PhilosophySchool of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics | PhD
Philosophy has a strong international reputation for innovative research, across a wide range of specialist research strengths. These include: Applied Ethics, 19th Century European Philosophy, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Epistemology, Political Philosophy, and the Philosophy of Religion . In each of these areas, important and pioneering work has been published by members of staff and major projects of research are ongoing. Postgraduate students are supervised by leading researchers in their philosophical field, and are encouraged to contribute to the School’s vibrant research calendar of events, workshops, reading groups and conferences.
We pride ourselves on our global outlook within the School. This is reflected in our wide range of international partners and in the diverse nationalities represented across the staff and student bodies. The School hosts international visitors and speakers throughout each academic year and students benefit from the wide range of national and international topics being discussed and researched within the school.
About the Programme
The aim of the programme is to produce students who are fully-fledged independent researchers, and students are from the outset given encouragement to disseminate their work at seminars and conferences and by publishing in high-quality locations. The programme culminates in the submission of an 80,000-word dissertation.
Mode of study/duration
Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil (or part-time equivalent).
You will be a member of a vibrant research community which hosts regular lectures, seminars and conferences and will be encouraged to present the results of your research at these events and more widely at international conferences and workshops.
There are two regular research seminars for philosophy students and staff:
The Philosophy Seminar
The Political Theory/Philosophy Workshop
Students working in political philosophy and related sub-fields may also participate in the monthly PSAI (Political Studies Association of Ireland) political theory seminars, which brings together students and staff from across the island of Ireland.
Queen’s students also have the opportunity to attend rich variety of public lectures and research seminars available within the School and in other parts of the university. Postgraduates thus have the opportunity to become fully part of a programme of active philosophical research in an atmosphere of wide ranging intellectual interchange and enquiry.
We provide a challenging intellectual atmosphere for our postgraduates. You’ll see our thriving research culture yourself, through visits and talks, conferences and workshops, reading groups and the staff seminar series.
Our PhD student body reflects a growing and diverse global community giving you near unrivalled opportunities to make new friends, debate aspects of your research with a substantial peer group, and begin making those networks that will stand you in good stead throughout you careers.
You’ll become part of our vibrant postgraduate research culture, focused on philosophy. The postgraduate community within the School is lively, energetic and diverse and, contribute enormously to the research culture of the school. It includes many of our own graduates, as well as graduates of British and Irish universities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Oxford, and UCD, and international institutions such as Princeton, Georgetown and Minzu University Beijing.
We are proud of the students who have graduated with their doctorates. Where possible we stay in touch so that the link and relationships remain long after a student has left the School. View our alumni here.
Employability is at the heart of the Queen’s curriculum. Key to this is the delivery of a programme that fully equips all of its students to succeed in their careers and give them a competitive edge in the graduate job market. Social science graduates are in demand for their critical thinking skills as they are equipped to question received views and explore new approaches and solutions. Graduates of the School have found success in a wide range of careers including journalism, PR, marketing, policy research, social work, teaching, civil service and government posts.
You’ll become part of our vibrant postgraduate research culture, focused on areas including Applied Ethics, 19th Century European Philosophy, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Epistemology, Political Philosophy, and the Philosophy of Religion. You’ll see our thriving research culture yourself, through visits and talks, conferences and workshops, reading groups and the staff seminar series.
- Queen’s ranked 17 in the world for international outlook (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022).
- Queen’s is ranked in the top 170 in the world for graduate prospects (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022).
Internationally Renowned Experts
- Ranked 20th in the UK for Philosophy (COMPLETE UNIVERSITY GUIDE 2023).
- 15% of the Queen’s student population are international students (Queen’s Planning Office, 2022).
Philosophy, with a particular emphasis on metaphysics, philosophy of mind, logic, epistemology, moral and political philosophy.
Political Theory: contemporary republicanism, ethics of work, recognition, toleration, freedom of expression, Critical Theory, emotions and politics, green political thought.
For further information on career development opportunities at PhD level please contact the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Career Development Team on email@example.com / +44 28 9097 5175 Development Officers Cathy Wilson and Aileen Carson will be happy to provide further information on your research area career prospects.
People teaching you
Dr Rebecca Bamford
Rebecca Bamford’s research focuses on 19th century European philosophy, primarily on the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and on Nietzsche's free spirit writings in particular. She is currently working on a major project on Nietzsche's experimentalism and its contemporary implications. Rebecca also conducts research in ethics, especially on contemporary bioethical issues, and on African ethics. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Roger Clarke
Roger Clarke’s research interests centre on belief and scepticism. When should we suspend judgment and avoid forming an opinion? Sceptical philosophers from many times and places have argued that we should always suspend judgment. Roger applies recent innovations in the theory of belief to better understand sceptics from ancient Greece, India, and China. Email: email@example.com
Dr Suzanne Whitten
Suzanne Whitten works in normative political theory and social philosophy. Her main areas of research include issues relating to freedom of speech/hate speech and neo-republicanism. Suzanne is currently working on a project which examines the way in which certain political or social arrangements lend themselves to an increase in harmful or divisive speech. Email: Suzanne.Whitten@qub.ac.uk
Jeremy Watkins is a moral philosopher, with broad research interests in applied and normative ethics. He is currently working on a project on corrective justice, exploring the nature and rationale of reparations claims in the context of both ordinary interpersonal relationships and large-scale institutional wrongs. He is also an Associate Fellow of the George Mitchell Institute. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You’ll become part of our vibrant postgraduate research culture, focused on areas including Applied Ethics, 19th Century European Philosophy, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Epistemology, Political Philosophy, and the Philosophy of Religion.
You’ll see our thriving research culture yourself, through visits and talks, conferences and workshops, reading groups and the staff seminar series.
Learning and Teaching
The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last 2 years).
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
|Northern Ireland (NI) 1
|Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1
|EU Other 3
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. All fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may also be other extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies . Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £100 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, and library fines. In undertaking a research project students may incur costs associated with transport and/or materials, and there will also be additional costs for printing and binding the thesis. There may also be individually tailored research project expenses and students should consult directly with the School for further information.
Some research programmes incur an additional annual charge on top of the tuition fees, often referred to as a bench fee. Bench fees are charged when a programme (or a specific project) incurs extra costs such as those involved with specialist laboratory or field work. If you are required to pay bench fees they will be detailed on your offer letter. If you have any questions about Bench Fees these should be raised with your School at the application stage. Please note that, if you are being funded you will need to ensure your sponsor is aware of and has agreed to fund these additional costs before accepting your place.
How do I fund my study?1.PhD Opportunities
Find PhD opportunities and funded studentships by subject area.2.Funded Doctoral Training Programmes
We offer numerous opportunities for funded doctoral study in a world-class research environment. Our centres and partnerships, aim to seek out and nurture outstanding postgraduate research students, and provide targeted training and skills development.3.PhD loans
The Government offers doctoral loans of up to £26,445 for PhDs and equivalent postgraduate research programmes for English- or Welsh-resident UK and EU students.4.International Scholarships
Information on Postgraduate Research scholarships for international students.
Funding and Scholarships
The Funding & Scholarship Finder helps prospective and current students find funding to help cover costs towards a whole range of study related expenses.
How to Apply
Find a supervisor
If you're interested in a particular project, we suggest you contact the relevant academic before you apply, to introduce yourself and ask questions.
To find a potential supervisor aligned with your area of interest, or if you are unsure of who to contact, look through the staff profiles linked here.
You might be asked to provide a short outline of your proposal to help us identify potential supervisors.