MA Philosophy


Program Description

Our MA Philosophy

The MA Philosophy provides a rigorous and wide-ranging programme relevant both to those entering formal philosophical study as graduates of other disciplines and to philosophy graduates seeking to consolidate and expand their studies.

This master’s programme can be completed in one year (full-time), or stretched over two years (part-time). International students who require a visa are only eligible to study this programme on a one-year, full-time basis.

NCH, with its lively and inter-disciplinary research culture and faculty including the philosophers A C Grayling, Simon Blackburn, Daniel Dennett, and Peter Singer, small-group seminars conducive to stimulating debate, and focused supervisions, offers a distinctive environment which is exceptionally conducive to the successful study of philosophy.

MA Philosophy courses

The Master of Arts degree in Philosophy provides a rigorous and wide-ranging programme of study.

Each student completes a ‘Mind and Reality’ course (20 credits) and a ‘Values and Society’ course (20 credits), takes a selection of 20-credit optional courses (adding up to 80 credits), and writes a Dissertation (60 credits). The 20-credit optional courses are:

  • Aesthetics
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Contemporary Ethics
  • Epistemology and Philosophy of Science
  • History of Ethics
  • Kant to Nietzsche
  • Logic
  • Metaphysics
  • Modern Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Mind and Language
  • Political Philosophy.

The compulsory courses are designed to engage students with classic philosophy texts and debates and to develop in them the research, speaking, and writing skills that underpin a career in the philosophy profession and (more generally) support an informed, reflective and thoughtful approach to life. Each optional course surveys a different area of philosophy, with students encouraged to specialise further within each course through the choice of assignment topics and support through associated individual tutorials.


Summative assessment for the MA Philosophy will be by a range of essays and seminar presentations, spaced evenly throughout the academic year to avoid periods of student overload, and (in the case of Logic) a 3-hour exam. Students will also be assessed on a dissertation of 10,000 – 15,000- words.

Written assignments will be submitted through our VLE, Moodle, and Turnitin to minimise opportunities for plagiarism.

The seminar presentations are designed as pieces of authentic assessment to evaluate students’ competence in delivering their work as if at an academic conference or in the workplace.

Although primarily written, this range of assessment styles is designed to maximise inclusion and to enhance students’ key transferable skills.

MA Philosophy students will also write formative essays during the course of the year, which will receive written tutor feedback.

Feedback will be appropriate, effective, constructive, clear, and timely, and delivered by means of grades and individual written comments. Feedback will be linked to assessment criteria and the learning outcomes. Course Leaders may consider using other forms of feedback in addition, such as audio or video resources. In seminars, formative feedback will also be provided by peers.

For most assignments, feedback will be delivered within a maximum of four weeks, to allow students time to make improvements to subsequent summative assignments. Feedback on the 10,000 – 15,000- word dissertation will be delivered within six weeks of submission.

Your qualification

New College of the Humanities’ degrees has been designed and created by the College’s world-class professors and faculty. The courses reflect their areas of expertise and research interests, meaning that they are strongly engaged with the material that they will teach you, and there may be opportunities for students to participate in active research.

In the case of the MA Philosophy, the curriculum has been overseen and developed by Dr Naomi Goulder BA, MA (Cantab), PhD (Lond), Head of Philosophy Faculty & Senior Lecturer in Philosophy.

The New College of the Humanities MA Philosophy degree programme is validated by Swansea University as being of an appropriate standard and quality and will lead to the Swansea University award of a Master of Arts (MA).

Last updated Jun 2019

About the School

Founded in 2011, New College of the Humanities (NCH) has earned a reputation as a world-class academic institution that is leading the way in UK higher education.

Founded in 2011, New College of the Humanities (NCH) has earned a reputation as a world-class academic institution that is leading the way in UK higher education. Read less