Graduate Diploma in Philosophy
The Department of Philosophy at Durham offers a vibrant environment for postgraduate study. Postgraduate students are invited to participate in a range of activities, including reading groups, research seminars and meetings of EIDOS, our postgraduate philosophy society. Staff members have a very broad range of interests and expertise, allowing our postgraduate students considerable flexibility with regard to the topics they work on. We do everything we can to provide a supportive, friendly and stimulating research environment for all our students.
The Graduate Diploma in Philosophy is a one-year course, designed for students who already have a degree in a subject other than philosophy but who have had no formal training in philosophy. There are various reasons why you might want to do a Diploma. Some of our students take the course as preparation for an MA in Philosophy. Some are not sure whether they want to do an MA and take the Diploma course in order to find out what it is like to study philosophy. Others just want to enjoy learning about philosophy, having not had the chance to do so before. The course can be studied full-time or part-time and the latter option is well suited to those who wish to study philosophy without leaving their employment in order to do so.
- To enable graduates in other disciplines to reach a level of skill and knowledge in philosophy equal to that of a philosophy graduate and prepare them for possible further research in philosophy.
Modules: Aims and Learning Outcomes
The Diploma has two main components:
- Four undergraduate modules. At least two of these must be at Level 3 and no more than one should be at Level 1.
- A dissertation of 12,000 words (double module).
You can choose from a wide range of modules, including:
- Ethics and Values
- Knowledge and Reality
- Introduction to Logic
- Reading Philosophy
- History and Theory of Medicine
- Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science
- Philosophy of Mind
- Philosophy of Religion
- Political Philosophy
- Philosophical Logic
- Moral Theory
- Theory, Literature and Society
- Biomedical Ethics Past and Present
- Science and Religion
- Modern Philosophy I
- Philosophy of the Sciences
- Ancient Philosophies West and East*
- Modern Philosophy II
- Applied Ethics
- Issues in Contemporary Ethics
- Twentieth Century European Philosophy
- Language and Mind
- History of the Body
- Philosophical Issues in Contemporary Science
- History and Philosophy of Psychiatry
- Gender, Film and Society
* Not running in 2012-13
The aims and outcomes of our modules are described in the Student and Departmental Handbook.
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
You will meet the Course Director at the beginning of the Michaelmas term, who will help you to make a sensible choice of modules in the light of what you aim to achieve. After that, in addition to normal undergraduate teaching for each of your undergraduate modules, you are entitled to receive a one-hour small-group or individual tutorial every two weeks with an appropriate member of staff, if you feel you need it. The purpose of this optional extra help is to help you to integrate the disparate parts of the course, should you find this difficult. You are expected to play a full role in the weekly Philosophy MA Work-in-progress Seminar. Here you will learn to listen to, understand, discuss and record a very wide range of philosophical ideas, and to ask questions and explore issues in a philosophical way. You will also be given the opportunity to present your own work, and benefit from the input of your peers in improving pieces of work that you submit for assessment on your courses.
The entry requirements for this programme have been designed to encourage applications from as wide a range of interested and able people as possible, including mature students, who may have been away from university for a long time, and international students. As an applicant for our Graduate Diploma, you will usually have achieved a 2.1 or equivalent in a previous degree but this is not a strict requirement and decisions are made on a case by case basis.
We welcome applications from overseas students. Because instruction is in English, you will need to be proficient in written and spoken English. We typically look for our applicants to have achieved an overall band score of at least 7.0 in the IELTS test (with no element below 6.5) or at least 102 in the TOEFL iBT (Internet Based Test) (with no element under 25). In all cases the relevant certificate should have been issued within two years of the programme start date.
For informal enquiries and further information concerning the course, please contact the Course Director:
For information about fees please click here.
Dr Jan Westerhoff
Department of Philosophy
50 Old Elvet
Durham DH1 3HN
For details of the application procedure, please contact our Postgraduate Secretary:
Mr Jonathon Gilderoy
Department of Philosophy
50 Old Elvet
Tel: +44 191 334 6553
|GDip||9 Months FT / 18 Months PT|
Durham Research Community
Durham University has specialists in many areas of philosophy. If you would like to work with world-leading academics in an area which fascinates you, please have a look through our postgraduate degree programs here.