Explore this course:
Department of Philosophy,
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
An opportunity to explore this cutting-edge field, where philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, linguistics and anthropology come together to discover how the mind works.
You’ll be based in the Department of Philosophy but free to take relevant modules in the departments of psychology, linguistics, human communication sciences, archaeology and music.
With an extensive programme of events and research seminars, excellent facilities and more than 20 expert cognitive scientists working across the University, Sheffield is an exceptional place to study this exciting field.
We accept medical students who wish to intercalate their studies. Find out more on the Medical School's website.
- Cognitive Studies Seminar
Cognitive science is a research field in which philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, computer science, and anthropology come together to discover how the mind works. This module aims to:30 credits
1. Introduce students to major theoretical issues in cognitive science.
2. Help students to see how empirical evidence drawn from different disciplines is relevant to key issues in cognitive science.
3. Equip students with an understanding of the philosophical importance of cognitive science.
Contact department for more information.60 credits
Students are able to select modules from the Philosophy, Psychology, Linguistics, Human Communication, Archaeology and Music Departments. Below you can find descriptions of some modules frequently taken by Cognitive Studies MA students.
- Society and Culture in the Later Middle Ages
This module provides an introduction of the archaeology of later medieval Europe(c. AD 1100-1500), focusing on the regions of north-western Europe, but occasionally drawing on material from the lands around the Mediterranean. It explores many of the important theoretical issues relevant to early medieval archaeology, and also a range of problem-solving strategies within the discipline. The module consists of two elements: a series of lectures introducing important themes and debates within the medieval archaeology, and series of seminars that consider specific case-studies and key sites.15 credits
- The history of the human animal relationship
This unit will provide the students with an understanding of the main stages in the evolution of the human-animal relationship, from the Palaeolithic to modern times. The importance of animals in the history of human societies as well as its variation in time and space will be discussed. The unit will cover ecological and economic as well as social, ritual and symbolic aspects and, though focussed on archaeology, will also make use of ethnographic, historical, literary and iconographic sources. It will provide a necessary integration to modules dealing with the methods used to study past animals and those that are period-based.15 credits
- Investigating ancient environments
This module enhances postgraduate students' understanding of the ways in which archaeologists reconstruct past environments. Through a combination of different learning experiences (lectures, student-led seminars, practical classes and directed independent study) students will explore a variety of contemporary and ancient environments as well as enhance their understanding of the methods and professional standards of environmental reconstruction. Seminars and assessments will encourage students to apply the concepts and methods introduced in the module to their specific areas of interest. The module will enable students from different postgraduate degree programmes to develop an understanding of environmental analysis that is relevant to their own research interests.This module introduces the ways in which archaeologists reconstruct past environments. Through a combination of different learning experiences (lectures, student-led seminars, practical classes and directed independent study) students will explore a variety of contemporary and ancient environments as well as enhance their understanding of the methods and professional standards of environmental reconstruction. Seminars and assessments will encourage students to apply the concepts and methods introduced in the module to their specific areas of interest. Emphasis is upon the most common analytical techniques. The intent is to provide a working knowledge of many techniques, and awareness of others, which require a mor15 credits
- Humans, Animals, Monsters and Machines: From Gulliver's Travels to King Kong
This module examines imaginings of the 'human' in relation to machines and animals (and those monsters that are neither one thing nor the other) from the eighteenth century to the twentieth. We will focus mainly on fiction, its cultural contexts and on readings from the period's key thinkers of human being, alongside more recent theories of humans, posthumans and animals. The aim is to encourage critical engagement with this key issue and to facilitate a deeper appreciation of the period's literature, culture and politics, including the relationship of discourses of technology and species to discourses of class, gender and race.30 credits
- Children's Learning
This module promotes student skills in distance/e-learning, participating in on-line activity and use of e-resources. It presents theories of cognitive development, how these inform our understanding of children's learning and the development of educational practice, and the interaction of learning and language. The individual differences in learning abilities within children in school is considered, including those children who may have significant difficulties across all learning and those who may have specific difficulty with certain aspects of learning. Course content is delivered across a continuum to allow students to develop from their own level of existing knowledge and understanding.15 credits
- The Social and Applied Psychology of Music
This module explores the psychology of music in a variety of settings, from the everyday uses of music to music in education and in therapeutic settings. The emphasis in this module lies in two related areas: the use of music psychology to help solve the practical problems of people’s lives (in terms of wellbeing, therapy, education and development) and also to explore music as a social phenomenon, that is understanding the psychology of music as a social and interactive facet of human life.15 credits
