MA
1 year full time, 2 years part time
Starts September 2017

Philosophy

On this MA, you’ll gain an advanced general grounding in philosophy, forming a good basis for further research.

This course includes innovative modules in both the analytic and continental traditions of philosophy, reflecting the wide range of interests within the Department of Philosophy. In assessments, you may concentrate on just one of these traditions, or both.

When I finished my Masters in Philosophy, I thought that I could be thrown into any arena of life, and however big the lion, I would think my way out.”Dr Corine Besson
Lecturer in Philosophy

Key facts

  • Philosophy at Sussex is ranked 5th in the UK (The Guardian University Guide 2018).
  • We encourage a wide range of approaches to philosophical issues, allowing you to specialise in either the analytic or continental traditions, or to combine both.
  • Our faculty have a wide variety of research interests, with strengths in various traditions of European and analytic philosophy including aesthetics, philosophy of mind, logic, language, phenomenology, Kant, Hegel, Marx, and social and political philosophy.

How will I study?

Taught modules are assessed by term papers of 5,000 words. At the end of the year, you also submit a dissertation of up to 15,000 words.

Full-time and part-time study

You can choose to study this course full time or part time. Find the modules for the full-time course below. 

For details about the part-time course structure, contact Philosophy Postgraduate Convenor Dr Gordon Finlayson at j.g.finlayson@sussex.ac.uk

What will I study?

  • Module list

    Core modules

    Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

    • Dissertation

      60 credits
      Summer Teaching, Year 1

      You undertake supervised work on a dissertation of up to 15,000 words on a topic of your choice agreed with your supervisor.

    Options

    Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.

    • Ethics and Normativity

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, you conduct a detailed examination of current research relating to ethics and normativity - as undertaken by faculty members in the department from both the analytic and the continental traditions.

      You can explore your own research interests in relation to the diverse current perspectives offered by faculty, and write your research paper in the area that interests you most.

      The specific topics included in this module will vary according to the research of the specific faculty members teaching it.

      Possible topics may be drawn from the writings of historical figures concerned with these topics, such as Aristotle, Hegel, Kant and Plato for example, and from areas such as:

      • applied ethics
      • normative ethics
      • meta-ethics
      • norms of thought
      • norms of language
      • social norms
      • political norms.

      Time will be given to helping you develop your own research.

    • World and Mind

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, you conduct a detailed examination of current research relating to the world, the mind, and the relation between the two - as undertaken by faculty members in the department from both the analytic and the continental traditions.

      You can explore your own research interests in relation to the diverse current perspectives offered by faculty, and write your research paper in the area that interests you most.

      The specific topics included in this module will vary according to the research of the specific faculty members teaching it.

      Possible topics may be drawn from philosophy of mind, metaphysics and epistemology, and from the writings of historical figures concerned with these topics, both in the analytic and continental traditions, such as Burge, Husserl, and McDowell for example.

      Time will be given to helping you develop your own research.

    • Hegel and Marx

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      The first half of this course examines Hegel's social and political philosophy, and its place in his overall account of human consciousness, historical change, and the Absolute. You will consider notions such as recognition, spirit, freedom and ethical life in Hegel and their political implications. The second half of the course examines Marx as an ethical and political thinker. You will look at a range of his works, beginning with his earliest, investigating his ideas of freedom, species-being, alienation, class, ideology, fetishism and capital, and asking on what basis he advocates and expects the replacement of capitalism by communism.

    • Language, Art and Representation

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, you conduct a detailed examination of current research relating to language, art and representation - as undertaken by faculty members in the department from both the analytic and the continental traditions.

      You can explore your own research interests in relation to the diverse current perspectives offered by faculty, and write your research paper in the area that interests you most.

      The specific topics included in this module will vary according to the research of the specific faculty members teaching it.

      For example, possible topics may be drawn from areas such as:

      • analytic aesthetics
      • continental aesthetics
      • philosophy of language
      • philosophy of literature
      • fiction.

      Time will be given to helping you develop your own research.

    • The Frankfurt School and Critical Theory

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module explores the origins, development and impact of the ideas of some of the major theorists of the Frankfurt School. The module begins by looking both at the early ideas of the Frankfurt School in 1930's that were influenced by Marx, and then proceeds to address the various ways in which the Frankfurt School theorists attempt to integrate various other aspects of thought in response to historical developments.

      We will focus on texts by Benjamin, Habermas, Horkheimer, Kircheimer, Marcuse, Neumann and Adorno, but also look at the theorists that most influenced them such as Hegel, Marx and Lukcs. We will also look at certain key themes in Frankfurt School criticism such as, 'dialectic', 'negative dialectics', 'determinate negation', 'critique', 'immanent critique', 'positivism', 'instrumental reason' and 'Enlightenment'

Entry requirements

An upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above normally in philosophy or a related subject

English language requirements

Standard level (IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section)

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our Masters courses.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa


Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?

