Philosophy PhD (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)
Global Ethics PhD (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)
We offer promising candidates the opportunity to study in a department that is strongly committed to delivering the highest quality of philosophical research. The Department of Philosophy offers two PhD programmes, the Philosophy PhD and the Global Ethics PhD, which both offer the option to study in a traditional PhD format, or through our PhD by Papers option.
The PhD is the most advanced research degree. It requires you to undertake independent research (under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff) that leads to a thesis of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice. As an alternative to the standard thesis, you have the choice of writing a PhD by Papers - a thesis that consists of three or four self-standing academic articles on different aspects of a single topic. Birmingham is one of the first philosophy departments in the UK to offer this option.
You can study our PhD programmes on campus or by distance learning. Please note that if you are studying with us by distance learning, the programme includes a required visit to campus during your first year of study.
Research interests of staff include:
The Department of Philosophy combines research excellence in all core areas of philosophy, with distinction in number of specialty and interdisciplinary areas, including epistemology and philosophy of mind, ethics and philosophy of religion, metaphysics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mathematics. The Department hosts the John Hick Birmingham Centre for Philosophy of Religion.
Find a supervisor and see our research in:
For full research interests of staff, please read our staff profiles or visit the 'Research' tab on each programme's webpage.
Why study this course?
- World-leading research: The Department of Philosophy was ranked 1st in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework exercise 2021 based on Grade Point Average (Times Higher Education).
- Employability skills: Birmingham’s Philosophy postgraduates develop a range of skills that are highly desirable in the job market, including: articulacy; precise analytical thought; clarity; rigour in formulating complex problems; and the ability to analyse and construct sound arguments.
- Staff expertise: The Department is home to an expanding, energetic and friendly community of philosophers. Our staff produce world-leading research in all core areas of contemporary philosophy and a number of speciality areas.
- Postgraduate community: Our postgraduate students play a very active role in the life of the Department and the atmosphere among students and staff is lively, friendly and supportive. They are important contributors to our on-going research activities, including our research seminars and events, such as our weekly speaker series and various workshops and conferences throughout the year.
Please visit the College of Arts and Law funding page for information on possible funding opportunities: View Website