Philosophy

Wadham admits graduate students to the BPhil in Philosophy (a two-year Masters-level course), the MSt in Ancient Philosophy, the MSt in Philosophy of Physics, and the DPhil (doctorate) in Philosophy.

  • Raphael, The School of Athens (1509-1510)

The Courses

Oxford is one of the world's great centres for philosophy. More than one hundred and fifty professional philosophers work in the University and its colleges, between them covering a vast range of subjects within philosophy. Many are international leaders in their fields. The Faculty of Philosophy is one of the largest departments of philosophy in the world, and is widely recognized to be amongst the best.

The aim of the Faculty’s graduate programmes is to prepare students for an academic career in philosophy. The usual progression through the Oxford philosophy graduate programme is to take the BPhil and then to continue research on the DPhil. BPhil candidates are examined on the basis of (i) a thesis of up to 30,000 words and (ii) 7 essays across a minimum of five different areas of philosophy. Throughout the two years of the course, they attend both classes and one-to-one supervisions with supervisors specialising in the relevant areas. DPhil candidates are examined on the basis of a thesis of up to 75,000 words, and receive one-to-one supervision on their work for the thesis throughout.

Full details of graduate study in Philosophy, including details of the MSt courses, can be found here:

http://www.philosophy.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate

Further details of the BPhil in Philosophy programme can be found here:

http://www.philosophy.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/bphil_in_philosophy

Philosophy at Wadham

Wadham has a tradition of excellence in philosophy. Past philosophy fellows of the college include A.J. Ayer (1944-46), I.M. Crombie (1947-83), Michael Ayers (1965-2002), Quassim Cassam (1986-2005) and Scott Sturgeon (2007-12). Stuart Hampshire was Warden from 1970 to 1984. Several professional philosophers are Wadham graduates, including Bill Brewer (King’s College London), Bill Child (Oxford), Hannah Ginsborg (UC Berkeley), Rory Madden (University College London) and Michael Potter (Cambridge).

Wadham currently has two Tutorial Fellows in philosophy, A.C. Paseau and Tom Sinclair, and a Senior Research Fellow in philosophy and public policy, Tom Simpson. 

A.C. Paseau has research interests in logic, the philosophy of mathematics and formal metaphysics and epistemology. He regularly teaches graduate courses on Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems in the Mathematical Institute and on Logical Consequence in the Philosophy Faculty.

Tom Sinclair works in the fields of moral and political philosophy. 

Tom Simpson works in epistemology and ethics, especially on trust and the philosophy of war. He teaches the Foundations and Information and Computing Technologies and Public Policy modules on the Blavatnik School of Government’s Masters in Public Policy.

Other present or emeriti fellows of the college with philosophical interests include Christina Howells, Tairun Khaitan, Matthew Kempshall and Roger Penrose