- Philosophical Foundations
This module will introduce students to key ideas and arguments in philosophy, across a wide range of debates such as moral and political philosophy, logic, metaphysics, and epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind and philosophy of language. Students keen to consolidate their foundational understandings in Philosophy are strongly advised to take this module.30 credits
- The Memory and The Self
Our memories of our personal past (i.e. our episodic memories) play animportant role in our lives. They help us perform mundane tasks like finding our keys, butthey arguably also form the foundation of our sense of self and personal identity. They let usknow who we are by recording what we've done and experienced. In this module we will tryto better understand what episodic memory is and to what extent it grounds our understandingof the self. This module will introduce students to the cognitive science of memory and tocore issues in the philosophical foundations of cognitive science.In the first part of the module, we will look at methodological issues that arise when weattempt to describe the mind's structure within philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience. Inthe second part of the module, we will look towards the cognitive sciences to betterunderstand what sort of thing episodic memory is. In the final part of the module, we willconsider the relationship between episodic memory and our sense of the self.This is an interdisciplinary module. Understanding how the mind is structured is a complexproject. In order to make progress we need to appeal to both empirical and philosophicalwork (and work that blurs this distinction). We'll read scientific and philosophical papers;however, no prior knowledge of cognitive science (or neuroscience) will be presumed.30 credits
- Reference and Truth
This module is an introductory course in the Philosophy of Language. The overall focus of the course will be on the notion of meaning. The first part of the course will attempt to shed light on the notion of meaning by investigating different accounts of the meanings of some types of linguistic expressions, in particular names (for instance 'Nelson Mandela') and definite descriptions (for instance 'the inventor of the zip', 'the first minister of Scotland'). We will then look at an influential approach to understanding what it is for words to have meaning and for people to mean things by their words, one due to Paul Grice. And we will examine the role and understanding of conventions and how someone can say something and yet communicate something very different from its conventional meaning. We will also explore the phenomena of 'implicature' where people can communicate more (or something different from) what they literally say.30 credits
- Guided Reading
This module is intended to enable students to develop a research project of their own, in a flexible manner. Each student on the module will be assigned a supervisor, with whom they will meet for one hour every two weeks. They will also be encouraged to attend those reading groups run in the department (of which there are typically about 10 per semester) which fit with their project. The objectives of the module are (i) to identify a suitable research topic, in consultation with the supervisor (ii) to develop this project through supervisions and drafts (iii) to complete the project.30 credits
- Advanced Political Philosophy
This module aims will investigate a broad range of topics and issues in political philosophy and explore these questions in some detail. It will include both historical and foundational matters and recent state of the art research.30 credits
- Utopia, Reform and Democracy
Humanity faces a recurrent political challenge: the task of steering itself towards a sustainable and just future. A crucial part of this challenge involves developing a vision of change, of an achievable good society: a vision of the harbour we are aiming for as we sail through these troubled waters. But how are those visions to be enacted in the world? What theories of change lay at the heart of various philosophical visions? This module will introduce students to some of the major schools of thought - historical and contemporary - regarding the relationship between social theory and political practice.30 credits
- Ancient Chinese Philosophy
This course will introduce students to ancient Chinese philosophy through a study of some of its classical texts.30 credits
- Topics in Social Philosophy
This module will introduce students to some contemporary issues in social philosophy30 credits
- Moral Theory and Moral Psychology
This course examines the relationship of moral theory and moral psychology. We discuss the relationship of science and ethics, examine the nature of self-interest, altruism, sympathy, the will, and moral intuitions, explore psychological arguments for and against familiar moral theories including utilitarianism, virtue ethics, deontology and relativism, and confront the proposal that understanding the origins of moral thought 'debunks' the authority of ethics. In doing so, we will engage with readings from historical philosophers, including Hobbes, Butler, Hume, Smith, Kant, Mill, Nietzsche and Moore, as well as contemporary authors in philosophy and empirical psychology.30 credits
- Philosophy of the Arts
This module introduces students to a broad range of issues in the philosophy of art. The first half asks 'What is art?'. It examines three approaches: expression theories, institutional accounts, and the cluster account. This is followed by two critiques focusing on the lack of women in the canon and problems surrounding 'primitive' art. The evolutionary approach to art is discussed, and two borderline cases: craft and pornography. The second half examines four issues: cultural appropriation of art, pictorial representation, aesthetic experience and the everyday, and the supposed link between artistic creativity and madness.30 credits
- Free Will & Religion
This module focuses on philosophical questions about the relationship between free will and religion. Historically, theistic religions have been dogged by questions concerning the nature of human agency, for instance on account of the traditional conception of God as omniscient and hence as having full foreknowledge. The module will examine philosophical conceptions of the relationship between religious states of affairs and positions regarding the status of human action, by considering relevant historical developments within theology and philosophy.30 credits
