Postgraduate research 

Philosophy PhD/MLitt (Research)/MPhil (Research)

City spires

Philosophy at the University of Glasgow is thriving. Our vibrant research environment includes an active community of postgraduate students and engaged staff who are internationally recognised for their contributions to a wide range of philosophical debates.

Overview

Our staff supervise a wide range of the core areas of philosophy, including:

  • aesthetics
  • ethics
  • epistemology
  • history of analytic and early modern philosophy
  • logic and philosophy of logic
  • metaphysics
  • philosophy of language
  • philosophy of mathematics
  • philosophy of mind
  • political philosophy.

Current areas of research, which may transcend and cut across these core areas, include:

  • affect
  • autonomy in moral and political philosophy
  • causation and explanation
  • cognitive penetration
  • consent
  • distributive justice
  • ethical intuitionism
  • end of life ethics
  • knowledge-how
  • imagination
  • mental qualities
  • moral psychology
  • pain and suffering
  • philosophy of emotion
  • philosophy of perception
  • philosophy of virtual and augmented reality
  • social choice theory
  • social epistemology
  • totality
  • virtue ethics and epistemology.

We strongly encourage applications in any of the above areas.

We have a strong track record of helping students receive AHRC/College funding. If you wish to apply, please contact Professor Fiona Macpherson (Fiona.Macpherson@glasgow.ac.uk).

Find out more

Study options

PhD

Duration: 3 years full-time / 5 years part-time

A Doctor of Philosophy may be awarded to a student whose thesis is an original work making a significant contribution to knowledge in, or understanding of, a field of study and normally containing material worthy of publication.

Thesis Length: 70,000-100,000 words, including references, bibliography and appendices (other than documentary appendices).

MLitt (Research)

Duration: 2 years full-time / 3 years part-time

Our Degree of Master of Letters (Research) requires you to undertake a postgraduate course of special study and research that represents a distinct contribution to knowledge.

Thesis length: 40,000-70,000 words (including references, bibliography and appendices).

MPhil (Research)

Duration: 1 year full-time / 2 years part-time

A Master of Philosophy (Research)requires you to undertake a postgraduate course of special study and research that represents a distinct contribution to knowledge.

Thesis length: 30,000-40,000 words (including references and bibliography).

Entry requirements

Our regular standard of admission is at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1), although candidates will usually also have completed or be undertaking a Masters qualification.

Research proposal

Candidates are required to provide an outline of the proposed research subject in about 1000 words. This need not be a final thesis proposal but should include:

  • a straightforward, descriptive, and informative title
  • the question that your research will address
  • an account of why this question is important and worth investigating
  • an assessment of how your own research will engage with recent study in the subject
  • a brief account of the methodology and approach you will take
  • a discussion of the primary sources that your research will draw upon, including printed books, manuscripts, archives, libraries, or museums
  • an indicative bibliography of secondary sources that you have already consulted and/or are planning to consult

Your application, including your references and research proposal, will be passed to members of staff whose expertise and research interests most closely match the area of your proposed study.

English Language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English.

Fees and funding

Fees

2020/21

  • £4,407 UK/EU
  • £18,370 outside EU

Prices are based on the annual fee for full-time study. Fees for part-time study are half the full-time fee.

Additional fees for all students:

  • Re-submission by a research student £525
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,315
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £340
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £765

Depending on the nature of the research project, some students will be expected to pay a bench fee (also known as research support costs) to cover additional costs. The exact amount will be provided in the offer letter.

Alumni discount

A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni. This includes graduates and those who have completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.

Funding for EU students

The UK government has confirmed that EU nationals will remain eligible to apply for Research Council PhD studentships at UK institutions for 2019/20 to help cover costs for the duration of their study. The Scottish Government has confirmed that fees for EU students commencing their studies in 2019/20 and 2020/21 will be at the same level as those for UK students.

2019/20 fees

  • £4,327 UK/EU
  • £17,620 outside EU

Prices are based on the annual fee for full-time study. Fees for part-time study are half the full-time fee.

Additional fees for all students:

  • Re-submission by a research student £500
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,250
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £320
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £730

Depending on the nature of the research project, some students will be expected to pay a bench fee (also known as research support costs) to cover additional costs. The exact amount will be provided in the offer letter.

  • further funding opportunities

We have a strong track record of securing AHRC and Glasgow University College of Arts funding for our PhD students. Recent recipients of AHRC and College funding include Berta Grimau (Philosophy of Logic), Nathan Kirkwood (Anglo-American Philosophy and Quine) and Matt Linsley (Metaphysics of Change).

Potential students with 1st class results (or equivalent) are strongly encouraged to apply.

If you wish to apply for AHRC/College funding, please contact Professor Fiona Macpherson (Fiona.Macpherson@glasgow.ac.uk).

Support

Graduate School

Our College of Arts Graduate School creates a productive and interdisciplinary collegiate environment for all of our research students. We offer a range of services, courses and skills development opportunities for research students.

The College of Arts is home to a vibrant and diverse community of students enrolled on taught masters and research programmes within a stimulating intellectual and cultural environment. Across every school and subject area the college is home to world-leading and agenda-setting research.

Find out more about what is happening in the community by following us: 

You will also be part of the wider Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities, the world's first national graduate school in the Arts & Humanities. Membership includes 16 Scottish universities, four art schools & the national conservatoire, with support from the arts, culture, creative & heritage sectors. 

Philosophical community

  • a dedicated weekly postgraduate philosophy seminar to present research to other postgraduate students and receive feedback from staff
  • a dedicated weekly philosophy senior seminar series
  • frequent domestic and international focused speaker series, workshops, and conferences
  • mentored teaching development opportunities
  • an annual postgraduate reading party in the remote highlands of Scotland
  • triannual postgraduate and staff social gatherings

How to apply

Identify potential supervisors

All Postgraduate Research Students are allocated a supervisor who will act as the main source of academic support and research mentoring. You may want to identify a potential supervisor and contact them to discuss your research proposal before you apply. Please note, even if you have spoken to an academic staff member about your proposal you still need to submit an online application form.

You can find relevant academic staff members with our staff research interests search.


Gather your documents

Before applying please make sure you gather the following supporting documentation:

  1. Final or current degree transcripts including grades (and an official translation, if needed) – scanned copy in colour of the original document
  2. Degree certificates (and an official translation, if needed): scanned copy in colour of the original document
  3. Two references on headed paper (academic and/or professional).
  4. Research proposal, CV, samples of written work as per requirements for each subject area.

Submitting References

To complete your application we will need two references (one must be academic the other can be academic or professional).

There are two options for you to submit references as part of your application.  You can upload a document as part of your application or you can enter in your referee’s contact details and we will contact them to request a reference.

Option 1 – Uploading as part of the application form

Your references should be on official headed paper. These should also be signed by the referee. You can then upload these via theOnline Application form with the rest your documents to complete the application process.

Please be aware that documents must not exceed 5MB in size and therefore you may have to upload your documents separately. The online system allow you to upload supporting documents only in PDF format. For a free PDF writer go to www.pdfforge.org.

Option 2 - Entering contact details as part of the application form

If you enter your referees contact details including email on the application form we will email them requesting they submit a reference once you have submitted the application form.  When the referee responds and sends a reference you will be sent an email to confirm the university has received this.

After submitting your application form

Use our Applicant Self Service uploading documents function to submit a new reference. We can also accept confidential references direct to rio-researchadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk, from the referee’s university or business email account.  


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If you have any other trouble accessing Applicant Self-Service, please see Application Troubleshooting/FAQs. 


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