The application cycle for entry in October 2017 has now CLOSED. The deadline for all graduate courses in the Faculty of Philosophy for October 2017entry was 12 noon UK time on Friday 6 January 2017, and no late applications will be accepted. The application cycle for admissions to graduate philosophy courses to start in October 2018 should open on 1 September 2017. An Open Day will be held on Wednesday 15 March 2017 for all successful applicants who are offered a place on any Faculty of Philosophy graduate course for entry in October 2017. This deadline applies to all the Faculty’s graduate courses, and no applications can be considered beyond it.
Below you will find information about the graduate courses offered by the Oxford Philosophy Faculty, including the Faculty’s flagship two-year Master’s course, the BPhil in Philosophy. For information about the application process, please visit the Admissions Procedure and Entry Requirements webpage.
Introduction to graduate study in Philosophy
Each year, around 50 graduate students in philosophy are admitted to Oxford. About half are admitted for the Bachelor of Philosophy in Philosophy course, the “BPhil” (note that, despite its name, the BPhil is a Master's level, postgraduate degree, equivalent to a two-year MPhil) and between five and eight students are admitted for each of the Faculty’s specialised Master of Studies courses, in Ancient Philosophy and Philosophy of Physics.
The aim of the Faculty’s graduate programmes is to prepare students for an academic career in philosophy. The usual progression through the Oxford philosophy graduate programme is to take the BPhil or one of the specialist MSt courses and then to continue research on the DPhil, which is examined by a thesis of approximately 75,000 words. Students who progress from either specialist MSt course must spend one year as a Probationary Research Student (“PRS”) before applying for full DPhil status. Typically, a candidate’s thesis for the BPhil or the MSt in Ancient Philosophy will provide a basis for his or her DPhil thesis. There is no thesis element to the MSt in Philosophy of Physics, but candidates who progress to the DPhil from that course are required to write a 20,000 word thesis during their year as a PRS. For all these degrees the student must be a matriculated member of a college, and must normally reside in Oxford for at least one or two years.
A number of students are admitted each year directly to the Doctor of Philosophy course (the “DPhil”, the Faculty’s doctoral programme), initially as Probationary Research Students. These students will typically have already completed substantial graduate work in philosophy, usually equivalent to that required for the BPhil.
It is also possible to study philosophy at Oxford at graduate level without being enrolled for a degree. In order to do this, you must apply for entry as a Recognised Student.