Entering a Philosophy MA as a BA English Literature/Creative Writing Graduate?

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JonoRoom5
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Hey,

I've just finished by BA in EngLit and Creative Writing, but I really want to get into Philosophy. When I've been looking at the entry requirements for the Phil MA, some requirements are to have studied Philosophy at undergrad level (VERY understandable), but alternatively they'll accept a degree in a 'related' field? Lol

Since virtually every subject can encompass a wedge of Philosophy, which degrees do count as being related to Philosophy to meet the entry requirements?

I am very serious about Philosophy; contrary to my BA subject. My BA dissertation is a creative project, but the creative aspect is an elaboration of Nietzsche's theories on pain and suffering being constructive for human development, as well as utilising existentialist thoughts of identity and individualism; then finally exploring morality/ethics through Kant and the trolley problem debate.

I'm also contemplating doing the intro to Philosophy online course with Oxford university here,

https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/...losophy-online

Would this intro course help me in anyway with an application to a Philosophy MA?

I want to be able to progress onto a PhD and specialise either in Moral Philosophy or Existentialism, but for now, I need to progress onto an MA degree. Are there any universities that may offer more in-depth study into Moral Philosophy or Existentialism?

Last thing, I'm also happy to wait to do my MA in 2022 instead of this September (2021). So with a whole gap year, are there any distance course in Philosophy that a university could consider as an entry requirement? It could be a year long or shorter, but nothing that's postgrad as I need my postgrad funding loan for my actual Masters/PhD, but I can save up for such a course this summer by working. Something like this may not exist,but it's a shot in the dark to ask!

I just realised I asked quite a lot here, so here it is simplified,

1) Is English Literature/Creative Writing a related subject to Philosophy? (in terms of entry requirements only)

2) Would the CATS points help in anyway on the online Oxford course I'm considering?

3) Are there any UK universities that may lean towards studying Moral Philosophy or Existentialism?

4) In the case of a gap year, is there some sort of interim or 'bridge' course I could do online which would help an MA application in Philosophy?

Thank you all so much for any help you give, although I feel like I may asking for too much!
Last edited by JonoRoom5; 4 months ago
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UneBellePatience
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Hi! I think i can answer some questions i am in the final year of my philosophy degree and am looking to do a gap year and then a masters in 2022 too!



One of my modules was philosophy and literature, so I certainly think english literature would be a relevant and related course - no doubt! Especially when you consider the extent of literature that has to be read when doing philosophy, as well as the creative style, structure and narrative that philosophers use to get their point across. (Sartre, Adorno and Nietzsche, as you've mentioned are excellent examples of philosophers who use the way they write to embody their ideas)



Your dissertation sounds amazing!! Love that, and if you mention that in your personal statement, i think that would already put you at an advantage my dissertation was on psychiatry, so yours is even more relevant to actual pure philosophy than mine was haha XD



Also, most unis will ask you to provide a short sample of writing if philosophy wasn't your first degree. They don't even ask for a philosophical topic, just that you can show critical thinking. I can imagine that - being a creative writing and literature graduate - you will have excellent writing skills so that wouldn't be an issue for you


In terms of the 3rd question, i think most philosophy MAs are quite (purposely) broad. But i have seen specific ones' like political philosophy, european philosophy etc. In terms of moral philosophy, there is an Msc at Birmingham focusing on global ethics and justice. (I was considering this.) I think every uni would focus on moral philosophy and existentialism as they are pretty major components of philosophical thought the only university i know that 'leans towards' a specific type of thought in philosophy is LSE, which focuses on logical positivism and applying philosophy to scientific method.

Sorry i couldn't answer all the questions! i personally don't think you would need a bridge course, but the Oxford intro course would definitely show your invested interest
Last edited by UneBellePatience; 4 months ago
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UneBellePatience
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Sorry i kept editing it because i don't know how to read lol and missed out some of the things you said the first time XD
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JonoRoom5
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(Original post by UneBellePatience)
Hi! I think i can answer some questions i am in the final year of my philosophy degree and am looking to do a gap year and then a masters in 2022 too!



One of my modules was philosophy and literature, so I certainly think english literature would be a relevant and related course - no doubt! Especially when you consider the extent of literature that has to be read when doing philosophy, as well as the creative style, structure and narrative that philosophers use to get their point across. (Sartre, Adorno and Nietzsche, as you've mentioned are excellent examples of philosophers who use the way they write to embody their ideas)



Your dissertation sounds amazing!! Love that, and if you mention that in your personal statement, i think that would already put you at an advantage my dissertation was on psychiatry, so yours is even more relevant to actual pure philosophy than mine was haha XD



Also, most unis will ask you to provide a short sample of writing if philosophy wasn't your first degree. They don't even ask for a philosophical topic, just that you can show critical thinking. I can imagine that - being a creative writing and literature graduate - you will have excellent writing skills so that wouldn't be an issue for you


In terms of the 3rd question, i think most philosophy MAs are quite (purposely) broad. But i have seen specific ones' like political philosophy, european philosophy etc. In terms of moral philosophy, there is an Msc at Birmingham focusing on global ethics and justice. (I was considering this.) I think every uni would focus on moral philosophy and existentialism as they are pretty major components of philosophical thought the only university i know that 'leans towards' a specific type of thought in philosophy is LSE, which focuses on logical positivism and applying philosophy to scientific method.

Sorry i couldn't answer all the questions! i personally don't think you would need a bridge course, but the Oxford intro course would definitely show your invested interest
Thank you for your detailed response!

I'm glad to know English literature is related. I was actually thinking of applying to Bristol University or University of York for the MA. Would you think these are good candidates for their philosophy departments?
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UneBellePatience
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(Original post by JonoRoom5)
Thank you for your detailed response!

I'm glad to know English literature is related. I was actually thinking of applying to Bristol University or University of York for the MA. Would you think these are good candidates for their philosophy departments?
I actually have never thought about those two universities in terms of philosophy, but i am so glad you mentioned them - i just looked the courses up!! After looking them up, i think they are really good candidates - i love the selection of topics, so different to other universities and very practical - especially Bristol!! I think i like the look of the Bristol course so much i might consider it myself haha!!! And i see there is alot of emphasis on morality on that course too - philosophy of psychology, value theory, ethics - looks great!
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JonoRoom5
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(Original post by UneBellePatience)
I actually have never thought about those two universities in terms of philosophy, but i am so glad you mentioned them - i just looked the courses up!! After looking them up, i think they are really good candidates - i love the selection of topics, so different to other universities and very practical - especially Bristol!! I think i like the look of the Bristol course so much i might consider it myself haha!!! And i see there is alot of emphasis on morality on that course too - philosophy of psychology, value theory, ethics - looks great!
Haha I was leaning more towards Bristol too! Although they only do a taught Masters, I'm also looking into possibly an MRes if I take a year out to concentrate on philosophy. I would hope to have a research proposal made by that time, and it would put me in good steed for PhD level. I don't ever think I'd ever get onto an MPhil!
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gjd800
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(Original post by JonoRoom5)
Thank you for your detailed response!

I'm glad to know English literature is related. I was actually thinking of applying to Bristol University or University of York for the MA. Would you think these are good candidates for their philosophy departments?
Bristol is an excellent department, as is York.

I don't think you'll have any real issues getting onto a master's provided you have a first or a 2:i, thinks are a little murkier below that but it's still pretty doable, to be fair.

Worry about specialism when you come to approach PhD supervisors. Not worth concerning yourself with at the moment, imo.
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