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Run by Faculty of Arts
Awards available PhD , MPhil
Programme length MPhil: One year full-time;
two years part-time
PhD: three years full-time;
six years part-time
Part-time study available Yes
Open to international students Yes
Number of places Not fixed
Start date January 2016 (2015/16 fees apply)
September 2016
January 2017

Programme overview

The Department of Philosophy is one of the best in the UK. With a reputation for high-quality research in all aspects of the subject, we are particularly well known for our strength in logic and the philosophy of science and mathematics, and have expertise in applied ethics, formal epistemology, phenomenology and the philosophy of medicine.

We have an active postgraduate community and internationally renowned staff who set the agenda and break new ground in their respective fields. Teaching is informed by the latest research and we are proud of the contributions made by our postgraduates to the department's vibrant research culture. We have an exciting seminar/colloquium and conference programme, including regular seminars in philosophy and history of science, medicine, mathematics and logic, as well as weekly departmental seminars with visiting speakers, and joint sessions run with the departments of Physics, Mathematics, English, History, Medicine, and Psychology. We also host the Centre for Science and Philosophy which promotes the interpretation of science through collaboration with other disciplines. In the recent national evaluation of research in higher education institutions (REF2014), 100% of the department's research environment was rated internationally excellent (4*) or world-leading (3*).

In the Philosophical Gourmet Report, the leading reputational ranking of Anglophone philosophy departments, published by Blackwell Publishing, the department was rated: 2nd in UK for Philosophical Logic; joint 1st in UK for Philosophy of Mathematics; joint 1st in UK for Mathematical Logic; 1st in UK for Philosophy of Biology; joint 2nd in UK for General Philosophy of Science; joint 2nd in UK for Philosophy of Social Science.

Individual members of staff have been highly successful in attracting external and internal research awards. The department currently hosts five major research projects:

  • Havi Carel , "The Life of Breath" (Wellcome Trust)
  • Samir Okasha, "Darwinism and Rational Choice" (European Research Council)
  • Richard Pettigrew, "Epistemic Utility Theory: Foundations and Applications" (European Research Council)
  • James Ladyman, "Applying Homotopy Type Theory in Logic, Metaphysics, and the Philosophy of Physics" (Leverhulme Trust)
  • Richard Pettigrew, "The Scientific Approach to Epistemology" (Leverhulme Trust)

Fees for 2016/17

Full time fees


Part time fees


Fees quoted are provisional, per annum and subject to annual increase.

Funding for 2016/17

The University of Bristol is part of the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP), which will be offering studentships for September 2016. For information on other funding opportunities see the Faculty of Arts funding pages

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

Entry requirements

MPhil: An upper second-class degree (or international equivalent). Please note, acceptance will also depend upon evidence of your readiness to pursue a research degree.

MPhil/PhD: A pass at Masters level (or international equivalent).

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method 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.

Research groups

The principal research areas of the Department of Philosophy are:

  • Philosophy of Science, Mathematics and Logic
  • Epistemology, philosophy of mind and psychology
  • Moral and Political Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Medicine and Biology


The majority of graduates from this programme develop careers as academics in higher education, while maintaining the capacity to undertake new and innovative research in the field of Philosophy at the same time.

Staff profiles

Dr Tudor Baetu, (Lecturer in Philosophy of Science)

Professor Chris Bertram, (Professor), Ethics of immigration; political philosophy.

Professor Alexander Bird, (Professor), Epistemology; metaphysics; philosophy of science and medicine.

Dr Megan Blomfield, (Lecturer), Environmental ethics; political philosophy.

Dr Joanna Burch-Brown, (Lecturer), Decision theory; ethics; philosophy of literature; philosophy of social science; political philosophy.

Professor Havi Carel, (Professor), Death; film and philosophy; Heidegger, Freud and Merleau-Ponty; phenomenology; philosophy of medicine.

Dr Anthony Everett, (Senior Lecturer), Metaphysics; philosophical logic; philosophy of language and mind.

Dr Anya Farennikova, (Lecturer), Philosophy of cognitive science; philosophy of mind; philosophy of psychology.

Dr Kentaro Fujimoto, (Lecturer), Mathematical logic; philosophical logic; philosophy of mathematics.

Dr Jonathan Grose, (Teaching Fellow), Decision theory and rationality; philosophy of biology; philosophy of economics; philosophy of social science.

Professor Leon Horsten, (Professor), Epistemology and metaphysics; philosophical logic; philosophy of mathematics.

Professor James Ladyman, (Professor), Epistemology; metaphysics; philosophy of physics.

Dr Seiriol Morgan, (Senior lecturer), Ethics; Heidegger; history of philosophy; Kierkegaard.

Professor Samir Okasha, (Professor), Epistemology and metaphysics; philosophy of biology; philosophy of science.

Dr Giles Pearson, (Senior Lecturer), Aesthetics; ancient philosophy; ethics.

Professor Richard Pettigrew, (Professor), Formal epistemology; logic; philosophy of mathematics; rational choice theory.

Dr Andrew Pyle, (Reader), 17th-century philosophy; history and philosophy of science.

Dr Finn Spicer, (Lecturer), Epistemology; philosophy of mind.

Dr Karim Thebault, (Lecturer), Methodological issues arising from the use of analogue models in physical and social science; philosophy of physics particularly time and symmetry in classical and quantum theories of gravity; probability in quantum mechanics; scientific anti-realism.

How to apply
Application deadline:

September 2016 start: 1 August 2016
January 2017 start: 1 December 2016

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.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

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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