- Political Philosophy Research Seminar
Students on this module will attend a two-hour seminar every week (except reading week). The objectives of the module are to: (i) read and discuss certain key texts in political philosophy; and (ii) have each student develop a writing project, on which they will be evaluated. The selection of texts will reflect the expertise of the staff involved. The seminars will be discussion orientated and students will on occasion be expected to deliver informal presentations. Students are entitled to advisory tutorials with the staff members involved, depending on which topic they want to focus on in their writing assignment.30 credits
- Fundamentals of Cognition
The module provides an overview of the fundamental issues in cognitive neuroscience and its contributory disciplines. The approach taken is in terms of its development over the past 50 years, providing an overview of the key concepts in the information processing approach and in cognitive science, followed by an analysis of the advances that have been made recently using cognitive neuroscience techniques. Topics include: fundamental issues in cognition (memory, attention, learning, language); theoretical approaches including cognitive neuropsychology, symbolic and sub-symbolic modelling; and methodological issues.15 credits
- Fundamentals of Neuroscience
The module provides an introduction to core aspects of contemporary neuroscience, and it will consider the current state of knowledge in the field, central theoretical issues and key practical approaches. Topics that are discussed include: neural signalling, sensation and sensory processing, movement and its central control, the 'changing brain' (development and plasticity in the nervous system) and complex brain functions.15 credits
- Computational Neuroscience 1: Biologically Grounded Models
This module starts with a primer on neuroscience and the role of computational neuroscience. The next part of the module covers abstract neuron models and introduce classic computational principles and learning rules related to neural networks. From there we move to more biologically grounded models and deal with single neuron models including leaky-integrate-and-fire and conductance-based neurons. Finally, we examine higher levels of description, in particular systems in context of reinforcement learning. While the emphasis throughout the module is on methodological issues, how models can be built, tested and validated at each level, we will also draw connections to specific brain regions to motivate and illustrate the models.15 credits
- Mathematical Modelling and Research Skills
This module develops basic skills required to understand and participate in research in computational and cognitive neuroscience. The course begins with a refresher course in reading and writing skills, understanding of quantitative data and basic algebra and calculus. The course moves on to cover more advanced mathematical modelling techniques including matrix algebra, ordinary differential equations and optimisation methods. Programming skills are introduced via the MatLab modelling language. All topics are illustrated by application to concrete modelling examples relevant to contemporary neuroscience.15 credits
- Neuroimaging 1
This module provides an overview of neuroimaging techniques and fundamental data analysis methodologies. Specifically, it will focus on the functional imaging techniques of electrophysiology, EEG, and MEG, optical methods and calcium imaging, each of which will be introduced in the lecture component of the module. In the associated lab classes, students will gain first-hand experience of analysing and processing data sets arising from these techniques.15 credits
- Human Evolution: Theory and Practice in Research
This seminar module will present both historical and current issues in the study of human evolution, including new hominid fossil descriptions, debates over interpretations and explanatory models of primate and hominid palaeobiology, theoretical and philosophical topics in evolution, and practical and technological advances in early hominid fossil and archaeological interpretation. In some weeks, students will be required to prepare materials to lead the seminars, and occasional group work exercises will be introduced. The seminar topics will change from year to year to reflect new research, staff projects, guest lecturer availability, and student interests.15 credits
Western man has become a confessing animal, or so Michel Foucault contended. This module interrogates confessional acts in literature and culture, beginning with St Augustine's Confessions (often considered the first autobiography in the Western tradition) and focusing in particular upon eighteenth- and nineteenth-century forms. Students will explore confession across a range of contexts: sacred and secular law, medicine, self-improvement, scandal and sensation. A variety of genres will be considered, from autobiography to fiction, prison writing to medical case studies, periodical print to the confession 'album'. Authors will include Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas De Quincey, Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Oscar Wilde.30 credits
- Memory and Trauma in Contemporary Literature
The fictional narratives of Greco-Roman antiquity play a foundational role in the Western literary tradition. In this module students will encounter the extant masterworks of Chariton, Xenophon of Ephesus, Achilles Tatius, Longus, Heliodorus, and Apuleius - authors once widely read in the ancient world - as well as two Jewish and Christian examples: Joseph and Aseneth and the Acts of Paul and Thecla. The ancient novels, the earliest examples of the genre, are a ripe literary field to explore the construction of gender, human sexualities, the relation of lovers to family and society, and the intersection of eroticism with ancient religious sensibilities.30 credits
- American Nightmares: Socio-political Discourses in American Gothic Literature
