MA in Philosophy by Research

Entry requirements: First or second class honours degree or relevant experience 
Full or Part-time: Full-time
School: School of Humanities Back to course finder

A one-year, London-based MA programme of twelve evening seminars and individual research led by Professor Sir Roger Scruton. Offering examples of contemporary thinking and including lectures by internationally acclaimed philosophers, the purpose of this programme to give an overall survey of Philosophy and topics that are central to the interaction of philosophy and life.

Each seminar takes place at The Reform Club, Pall Mall, central London and is followed by a dinner during which participants can engage in discussion with the speaker. The topics to be considered include consciousness, emotion, justice, art, God, love and the environment.

Examination will be by a research dissertation on an approved philosophical topic chosen by the student, of around 25,000 words. Guidance and personal supervision will be provided.

The Course Director

Sir Roger ScrutonThe course is led by the renowned philosopher, Professor Sir Roger Scruton, FBA, FRSL.

Professor Scruton is a Fellow of the Humanities Research Institute and Course Director of the MA in Philosophy.  He is a writer, philosopher and public commentator, specialising in aesthetics with particular attention to music and architecture.

He engages in contemporary political and cultural debates from the standpoint of a conservative thinker and is well known as a powerful polemicist.  He has written widely in the press on political and cultural issues.

He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a fellow of the British Academy.

Professor Scruton is the author of over forty books, including The Ring of Truth (2016), Fools Frauds and Firebrands (2015), The Soul of the World (2014), Notes from Underground (2014), How to Be a Conservative (2014), Our Church (2012),  How to Think Seriously about the Planet: The Case for an Environmental Conservatism (2012), Beauty (2009),The Aesthetics of Music (1997), The Philosopher on Dover Beach (1990), Sexual Desire (1986), The Meaning of Conservatism (1980) and Art and Imagination (1974).

2017-18 Seminars

The series of seminars takes place between October 2017 and June 2018.  Please note that all seminars take place on Thursday evenings, beginning at 18:30. They will be held at the Reform Club, 104 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5EW (see: information for visitors and directions).

  • 5 October 2017
    Roger Scruton. General Introduction: What is philosophy?
  • 26 October 2017
    Roger Scruton. Reason and Freedom, Mind and Brain
  • 23 November 2017
    Roger Scruton. Persons and the Human World
  • 7 December 2017
    Professor Jane Heal FBA: Logic
  • 14 December 2017
    Professor Simon Blackburn, FBA: Metaphysics
  • 11 January 2018
    Roger Scruton: Consciousness
  • 1 February 2018
    Professor Simon May: the Philosophy of Love
  • 1 March 2018
    Professor Sebastian Gardner: Existentialism
  • 5 April 2018
    Roger Scruton: Ethics
  • 3 May 2018.
    Roger Scruton: Politics
  • 17 May 2018
    Roger Scruton and Professor Anthony O’Hear: Science and its relation to Philosophy
  • 7 June 2018
    Roger Scruton: Topics to be requested

Each guest speaker seminar begins at 18:30 and is followed by a dinner (also at the Reform Club), at 20:00, with the guest speaker. The cost of all post-seminar dinners is included in the tuition fees.

The speakers and topics covered for 2018-19 are likely to be similar to those included in the 2017-18 programme, as per the details above.

For further details contact:
Humanities Research Admissions on +44 (0)1280 827514

Entry requirements

The minimum entry level required for this course is as follows:

  • a first or upper second-class honours degree from a recognised university or,
  • a recognised professional qualification with relevant work experience

Mature students

Age is no barrier to learning and we welcome all applications from suitably qualified students. Due to their flexibility, our London-based MAs by research attract a wide variety of applicants from a range of backgrounds, including people in full-time employment and retirees. Our current students range in age from 21 to 75.

International students

We are happy to consider all international applications and if you are an international student, you may find it useful to visit our international pages for details of entry requirements from your home country.

The University is a UKVI Tier 4 Sponsor.

English levels

If English is not your first language, please check our postgraduate English language requirements. If your English levels don’t meet our minimum requirements, you may be interested in applying for our Pre-sessional English Language Foundation Programmes.

Selection process

Candidates apply online, sending in their supporting documents, and will be assessed on this basis by the Programme Director.  The Programme Director or Admissions Assistant will be happy to answer any enquiries.

Maria Floyd

Admissions and Marketing Officer, London Programmes

Read more →

Terms and conditions for prospective students

When you are offered a place at the University you will be notified of the terms and conditions between the University and students on our courses of study. When you accept an offer of a place on the course at the University a legal contract is formed between you and the University on the basis of the terms and conditions outlined in your offer letter. Your offer letter and the terms and conditions contain important information which you should read carefully before accepting any offer. Read the admissions terms and conditions > >

The seminar schedule for 2017-18 is as follows, all taking place at the Reform Club (104 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5EW (see: information for visitors and directions):

  • 5 October 2017
  • 26 October
  • 23 November
  • 7 December
  • 14 December
  • 11 January 2018
  • 1 February
  • 1 March
  • 5 April
  • 3 May
  • 17 May
  • 7 June

Each guest speaker seminar begins at 18:30 and is followed by a dinner (also at the Reform Club), at 20:00, with the guest speaker. The cost of all post-seminar dinners is included in the tuition fees.

The speakers and topics covered are likely to be similar to those included in the 2016-17 programme, as per the details above.

The University’s Course Directors, students’ supervisors, and the Research Officer and Tutor for Graduate Students are available to discuss students’ post-graduation plans and how they may utilise most effectively the skills acquired during their studies.

The tuition fees quoted are for the degree (e.g. if you start a degree at Buckingham in January 2018, you will pay the same termly fee for the duration of your degree – you will not be affected by the price increase in September 2018). Fees are normally paid in termly instalments.

Please click here for Associate Student fees (or here for international Associate Student fees).

Postgraduate loan scheme

A new system of postgraduate loans for Masters degrees in the UK was introduced in August 2016 with support from the UK Government. The loan will provide up to £10,000 (£10,280 for new applicants in 2017) for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. The loans can be used for tuition fees, living expenses or both.  Find out more >>


Details of scholarships can be found on our main Bursaries and Scholarships page. You should make an application to study at the University and receive an offer letter confirming our acceptance of your application before applying for a scholarship.

You may also find it useful to visit our External Funding page.

Due to the mode of study on this course you will not normally need a room in University accommodation during your degree.

However, if you require short-term accommodation in Buckingham we would be happy to provide a list of local bed and breakfast or hotel accommodation. Alternatively, please contact our Accommodation Office for advice.