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MPhil in Ancient Philosophy

A Bust of SocratesMPhil. specialising in Ancient Philosophy

Cambridge is among a handful of world centres for the study of ancient philosophy. Each year, the MPhil. in Classics contains a specialised Ancient Philosophy seminar.

To apply for an MPhil. in Ancient Philosophy you apply for the MPhil. in Classics. Your final certificate and transcript can reflect the specialisation in ancient philosophy.

Inaugurated in 1993, the Cambridge MPhil. is the UK’s longest-running Master’s course in ancient philosophy. Those who have taken the MPhil., and gone on to teach the subject at university level in both Classics and Philosophy departments, include Hendrik Lorenz, Frisbee Sheffield, James Warren, Gabriel Richardson Lear, Dominic Bailey, Sean McConnell, and Giles Pearson.

Teaching is structured around a weekly graduate philosophy seminar and the one-on-one supervision of individual students, led by the Faculty's B Caucus staff: Professor Gabor Betegh, Dr Myrto Hatzimichali, Mr Nicholas Denyer, Dr Robert Wardy and Dr James Warren. All have university teaching posts in Classics.  Most of them also have college teaching posts in Philosophy and are Directors of Studies in the subject. The wide range of their research interests means that the Faculty can offer supervision to students interested in exploring topics in ancient philosophy ranging from Presocratic philosophy, through Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, into the Hellenistic period and beyond.

The course itself offers a balanced blend of classical and philosophical skills. This is further reflected by the fact that the course has always drawn students from both Classics and Philosophy departments and that those who continue from it to doctorates and to university teaching posts do so in both types of department.

An advantage of the course’s location within a Classics environment is the attention paid to the advancement of linguistic and philological skills. Language courses can be provided for those who need to learn or improve their Greek or, if appropriate, Latin.

Many students on the course also take advantage of lectures and library facilities in the neighbouring Faculty of Philosophy, in addition to the rich resources of the Faculty of Classics. And some have, for one of their three essays, opted to work on a topic in modern philosophy.

Students also benefit from the wide range of seminars and conferences in ancient philosophy that take place in Cambridge every year as well as a regular seminar with graduate students and Faculty members in Paris and Lille that take place alternately in Cambridge and France.

Click here for more information on the study of Ancient Philosophy at Cambridge.

Course Structure & Requirements

For general information about the MPhil. course, follow the links to find out more about its structure and requirements and  application procedure.

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