Have you ever wondered why there are so many haunted 'Indian' burial grounds in Stephen King's stories or why none of Poe's heroines ever survive? Have you been struck by how often American socio-political discourse sound like Gothic fictions? The Gothic is a pervasive mode in America, one which expresses and negotiates a variety of social anxieties such as racial identity, patriarchy and the rise of feminism, and class antagonism. This course will examine a variety of Gothic texts from the 1800s onward to consider how they express and negotiate various socio-political anxieties and shifts. We will also contextualize the narratives by reviewing the relevant socio-political ideologies and debates contemporary to the texts. In doing so, the course will clarify the numerous chasms between the American ideal and the brutal American reality.30 credits
- Murderers and Degenerates: Contextualising the fin de siècle Gothic
The module explores three related case histories which help to establish how the literary Gothic shaped particular fin de siècle anxieties. To that end the module examines accounts of Joseph Merrick (aka The Elephant Man), newspaper reports of the Whitechapel murders of 1888, and the trials of Oscar Wilde. It is by exploring how the Gothic infiltrated medical, criminological, and legal discourses that we can see how a narrative which centred on the pathologisation of masculinity was elaborated at the time. These case histories will be read alongside Jekyll and Hyde (1886) and Dracula (1897) as two of the key literary texts which also examine medicine, the law, and crucially the urban and gender contexts which in turn shape the three case histories.30 credits
- Spoken and Written Language
This module focuses on the nature of spoken and written language development and difficulties. The relationship between speech, language and literacy is explored. Topics include speech and literacy development, phonological awareness, reading and reading comprehension, writing, spelling and cross-linguistic issues. Theoretical models and practical applications to supporting literacy development in pre and school age children will be studied. Students can choose to either follow introductory units in phonetics and speech development if new to these topics or extend their existing knowledge of phonetics and examine connected speech and prosody.15 credits
- Literacy : Difficulties and Intervention
This module is designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore how and why individuals struggle to learn to read and write with fluency and confidence. It will take a developmental perspective and examine pre-cursors to reading difficulties, issues in the early years, as well as the types of difficulty that persist into secondary school and beyond. We will cover both widely-discussed diagnoses such as dyslexia, as well as reading difficulties that do not fit so neatly into a single category. The module will discuss the behaviour associated with literacy difficulties, as well as what we know about evidence-based intervention.15 credits
- Quantitative Research Techniques
This module provides a research training in quantitative research techniques relevant to the study of musical behaviour. The module consists of teaching and learning of statistical techniques in a computer-lab setting, plus a group project in which an empirical study is partially designed and fully executed and analysed. The project is assessed by means of an individual report of 6,000 words.30 credits
- Qualitative Data Collection
This module provides a research training in qualitative research data collection relevant to the study of musical behaviour. The module consists of teaching and learning of qualitative research design techniques, including ethical consideration and evaluation of methods through pilot studies and critique of existing research. The module is assessed through a portfolio of qualitative data collection tools, including questionnaires and interview schedules, which the student has designed, piloted and evaluated.15 credits
- Statistics in Music Psychology
This module provides a research training in quantitative research techniques relevant to the study of musical behaviour. The module consists of teaching and learning of statistical techniques in a computer-lab setting. The learning is assessed by means of a portfolio of coursework of 3000 words.15 credits
- Living Well, living badly
This module will introduce students to a range of topics within the philosophy of well-being, understanding the branch of ethics concerned with what is good for us or what makes our lives go well. It will cover conceptual, theoretical, historical and applied topics relating to well-being30 credits
- Global Justice
What are the demands of justice at the global level? On this module we will examine this question from the perspective of analytic, Anglo-American political philosophy. We will start by looking at some debates about the nature of global justice, such as whether justice demands the eradication of global inequalities. We will then turn to various questions of justice that arise at the global level, potentially including: how jurisdiction over territory might be justified; whether states have a right to exclude would-be immigrants; whether reparations are owed for past international injustices such as colonialism; and how to identify responsibilities for combating global injustice.30 credits
- Philosophy of Law
Law is a pervasive feature of modern societies and governs most aspects of our lives. This module is about some of the philosophical questions raised by life under a legal system. The first part of the module investigates the nature of law. Is law simply a method of social control? For example, the group calling itself Islamic State issued commands over a defined territory and backed up these commands with deadly force. Was that a legal system? Or is law necessarily concerned with justice? Do legal systems contain only rules or do they also contain underlying principles? Is 'international law' really law?30 credits
The second part of the module investigates the relationship between law and individual rights. What kinds of laws should we have? Do we have the moral right to break the law through acts of civil disobedience? What is the justification of punishment? Is there any justification for capital punishment? Are we right to legally differentiate between intended crimes (like murder) and unintended crimes (like manslaughter), or does this involve the unjustified punishment of 'thought crime'? Are we right to legally differentiate between murder and attempted murder, despite the fact that both crimes involve the same intent to kill?
