This course offers you a rare chance to study Western as well as Eastern philosophy at postgraduate level. For one year, you will be involved in the study of different philosophical concepts, theories and approaches to issues concerning the mind and consciousness, action and politics, ethics and aesthetics, society and culture, globalism, power, territory and many more.
As an MA student, you will have the chance during the spring and summer months to put this to work in a sustained piece of independent research.
You can take any five modules of your choice. The modules are specifically designed to provide an overview of current work in a particular area and are aimed at first-year postgraduate students. They each involve set readings and writing assignments. It is expected that you will already be (broadly) familiar with some key philosophical concepts or approaches on starting this course. If you feel that you have some holes to fill, you can ask your lecturer to suggest some introductory readings.
For further details and module descriptions, see the Postgraduate College Calendar.
Why Choose This Course
We are the only department in Ireland (and one of the only departments in Europe) offering you the opportunity to study in three distinct philosophical traditions: Asian philosophy, Continental philosophy and analytic philosophy. Our extensive course allows you to acquire a unique comparative philosophical education. Members of our teaching staff have a distinctive international profile, coming from Ireland, the UK, Germany, Italy and the USA. Webring multiple perspectives to bear on our shared philosophical concerns, and we create a diverse and energetic environment within which to conduct philosophical research.
Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.
In order to be admitted to the MA programme in Philosophy, a candidate should have at least a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent in Philosophy or cognate discipline. Successful applicants must demonstrate relevant skills in writing and critical thinking (by receiving indicative marks on previous assessments, for example).
It is possible for candidates who have a primary degree but do not fully qualify for entry into the programme to undertake a Masters Qualifying Examination or a Higher Diploma in Arts. This qualification will enable prospective students to apply for this MA programme, though it will not grant automatic acceptance to it.
If a significant amount of time has passed since the candidate received their undergraduate degree, it may be possible to appeal for entrance based on work or other degree experience. These cases will be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) carefully by the Graduate Studies Committee on a case by case basis.
It is recommended that candidates who are uncertain whether they qualify consult with the department in advance of submitting an application. All applicants are subject to the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee in Philosophy.
Applicants will be required to answer specific supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland:
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
For more information please contact the International Office.
How Do I Apply
1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.
2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.
Note: Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.
3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.
- Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
- Any supplementary items requested for your course.
Please log into the online application portal for more details.
4. Application processing timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.
For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates below.
Questions on how to apply?
Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.
Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:
You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.
Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
Please submit a copy of a short analytical/critical/report writing sample or essay (1,000 words approx.)
Please add the name and email address of 2 referees.
The closing date for non-EU applications is 15 June.
Modules are assessed by written essays and there are no final exams. During the second teaching period (January-March), you will prepare a detailed review of relevant literature under the direction of a staff member. The literature review is written in preparation for your minor dissertation. The grade for the MA is based on assessment for modules, literature review and minor dissertation, with a total of 1,800 marks awarded. Each taught module counts for 200 marks (1,000 in total), the literature review also counts for 200 marks, and the minor dissertation for 600 marks. Taught modules are assessed by written work totalling 5,000 words, which may take the form of more than one piece of work.
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.
Additional Teaching Mode Information
The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.
Start Date: 7 September 2020
Post Course Info
Skills and Careers Information
Throughout the course, we stress that philosophy is not just something that you learn about, but rather, it is also something that you do. To this end, we offer a number of courses that will enable you to develop philosophical skills of your own, and we aim to foster the skills of analysis, creativity and discovery.
You will learn critical thinking, professional writing, construction and evaluation of arguments, communication skills, information management, design and planning, research and investigation. Employers in diverse fields value the skills of analysis, creativity and discovery that we aim to foster, and so a degree in philosophy can be the starting point for many different career paths.