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Run by Faculty of Arts
Awards available PhD, MPhil
Programme length MPhil: One year full-time;
two years part-time
PhD: three years full-time;
six years part-time

This research degree is also available via distance learning.
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Start date September 2019 January 2020

Programme overview

The Department of Philosophy has a reputation for high-quality research across the subject. We are particularly well known for our strength in logic and the philosophy of science and mathematics, as well as expertise in applied ethics, formal epistemology, phenomenology and the philosophy of medicine.

We have an active postgraduate community and internationally renowned staff who set the agenda and break new ground in their respective fields. Teaching and supervision are informed by the latest research and we are proud of the contributions made by our postgraduates to the department's vibrant research culture.

We have an exciting seminar/colloquium and conference programme, including regular seminars in philosophy and history of science, medicine, mathematics and logic, as well as weekly departmental seminars with visiting speakers, and joint sessions run with the Departments of Physics, Mathematics, English, History, Medicine, Psychology and Politics. We also host the Centre for Science and Philosophy, which promotes the interpretation of science through collaboration with other disciplines.

In the 2017/18 Philosophical Gourmet Report, the leading reputational ranking of Anglophone philosophy departments, the department was rated as follows: first or joint first in the UK for Philosophy of Biology, General Philosophy of Science and Mathematical Logic; second or joint second for Decision, Rational Choice and Game Theory and Philosophy of Mathematics; third in the UK for Philosophy of Social Sciences and Philosophical Logic; and fourth in the UK for Philosophy of Physics.

Individual members of staff have been successful in attracting external and internal research awards. The department currently hosts five major research projects:

Fees for 2019/20

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2019/20 are as follows:

UK/EU: full-time
UK/EU: part-time
Overseas: full-time
Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2019/20

The University of Bristol is part of the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP), which will be offering studentships for September 2019. For information on other funding opportunities, please see the Faculty of Arts funding pages.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

MPhil: An upper second-class degree (or international equivalent). Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of your readiness to pursue a research degree.

PhD: A master's qualification, or be working towards a master's qualification, or international equivalent. Applicants without a master's qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis, provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent). Applicants with a non-traditional background may be considered provided they can demonstrate substantial equivalent and relevant experience that has prepared them to undertake their proposed course of study.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile C
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups

The principal research areas of the Department of Philosophy are:

  • Philosophy of science, mathematics and logic
  • Epistemology, philosophy of mind and psychology
  • Moral and political philosophy
  • Philosophy of medicine and biology.


The majority of graduates from this programme develop careers as academics in higher education, while maintaining the capacity to undertake new and innovative research in the field of philosophy.

Staff profiles

Dr Tudor Baetu, (Lecturer in Philosophy of Science), Epistemology and metaphysics; ethics and political philosophy; history of philosophy; logic and philosophy of mathematics; philosophy and history of science; philosophy of psychology, mind and language

Professor Chris Bertram, (Professor), Global justice, ethics of migration, political philosophy, Rousseau.

Dr Joanna Burch-Brown, (Lecturer), Decision theory; ethics; philosophy of literature; philosophy of social science; political philosophy.

Professor Havi Carel, (Professor), death; film and philosophy; Freud and Merleau-Ponty; Heidegger; phenomenology; phenomenology of illness; philosophy of medicine

Dr Anthony Everett, (Senior Lecturer), Metaphysics; philosophical logic; philosophy of language and mind.

Dr Kentaro Fujimoto, (Lecturer), Mathematical logic; philosophical logic; philosophy of mathematics.

Dr Jonathan Grose, (Teaching Fellow), Decision theory and rationality; philosophy of biology; philosophy of economics; philosophy of social science.

Professor Leon Horsten, (Professor), Epistemology and metaphysics; philosophical logic; philosophy of mathematics.

Professor James Ladyman, (Professor), Epistemology; metaphysics; philosophy of physics.

Dr Seiriol Morgan, (Senior lecturer), Ethics; Heidegger; history of philosophy; Kierkegaard.

Professor Samir Okasha, (Professor), Epistemology and metaphysics; philosophy of biology; philosophy of science.

Dr Giles Pearson, (Senior Lecturer), Aesthetics; ancient philosophy; ethics.

Professor Richard Pettigrew, (Professor), Formal epistemology; logic; philosophy of mathematics; rational choice theory.

Dr Thomas Tahko, (Reader), metaphilosophy; metaphysics and epistemology; metaphysics of science; philosophical logic; philosophy of mind; philosophy of science

Dr Karim Thebault, (Lecturer), Methodological issues arising from the use of analogue models in physical and social science; philosophy of physics particularly time and symmetry in classical and quantum theories of gravity; probability in quantum mechanics; scientific anti-realism.

How to apply
Application deadline:

September 2019 start: 1 August 2019
January 2020 start: 1 December 2019

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • Philosophy:
  • 31% of research is world-leading (4*)
  • 51% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
  • 17% of research is recognised internationally (2*)
  • 1% of research is recognised nationally (1*)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

Get in touch

Postgraduate Admissions Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 8443 Email:

Faculty of Arts
University of Bristol
3-5 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1TB


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