- Pain, Pleasure, and Emotions
In this module, we will discuss the nature of affective states like pleasures, pains, and emotions. We will focus on three problems: (1) The constitution problem: What all and only affective states have in common? E.g., what makes pains and joys, but not visual experiences, affective states? (2) The distinction problem: What makes each type of affective state the particular type it is? E.g., what makes an orgasm a sensory pleasure and fear an emotion? (3)The problem of affective phenomenology: Some affective states feel good, others feel bad. In virtue of what affective states have this distinctive phenomenal character?30 credits
This module introduces students to Phenomenology - a philosophical tradition in continental European philosophy, which is closely related to Existentialism. Phenomenology seeks to understand the human condition. Its starting-point is everyday experience, where this includes both mundane and less ordinary forms of experience such as those typically associated with conditions such as schizophrenia. Whilst Phenomenology encompasses a diverse range of thinkers and ideas, there tends to be a focus on consciousness as embodied, situated in a particular physical, social, and cultural environment, essentially related to other people, and existing in time. (This is in contrast to the disembodied, universal, and isolated notion of the subject that comes largely from the Cartesian tradition.) There is a corresponding emphasis on the world we inhabit as a distinctively human environment that depends in certain ways on us for its character and existence. Some of the central topics addressed by Phenomenology include: embodiment; ageing and death; the lived experience of oppression; human freedom; our relations with and knowledge of, other people; the experience of time; and the nature of the world. In this module, we will discuss a selection of these and related topics, examining them through the work of key figures in the Phenomenological Movement, such as Edmund Husserl, Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Frantz Fanon, and Edith Stein.30 credits
- Moral and Other Values Research Seminar
This module will have a two-hour seminar every week except writing week. The objectives of the module are (i) to read and discuss certain key short philosophical texts in ethics and aesthetics; and (ii) to have each student develop a writing project, on which he or she will be evalulated for the course. The selection of texts will reflect the expertise of the staff involved, and interests of the students enrolled. The meetings are discussion orientated and students will be expected to give informal presentations on occasion. Students are entitled to advisory tutorials with the staff members involved, depending on which text they want to focus on in their writing assignment.30 credits
- Philosophical Problems I
The detailed content of this course will vary from year to year depending upon the member of staff teaching it. For details contact the Department of Philosophy.30 credits
- Philosophy of Psychology
This course provides an in-depth look at a selection of issues in contemporary philosophy of psychology. Philosophy of psychology is concerned with such questions as : What is the structure and organisation of the human mind? Is the mind one big homogenous thing, or is it made up of smaller interacting components? If it has components, what sort are they and how are they interrelated? What aspects of our minds are uniquely, or distinctively human? What is the cognitive basis for such capacities as our capacity for language, rationality,science, mathematics, cultural artefacts, altruism, cooperation, war, morality and art? To what extent are the concepts, rules, biases, and cognitive processes that we possess universal features of all human beings and to what extent are they culturally (or otherwise) variable? Do infants (non-human) animals, and individuals with cognitive deficits have minds, and if so, what are they like? To what extent are these capacities learned as opposed to innately given? How important is evolutionary theory to the study of the mind? What is the Self? What are concepts? Is all thought conceptual? Is all thought conscious? What is consciousness? This course will discuss a selection of these and related issues by looking at the work of philosophers, psychologists, and others working within the cognitive sciences more generally.30 credits
- Computational Neuroscience 2: Theoretical Models
The module builds on ideas developed in Computational Neuroscience 1 to explore networks of neurons, neural circuits and their dynamics, and models of complete brain systems. As in Computational Neuroscience 1, this is taught using both mechanistic (bottom-up) and theoretical (top-down) perspectives but, in this module, emphasis is placed on computational models of neuronal networks and systems.15 credits
- Neuroimaging 2
This module provides an overview of neuroimaging techniques and fundamental data analysis methodologies employed, specifically those based around functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The two aspects of neuroimaging (techniques and data analysis) will be taught over the semester. For neuroimaging techniques, after introducing the physical principles underlying fMRI, a description of fMRI-based methods for mapping brain structure and function will follow. For neuroimaging data analysis, the general linear model methodology will be introduced based on the software SPM (Statistical Parametric Mapping), which is one of the most widely used packages for fMRI data analysis. Issues concerning fMRI experimental de-sign and efficiency will also be discussed and taught in depth.15 credits
