The LSE Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method is a historic and world-class centre for philosophy of science. Having been home to the influential philosophers of science Karl Popper and Imre Lakatos and still bustling with cutting edge research, the LSE is an incredible place to do an MSc in Philosophy of Science.
Duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
Minimum entry requirement: 2:1 degree or equivalent in any discipline (see entry requirements)
English requirement: Standard (see English requirements), plus a writing sample of 5–10 typewritten pages if English is not your first language
GRE/GMAT requirement: None
Fee level: UK/EU £13,008 (provisional EU); overseas £20,112
Financial support: Graduate Support Scheme (see Financial Support). All successful applicants whose complete applications are received by 24 April 2017 are also eligible to be considered for the Lakatos MSc Scholarship (up to £5000)
Application deadline: None – rolling admissions
Further information: Graduate Admissions Office’s website
Contact: Andrea Ledwig (Taught Programmes Manager)
Philosophy of Science
Science is chock full of miraculous predictions, shocking revolutions and utterly strange results that few science fiction writers could have ever dreamed of. Part of your study of the philosophy of science will be to better understand what makes science so special. Some of the questions may involve very general inquiries into how science works. Others may involve very specific such as how to understand a quantum particle. The range of problems studied in the philosophy of science are both deep and broad.
What it’s like
LSE ranks among the top 10 programmes in the world in multiple areas of philosophy of science.
You’ll get a chance not only to do your coursework with some of the world’s top researchers in philosophy of science, but will be surrounded by the intellectual bustle that is so characteristic of LSE.
The department hosts an incredibly rich series of regular events, as well as Europe’s largest permanent research group of philosophers of physics outside of Oxford. The British Society for the Philosophy of Science hosts their regular lecture series at LSE. In addition, you will enjoy the historic Sigma Club lecture series on philosophy of physics, as well as the Choice Group and the Managing Severe Uncertainty project.
The coursework is rigorous and flexible. Students are provided with a solid base in the central problems and results of philosophy of science, but still have ample opportunity to choose the area of philosophy of science that suits them best.
The Philosophy of Science degree coordinator, Professor Miklós Rédei, specialises in the foundational and philosophical problems of modern physics, especially quantum mechanics and quantum field theory, quantum logic, and theories of probablistic causation. Among his publication are The Principle of the Common Cause (co-written with Gábor Hofer-Szabó and László E. Szabó), Quantum Logic in Algebraic Approach and John von Neumann: Selected Letters. He is also our Head of Department.
You can find out more about Professor Rédei’s work on his website.
What you’ll do
LSE’s distinctive approach to philosophy of science is really continuous with the sciences.
In our general and specialist courses the philosophical analysis is inseparably intertwined with science, and often directly motivated by problems in the sciences. At LSE students learn to reason with a kind of philosophical rigour that makes essential use of scientific tools such as modern logic and probability theory.
A typical student on this programme can expect to have, for each examined course, 20 hours of lectures and 30 hours of seminars from our world-class primary academic faculty, with a guarantee that no seminar will have more than 16 students. In addition, there is 30 hours of teaching on the dissertation research and writing seminar, plus plenty of one-on-one advising and discussion time with your lecturers during office hours.
|Either:||PH400 Philosophy of Science||Or:||PH458 Evidence and Policy + one other half unit course from the list below|
|Courses to the value of two units from the list of philosophy options below.|
|PH445 Dissertation Seminar (non-assessed) to help prepare you to write your dissertation|
|PH499 Dissertation in which you work with a supervisor to write your own piece of original research in the field. Much of the writing takes place over the Summer Term.|
Subject to approval, students may take up to one unit of non-PH courses not listed above.
Please note that where Philosophy degree programmes permit “options”, these must be selected from amongst courses at LSE. In general, only courses administered by LSE count towards our degree programmes.
This information is provided for guidance only. The definitive statement of all of the School’s regulations can be found on the LSE Calendar.
Who is suited for this degree
The MSc in Philosophy of Science draws students from around the world. It is an ideal way to prepare for further PhD work in philosophy or a science, and indeed a rare opportunity for students interested in academics to study with such a large number of philosophers of science. Many of our graduates thus go on to further study.
However, the rigorous analytic and scientific skills this programme provides are applicable in a range of high-level occupations, for employment in fields such as science journalism, science administration, policy-making and medicine. Strong applications that show a careful and considered interest in the fields of study for this degree stand the best chance of acceptance.
There is in addition a great deal of optional activity in the philosophy and foundations of physics events like the Sigma Club Lectures, among other things. Thus, candidates with backgrounds in or interests in physics or mathematics are especially encouraged to apply.
Find out more about our MSc Programmes in our new Graduate Webinar, presented by Dr Bryan W. Roberts.
All applicants for this degree are eligible to be considered for the LSE Graduate Support Scheme.
As well as this, successful applicants to the Philosophy of Science MSc programme are eligible to be considered for a Lakatos MSc Scholarship of up to £5000. The award of this scholarship is based upon the information contained in the application itself and all complete applications received by 24 April will automatically be considered. Both Home UK/EU and Overseas Students are eligible for this scholarship and the successful recipient(s) will be notified via email by the end of May.
There are a range of other options for funding your LSE Philosophy master’s degree, these are summarised on our MSc Funding Opportunities page. For further information please visit the LSE Financial Support Office homepage.
Preparatory Reading and Booklist for Offer-Holders
A suggested booklist for offer-holders considering studying this degree is available on ReadingLists@LSE.
Applications for our MSc degrees open around mid-October and usually close in late April. To improve your prospects, we encourage you to apply early in the application cycle. Further information about the application process is available on the Graduate Admissions website.