Research Degrees in


in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities


Do you want to advance or change your career, deepen your expertise in a topic, or expand your research and practical skills?

With a PhD or other postgraduate research degree in Philosophy you will:

  • Work with experts in the field. We have a wide range of expertise, and can supervise projects on contemporary and historical European and global philosophy.
  • Choose from our flexible study pathways. We offer full- and part-time PhD, MPhil, and MA by Research courses. Our distance learning programme is ideal for anyone around the world who wants to pursue a research degree but has professional or personal commitments that prevent traditional, campus-based study.
  • Join a thriving intellectual community. Our Human Sciences Seminar Series has, for nearly 40 years, provided a forum for philosophical discussion. The seminars are distinctive for embracing cross-disciplinary and cross-continental approaches to philosophy.
  • Engage in our innovative public engagement programme. RAH! (Research in Arts and Humanities) is a curated programme of public lectures, performances, film screenings, fairs, interventions, discussions, artist happenings and augmented reality.
  • Undertake tailored personal and professional development training. The Postgraduate Arts and Humanities Centre provides a comprehensive development programme for research students.

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Areas of supervisory expertise

We can supervise a broad range of projects within Philosophy. Our areas of expertise include:

  • 19th and 20th century French Philosophy (Bergson, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, Lyotard, Derrida, Foucault, Nancy)
  • Aesthetics
  • Critical Animal Studies
  • Early Modern Philosophy
  • German Philosophy from the 17th to the 20th century (in particular the philosophies of Leibniz, Kant, Hegel and German Idealism, Nietzsche, Husserl, and Heidegger)
  • Meta-ethics
  • Metaphysics
  • Phenomenology
  • Philosophy of Education
  • Philosophy of Medicine
  • Philosophy of Religion.

Find out more about our staff's expertise

Research culture

Our academics play a major role in national and international philosophy research. We are involved with the British Society for Phenomenology, the British Society for the History of Philosophy, the Society for European Philosophy, and the Values-based Theory Network.

More about our research culture

As a postgraduate researcher, you will play an active role in the intellectual life of the University. You are encouraged to participate in our Human Sciences Seminar Series, which is a well-established programme of seminars that facilitates discussions of philosophy from cross-disciplinary and cross-continental perspectives.

The social and intellectual life of the Faculty is enhanced by the Postgraduate Arts and Humanities Centre (PAHC) which provides:

  • HARTS Online, an online community, news and events portal
  • A thorough research development programme
  • A space for cross-disciplinary discussion, support and experimentation
  • Hive, an academic e-journal, edited by current students
  • RAH!, an innovative programme of socially and culturally engaged public engagement events.

Courses offered, duration, and start dates

Programmes offered

  • PhD (3 years full time, 6 years part time)
  • PhD by Published Work or Professional Practice (course duration varies by route taken and candidate's background)
  • Master's by Research (1 year full time, 2 years part time)
  • MPhil (18 months full time, 36 months part time).

Find out more about the different research degrees we offer

Start dates

The majority of our students enrol in October. We offer further enrolment points in January and April.

Distance learning

Research degrees are available to study on-campus or through distance learning.

Career prospects

Our intellectually rigorous research degrees will equip you with the necessary skills to pursue academic research in Philosophy or related disciplines.

You will also gain higher-level skills in research, critical argument, project management, and communications, that equip you to enter managerial positions in a range of sectors.

Course structure

This course is research based. You will independently conduct research into your own topic or a topic that we advertise. Your supervisory team will offer expert guidance throughout your studies and review work in progress.

Each year, you will follow a programme of training and development to enhance your research methods, subject-matter expertise and professional skills.

Fees and funding

Find out more

2018/19 entry


  • Full time: £4,260
  • Part time: £2,130

Tuition fees are likely to increase each academic year in line with UK Research and Innovation guidelines.

International Students

International fees are categorised into five bands. Your tuition fee band will depend on the resources required for your project. We will confirm your band in your offer letter.

Read more on our tuition fees

2019/20 entry


Tuition fees for the academic year 2019/2020 will be:

  • £4,327 for full-time students
  • £2,164 for part-time students.

International students

International fees are categorised into five bands. Your tuition fee band will depend on the resources required for your project. We will confirm your band in your offer letter.

Additional project costs

For some research projects, we may need to charge you additional costs to cover, for example, access to specialist equipment, resources or materials. We will discuss these costs with you during your interview, and they will be clearly outlined in your offer letter before you accept a place here. Where we advertise specific research projects, the complete project costs will be included in the advert.

Loans for research degrees

Many of our PhD and Professional Doctorate programmes are eligible for the government's Doctoral Loan Scheme. MPhil and MA/MSc by Research degrees are eligible for a Postgraduate Loan.

Find out more about tuition fees and financial support


Each year we offer a number of competitive scholarships to support high quality research projects. Current scholarship opportunities in Philosophy are advertised on our site.

Sign up to be notified when relevant scholarships are advertised

North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership

We are a member of the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership which allows us to offer fully funded scholarships in the Arts and Humanities. The deadline for applications is midnight on 14 January 2019.

Entry requirements

Find out more

You should, as a minimum, have a first or 2.1 honours degree or an equivalent qualification.

International students must demonstrate a sufficiently high standard of English language ability.

We welcome interest from applicants from non-standard backgrounds. We will take subject knowledge, professional experience, publications, or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment into consideration.

See more about our standard entry requirements.


Before applying for a research degree, you should have a preliminary discussion with a member of staff about your project and ideas. To arrange this, please email Professor Joanna Hodge,, the Research Degrees Co-ordinator for Philosophy.

For further information on the application process, contact the Faculty’s research degrees administration team:, +44 (0)161 247 6673.

How to apply

Apply now

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

Before you apply, you should discuss your project with a member of academic staff. You should also complete the Postgraduate Research Degree Supplementary Information form which you will then upload to the ‘Student documents’ section of the application form. This collects key information about your research application and there may be delays if you do not submit this document.

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Postgraduate Study