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MSc Philosophy of Science

About the MSc programme 

This programme is based in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method|. The department provides additional programme information on its degree webpage|. The programme offers the following benefits:

  • The Department draws on the traditions set by its founder, Sir Karl Popper, and distinguished followers such as Imre Lakatos.
  • The excellence of research done by faculty of the Department was confirmed in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise: the department was ranked joint third in the UK for the proportion of its work deemed 'world leading'.
  • The degree is highly regarded internationally.

We will consider applicants with a first or upper second class (2:1) honours degree or equivalent, with a considered interest in the area covered by the MSc. However, the majority of our students fall into one of two groups: (a) those who have studied science as undergraduates and would now like to study in depth the foundations and methods of science; and (b) those who have studied philosophy and would now like to study philosophy of science in greater depth. Our courses are designed to be understandable by, and stimulating for, both groups.

We recruit students from all across the world to assemble a genuinely international group, which enriches the social and intellectual environment that the programme offers.

Programme details

A typical student on this programme can expect to have, for each examined course, 20 hours of lecture and 30 hours of seminar (with a guarantee that no seminar will have more than 15 students). In addition, there will be 30 hours of teaching on the dissertation research and writing seminar. Additional contact time concerning one-on-one dissertation and class teaching support is available during office hours and by appointment at the request of the student.

Our students typically form a tight social group. The Department facilitates this by hosting a number of social occasions through the year. Needless to say London has a wide range of opportunities for socialising on offer.

Compulsory courses

  • Either Philosophy of Science examines the major traditions and theories of the philosophy of science or Evidence, Objectivity and Policy looks to answer questions such as: How should we negotiate conflicting evidence? Can some evidence be disregarded due to cultural and political biases? What should we do when there is little evidence available about the issues at hand?
  • Dissertation Seminar: Philosophy of Science (non assessed) is intended to develop the ability to construct sharp analytic philosophical arguments and to write structured philosophical essays.

You will also complete a 10,000 word Dissertation| which is completed over the summer and must be submitted in early September.

Students will be expected to choose courses to the value of two units from a range of options.

Please read the following important information before referring to full details of course options found in the Programme Regulations|.

The programme regulations available are for the current academic session and may be subject to change before the beginning of the next academic year. For more information about course availability in the next academic session, please contact the relevant academic department. The School reserves the right at all times to withdraw, suspend or alter particular courses and syllabuses, and to alter the level of fees. Courses are on occasion capped (limited to a maximum number of students) or subject to entry conditions requiring the approval of the course convenor. The School cannot guarantee that places on specific courses will be available.

Graduate destinations

This master's programme prepares you for PhD work in philosophy or related disciplines as well as for employment in fields such as science journalism, science administration and science management.

For a selection of reports from graduates see: lse.ac.uk/MScPhilosophyOfSciencePlacement|



Application code: V5UG (check availability|)

Start date: 2 October 2014

Duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time

Intake/applications in 2012: 18/55

Minimum entry requirement: 2:1 or first class degree, with a considered interest in the areas covered by the MSc. Most students have a science background or one in philosophy (see entry requirements)

English requirement: Higher (see English requirements|)

GRE/GMAT requirement: None

Fee level: UK/EU £11,568;
overseas £17,880

Financial support: Graduate Support Scheme (see Fees and financial support|). LSE holds a Block Grant Partnership with the AHRC, with a one year Research Preparation Master's award available in philosophy. UK/EU students are eligible for nomination (see Arts and Humanities Research Council|). Lakatos Memorial Scholarship – £4,000 award for a single philosophy student

Application deadline: None – rolling admissions, but for AHRC nomination complete application required by 10 January 2014

Notes: If your first language is not English, you must submit a writing sample of 5-10 typewritten pages