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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.

Open Day for Prospective PhD Students

Thursday 17 December 2015.
For details, please contact Simon James (

PhD Studentships for 2016 Entry

Click here for more information

Essay prize winner

A huge 'Congratulations!' to Durham PhD student Rune Nyrup, who won the 2015 European Philosophy of Science Association Graduate Student Essay Prize.

Knowledge For Use

Congratulations to Nancy Cartwright who has been awarded a 5 year 'Advanced Grant' of just over 2 million euros from the European Research Council under Horizon 2020, starting in November 2015. It will provide support for post-doctoral research and for 2 PhD students.The title of the project is Knowledge For Use [K4U]: Making the Most of Social Science to Build Better Policies. Further details are available here.

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). If you missed these open days please see here, or contact with any questions and for further details.

The Durham Emergence Project

The Durham Emergence Project is 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.


Nancy Cartwright, Julian Reiss, and Wendy Parker run our Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS) which is broadly concerned with the role of the sciences and humanities in society. There are be a number of PhD studentships associated with the 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

New Appointments

We are very pleased to announce that Emily Thomas, Anna Marmodoro, and Stephen Mumford will all be joining us October 2016.

Paula Satne, Sara Uckelman, Richard Stopford and Felicity Deamer all joined the department in 2014.

Forthcoming events

  • 11th February 2016: Dr Genia Schönbaumsfeld (Southampton) - Meaning Scepticism and Scientism
  • 18th February 2015: Dr Lisa Foran (Newcastle) - Deciding What to Forget: Memorialisation and The Politics of the Future
  • 25th February 2016: Medieval Mind Lecture Series: Dr Erik Niblaeus (Durham University) - Saxo Grammaticus's Gesta Danorum and the Ethics of Lordship.
  • 25th February 2016: Dr Jonathan Maskit (Denison) - Was Environmental Ethics a Mistake?


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.

The Department of Philosophy is proud to be fully compliant with the BPA-SWIP Good Practice Scheme