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Durham University


V5K022 Philosophy GDip Postgraduate Taught 2021


Please note: 2021-22 courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Applicants will be informed of any changes which we are required to make to course entries as a result of Covid-19.

Degree GDip
Mode of study Part Time + Full Time
Duration 9 months full-time / 18 months part-time
Location Durham City
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Course Summary


The Graduate Diploma in Philosophy is a nine month conversion course (18 months part-time), designed for those who already have a degree and wish to pursue an interest in philosophy. No formal training in philosophy is required. The course provides an ideal learning environment if you are interested in progressing to an MA in Philosophy, or simply want the opportunity to learn about philosophy.

Course structure

The Diploma has two main components:

  1. Four undergraduate modules. At least two of these must be at Level 3 and no more than one should be at Level 1.
  2. A dissertation of 12,000 words (double module).

You can choose from a wide range of modules, which in the past have included:

Level 1:

  • Ethics and Values
  • Knowledge and Reality
  • Introduction to Logic
  • Reading Philosophy
  • History and Theory of Medicine
  • Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science

Level 2:

  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Political Philosophy
  • Language, Logic and Reality
  • Moral Theory
  • Theory, Literature and Society
  • Biomedical Ethics Past and Present
  • Science and Religion
  • Modern Philosophy I
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Economics: Theory, Methods and Values
  • Ancient Philosophies West and East 

Level 3:

  • Modern Philosophy II
  • Aesthetics
  • Applied Ethics
  • Issues in Contemporary Ethics
  • Twentieth Century European Philosophy
  • Language and Mind
  • History of the Body
  • Philosophical Issues in Contemporary Science
  • Metaphysics
  • History and Philosophy of Psychiatry
  • Gender, Film and Society
  • 20th Century European Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Psychiatry
  • Ethics in Business Practice
  • Formal and Philosophical Logic

Course Learning and Teaching

You will receive an average of eight timetabled contact hours per week. The contact hours come in the form of lectures, tutorials and seminars, depending on the four modules chosen by you. In addition, you are offered six hours of one-to-one dissertation supervision with an expert in your chosen research area.

Philosophical development involves not only familiarising yourself with a body of knowledge but also acquiring skills in critical reasoning and argumentation. In addition to introducing you to key works in philosophy, the course offers many opportunities for dialogical interaction. Lecture sessions include time for questions, tutorials consist mainly of structured, critical dialogue in a supportive environment, and seminars provide opportunities for extended discussion. Dissertation supervision meetings give guidance on suitable reading, critical discussion of relevant sources, detailed advice on how to write a 12,000 word piece of research, and intensive critical engagement with your philosophical position and argument.

Timetabled contact is only a part of the learning process; its aim is to provide you with the knowledge and skills required to navigate the relevant literature yourself and to pursue independent learning. Lectures and accompanying documents contextualise material and introduce you to topics, positions and debates. At least four hours of additional study per week are recommended for each lecture or seminar, which includes reading and the completion of assignments. Having completed the reading, you will engage in discussion in seminars or return to lecture topics in small group tutorials. These will help you to refine your understanding of the material and to develop the reasoning skills needed to formulate, present, defend and criticise philosophical positions.

You can also benefit from a range of other activities in the department, including the department’s postgraduate philosophy society (EIDOS), weekly research seminars and reading groups, and occasional conferences, workshops and Royal Institute of Philosophy lectures. The programme director remains in contact with you throughout the year and is always available to discuss any issues that might arise, whether personal or academic.

Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

The entry requirements for this course 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. 

Additional requirements: 

At least one example of written work on a philosophical theme (up to 5,000 words).


English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

Fees and Funding

Full Time Fees

EU Student £14,160.00 per year
Home Student £6,025.00 per year
International non-EU Student £14,160.00 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding

Career Opportunities

Department of Philosophy

For information on career options and employability, including the results of the Destination of Leavers survey, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please click here.

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Overseas Visit Schedule

Postgraduate Visits


Department Information

Department of Philosophy


The Department of Philosophy has a large and thriving postgraduate community. We have expertise in an exceptionally broad range of areas, including metaphysics, aesthetics, ethics, feminism, phenomenology, and the history and philosophy of science and medicine. We are, moreover, home to the Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS). Our postgraduate students take part in a wide range of activities, including reading groups, research seminars and meetings of Eidos, our highly active postgraduate philosophy society. Every year, we host numerous events, including workshops, major conferences and talks by leading figures such as Noam Chomsky and Peter Singer. There is a constant stream of visitors to the Department, and a vibrant atmosphere forteaching and research.


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