MA European Philosophy

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Overview

This specialist programme aims to provide you with a foundation in modern European philosophy from the late 18th century to the present day. It focuses on the European tradition (Leibniz, Hume, Ravaisson, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche and Bergson) as well as 20th century and contemporary philosophers (Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard and Nancy), and on the major areas of contemporary philosophy such as phenomenology, post-structuralism and deconstruction.

The programme allows you to grasp the relations between philosophy and other disciplines such as aesthetics, art-theory, literary theory and political theory. The modules offered vary from year to year, but all draw on the research specialisms of members of the department.

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities is offering scholarships worth £2,000 for graduates with a first class honours or upper second class degree. Excellence scholarships are available to full-time home and EU students for 20/21 entry. Find out more on our postgraduate funding pages.

Features and Benefits

Online distance learning:

Career Prospects

This programme provides graduates with the skills to progress to higher research programmes and offers opportunities for the acquisition of skills applicable to a range of appointments in the public and private sectors, including publishing, journalism, teaching, finance and law.

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Entry requirements

You will normally have at least an upper second-class undergraduate UK honours degree, preferably in single or joint honours philosophy, but other disciplines and internationally equivalent qualifications or experience will be considered.

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here.

Course details

The MA European Philosophy focuses on some of the key philosophers and philosophical movements in European philosophy from the 18th century through to the present day. It is designed to allow students to develop advanced philosophical and research skills, and encourages the application of these skills to significant contemporary issues and concerns.

Modules will include a selection from the following:

  • Key Texts in Modern European Philosophy
  • Contemporary Interpretations of Plato
  • Philosophy and Film
  • Jean-Luc Nancy: The Experience of Freedom
  • The Origin of the Work of Art
  • Bergson and the Neo-vitalist Thought
  • Reason and the Fate of Modernity
  • Dissertation

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Key Texts in Modern European Philosophy: The Monadology

This unit is devoted to a close reading of G. W. Leibnizs Monadology, a seminal text for modern European philosophy, with the aim of understanding not only Leibnizs doctrines and his arguments for them, but the context in which they were developed. It will introduce you to the advanced use of secondary literature. 

Dissertation

Consists of a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation on a subject of your choice.

Likely Optional Units

The Origin of the Work of Art

This unit explores philosophy from the position of aesthetics, with a principal focus on Heidegger's Origin of the Work of Art. It will introduce you to some of the central texts of aesthetic theory in the 20th century. Beginning with a reading of the seminal essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Benjamin, the unit will then spend six weeks investigating the role of the Origin of the Work of Art in Heidegger’s philosophy, before ending with a reading of Merleau-Ponty’s Eye and Mind.

Philosophy and Film

This unit explores the nature of film and how we understand our experience of film. The unit critically analyses 10 classic films made in various countries over the period 1945-2005. It enables students to address two basic questions: 1) Of the various ways of approaching films, what is peculiar to analysing them philosophically? 2) Of the various ways of doing philosophy, what is peculiar to doing it on and with film? These issues are worth exploring on their own because they influence how we appreciate and engage with film, one of the most popular and accessible forms of art. Instead of using film to illustrate or ornament preconceived positions, this course shows how film can be made both the subject and object of critical reflection.

Contemporary Interpretations of Plato

This unit is concerned with contemporary interpretations of Plato, the Sophists and the Cynics within the tradition of European philosophy as a basis for reflection on the predicament of nihilism and its provocations for philosophical thinking. Famously, the philosophical tradition has been said to be a series of footnotes to Plato. By studying key interpretative writings on Plato by two major 20th century European philosophers, and in particular the relation between truth, art and style in Platos writings, the course will establish the essential link between the critical delimitation of the philosophical tradition and the interpretation of Plato. It will show how this delimitation is as a response to the historical phenomenon of nihilism, identifying the specific conception of nihilism offered by each philosopher and assessing its implications.

Jean-Luc Nancy: The Experience of Freedom

This unit takes a single text (either, The Experience of Freedom (1988), of Being singular plural (1996) by Jean-Luc Nancy, as the focus for discussing an embedding of questions of ethics in the wider context of analyses of meaning, and of ontological enquiry about what there is in the world, and how it can be experienced and known. Nancy's enquiries are framed by the double challenge to ethical enquiry which arrives in the absolute evil of the persecutory camps of Stalin and Hitler, as diagnosed by Hannah Arendt, and in the impact of bio-genetic technologies posing a challenge to conventional conceptions of the human, nature and history. This unit examines the resulting displacement within Jean-Luc Nancys thinking of the classical themes of phenomenology and of political theory in his concern for making sense of freedom, as the condition basic to human understanding and experience. The classical themes of freedom and sovereignty, from political theory, are brought together with the phenomenological method of detailed description and attention to repeating features of experience, leading to a transformation of both political theory and phenomenology.

Bergson and Neo-vitalist Thought

This unit will examine the philosophy of Henri Bergson in relation to developments in French philosophy and the life sciences in the 19th and 20th centuries. Bergson's thought has formed the basis for late 20th century revivals of interest in vitalism, the primacy of process and memory, and the fragmentation of traditional accounts of subjectivity. The main strands of Bergson's thought will be studied with particular reference to Matter and Memory (1896)and Creative Evolution (1907).  We will also look at excerpts from some of his respondents and critics, such as Canguilhem, Foucault and Deleuze.

Reason and the Fate of Modernity

The aim of this unit is to critically reflect on reason by analysing and evaluating its complex development from the Enlightenment and modernity to the mid-late 20th century and the age of ‘post-modernity’. The key questions we will be asking and trying to answer will be:

  • Is reason a source of liberation?
  • What is the characteristic feature of reason in modernity? Is reason a source of control or even oppression/subjugation in some way?
  • Is totalitarianism brought about due to intrinsic features of reason itself or brought about due to background social structures which pervert reason?
  • Can modernity be recovered in the contemporary world?

 This course will focus on the following key philosophers: Kant, Hegel, Weber, Adorno & Horkheimer, Arendt, Foucault, and Habermas

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study
Assessment

Department of History, Politics and Philosophy

Our Department of History, Politics and Philosophy offers programmes of study alongside a thriving research culture, emphasising a student-centred approach to learning.

With interdisciplinary strengths in many areas, the department takes pride in its approach to research-led teaching and being able to provide opportunities for students to work with academics at the forefront of their disciplines.

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Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

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Fees

UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £8,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £945 per 20 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Distance learning fee: £945 per 20 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £15,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £1723 per 20 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Distance learning fee: £1723 per 20 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

On commencing study on the MA, students may wish to purchase a laptop. However, there are PCs on campus that are available for students to use and there is also a scheme in the university that allows students to borrow laptops. For the purposes of drafting assignments and printing course reading materials (many of which are available electronically free of charge), students may wish to print certain materials. Assignments are submitted electronically therefore, there are no required/core printing costs attached to this course.

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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How to apply

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

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If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for postgraduate taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

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Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

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