MA Philosophy and History of Science

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Faculty Faculty of Arts
Awards available MA
Programme length One year full-time;
two years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Start date September 2022

Programme overview

We are among the top UK institutions for philosophy of science. Our expertise is in a broad range of areas related to the philosophy and history of the specific sciences, including physics, biology, mathematics, logic, medicine and psychology. The latest Philosophical Gourmet Report ranked Bristol as the strongest department in the UK for philosophy of biology, joint strongest for general philosophy of science, and fourth strongest for philosophy of physics. We regularly host major research grants in philosophy of science. (See our research page.)

Our MA draws on these strengths. It is intended both for students who have a first degree in philosophy who wish to specialise in philosophy of science at a higher level, and for individuals with a background in pure science who wish to make a transition to philosophy of science or to explore foundational issues within the sciences.

The emphasis of the programme is on philosophical issues arising from specific scientific disciplines, with particular focus on physics, biology and mathematics. The history of science is studied in terms of the philosophical debate about the nature of scientific method and knowledge.

You will be an active member of the department’s flourishing research culture and will be encouraged to attend and participate in regular research seminars, workshops and reading groups, including philosophy of science seminars, featuring well-known scholars (see our events pages). There is also a weekly postgraduate seminar, where you may present your own work and learn to develop your argumentative strategies in a supportive environment.

Virtual open week

This programme will be covered in our Philosophy and Religion webinar.

Book your place today

Fees for 2022/23

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2022/23 are as follows:

UK: full-time
£10,700
UK: part-time (two years)
£5,350
Overseas: full-time
£21,100

Following the recent changes to fee assessment regulation, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students will no longer be charged a separate tuition fee. From the 2021/22 academic year they will be charged the same fees as Home students.

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.

Alumni scholarship

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 2022/23

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.

Programme structure

The programme consists of six taught units and a dissertation of 15,000 words.

The Philosophical Writing and Research Seminar unit is taken by all MA students in the Department of Philosophy and equips students with analytical tools and argumentative strategies essential for graduate level study and research in philosophy.

In further taught units, you will study topics in cutting edge philosophy of science and history of science, as well as selecting units from a range of available options, for example philosophy of physics and philosophy of biology.

Following the taught element, you would work on a dissertation on an approved topic of your choosing, with most of the work on this taking place over the summer. This is your chance to produce an extended piece of original philosophical research, guided by one-on-one supervisions with a member of academic staff. Some students use this as preparation for a graduate research degree.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MA in Philosophy and History of Science.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) with a minimum average of 65%. This is usually in philosophy or a science subject. Alternative qualifications can be considered if the relevant skills are demonstrated, applicants who do not hold a Philosophy degree will be required to upload a writing sample.

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:
Profile C
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Careers

Students who have completed the MA in Philosophy and History of Science have taken up careers in teaching, the IT sector, and scientific administration. Some students also progress into postgraduate research programmes.

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Find out how to apply

Expected application closure date

Overseas applicants: 29 July 2022.
Home applicants: 12 August 2022.
 
Places are limited and allocated on a continuous basis from October 2021 until all places are filled. Early applications are advised to avoid disappointment.

Virtual events

Discover the expertise and resources on offer at Bristol with our live and on-demand events.

Browse virtual events

Request more information

Find out more about studying with us or request a prospectus.

Get in touch

Contact details

Enquiries Team Phone: +44 (0) 117 394 1649 Email: choosebristol-pg@bristol.ac.uk

School website: School of Arts
Department website: Department of Philosophy

International students

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

REF 2014 results

  • Philosophy:
  • 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.

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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