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Master's Excellence ScholarshipsMinimum of £3,000 in tuition fee discounts available.

Philosophy (PhD/MPhil)

3 years (PhD), 1 year (MPhil) (full-time) / opportunities available (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

Programme Aims

Offers the chance to pursue a sustained project of research at MPhil or doctoral level. The attainment of a research degree provides an entry to a variety of career paths, including a career in academia.

Special Features

Programme Description

A three year (full-time) or five year (part-time) research degree programme for PhD and a one year (full-time) or two year (part-time) programme for MPhil students. Research is pursued in conjunction with a named research supervisor (or in some cases two supervisors). Researchers are expected to engage in a sustained project of study which springs from their own chosen topic of interest. With the assistance of feedback on written work from supervisors given in regular one to one meetings, students produce a thesis of up to 80,000 words (PhD) or 50,000 words (MPhil) in length.

Applications for MPhil/PhD research are especially welcome in any of the following areas of research:

Skills Acquired

Critical reasoning; the ability to engage in detailed analytical study of a variety of textual materials; the ability to engage in independent research; a self-critical attitude; communication skills, both written and oral; the ability to identify and suggest the means to resolving complex problems.

Career Prospects

Academic researcher; university lecturer; transferable skills allow for the development of career paths in any field which requires such skills as clear and logical thinking, the categorisation and critical analysis of data, the identification of beliefs underlying thought and action, ethical principles (e.g. concerning responsibilities and duties). Thus, graduates have potential for careers in teaching, management, librarianship, posts in civil service, journalism and other related fields.

Student Testimonial

Dharmender Dhillon

"Whilst undertaking my MA in Ethics and Social Philosophy here, I found both the academic and administrative staff very friendly and supportive, and the research environment to be extremely vibrant. Hence, I did not hesitate to apply to undertake a PhD research project in an environment which I was confident would be able to provide me with the expertise, as well as support – both academic and pastoral – in order to successfully complete my research. Now in the second year of my project, my initial expectations have proven to have been well-founded. The department is constituted of highly knowledgeable academics of international repute, who together deliver an impressive array of specialisms. Furthermore, Cardiff’s postgraduate Philosophy cohort is bustling, with plenty of social as well as more formal opportunities to network and develop ideas. Considering Cardiff’s well-earned reputation as a welcoming, easily-accessible and dynamic city, I would highly recommend prospective graduate students to consider the Philosophy department."
Dharmender Dhillon, 2nd Year Philosophy PhD student.

Alumni Profiles

"As a PhD student at Cardiff, I benefited from the wisdom and support of two fantastic supervisors. Along with the broad range of practical and professional assistance I received (in effective research, public speaking, publishing and more), their enthusiasm and encouragement helped me to complete my PhD and to begin my own academic career." Sophie Vlacos, graduated 2011/12, University Teacher in English Literature, Glasgow

"I am currently PMED (Planning, Monitoring, Evaluating and Documenting) coordinator of Gram Vikas which is a NGO in India. Gram Vikas is an organisation which works for various developmental issues in Orissa (a state on the east coast). Although my official title is this, Gram Vikas is very generously giving me space and time for my own research which is not directly relevant to developmental issues. Thanks to Gram Vikas's support, I am currently writing a few papers and sending them to some peer reviewed journals. I am also trying to get involved in some philosophy research activities in Asia." Ryo Chonabayashi, graduated 2011/12, PMED Coordinator, Gram Vikas

Entry Requirements

Suitable for graduates in Philosophy and closely related subjects. A First or upper Second class UK Honours degree, or equivalent is required. For non-native speakers of English, an IELTS overall score of 7.5 with at least 7.0 in each sub score is essential.

Applications for research degrees should be accompanied by a research proposal. This should include a draft title, rationale (the relevance and value of the research at this time), objectives, research questions and research methods. Applications for Philosophy should also include a 2,500 word admission essay on a Philosophical topic of your choice.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.


For the full range of funding possibilities on offer, see our Postgraduate Funding Opportunities page.

Next intake: The University has four entry points for research degrees: 1 October, 1 January, 1 April, or 1 July

School Contact

Name: ENCAP Postgraduate Admissions  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 0322 



School Website:

More information

School of English, Communication and Philosophy

Important legal information

The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published by July 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.


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