MA Logic and Philosophy of Mathematics

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Faculty Faculty of Arts
Awards available MA
Course length One year full-time;
two years part-time.
Part-time study available Yes
Open to international students Yes
Number of places Not fixed
Start date September 2016

Programme overview

The Department of Philosophy has exceptional research strength in the fields of logic and the philosophy of mathematics, and very strong links with the School of Mathematics, including a joint position in both departments. It is ranked by the Philosophical Gourmet Report as the strongest department in the UK for mathematical logic, and the second strongest for philosophical logic.

Our MA draws on these strengths and is open to students with first degrees in Philosophy (subject to a suitable background in logic) or Mathematics. It consists of six taught units, examined by essay, and a 15,000-word dissertation.

As a postgraduate student, you will be an active member of the department’s flourishing research culture. You will be encouraged to attend and participate in both the weekly departmental research seminar and in the Philosophy and History of Science seminars, which often feature well-known scholars in the field, both from Bristol and beyond. There is also a weekly postgraduate seminar, where you may present your own work before your peers and learn to develop your argumentative strategies in a supportive environment.

Fees for 2016/17

Full time fees


Part time fees


Fees quoted are per annum and subject to annual increase.

Funding for 2016/17

Please see the Faculty of Arts funding pages for funding and studentship opportunities.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

The MA consists of taught components, examined by essay, and a dissertation. You will take six taught units, normally three in each semester.

Please note that the programme's specialist mathematics units assume background knowledge of logic and set theory. To assist with this, preparatory reading material will be sent to students prior to the start of the programme.

Core units

  •  Philosophical Writing and Research

A mandatory, two-hour weekly seminar developing ideas, bibliographical and writing skills necessary for philosophical research. The unit is assessed by seminar contributions and presentations.

  •  Axiomatic Set Theory

An MSc unit delivered by the Department of Mathematics which examines the theory of Godel's universe of constructible sets and uses this model to prove the consistency of various statements of mathematics with the currently accepted axioms of set theory.

  •  Epistemology and Metaphysics

A mandatory, two-hour weekly seminar studying core topics in epistemology and metaphysics. The unit is examined by an essay of 5,000-6,000 words, a draft of which can be discussed with your supervisor before final submission.

  •  Philosophy and History of Mathematics
  •  Essay Unit

Taught by individual tutorials on an agreed topic of your choosing. Assessed by an essay of 5,000-6,000 words.

One Optional unit from:

  •  Logic
  •  A second essay unit

Please note, optional units can vary each year.


Satisfactory completion of semesters 1 and 2 will allow you to progress to writing a dissertation of not more than 15,000 words on an approved topic of your choice. The dissertation is your chance to produce an extended piece of philosophical research that can act as preparation for a graduate research degree.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in Philosophy or Mathematics.

Non-traditional qualifications/routes may also be considered. The programme's specialist mathematics units assume background knowledge of logic and set theory. Preparatory reading material is made available to accepted students.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Selection process Online application form
English language requirements Profile C
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
How to apply
Application deadline:

1 August 2016


Students who completed the MA programme in Logic and Philosophy of Mathematics have taken up careers as teachers and software developers. The IT industry has benefited from a number of graduates from this programme.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 31% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 51% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 17% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 1% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Get in touch

Postgraduate Admissions Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 8443 Email:

Faculty of Arts
University of Bristol
7 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1TB


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