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
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.
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.
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.
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
Race and Caste
Comparative Radical Philosophy: Critique of Tradition, Ideology and Identity
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.
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.
An Applicant whose entry award was not delivered in English, or a non-native speaker of English shall be required to demonstrate proficiency in English at least to the level of an IELTS score of 7.0 or its equivalent to be registered as a Research Degree student. The University can advise on where and how to get the necessary qualifications.
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
The University also offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships in addition to other financial support packages
Tuition Fees Loan: If you wish, you can take out a Government Student Loan which covers the full course fee. You pay it back once you’ve left university and your income is more than £25,725 (from April 2019). More information on repayments can be found at: repayments.It’s available to eligible full-time higher education students and does not depend on family income.
The amount of the Tuition Fees Loan is paid directly to the University of Wolverhampton by the Student Loan Company.
Visit student finance on the gov.uk website to find out more.
Self-funding: If you don’t want to take out a loan to pay your fees, you might want to take advantage of the University’s scheme to pay by instalments: see How to Pay.The funding available to you depends on when you started your studies and if you have been to University previously.