Students on the Philosophy research programme receive supervision from academic staff with a long-standing commitment to excellence and diversity in research, who work at the forefront of pioneering research that orients towards moral and political philosophy, philosophy of mind and psychology, and the intersections between these areas.

Within moral and political philosophy, we have expanded our concentration of expertise on Nietzsche. Work in applied ethics has continued in the area of health and been extended to include the ethics of sport and of biobanking and nutrigenomics.

Research in philosophy of mind and psychology has grown to include interdisciplinary publications on the nature of perception and critical analysis of the conceptual framework underpinning the science of consciousness.

Programme aims

The research programme aims to offer knowledge and expertise to take you on to a role in Higher Education, or employment requiring high-level skills in research or advanced subject knowledge.

This PhD programme recruits a diverse range of Home/EU and International students who want to engage in a research environment that is characterised by the combination of expertise across both analytic and continental approaches to philosophy.

Distinctive features

  • The School has a dynamic interdisciplinary research culture with a variety of seminar series
  • The School offers a wide selection of research training opportunities, including a fortnightly PhD workshop and a weekly reading group
  • PhD students are encouraged to publish
  • The School has a dedicated suite for its research students with computing facilities, networked information and access to email and Internet
  • As from their second year, students have the opportunity for teaching on the School’s undergraduate degree programmes, and receive mentoring sessions from a full-time member of staff
  • The School makes funding available each year for PGR students who wish to attend conferences or undertake library archive visits that are related to their PhD studies
  • The School runs an annual conference that allows PhD students across disciplinary areas to share their work with their peers.

Key facts

Mode of study Full-time, part-time
Qualification PhD, MPhil
Full-time duration PhD 3 years, MPhil 1 year
Part-time duration Opportunities available

‘Positioned at the interface of different traditions, methodologies, theoretical approaches, disciplines and practices, our pioneering research engenders challenging and fascinating questions for our staff and, through our PhD supervision and research-led teaching also for our students at all levels." Professor Alison Wray, Director of Research in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy.

We welcome applications in staff specialist areas, such as the following:

  • medical ethics
  • philosophy of sport
  • German critical theory
  • sociology and aesthetics of music
  • philosophy of perception
  • philosophy of psychology and neuroscience
  • philosophy of science
  • philosophy of biology
  • philosophy of science
  • modern continental philosophy
  • aesthetics
  • literary theory
  • normative ethics - especially anti-theory
  • philosophy of normativity
  • philosophy of risk
  • European philosophy
  • political theory
  • history of ideas
  • rationality
  • metaethics
  • ethics of belief
  • paradox
  • epistemology
  • feminism
  • philosophy of mind and language
  • Wittgenstein
  • moral psychology
  • existentialism
  • virtue ethics
  • Kantian ethics
  • applied ethics.

Research environment

The School takes the training of research students very seriously, providing the facilities and supervisory guidance to help each student flourish intellectually and work productively. The School has a dedicated suite of PhD research rooms with excellent networked IT facilities. Each student has a travel budget and a contribution to photocopying costs, as well as free printing facilities.

We regularly check with students what training they need, and ensure that it is provided. Our PhD students can apply to get teaching experience with us, and our unique ‘Learning to Teach’ programme is accredited by the Higher Education Academy. The School holds a yearly conference to allow PhD students the opportunity to share work with their peers in a supportive and stimulating multi-disciplinary environment. The Arts and Social Studies Library is well-stocked with books and academic journals in all our subject areas, electronic resources, and specialist collections such as Cardiff Rare Books, a rich collection of over 14,000 items ranging from fifteenth-century incunabula to twentieth-century fine press books.

In a competitive jobs market, our students are encouraged and supported in building up the skills that will make them employable, whatever their career direction. We value the rich experience of our many overseas students, and actively attend to their specific needs in relation to their cultural context of study and the demands of writing elegantly in a second language.

Philosophy is one of the four principal areas of distinctive strength in the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Programme, of which we are a member. For more information see here.

Job roles: Editor, EFL Teacher, English Teacher, Lecturer, PR Officer, Writer, Head Teacher

Employers: Oxford University Press, London Film School, Palgrave MacMillan, Universities from Cork (Ireland) to Wisconsin State (USA), Virgin Media, Literature Wales, Visit Wales


The School offers bursaries worth one year of the Home/EU fee on a competitive basis. For more information contact

The School welcomes enquiries from applicants who are considering applying for funding for a PhD English Literature from the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership for 2017-18.

There are currently no funding opportunities available.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Suitable for graduates in Philosophy and closely related subjects. A First or upper Second class UK Honours degree, or equivalent is required.

Applications for research degrees should be accompanied by a research proposal. This should include a draft title, rationale (the relevance and value of the research at this time), objectives, research questions and research methods.

Applications for Philosophy should also include a 4000 word admission essay on a Philosophical topic of your choice.

You are recommended to email the postgraduate administrator at with your research proposal prior to making a formal application.

English language requirements

The School welcomes applications from students outside the United Kingdom. For non-native speakers of English, an IELTS overall score of 7.5 with at least 7.0 in each sub score is essential.

Please read our English language requirements for more details.


Administrative contact(s)

ENCAP Postgraduate Admissions

Administrative contact


Apply now
Meet us at our Information Fair on 22 February 2018.

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