We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Department of Philosophy

The 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).

Postgraduate Study in 2016/17

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

Pre-application undergraduate open days

Pre-application undergraduate open days took place on 19th Sept 2015 (for Queen's Campus, Stockton), and 26th Sept 2015 (for Durham City). Further details are available here.

Interview with David Knight

David Knight has been interviewed by Yale Books regarding his latest book Voyaging in Strange Seas. See here.

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 Paula Satne, Sara Uckelman, and Richard Stopford to the department, who all joined us in October 2014. We are also very pleased to welcome Felicity Deamer, who joined the department in April 2014 as part of the AHRC project 'Language and Mental Health', headed by Wolfram Hinzen.

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

For the CHESS website click here and for the CHESS blog click here

Forthcoming events

  • 15th October 2015: Dr Sara Uckelman (Durham University) will take a tour through fictional discourse
  • 15th October 2015: Dr Tim Button (Cambridge) - The Empiricist Problematic: Treating Carnap's Aufbau as a case-study
  • 22nd October 2015: Professor James Kirwan (Kansai University) - Moral Responses and Moral Judgements
  • 29th October 2015: Dr Anna Maerker (Kings College, London) - The encyclopedie vivante of Dr. Thibert


Contact Details

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

World leading research across all Durham University subjects

The 2015-16 Philosophy Undergraduate Student Handbook is available here.