Exploring philosophical concepts and theories ranging from continental and non-western philosophy to ethics, epistemology, the history of philosophy, the philosophy of science, and the key areas of analytic philosophy.

Study Information

At a Glance

Degree Qualification
MLitt or PhD

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Based in the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, our research programmes in Philosophy are distinguished for research on history of philosophy, the philosophy of science (especially philosophy of biology), the history of ethics and political philosophy, and key areas of analytic philosophy: epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of language.

September and January start dates available

Our Research

Based in the School of Divinity, History, Philosophy and Art History, our research programmes in Philosophy are distinguished for research on the history of philosophy, Chinese philosophy, the philosophy of science (especially the philosophy of biology), the history of ethics and political philosophy, and key areas of analytic philosophy: epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of language.

  • Professor Michael Beaney: Supervision is offered in the history of analytic philosophy, particularly the thought of Frege, Wittgenstein, Stebbing, and Collingwood. He also has interests in creativity, historiography, and Chinese philosophy of language and logic.
  • Professor Vikki Entwistle: Supervision is offered in ethics, philosophy of medicine and interdisciplinary projects in philosophy and public health. Professor Entwhistle is an interdisciplinary scholar combining philosophy with social research to understand and address challenges in public health and healthcare provision in relation to human well being and social justice.
  • Dr Gerry Hough: Supervision is offered in philosophy of language, including opaque contexts, substitutivity, and the semantics of belief reports.
  • Professor Jesper Kallestrup: Supervision is offered in epistemology, philosophy of mind and philosophical methodology. Recent research interests include topics in social epistemology such as testimony, trust and group knowledge, and the metaphysics of mind and knowledge such as extended knowledge and cognitive integration.
  • Professor Beth Lord: Supervision is offered in History of Philosophy. Dr Lord's research focuses on Spinoza and Kant, with particular emphasis on themes in Spinoza’s metaphysics and political philosophy. Supervision is also offered in subjects relating to 18th-21st century continental philosophy, including continental interpretations of historical texts and interdisciplinary projects.
  • Dr Federico Luzzi: Supervision is offered in epistemology broadly construed--with particular emphasis on knowledge from non-knowledge--epistemic injustice, and gender equality in sports.
  • Dr Luca Moretti: Dr Luca Moretti: Supervision is offered in epistemology, including the epistemology of perception, the epistemology of inference, the epistemology of testimony, the epistemology of education, and political epistemology.
  • Dr Ulrich Stegmann: Dr Ulrich Stegmann: Supervision is offered in philosophy of science, especially in the history and philosophy of biology. His recent interests include causation and causal selection, physical models and diagrams, empirical philosophy of science, and scientific metaphors.
  • Dr Paula Sweeney: Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence and Philosophy of Technology.
  • Dr Stephan Torre: Supervision is offered in the metaphysics of time, tense, self-locating content, modality, and persistence through time.

Entry Requirements

Normally, the minimum entrance requirement for admission to the PhD is an undergraduate degree with Second Class Honours (Upper Division) in an appropriate field, or equivalent. It is preferable that you hold a Masters’ degree in the chosen area of study as well.

Alongside your application form, you will need to upload the following supporting documents online:

  • Copies of your undergraduate and graduate degree certificates
  • Academic transcripts for your undergraduate and graduate degrees.
  • Two academic references; either the details of your referees provided on your application form or uploaded online with your application.
  • Your research proposal
  • If English is not your first language and you have not studied previously at an institution in the UK, you will need to demonstrate your proficiency in English by taking an IELTS, TOEFL or PTE academic test.

International Applicants

A vibrant and welcoming research environment

The Philosophy research environment in Aberdeen is vibrant, diverse and welcoming. We regularly publish in the top 10 philosophy journals and are active within the international research community.

The University and Thomas Reid

Thomas Reid (1710 – 1796) studied and lectured at Aberdeen. The legacy of his philosophical work is found in contemporary theories of perception, free will, philosophy of religion, and epistemology.

Centre for Knowledge and Society

Through the Centre for Knowledge and Society, Aberdeen Philosophy staff actively pursue collaborations with other departments, and welcome interdisciplinary research proposals.


Recent graduates from Philosophy at Aberdeen have gone on to enjoy successful careers, academic and otherwise. Some graduates hold full-time academic positions, while other Masters-level graduates have successfully taken up PhD study at Aberdeen or elsewhere. In general, careers that demand and reward analytical abilities and the capacity for clear expression of ideas will suit the accomplished Philosophy postgraduate well. Academic positions by no means exhaust such job prospects.

What our Alumni Say

Balint Kekedi

Balint Kekedi

Balint Kekedi

Graduated 2016

During the years I spent at the Department, I enjoyed the lively and very welcoming community of teaching staff and fellow PhD students, and the fantastic support of my supervisors, which I continue to receive even after my graduation.

Marta Pawlowicz-Weychan

Marta Pawlowicz-Weychan

Marta Pawlowicz-Weychan

Graduated 2016

Working towards my PhD in Philosophy was an enjoyable experience. The department of philosophy is small and friendly, and it organises many interesting events. I received fantastic support and lots of encouragement from my supervisor.

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Contact Details

School of Divinity, History, Philosophy and Art History
University of Aberdeen
50-52 College Bounds
AB24 3DS