanced knowledge and understanding in some clearly defined area of the discipline suited to your individual needs and interests, which may be an area previously studied , e.g. at BA level, or a new area to be explored for the first time. You'll be assigned to work with a tutor with expertise in the selected area. The topics covered, and the manner in which they are covered, will be tailored to your 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 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.

PPLP7008B

20

SUPERVISED STUDY MODULE TWO

In this module you'll be trained in research techniques in philosophy and you'll develop advanced knowledge and understanding in some clearly defined area of the discipline suited to your individual needs and interests, which may be an area previously studied , e.g. at BA level, or a new area to be explored for the first time. You'll be assigned to work with a tutor with expertise in the selected area. The topics covered, and the manner in which they are covered, will be tailored to your 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 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.

PPLP7007A

20

Disclaimer

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. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

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Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Philosophy or a related subject
  • Degree Classification Bachelors (Hons) degree - 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): 65 (minimum 50 listening, 50 speaking, 65 writing and 50 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 intopre-sessional@uea.ac.uk

Intakes

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.

Assessment

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 2019/20 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,700
  • International Students: £16,100

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).

Living Expenses

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 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
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

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.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515