Learn to use philosophy to make an impact in the world.

Join a unique Masters in Philosophy where you’ll learn to take philosophical thinking out into the world to address questions and solve problems outside academia.

In this flexible online degree, which fits around full-time work, you’ll learn to use philosophy in a range of non-academic contexts and careers.

Alongside in-depth philosophical study, you’ll develop hands-on experience in:

  • engaging with the public
  • exchanging knowledge with organisations outside academia, and
  • communicating your research to diverse audiences.

Diverse expertise

You’ll access advanced research and expertise drawn from our Centre for Knowledge and Society (CEKAS). CEKAS brings together scholars from different disciplines to investigate and address societal challenges.

Applied philosophical research

As a junior member of CEKAS, you’ll examine key issues in contemporary applied philosophical research, and engage in research projects that make a real-world impact.

Interdisciplinary learning

With our support, you’ll forge connections between philosophy and other areas as part of your studies, such as science, politics, education, technology, or the arts.

You’ll build links with other disciplines, organisations, and businesses to aid your future research and career.

Who can join this online Masters in Philosophy and Society?

This distance learning Masters degree is open to:

  • graduates in any discipline who want to apply philosophical content and analysis to their field
  • graduates in Philosophy interested in applying Philosophy to careers outside academia, pursuing a postgraduate research degree, or working in academia.

By the end of this degree, you’ll be able to...

  • Demonstrate your understanding of philosophical concepts, arguments, theories, and methods.
  • Apply philosophical understanding and skills to a range of social questions and problems.
  • Communicate philosophical findings to a range of audiences in spoken and written form.
  • Pursue independent research that has potential for impact.
  • Demonstrate experience in networking and knowledge exchange with non-academic organisations.

Choose the University of Aberdeen for your online Masters in Philosophy

1st in the UK

1st in the UK for Philosophy

Our Philosophy department is ranked 1st in the UK for positive responses in the 2023 National Student Survey. See our NSS results.

2nd in Scotland for Philosophy

We’re ranked 2nd in Scotland for Philosophy in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Top 7 in the UK

We’re ranked 7th in the UK for Philosophy in the Guardian University Guide 2024.

What you’ll study

You can choose to study for a:

  • Masters (180 credits)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
  • Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits), or
  • start with one of the short courses that make up this degree (30 credits).

How you’ll study

Online learning

This distance learning Masters in Philosophy and Society is delivered flexibly, 100% online.

You can learn with us anywhere in the world, no student visa required, and manage your study hours to suit you.

Your teaching

Teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources available, including:

  • video lectures
  • live online tutorials
  • guided independent study activities
  • reading materials
  • discussion boards with your tutors and peers
  • online support from your course coordinators
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.

You’ll receive regular feedback in class and on your submitted work. Guidance and feedback will always be mindful of your background knowledge in philosophy and will be clearly linked to final assessment and learning outcomes.

Live online tutorials

Each course that’s part of this MLitt features a one-hour live tutorial each week. These are hosted online by the course coordinator. In these sessions, they’ll offer support, advice, feedback, and address any questions you might have.

Your tutors

This online degree is delivered by the School of Divinity, History, Philosophy and Art History.

You’ll learn from a highly experienced team of Philosophy lecturers who are also active researchers in the areas in which they teach.

Find out more about our Philosophy department.

Live online tutorials

Each 30-credit course that’s part of this degree features weekly online tutorials. Each tutorial is live and scheduled to last for around one hour.

Tutorial times will be organised flexibly at the start of each course. Your course coordinator will consider everyone’s circumstances and time zones before setting up tutorial times.

Hours for taught courses

To study part-time, we recommend you take a maximum of 30 credits per term.

30 credits

  • Around 300 hours of study and assessment time to complete.
  • You’ll study 15 – 20 hours per week per term, plus more at assessment times.

This is a guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes. This includes time for independent study, as well as teaching and assessments.

You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.

Activities at fixed times

There will be some activities scheduled at fixed times, such as your live tutorials and assessments with deadlines. But otherwise, you can access and work through each course at your convenience.

Hours for 60-credit dissertation

A 60-credit dissertation is around 600 hours of study time.

You can dedicate a full term to your dissertation and work on it full-time. Or you can complete it part-time, spreading the hours you dedicate to it over two terms.

When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.

But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.

Your most important commitment will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.

Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your studies each week:

  • Be realistic
  • Create a weekly schedule as a guide

If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.

Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors via MyAberdeen and email. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.

We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:

Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.

We’re a member of the Access scheme run by the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL).

Access study spaces, books and journals in your area

The SCONUL Access scheme allows you, as a University of Aberdeen student, to access books and resources at university libraries across the UK and Ireland, or visit them for a quiet place to study.

You’ll be able to use study spaces, books and journals at over 150 university libraries which belong to the scheme.

Find out about the SCONUL Access scheme for libraries.

Your support team

Our friendly team are here to answer any queries you have before, during and after your studies.

Dr Gerry Hough

Gerry is the degree coordinator. He’ll be on hand to answer questions about degree content before you start and to help you throughout your studies.

Kate Smith

Kate is part of the School’s support team. She’ll be there throughout your studies to answer any of your non-academic queries.

Get in touch

The online education team is here to answer any questions you have right now about this qualification, or about studying online.

Ask us a question

Where this will take you

Earn the same MLitt qualification online as you would on campus

You’ll graduate with a respected Masters in Philosophy and Society from the University of Aberdeen, one of the UK’s six ancient universities.

