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Department of Philosophy



The Department of Philosophy at Durham is one of six departments that make up the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. We are an open and friendly department, which accommodates work in 'analytic', 'Continental' and non-Western philosophical traditions. Current research by our staff and postgraduate students spans a notably diverse range of philosophical, historical and interdisciplinary topics. It is focused around the activities of five research groups/clusters:

The department is home to several major research projects, funded by substantial grants from the AHRC, the European Research Council, Wellcome and other external bodies. We are also closely associated with various university research centres. Every year, we host numerous events, such as research seminars, Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures, workshops and major conferences. So there is a constant stream of visitors to the department, and a vibrant atmosphere for teaching and research. Durham has one of the largest Philosophy postgraduate communities in the UK, with around fifty to sixty taught and research postgraduates studying here at any one time. All undergraduate and postgraduate students who join us are welcomed as full members of our research community, and can expect the very highest standard of education. In the 2013 Complete University Guide, we are ranked overall fifth in the UK, and fourth for graduate prospects. According to the 2013 Guardian University Guide, we are joint first in the UK for employability (with 76% of our graduates in graduate-level jobs or further study six months after graduation). In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, 90% of our research was judged to be of international quality, with 55% internationally excellent or world-leading.

Postgraduate Study in 2014/15

You can now apply (online) to study in the next academic year. Please contact the PG admissions secretary ( for more information.


Opportunities for Post-Doctoral Research


Two deadlines for post-doctoral opportunities at Durham are approaching in March 2014:

1. Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships in Philosophy, deadline 6 March 2014, details available here. For eligibility restrictions see herePlease note that we have an internal deadline of 20th January.

2. International Newton Fellowships (overseas applicants), deadline 10 March 2014, details available here.

Any enquiries can be directed to

CHESS Research Opportunities


The Department of Philosophy at Durham University and Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS) are inviting applications for two full-time, three-year PhD positions in philosophy of the natural, social and policy sciences, starting in October, 2014.

The Durham Emergence Project


The Durham Emergence Project is now underway, an interdisciplinary research initiative involving collaboration between philosophers and physicists, made possible through the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation. See here for full details.

New Appointments


We are very pleased to welcome Alison Wylie, Clare Mac CumhaillMatthew Tugby, and Rachael Wiseman to the department, who all joined us in September/October 2013.

Nancy Cartwright and Julian Reiss joined the department in autumn 2012, to set up a new Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS) which is broadly concerned with the role of the sciences and humanities in society. In addition, Wendy Parker joined the Centre in May 2013. There will be a number of PhD studentships associated with the new Centre and we welcome enquiries from prospective applicants:

See forthcoming CHESS events here or, for the full CHESS website, see here.

Forthcoming events

  • 01st May 2014: James Clarke (York) - Hegel on Atomism
  • 08th May 2014: Peter Kail (Oxford) - Hume’s Manifest Contradiction
  • 15th -17th May 2014: Perspectives on the First Person Pronoun “I”: Looking at Metaphysics, Linguistics and Neuroscience.
  • 15th May 2014: Szabó Gábor (Eotvos Lorand University) - Noncommutative common causal explanation and the Bell inequalities


Contact Details

Department of Philosophy
Durham University
50 Old Elvet
Durham DH1 3HN
Tel: 0191 334 6550
Fax: 0191 334 6551

AHRC Funding

AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership (NBDTP) for PhD and Masters funding. Up to 50 fully-supported studentships with integrated specialised training opportunities. These can include the possibility of working with strategic partners outside the university sector.

Click here... for other Faculty research funding opportunities for Masters and Doctoral study

Download the 2014Northern Bridge Application/Nomination form here...

The Philosophy of E. J. Lowe: A Memorial Conference

Sunday 27th July – Tuesday 29th July

Professor E. J. (Jonathan) Lowe (1950-2014) spent the last thirty four years of his life at Durham University, during which time he established himself as one or the world’s leading metaphysicians and inspired philosophers all over the world. This conference will celebrate his life and work. Speakers will engage with various different aspects of his philosophy.

The conference will begin at 2.00 pm on Sunday 27th July and conclude at 6.00 pm on Tuesday 29th July. On the Sunday, there will be an opening lecture followed by several short speeches, a wine reception, a concert and a three-course dinner. On the Monday and Tuesday there will be eight further papers by invited speakers, and papers by some current postgraduate students and recent PhD graduates

For more information, and call for graduate papers, see here.

To register, please see here.