Philosophy Masters

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Our MA programmes

UJ Philosophy offers a MA (Philosophy) by Coursework as well as an MA (Philosophy) by dissertation.

The MA by Coursework curriculum consists of six compulsory modules.

1. Research Essay

This is an essay of approximately 7500 words, which includes a proposal for the minor dissertation that is expected to satisfy the Higher Degrees Committee, and which must be completed in the first year of study (failing which continuation in the programme is at the discretion of the Philosophy Department)

2. Minor dissertation

This is a dissertation of about 20,000 – 25,000 words, the topic of which is negotiated with a supervisor. The dissertation is submitted in the second year of your MA.

The other four modules are courses. Which courses are offered in a specific year will be determined by the department and will be based on, amongst other considerations, the availability of academic staff with the requisite expertise in a field and the interests of students.

In 2022 we offer:

Logic (Dr Chad Harris)

Epistemology (Prof Veli Mitova)

Analytic Philosophy (Ms Zinhle Mncube)

Philosophy of Science (Prof Ben Smart)


DEADLINE: 30 October 2022

Departmental Requirements
Minimum requirement: You must have scored an average of at least 65% for an Honours degree in Philosophy

Additional requirements

  1. ​A brief research proposal [1,000 words].
  2. An example of written work from the Honours degree, preferably a research essay.
  3. A covering letter including a statement of purpose of no more than 400 words. A statement of purpose usually includes, but is not limited to the following: reasons why you wish to complete this degree, envisaged impediments to your study, work commitments, etc.
  4. The contact details of two of your lecturers during the Honours degree.

Candidates might also be asked to complete the following:

  1. ​An essay writing exercise based on prescribed texts.
  2. An interview.

​Applications for MA Study in Philosophy at UJ
If you have any questions prior to submitting your application, contact the Postgraduate Admissions Co-ordinator, Prof Catherine Botha or the academic member of staff whose areas of expertise in which you are interested.


(All documents must be certified copies, with the exception of the academic record and certificate of conduct)

  1. ​Academic record and (certificate of conduct if registered at another higher education institution) (original),
  2. Matriculation exemption certificate (only students who did not study at UJ)
  3. Previous degree/certificate, (only students who did not study at UJ)
  4. an UJ application form (only students who did not study at UJ)
  5. Departmental contact details form


Candidates who do not have permanent residence in South Africa or who are not South African citizens need to consult the International Office for specific prerequisites with regard to legal requirements and other relevant information. This includes matters such as study permits, medical cover and English language proficiency requirements. The international office will, where applicable, refer candidates to SAQA for validation of qualifications, as well as for English language proficiency testing. The International Office also provides information about the application procedure.

Contact details

​International office: +27 (0)11 559 2018​

Please contact either Prof Catherine Botha:, the Postgraduate admissions co-ordinator, or Prof Ben Smart:, the Postgraduate teaching co-ordinator, to help with any queries.