You’ll receive exactly the same degree qualification online as you would on campus. Your degree title will not mention online or distance learning.

Your MLitt qualification will be recognised by employers and educational institutions around the world, opening up international opportunities.


You’ll graduate from this degree with the confidence to use philosophy in a variety of non-academic contexts and careers.

Ajna Rao – MLitt Philosophy and Society graduate

“My time as a postgraduate student in the MLitt Philosophy and Society course was absolutely brilliant.

“The course was tailored specifically to the student’s research interests, and there was an effort to take my research interests to new heights with the interdisciplinarity that this programme offers.”

Lidong Mou – MLitt Philosophy and Society graduate

“I’ve gained a lot from this programme. I’ve become aware that philosophy can achieve much more than I’ve ever thought.

I also learned a lot about how to engage the public and make an impact with my project, including how to get stakeholders involved in the project, and how to explain philosophical issues to people who don’t know much about philosophy.”

Read more about our graduates’ experiences

Lifelong career support

Our career support doesn’t stop when you graduate.

You have access to our free careers service while you study, and beyond.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

Fees and funding

The fees quoted above are based on you starting your studies with us in the 2024/25 academic year.

We have confirmed that our fees will rise by 5% for the 2025/26 academic year. Our indicative costs include a 5% fee rise each year.

Pay as you go

This is a pay-as-you-go degree.

You do not have to pay the full tuition fee upfront.

You can spread the cost and pay as you go, term by term.

How it works

  • You decide how many credits to study for each term.
  • At the start of term, you pay only for the credits you’re taking that term.
  • This gives you control over your costs and workload for each term of your degree.

Learning resources

Access to all the books and resources you need are included in your tuition fee. They’ll be made available to you online and you do not have to buy your own copies.


You may wish to set aside a small budget for printing, depending on how you like to work.

There are several ways you may be able to get help funding your studies:

Find out more about funding options.

Student card

All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.

20% Alumni discount

You’re entitled to 20% off our postgraduate taught degrees and short courses if you have a degree from the University of Aberdeen. View Alumni discount details.

How discounts work

Discounts are applied during your application process. You can only use one discount per application.

Choose the University of Aberdeen for flexible online qualifications

Over 525 years of excellence

You’ll graduate from the fifth-oldest university in the English-speaking world, founded in 1495.

You’re in expert hands

We’ve been delivering online and distance learning for decades.

20% alumni discount

University of Aberdeen alumni receive 20% off fees for this online degree.

Entry requirements

MLitt, PgDip, PgCert

The minimum entry requirements for this degree are:

  • a 2:1 UK honours degree or equivalent (normally a 3.0 GPA in North America).

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world.

See the minimum entry requirements above. If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check equivalent qualifications from your country.

Visa requirements

You do not need a student visa to study online with us.

English language requirements

Teaching is delivered in English.

If English is not your first language, use our English requirements checklist to see if you need to provide evidence of your English language skills when you apply.

English language tests and scores

If you do need to provide English language test scores, these are the tests and minimum scores we accept.

These are our Postgraduate Higher requirements.

IELTS Academic, IELTS UKVI Academic, and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)

  • 6.5 overall
  • 5.5 for listening and speaking
  • 6.0 for reading and writing

TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition

  • 90 overall
  • 17 for listening
  • 21 for reading
  • 20 for speaking
  • 21 for writing
  • TOEFL DI code is 0818

Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency

  • 176 overall
  • 162 for listening and speaking
  • 169 for reading and writing

LanguageCert Academic/LanguageCert Academic SELT

  • 70 overall
  • 60 for listening and speaking
  • 65 for reading and writing

LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken) – Online / In-centre

  • Overall High Pass
  • 33 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 38 for writing

Oxford ELLT Digital – English Language Level Test Online

  • 7.0 overall
  • 5.0 for listening and speaking
  • 6.0 for reading and writing

PTE Academic (online test not accepted)

  • 62 overall
  • 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing

For more information about language qualifications see our English Language Requirements page.

You apply through our online Applicant Portal. It allows you to upload relevant qualifications and documents.

There is no application fee for our online degrees.

What you need to apply for this degree

  • Degree transcript
  • Personal statement
  • Degree certificate

Apply now

Start with our step-by-step guide. It explains degree transcripts, what to write in your personal statement and how to use our Applicant Portal.

Apply as early as you can. This is so we have time to review your application and get a decision to you. We also want to ensure you have time to enrol before teaching starts.

September 2024 intake

For our September 2024 intake, the application deadline is 8 September 2024.

You will need to accept your offer and provide any outstanding documents to meet the conditions of your offer by 15 September 2024.

Teaching starts on 23 September 2024.

You will need access to:

A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:

  • Windows 10 or later
  • macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.

Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.

Reliable internet access

We recommend:

  • a wired connection
  • a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.

Speakers or headphones

  • We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
  • A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one for some interactive sessions.


We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.

If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.

See our detailed IT requirements for more information.

Master of Letters

180 credits


This indicative cost is based on 180 credits of study over three years, starting in September 2024.

Postgraduate Diploma

120 credits


This indicative cost is based on 120 credits of study over two years, starting in September 2024.

Postgraduate Certificate

60 credits


This indicative cost is based on 30 credits of study per term, starting in September 2024.

Apply for this programme

Start month
September or January

This indicative cost is based on 180 credits of study over three years, starting in September 2024.

Apply via our Applicant Portal
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