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Course options

  • Qualification

    MSt - Master of Studies

  • Location

    University of Oxford

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    9 months

Course summary

About the course

This one-year, full-time taught graduate course offers high quality graduate education in philosophy of physics and aims to provide a foundation on which you can go on to pursue doctoral work in the area. It is likely to be of particular interest for candidates whose background is in physics and/or mathematics, including philosophy graduates with experience in physics and/or mathematics who want to specialise in philosophy of physics.

The course presumes an undergraduate-level education in physics. Candidates without such a background who wish to pursue the philosophy of physics for graduate study are encouraged instead to apply for the BPhil. This course is not available in part-time mode of study and is not offered via distance learning. Please note that this course is not a research degree.

Course outcomes

In completing the course, it is expected that you will have.

  • pursued a course requiring a high standard in each of the three examined elements, ie philosophy of physics, philosophy of science and an elective subject;
  • studied these subjects through supervisions with an expert supervisor and via classes convened by an expert or experts in the relevant field;
  • been examined on your chosen areas by a requirement to write four essays of no more than 5,000 words each;
  • had many opportunities to hear and participate in philosophy and philosophy of physics, by attending an annual Graduate Philosophy Conference, talks by invited speakers, philosophy societies and discussion groups, and especially by attending the philosophy of physics research seminars and graduate philosophy of physics discussion classes; and
  • been a member of a college graduate community, associating with graduates from many countries, cultures, and academic disciplines.

The course has no fieldwork, industrial placement or year abroad element, but you may decide to attend conferences, workshops or research training elsewhere.


You are examined on the basis of four essays.

The core course in philosophy of physics is examined by two essays, each of no more than 5,000 words, to be written over the Easter vacation, on topics that will be prescribed by the examiners. At most one essay may fall under each of the following subjects.

  • the philosophy of quantum theory
  • the philosophy of space, time and symmetry
  • the philosophy of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics
  • other topics in the philosophy of physics (previous topics have included black hole thermodynamics and the black hole information paradox).

Graduate destinations

MSt in Philosophy of Physics graduates usually progress to the second year of Oxford's BPhil in Philosophy or to doctoral programmes, either at the faculty itself or elsewhere. Some, however, have pursued non-philosophical academic careers, or careers outside academia. The graduate destinations of the eight most recent cohorts of students are available on the MSt alumni webpages.

The faculty aims to assist students and graduates in securing academic jobs. The faculty appoints a Placement Officer who, in conjunction with the Graduate Studies Officer, runs the faculty’s placement scheme. The Placement Officer helps job applicants with the preparation of their CVs, provides advice about the presentation of material in an application dossier, arranges practice interviews and generally attends the Eastern Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association to support candidates who have interviews there.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 27,460overall cost

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Oxford

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Oxford, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JD, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    1st out of 51

    1st out of 50

  • Entry standards

    / Max 218
    206 100%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    85.0 85%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5

  • Entry standards

    / Max 240
    226 100%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    98.0 98%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5

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