- Language and Communication
This module describes children's development of language and communication, including aspects of social and emotional development, as well as spoken language. The analysis of different components of language will be explored. Individual differences in language and communication skills are discussed. Theoretical perspectives and research findings about children's language and communication difficulties will be evaluated. Implications for practice are explored, including intervention strategies. Course content is delivered across a continuum to allow students to develop from their own level of existing knowledge and understanding.15 credits
- Communication Diversity & Difficulties: A
This module allows students to select up to three topics in the field of children's language and communication for more detailed study. Topics may include the following: autism spectrum disorders, language and communication in the early years, literacy difficulties, developmental language disorders (DLD), language and behaviour, language and communication in adolescence, and multilingualism. Theoretical perspectives and research findings within each topic are evaluated. Implications for practice are explored. Course content is delivered across a continuum to allow students to develop from their own level of existing knowledge and understanding.15 credits
- Communication, Diversity & Difficulties: B
This module allows students to select up to six topics in the field of children's language and communication for more detailed study. Topics may include the following: autism spectrum disorders, language and communication in the early years, literacy difficulties, developmental language disorders (DLD), language and behaviour, language and communication in adolescence, and multilingualism. Theoretical perspectives and research findings within each topic are evaluated. Implications for practice are explored. Course content is delivered across a continuum to allow students to develop from their own level of existing knowledge and understanding.30 credits
The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.
An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses. You'll find out what makes us special.
You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour.Open days and campus tours
- 1 year full-time
- 2 years part-time
You’ll learn through lectures, seminars and tutorials.
Assessment varies depending on modules. For philosophy modules, you’ll write a long essay for each module. You will also write a final dissertation. If you’re going on to a PhD, you may choose to write a PhD proposal.
Department of Philosophy
We pride ourselves on the diversity of our taught modules and the high quality of our teaching. Our staff are among the best in the world at what they do. They're active researchers so your lectures and seminars are informed, relevant and exciting.
We'll support you in thinking carefully, analytically and creatively about core and contemporary debates in a range of philosophical traditions, as well as key debates in cognitive studies and political theory.
We provide one-to-one supervision for your dissertation and your philosophy essays, to help you develop as an independent researcher.
We also offer support and advice for students who decide to apply for a PhD at Sheffield or elsewhere, and our postgraduate training seminars include sessions on PhD funding and on non-academic jobs for philosophers.
Our staff and students use philosophy to engage with real world issues. You will be able to use what you learn to make a difference in the community, through projects like Philosophy in the City, an innovative and award-winning programme that enables students to teach philosophy in schools, homeless shelters and centres for the elderly.
Our students run a thriving Philosophy Society and our Centre for Engaged Philosophy pursues research into questions of fundamental political and social importance, from criminal justice and social inclusion to climate ethics, all topics that are covered in our teaching.
Philosophy changes our perspective on the world, and equips and motivates us to make a difference.
Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree in an arts and humanities or social sciences subject.
We also welcome applications from applicants with other degree subjects. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss whether your previous degree and experience would be acceptable.
We also accept medical students who wish to intercalate their studies.
Overall IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or equivalent.
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.
Fees and funding
If you qualify, you may be able to get financial support through the University's studentships and fee waivers, and the AHRC Block Grant Partnership.
You can apply now using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.
+44 114 222 0587
Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.
Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.