UCC Postgraduate courses


Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Full-time; 2 Years Part-time
Teaching ModeFull-time, Part-Time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing DateRolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.
Non-EU Closing DateOpen until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.
Start Date9 September 2024

Course Outline

Our MA Philosophy degree offers you the rare chance to study Western as well as Eastern philosophy at the postgraduate level. For one year, you will be involved in the study of different philosophical concepts, theories, and approaches to issues concerning the mind and consciousness, action and politics, ethics and aesthetics, society and culture, globalism, power, territory, and much more.

Our MA programme modules are specifically designed to provide an overview of current work in a particular area and are aimed at first-year postgraduate students. They each involve set readings and writing assignments. It is expected that you will already be (broadly) familiar with some key philosophical concepts or approaches upon starting this course. (We can supply you with an introductory reading list if you are new to this discipline.)  In Part I of the programme you choose five modules of your choice up to 50 credits. In Part II  you will complete a sustained piece of independent research during the spring and summer months.


Part I (60 credits)

  • PH6019 Literature Review (10 credits) plus 50 credits from the following:
  • PH6012 Human Rights (10 credits)
  • PH6047 Philosophy and Health (10 credits)
  • PH6048 The Philosophy of Death and Dying (10 credits)
  • PH6052 Advanced Moral Psychology (10 credits)
  • PH6053 Professional Ethics: Advanced (10 credits)
  • PH6054 Measuring Society: Growth, Poverty, Inequality, and Human Capital (10 credits)
  • PH6056 Advanced Political Philosophy (10 credits)
  • PH6057 Philosophy and the Biological Health Sciences (10 credits)
  • PH6060 Japanese Philosophy - Advanced (10 credits)
  • PH6061 Advanced Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence (10 credits)
  • PH6062* Student Selected Special Study Module in Philosophy 1 (10 credits)
  • PH6063* Student Selected Special Study Module in Philosophy 2 (10 credits)

*Students must seek permission from the Philosophy Graduate Studies Director to register for PH6062 and/or PH6063.

Part II (30 credits)

  • PH6020 Dissertation in Philosophy (30 credits)

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

This is a one-year, full-time, or two-year, part-time taught course. In your modules, you will study and discuss philosophy, improve your writing skills and acquire familiarity with relevant concepts and authors so that later you will be able to undertake your dissertation with confidence.

During the two teaching periods (September to March), you will take five taught modules (10 credits each). During the second teaching period (January to March), you will write the literature review (10 credits). After the teaching periods from April to September, you will write a minor dissertation of up to 15,000 words (30 credits).

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over two years.


Modules are assessed by written essays and there are no final exams. During the second teaching period (January-March), you will prepare a detailed review of relevant literature under the direction of a staff member. The literature review is written in preparation for your minor dissertation. The grade for the MA is based on assessment for modules, literature review and minor dissertation, with a total of 1,800 marks awarded. Each taught module counts for 200 marks (1,000 in total), the literature review also counts for 200 marks, and the minor dissertation for 600 marks. Taught modules are assessed by written work totalling 5,000 words, which may take the form of more than one piece of work.

Who teaches this course

  • Dr Bengt Autzen - Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Medicine, Philosophy of Economics
  • Dr Vittorio Bufacchi - Political Philosophy, Human Rights, Violence, Social Justice
  • Dr Jason Dockstader - History of Philosophy, Metaethics, and Moral Psychology
  • Dr Kian Mintz-Woo - Moral Philosophy, both theoretical and applied to climate change policy, Meta-ethics, Philosophy of Science (Economics)
  • Dr Adam Loughnane - Aesthetics, Continental Philosophy, Asian Philosophy
  • Dr Julie Reshe - Existential Philosophy; Continental Philosophy; Negative Psychoanalysis; Depressive Realism
  • Professor Don Ross - Philosophy of Economics, Philosophy of Science, Scientific Metaphysics
  • Dr Alessandro Salice - Phenomenology, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophical Psychology, Social Ontology, Moral Psychology
  • Dr Joel Walmsley - Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Science, Cognitive Science

Why Choose This Course

We are the only department in Ireland (and one of the only departments in Europe) offering you the opportunity to study three distinct philosophical traditions: Asian philosophy, Continental philosophy, and analytic philosophy. Our extensive course allows you to acquire a unique comparative philosophical education.

Members of our teaching staff have a distinctive international profile, coming from Ireland, the UK, Germany, Italy, and the USA. We bring multiple perspectives to bear on our shared philosophical concerns, and we create a diverse and energetic environment within which to conduct philosophical research.

Please see our Department of Philosophy page for information on our current teaching staff and their areas of interest. 

Skills and Careers Information

Throughout the course, we stress that philosophy is not just something that you learn about, but rather, it is also something that you do. To this end, we offer a number of courses that will enable you to develop philosophical skills of your own, and we aim to foster the skills of analysis, creativity, and discovery.

You will learn critical thinking, professional writing, construction and evaluation of arguments, communication skills, information management, design and planning, research, and investigation. Employers in diverse fields value the skills of analysis, creativity and discovery that we aim to foster, and so a degree in philosophy can be the starting point for many different career paths.


In order to be admitted to the MA programme in Philosophy, applicants should have at least a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent in Philosophy or a cognate discipline. Successful applicants must demonstrate relevant skills in writing and critical thinking (by receiving indicative marks on previous assessments, for example).

It is possible for applicants who have a primary degree but do not fully qualify for entry into the programme to undertake a Master's Qualifying Examination or a Higher Diploma in Arts. This qualification will enable prospective students to apply for this MA programme, though it will not grant automatic acceptance to it.

If a significant amount of time has passed since the applicant received their undergraduate degree, it may be possible to appeal for entrance based on work or other degree experience. These cases will be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) carefully by the Graduate Studies Committee on a case-by-case basis. 

It is recommended that applicants who are uncertain whether they qualify to consult with the department in advance of submitting an application. All applicants are subject to the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee in Philosophy.

Applicants will be required to answer specific supplementary questions as part of the online application process for this programme.

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.
  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
  • Please submit a copy of a short analytical/critical/report writing sample or essay (1,000 words approx.)
  • Please add the name and email address of two referees.

The closing date for non-EU applications is Open until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact