The application cycle for October 2020 entry is now CLOSED and no late applications are being considered. Admission for entry in October 2021 will open in September 2020. An Open Day will be held on Wednesday 18 March 2020 for all applicants who are offered a place on any Faculty of Philosophy graduate course for entry in October 2020.
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 page.
Introduction to graduate study in Philosophy
Each year, around 75 graduate students in philosophy are admitted to Oxford. About two-fifths 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. There are also a number of students admitted to the Master of Studies in Practical Ethics.
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 one of the specialist MSt courses 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.
For a detailed description of the entry requirements for each course, please click on the relevant course link below:
- DPhil in Philosophy
- BPhil in Philosophy
- MSt in Ancient Philosophy
- MSt in Philosophy of Physics
- MSt in Practical Ethics
An Open Day for all applicants who are offered a place for October 2020 will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday 18 March 2020 at the Philosophy Centre.
For the latest information on fees charged by the University, and living costs, please visit the Fees and Funding page.
Please visit our Graduate Funding page to identify various sources of funding for the Philosophy Faculty’s graduate programmes.
Please read through our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Admissions pages.