Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science, M.A.

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 12 months
    Duration
  • Tuition
    14850
    Tuition (Year)
    6570
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
    Language
University rank #101 ,
On this programme you will explore issues in philosophy of mind and the cognitive sciences, such as the nature of intentionality, physicalism, philosophical issues concerning rationality and interpretation, and consciousness. You will be taught by a vibrant community of philosophers, who pursue original research on a wide range of topics giving you expert supervision for your dissertation.

About

You will study six modules in total, three of which are core Philosophy modules:

  • Philosophy of Cognitive Science or Philosophy and Mental Health
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Research Skills and Methods

Your remaining three modules are optional, and can be chosen from a range of modules in Philosophy, Psychology or Artificial Intelligence offered by the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, the School of Psychology or the School of Computer Science. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation.

You will be taught by a vibrant community of philosophers, pursuing original research on a wide range of topics on which expert supervision is available, including the philosophy of mind and cognitive science.

You will participate in a weekly Postgraduate Seminar and in the regular meetings of PhilSoc and the Staff Seminar.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the vibrant international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days. Register to attend at: If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit:

Programme Structure

Modules

You will study three core modules as follows:

Both of:
Research Skills and Methods

This module is an introduction to the methods of contemporary philosophy. It identifies key philosophical reasoning tools and styles of argument, providing opportunity to apply these to classical philosophical debates. It also highlights the great variety of philosophical theorising on offer by contrasting so-called 'armchair' and empirically-informed philosophy, as well as theoretical and applied philosophy. Throughout there will be an emphasis on honing essential practical skills, namely reading and writing philosophy at postgraduate level. This module will also be useful as a basic refresher course for those who have studied some philosophy already. The sessions are taught by a member of the Department of Philosophy, focusing on discipline-specific topics.

Philosophy of Mind

What is the place of consciousness in nature? Will we ever understand it in a ‘scientific’ way? What about thinking in general? Are human minds, essentially, grey wet computers, or do we need altogether distinctive conceptual resources to understand them? These kinds of questions have concerned philosophers of mind for centuries, and in this module we’ll address a range that are central to contemporary debates. We begin with the metaphysical question of whether consciousness can be accommodated in a ‘physicalist’ world view, examining the difficulties faced by various different attempts to analyse it in physical (‘scientific’) terms. We then move to some fundamental questions about mental states in general: Are they located inside people’s heads? Can they be understood in purely descriptive terms, or are they (like moral and other evaluative properties are often held to be) in some sense essentially ‘normative’?

Plus one of:
Philosophy of Cognitive Science

This module covers a range of advanced topics in empirically-informed philosophy of mind. In any given year, some of the following topics will be addressed in detail: theories of intentionality; differences between human and animal cognition; pathologies of belief such as delusions and self-deception; theories of emotion; accounts of cognitive rationality; the relationship between ownership and authorship of thoughts; the narrative view of the self; the psychology of wisdom and expertise.

Philosophy and Mental Health

This module provides an overview of contemporary debates in philosophy and mental health. In each seminar a new issue will be investigated, but there will be three interrelated threads throughout the module. The first is about the nature of psychiatry. The second is about the sense in which psychiatric disorders are disorders of the self. The third is about how we should respond to people with psychiatric disorders, considered from a wide range of perspectives, including interpersonal, clinical, ethical, legal and public health policy. These themes will be addressed by reference to different aspects of psychiatry (e.g. classification, diagnosis, aetiology, research, treatment), different psychiatric disorders (e.g. addiction, anorexia, dementia, dissociation, schizophrenia, personality disorders, psychopathy), and different disciplinary frameworks.

You will also choose three optional modules from within the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, the School of Psychology or the School of Computer Science.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 12 months
  • Study intensity Part-time, Full-time
    • Intensity Flexible
    • Duration part-time 24 months
    • Part-time variant
      Flexible
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You need the following CAE score:

  • Minimum required score (Grade A): 200

    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

Before starting a programme, you need to have a basic knowledge of the English language.

Find English courses on Preparation Courses Portal.

Academic Requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

  • by holding an English language qualification to the right level
  • by taking and successfully completing one of our English courses for international students

Student Visa

Students from United States of America need a visa in order to study in the United Kingdom.
Read more about visa information and requirements for this country.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • GBP 14850 International
  • GBP 6570 EU/EEA

Funding

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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