Philosophical Studies

Study type:Part-time Languages: English
Local:$ 4.41 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 13.7 k / Year(s)  
StudyQA ranking:4020 Duration:24 months

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The Philosophical Studies pathway is a distance-learning MA programme designed for those with a broad interest in traditional philosophical areas such as mind and body, ethics, philosophy of religion, and the meaning of life.

The pathway is suitable both for those with a first degree in Philosophy and for those with a limited philosophical background, or a background in a related discipline. If you wish to broaden your acquaintance with, and understanding of, philosophy as it is practiced in the English speaking world today, this pathway is for you.

The MA in Philosophical Studies may be taken on either a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time students should aim to complete the programme in no more than two years, part-time students in no more than five years.

The MA is divided into two parts:

* Part I: The taught element. A series of modules assessed by extended essays.
* Part II: The dissertation. A dissertation of 20,000 words.

Part I: The taught element

Students choose 120 credits-worth of modules from the following list (all modules are 20 credits except where indicated):

* The Philosophy of Philosophy [module code: MAPS0620]
* Writing Philosophy [module code: MATP0620]
* Hume´s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding [module code: MATP0720]
* Kant and German Idealism [module code: MAEP0420]
* Heidegger's Being and Time [module code: MAEP0620]
* Mind and Body in Descartes and Wittgenstein (20 or 40 credits) [module code: MABP0520/40]
* Environmental Philosophy [module code: MANA0120]
* Moral Philosophy [module code: MAWR0120]
* Ending Lives [module code: MAPS0220]
* Beginning Lives [module code: MAPS0320]
* The Meaning of Life [module code: MAPS0520]
* Philosophy of Religion [module code: MASR1120]
* Reincarnation, Rebirth and Philosophy [module code: MASR0320]
* Nature and Aesthetics [module code: MANA0220]

Further modules will become available in time. If there are particular topics that you would like to study, let us know: we will try to give priority to areas for which there is a strong demand. Aside from the module choices listed above, students are free to choose up to 40 credits-worth of modules from any other UWL Master's programme, with the permission of the relevant programme director. You can find details of all the available modules by looking at the web pages for each programme on the UWL website.

In order to progress to Part Two a student must pass modules worth 120 credits at Part One. The pass mark for each module taken is 40%.

Part Two: The dissertation

Students proceed to the dissertation on passing Part One of the MA. This involves the writing of a 20,000-word essay on a theme relevant to the MA programme, under the guidance of a member of the teaching staff. When you are ready to begin work on the dissertation you should discuss possible topics of interest with a member of the teaching staff - either the programme co-ordinator or a member of staff you know to have interests in the general area in which you plan to work. You must get approval for the title, and overall theme, of your dissertation before you proceed to detailed work on it.

An MA is a postgraduate course, so candidates will be expected to have a good first degree, or some equivalent professional experience. A first degree in Philosophy is not a requirement. The MA is designed for students whose experience of Philosophy is more limited, or more distant. A first degree in a related discipline, such as Religious Studies, would be an excellent preparation for the MA; but applications from candidates with other qualifications will always be given serious consideration. Many people whose experience is an ideal preparation for further study in this area 'disqualify' themselves by suspecting they are not qualified to apply. Please contact us to discuss the matter.You will see on the application form that we ask for two academic references. Don't be alarmed by this if you have been away from academia for a long time. What we really need is two references telling us about you. If we have any doubts about your ability to succeed on the MA, perhaps because of your non-traditional background, we may ask you to submit a short piece of written work as part of the entry procedure.International students applying for study at postgraduate level will normally be required to show evidence of sufficient command of the English language to be able to follow their course, undertake research and produce writing without major linguistic difficulties. For example, this is usually the Cambridge Advanced or Proficiency Certificate, IELTS minimum score of 6.5, TOEFL minimum score of 575. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 TOEFL paper-based test score : 575 IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

UK Students

Unfortunately, funding is very scarce for postgraduate courses. Some funding is available from external bodies such as the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The AHRC is funded by a number of sources including the British Academy and the Department of Higher and Further Education and offers support including professional and vocational awards and Studentships in the Humanities. Applications can be made via the Registry in February each year. Occasionally there are University of Wales Studentships available which are equivalent to the funding given by the AHRC, but these are subject to availability. A funding guide is available from the Registry. Most UK students are self-funding and many opt for Career Development Loans.

Overseas Students


American and Canadian students can apply for funding via the Federal Student Loan System for their respective countries.

Overseas scholarships

Overseas students may apply for Overseas Research Scholarships if they are intending to study for a full-time MPhil or PhD. Application forms are available in February of each year from the Registry and must be completed and returned to the Registry by the end of April in any given year. If candidates are successful in their application, fees are reduced to that of a home student.

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