School of Social Science and Humanities

PhD Postgraduate Research in Philosophy

PhD Full-time 4 years, Part-time 8 years

Start date(s)
Variable start date
Course specifications
Course length
Full-time (4 years),Part-time (8 years)
Campus location
University: City Campus
UCAS points calculator

Why choose this course?

The School of Humanities offers a vibrant environment for MPhil/PhD students in philosophy, who will have the opportunity to work with enthusiastic, experienced and internationally renowned members of staff. Our philosophy team has a well-established and proven track record of research and regularly publishes work in several languages, thus bringing a uniquely stimulating and international atmosphere to the department.

Our MPhil/PhD students play a key role in our research community and it is our mission to support your development into researchers, academics or whatever career you aspire to. The Department prides itself on the levels of support provided to postgraduate research students in the course of their MPhil/PhD journey: our academics are strongly committed to their subject areas and meet regularly with their supervisees to work closely with them at all stages of the project, from inception to completion, putting their knowledge and experience in service of your research career.

Postgraduate research students are encouraged to present their research to University academics and fellow PhD students through hosting research seminars, which play a key role in the development of your project and academic skills. You will be given the opportunity to develop your research skills through participation in training events organised by the Faculty of Arts and the University’s Doctoral College.


What happens on the course?

Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact members of staff active in their area of research for a preliminary discussion of their intended doctoral project. At this stage, members of staff will discuss their interest in supervising your thesis and make suggestions on how best to proceed to secure a place in the doctoral programme.

The MPhil/PhD programme in the School has the following milestones:

Stage 1: Registration

Stage 2: Progression

Stage 3: Examination

1) Registration

Applicants who satisfy the entry requirements are encouraged to complete the online 'Expression of Interest' form. The 'Expression of Interest' will be assessed by subject experts. If the initial application is satisfactory, a conditional offer will be issued and a potential Director of Studies and supporting supervisors will be allocated who will provide guidance on the research proposal development.

You will have a few weeks to submit the research proposal, following which an interview would normally take place. The granting of the interview does not imply that the applicant will necessarily be admitted to a research degree programme.

Subject to a satisfactory interview and the approval of the research proposal by the Faculty Research Committee (FRC), you will be admitted to the research degree programme.

At this point, you will start developing your project, with the final goal of producing an original doctoral dissertation of around 90,000 words (for an MPhil you will submit a dissertation of around 45,000 words) within 4 years (full-time) or 8 years (part-time), under the supervision of the Director of Studies (principal supervisor) and the other members of the supervision team.

2) Progression

All students who wish to obtain a PhD are required to complete a 'progression' within 18 months (for full-time students) or 36 months (for part-time students).

At the progression you will produce a paper which summarises your achievements on the research programme and outlines future research plans (including research methods), and make an oral presentation of the paper at a workshop set up for the purpose of progression.

An independent assessor, nominated by the FRC, will review the paper produced, together with supervisors’ assessment, the student’s presentation and other evidence. On this basis, the assessor will provide evaluative comments and recommendations to the FRC. Upon considering all aspects, the FRC may recommend that you a) can proceed as proposed; b) can proceed subject to changes or amendments being made, addressing the concerns raised; c) are placed 'at risk'; or d) must change the research degree originally sought.

3) Examination

Towards the end of the research programme, you will be examined on the basis of a thesis and an oral examination (viva voce). Normally two qualified examiners are appointed, at least one of whom is external to the institution. If the student is a member of staff at the University, then a second external examiner will be appointed.

Following the oral examination, the examiners will make recommendations to the University’s Research Award Sub-Committee (RASC) on whether the research degree sought may be awarded.

Potential Career Paths

Successful completion of your PhD opens up a range of career opportunities and demonstrates your proven skills as a researcher. In Philosophy, having a PhD is now an essential element for those looking to develop a career in lecturing or research within higher education. A PhD will also assist in accessing research opportunities within government, commercial and international organisations. As well as demonstration of your research skills, a PhD shows your extensive knowledge of a particular field demonstrated in a rigorous manner, which is attractive to employers.

