MPhil/DPhil in Philosophy by Research

Entry requirements: Please see the entry requirements tab below 
Full or Part-time: Full-time
School: School of Humanities Back to course finder

Course outline

Doctoral study in Philosophy at the University of Buckingham is co-ordinated by Professor Sir Roger Scruton, one of Britain’s most distinguished scholars, who is also the convenor of the monthly seminar for doctoral students in the subject. All students are registered, in the first instance, for the MPhil degree, and are later considered for re-registration for the DPhil degree either at the end of the first year or their second year, depending on their rate of academic progress.

Study period

The usual period of doctoral study (including the period while registered for the MPhil) is three years, though the University’s Regulations also permit candidates who make particularly rapid progress to apply to the University Research Committee for permission to submit at the end of their second year of study.

Part-time applications will be considered, and may be accepted where teaching provision is available; however, preference will be given to full-time applicants

Supervision

Each student is allocated two supervisors. There is a First (or Principal) Supervisor, who is the student’s regular guide during his or her research, and with whom the student meets regularly throughout the year. There is also a Second Supervisor, whom the student may consult on a more limited basis where a ‘second opinion’ on a particular draft chapter may be helpful.

Seminars

A major feature of the Philosophy at the University of Buckingham is its formal Seminar in Philosophy, which forms an essential element of the environment in which students pursue their research. This meets regularly during Term at the Humanities Research Institute’s London office at 51 Gower St, Bloomsbury (HRI Gower St). Approximately ten seminar meetings are held during each academic year. Of these, roughly half are delivered by Professor Scruton, with a focus on the systematic reading of a major philosophical text (Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason is one of texts surveyed), and an equal number are given by distinguished visiting speakers. The programme list includes some of the most brilliant scholars practising Philosophy today.

All seminars take place on weekdays in the early evening (usually at 18:00) and some are followed by an informal dinner during which students can pursue the discussion initiated during the seminar proper.

A library of essential philosophical texts is maintained at HRI Gower St, and it is open to all students to request that the University purchase additions to this.

More information

Enquiries should be directed in the first instance to Ms Maria Floyd, Admissions Officer (London Programmes) on humanitiespg-admissions@buckingham.ac.uk or by telephone to +44 (0)1280 827514.

Entry requirements

Applicants are normally expected to have a first or second class, upper division degree or significant experience. A Master’s degree is preferred.

Mature students

Age is no barrier to learning and we welcome all applications from suitably qualified students.

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
humanitiespg-admissions@buckingham.ac.uk

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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 > >

MPhil and DPhil students undertake supervised but independent research, at the end of which they submit a thesis embodying the results of that research. This thesis must demonstrate familiarity with, and an understanding of the subject, its principal sources and authorities. It should display critical discrimination and a sense of proportion in evaluating evidence and the judgements of others.  A DPhil thesis must embody an original contribution to the knowledge of the discipline either by the discovery of new knowledge, or by the exercise of a new and independent critical approach.

Teaching methods

Candidates spend a considerable part of their studies undertaking supervised research, at the end of which they submit a thesis embodying the results of that research. This thesis must demonstrate familiarity with, and an understanding of the subject, its principal sources and authorities. It should display critical discrimination and a sense of proportion in evaluating evidence and the judgements of others. The subject should be dealt with in a competent and scholarly manner.

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.

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 >>

Scholarships

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.