About us

Keywords: philosophy, continental, european, masters, distance learning, online, MA, PhD, postgraduate, graduate school, doctorate, england, britain, united kingdom, program, Kant, Nietzsche, phenomenology, Bachelard, Foucault, Serres, hermeneutics, science, politics, aesthetics.

We are a small, research-intensive philosophy department, specialising in modern Continental (European) philosophy. We no longer offer undergraduate study, but we now have more than 45 postgraduate students working with us in philosophy. Staffordshire University is a fully accredited part of the United Kingdom higher education system, and thus its degrees are accepted and respected around the world.

Philosophy has as its core staff Prof Douglas Burnham and Prof David Webb, who work closely with colleagues from across the humanities and social sciences.

We offer:

  1. The distance learning Masters in Continental Philosophy (click here for more details). You can start on this course in September or in January.

  2. A taught Master of Arts (MA) in philosophy under the umbrella of the MA Negotiated Learning. You can start on this course in September or in January.

  3. We also offer PhD supervision in Continental philosophy, both by attendance and by distance learning (see PhD information page). You can start a research degree at any time of year.

There are only a limited number of places on the doctoral programme, and we  particularly welcome applications in the following areas where we possess particular research strength:

  • Kant in relation to more recent European thought

  • Nietzsche

  • Phenomenology (especially Heidegger) or hermeneutics

  • Foucault (archaeology, genealogy, philosophy and history, politics, ethics)

  • French epistemology and philosophy of science, including Bachelard and Michel Serres

  • Aesthetics (especially visual arts, literature or wine, all with a Continental emphasis)

  • Ethics (phenomenology of, virtue, or some themes in medical ethics), politics (including Marx and Marxism), gender, and theories of subjectivity, again with a Continental emphasis.

  • Time, space.

  • The Department also has a specialisation in theory/practice PhD projects, where we supervise in conjunction with colleagues from fine art or other practice-based subjects.

You can follow David Webb at academia.edu, where you can also find several of his publications.

Where are we?

The University is situated in the City of Stoke on Trent, the largest urban area in the County of Staffordshire. Stoke on Trent is home to the ceramics industry, with such household names as Spode and Wedgwood (and more recent famous brands such as Portmeirion, Moorcroft and Emma Bridgewater), and to Stoke City FC, the second oldest professional football team in the world. Reginald Mitchell the inventor of the Spitfire fighter plane; T. E. Hulme, philosopher and one of the founders of modernist poetry; Oliver Lodge, who invented the spark plug; Arnold Bennett, one of the best-selling novelists of the 20s and 30s; and Edward Smith the captain of the Titanic — all were all born here. H. G. Wells lived in the city for a formative period in his early career. Charles Darwin had two eminent grandfathers: Josiah Wedgwood (great Stoke industrialist and enlightenment figure) and Erasmus Darwin (medical doctor in our county, and himself a pioneering naturalist). Indeed, the Wedgwoods helped finance Charles’ voyages. Rousseau wrote the first half of his Confessions at Wootton in Staffordshire.

Other staff associated with philosophy — that is, colleagues who teach or can supervise postgraduate students — include Dr. Mike Ball, Professor Ian Brown, Dr. Mark Brown, Dr. Graham Coulter-Smith, Samantha Fletcher, Dr. Martin Jesinghausen, Professor Peter Kevern, Dr. Lisa Mansell, Dr. Peter Lamb and Dr. Em Temple-Malt. You will find profiles of these staff, and their specific research interests, on the main University website.

An excellent choice. Actually coming back home after work and sitting down with the study material is one of the few meaningful activities during the day.” — C. Lamprou, current student.

The combination of well-chosen readings, ongoing commentary and criticism from the professor, and an open forum to exchange perspectives and ask questions, created a similar experience of a classroom, but with better results. For example, all the students took great care to compose their blackboard posts as opposed to often less-developed thinking that can occur in a more traditional setting. In the end, a worthwhile and valuable experience.” — D. Weinberg, current student.

Great module, erudite, patient, and kind tutor. I learnt a lot.” — S. Blaney, current student.

(Please note that although Gradschools.com kindly allow us to maintain a listing on their site, we are no longer able to receive enquiries through them. You will have to contact us directly.)

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