Additional Information

Everything you need to know about this course!

The University of Wolverhampton (UoW) is home to approximate 23,000 students. The UoW’s research and innovation activities have won the 2013 UK Knowledge Transfer Award, and the 2014 UK Collaborative IMPACT award. It is also the holder of the Athena Swan Bronze Award and the HR Excellence in Research Award.

Studying philosophy at Wolverhampton will give the opportunity to work with scholars of international reputation for excellence across a range of subjects, and our staff are happy to receive inquiries in any of our principal areas of research, which are:

  • Post-war French Philosophy (structuralism, post-structuralism)
  • Marxism, post-Marxism, Critical Theory           
  • Continental Philosophy (Modern and Contemporary)
  • Philosophy of Art and Art Practice
  • Reason and Unreason
  • Moral evaluation of social norms and practices (e.g. Caste)
  • Ambedkar and Fanon
  • Althusser
  • Race and Caste
  • Comparative Radical Philosophy: Critique of Tradition, Ideology and Identity
  • Feminist Political Philosophy

Our department has an established programme of conferences and seminars, including, the Royal Institute of Philosophy open public lectures, and offers access to a range of archives and research materials.

In this course, an international group of philosophers will teach you to use cutting edge arguments within philosophical discussions. These philosophers include:

Dr William Pawlett (PhD. Loughborough); Senior Lecturer in Media and Philosophy
Professor John Roberts (PhD.) Professor of Art and Aesthetics
Dr Alexei Penzin (PhD. Moscow); FHEA; Reader in Philosophy and Art

Location Mode Fee Year
Home Full-time £4596 per year 2022-23
Home Full-time £2298 per year 2022-23
Home Full-time £4712 per year 2023-24
Home Full-time £2356 per year 2023-24
Home Full-time £4712 per year 2023-24
Home Full-time £2356 per year 2023-24
Home Full-time £ per year 2024-25
International Full-time £14450 per year 2022-23
International Full-time £15450 per year 2023-24
International Full-time £15450 per year 2023-24
International Full-time £ per year 2024-25

The University is committed to a transparent fee structure, with no hidden costs, to help you make an informed decision. This includes information on what is included in the fee and how fees are calculated and reviewed

 Applicants for a research degree shall normally hold either:

 • a first or upper second class honours degree, or

 • a master’s degree, or

 • evidence of prior practice or learning that is accepted by the Dean of Research.

Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English at least to the level of an IELTS score (or equivalent) of 7.0, with no individual element less than 6.0. The only exemption to this is for students who are not required to do so as per UKVI regulations: 


Financial support for research study:

Before applying, you should consider carefully how you will finance your studies for the duration of your programme, including tuition fees, research support fees and living costs.

Government loans (Home Fee Status):

Government loans are available for postgraduate research students of up to £28,673, to cover fees and living expenses. More information can be found at Doctoral-loans website.

Studying in the UK:Guidance for EU students

For 2021/22 new entrants, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fee status and financial support from Student Finance England.


We are able to take payments in instalments, to spread out the cost of your studies, and it is possible to switch between full-time and part-time modes of study. For more information go to How to pay.

Postgraduate Research Loyalty Discount:

To students progressing from an undergraduate programme and/or a taught postgraduate programme to a postgraduate research programme, where both courses are University of Wolverhampton Awards.

There is no time limit on how long ago you completed your degree and/or Masters level qualification, as long as the new award is at a higher level.

For full terms and conditions please see: Loyalty Discount for Postgraduate Research Students

Research councils:

The UK Research and Innovation funds postgraduate study in all subject areas on a discretionary basis.

University Research Studentships:

The University offers a very limited number of research stipends, formerly known as bursaries, to research students. Stipends are designed to support specific projects as determined by the Research Institute rather than individual student-led projects. Funds are accessible from the relevant Research Institute or Centre - please contact them directly.

Other sources:

Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund.

You can find more information on the University’s Funding, cost, fee and support pages.


01902 32 22 22



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