Fees

Home: £7,700 per year

EU: £7,700 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £7,700 per year

Overseas: £15,100 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters loans

Borrow up to £10,280 to contribute to your postgraduate study.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Arts Scholars MA Award (2017)

Two £10,000 awards for outstanding students on the Art History and Museum Curating MA

Application deadline:

30 June 2017

Find out more about the Arts Scholars MA Award

Chancellor's Masters Scholarship (2017)

Open to students with a 1st class from a UK university or excellent grades from an EU university and offered a F/T place on a Sussex Masters in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Chancellor's Masters Scholarship

Sussex Graduate Scholarship (2017)

Open to Sussex students who graduate with a first or upper second-class degree and offered a full-time place on a Sussex Masters course in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Graduate Scholarship

Sussex India Scholarships (2017)

Sussex India Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from India commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex India Scholarships

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Malaysia commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Malaysia Scholarships

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships are worth £3,500 or £5,000 and are for overseas fee paying students from Nigeria commencing a Masters in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Nigeria Scholarships

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Pakistan commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Pakistan Scholarships

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex.


Faculty

Meet the people teaching and supervising on your course.

  • Faculty profiles

    Dr Corine Besson
    Lecturer In Philosophy
    C.Besson@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Epistemology, History of Analytic Philosophy, Language & Philosophical Logic

    View profile

    Dr Anthony Booth
    Senior Lecturer in Philosophy
    A.R.Booth@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Applied Philosophy, Epistemic Normativity, Epistemology, Ethics, Ethics of Belief, Gettier Cases, Islamic Epistemology, Philosophy Of Mind

    View profile

    Dr Andrew Chitty
    Senior Lecturer in Philosophy
    A.E.Chitty@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Collective action, collective intentionality, constructivism in ethics, Ethics, Fichte, Hegel, Marxism, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, political theory, recognition theory

    View profile

    Dr Ron Chrisley
    Reader in Philosophy
    R.L.Chrisley@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Artificial Intelligence, Cognition, Cognitive Science, Consciousness, Language & Philosophical Logic, Logic, Philosophy, Philosophy Of Mind, Philosophy of Science & Mathematics, & Mathematical Logic, Robotics

    View profile

    Dr Paul Davies
    Reader in Philosophy
    P.Davies@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Aesthetics, Philosophy Of Religion

    View profile

    Dr Katerina Deligiorgi
    Reader in Philosophy
    K.Deligiorgi@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Aesthetics, Autonomy, Ethics, Free agency, Hegel, Kant, metaethics, norms, Philosophy, reasons, values

    View profile

    Dr Gordon Finlayson
    Senior Lecturer in Philosophy
    J.G.Finlayson@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Critical Theory, German Philosophy, Habermas, Hegel, History Of Philosophy, Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy

    View profile

    Prof Michael Morris
    Professor of Philosophy
    M.R.Morris@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Aesthetics, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Language, Plato, Wittgenstein

    View profile

    Dr Mahon O'Brien
    Senior Lecturer in Philosophy
    Mahon.O-Brien@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Existentialism, Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, Philosophy

    View profile

    Dr Sarah Sawyer
    Senior Lecturer in Philosophy
    S.A.Sawyer@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Anti-individualism, Content, Empty Names, Entitlement, Epistemology, Externalism, Fiction, Individualism, Internalism, Language & Philosophical Logic, Metaphysics, Philosophy, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy Of Mind, Warrant

    View profile

    Dr Tanja Staehler
    Reader In Philosophy
    T.Staehler@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Affects, Birth, Continental Aesthetics, Corporeality, Deconstruction, Derrida, Existentialism, Hegel, Heidegger, Husserl, Levinas, Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology, Philosophy of Culture, Philosophy of Dance, Philosophy of History, Plato, Pregnancy

    View profile

    Dr Kathleen Stock
    Reader In Philosophy
    K.M.Stock@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Aesthetics, Fiction, Imagination, Interpretation, Philosophy, Philosophy of art, Sexual objectification

    View profile

Careers

Graduate destinations

90% of students from the School of History, Art History and Philosophy were in work or further study six months after graduating. Our Philosophy students have gone on to jobs including:

  • editorial assistant, Pavilion Books
  • media officer, Wickham Youth Action
  • assistant, Gareth Thomas MP.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Post Graduate Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

Our graduates have gone on to careers in:

  • arts administration and management
  • business, investment and banking
  • charities and non-governmental organisations
  • HR, recruitment and management consultancy
  • IT, journalism and publishing 
  • law, local government and the Civil Service
  • the media, sales and advertising
  • NHS management and social services
  • teaching and university lecturing.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Contact us