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Postgraduate research programmes

Prospective applicants for any of our research degrees are encouraged to make contact with members of the academic staff whose research interests are appropriate to their proposed areas of study. General queries can be directed to Prof. Nathan Widder.

MPhil/PhD Research

We are committed to a new vision for philosophy beyond the institutionalised divide between analytic and ‘European/continental’ approaches. This means that we welcome people who wish to research in both traditions, as well as those who wish to do research which seeks to bridge the divide between them.

We are also very keen to encourage interdisciplinary research, in which philosophy is used to illuminate other subjects, and vice versa. We are particularly interested in this respect in research relating philosophy to the arts, and to politics and history.

Topics of current and recent postgraduate research include:

  • Responses to representation in Rorty and Deleuze
  • The phenomenology of displacement
  • The role of music and dance in Nietzsche’s theorization of novelty in the eternal return
  • Empiricism and the concealment of Earth
  • Essayistic forms of writing as a response to the sceptical problem in philosophy
  • Time and the self in Nietzsche, Bergson and Deleuze
  • The development of the concept of ‘lines of flight’ in the works of Deleuze and Guattari
  • The event in Marxist philosophy
  • The philosophy of immanence in Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault and Deleuze
  • Non-Linear conceptions of time and the understanding of modernity and identity
  • Reification, music and problems of modern philosophy
  • Plato’s account of memory
  • Epictetus and anger
  • Global Justice and Recognition Theory
  • The concept of pneuma in Stoic philosophy and its relation to physics, ethics and logic.  
  • God and textuality in Derrida’s later work.

We offer a broad range of expertise in many areas of philosophy and are always happy to discuss possible areas of research. At a time when analytical philosophers have realised how important Hegel, Heidegger, and others can be to their concerns, and European philosophers are seeking to connect their work to what is happening in the analytical tradition, we offer an exciting opening to the future of philosophy that seeks to be inclusive, rather than exclusive.


MA by Research

The MA by Research in Philosophy offers students the opportunity to conduct independent research with the support of a supervisor, culminating in a 40,000 word dissertation.

Note: the latest information about course tuition fees, and about how you can pay, can be found on the college’s research-degree tuition fees page.

AHRC Studentships


Philosophy is part of the TECHNE Doctoral Training Partnership, through which its PhDstudents have access to Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) studentships.

For further information, please contact Prof. Nathan Widder. The deadline for TECHNE applications for 2017/18 is midnight on 29 January 2017. However, the Department maintains an earlier deadline for submission on Monday 16 January 2017. Please consult the application guidelines for more information.


Royal Holloway Scholarships

Philosophy is also able to offer College-funded scholarships and fee waivers to prospective postgraduate research students. Please contact Prof. Nathan Widder. Applicants wishing to be considered for one of the College studentships need to apply by Wednesday 23 March 2017.


Leverhulme Magna Carta scholarships

The College offers approximately eight Leverhulme Magna Carta scholarships per annum for multidisciplinary projects exploring the current and future impact of digital technologies on security, personal freedom and political debates about freedom. Leverhulme Magna Carta projects will be advertised in the late spring/early summer of 2018.


International students

For information about scholarships available to international students, please visit the college’s international scholarships page. National funding agencies may also provide scholarships for postgraduate research.

Our latest postgraduate brochure is here.

When a member of staff has agreed in principle to supervise your project, you should then submit an application form using the online application system.


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