MA Philosophy of Biological and Cognitive SciencesFind a programme
|Faculty||Faculty of Arts|
One year full-time;
two years part-time
|Location of programme||Clifton campus|
|Part-time study available||Yes|
|Start date||September 2020|
The Department of Philosophy has outstanding research strength in the fields of philosophy of biology, philosophy of psychology and philosophy of cognitive sciences. We are ranked by the latest Philosophical Gourmet Report (2017/18) as the strongest department in the UK for the philosophy of biology and the joint strongest for general philosophy of science. The department was recently home to a European Research Council project on Darwinism and the Theory of Rational Choice that explored connections between biological and cognitive science research.
This MA builds on these outstanding research strengths. It is intended for graduates of philosophy, psychology or biology who wish to study philosophy of science with an emphasis on the biological and cognitive sciences. The programme focuses on philosophical issues arising from these scientific disciplines. The history of science is studied in terms of the philosophical debate about the nature of scientific method and knowledge.
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 seminar, which often features well-known scholars in the field, from Bristol and beyond. The department has strong links with the School of Psychological Science, the School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology.
Fees for 2020/21
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:
- UK/EU: full-time
- UK/EU: part-time (two years)
- Overseas: full-time
- Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time
Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.
University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.
Funding for 2020/21
Funding and studentship opportunities are listed on the Faculty of Arts funding pages.
Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.
The MA consists of taught components, examined by essay, and a dissertation. You will take six taught units, normally three in each semester. Satisfactory completion of semesters one and two will allow you to progress to writing a dissertation of at most 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. You will have supervisory meetings with a member of staff who will provide feedback on a draft of your work.
You will also have the option of taking a supervised individual study unit on cognitive anthropology and cultural evolution in association with the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology.
Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MA in Philosophy of Biological and Cognitive Sciences.
An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) with a minimum average of 65 per cent in a science subject (typically biological science or psychology) or philosophy, or a degree with a major philosophical component.
See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.
Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
Students who have completed the MA in Philosophy of Biological and Cognitive Sciences have gone on to careers in teaching and science administration. A number of MA graduates pursue further studies in either philosophy or science.
31 July 2020 for International applicants. 19 Aug 2020 for UK and EU applicants. Early applications recommended; places may fill before the deadline.
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REF 2014 results
- 31% of research is world-leading (4*)
- 51% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
- 17% of research is recognised internationally (2*)
- 1% of research is recognised nationally (1*)
Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.
Open days and visits
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Get in touch
For questions regarding study and admission please contact our Enquiries Team. Phone: +44 (0) 117 394 1649 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org