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Excellence in research, teaching and employability of our students

The Philosophy Department at Durham University is a centre for world-leading research in a wide range of fields, with four main research clusters: ‘Aesthetics, Ethics and Politics’; ‘History of Philosophy’; ‘Mind, Language and Metaphysics’ and ‘Science, Medicine and Society’. It is home to the ‘Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society’ (CHESS), and has strong links with several interdisciplinary research centres such as the ‘Centre for the Ethics of Cultural Heritage’ and the ‘Centre for Ancient and Medieval Philosophy’.

At postgraduate and undergraduate level, students can choose from a wide range of topics spanning the whole discipline of philosophy. The Department’s undergraduate programmes are to be found among the top 10 in national rankings for philosophy (The Guardian, The Complete University Guide and The Times). It has one of the largest PhD programmes in the UK, and many of our students go on to pursue highly successful academic careers.

Durham has recently gained its highest-ever global ranking in Arts & Humanities. The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings by Subject 2020 place Durham University 27th among the world’s leading universities – up three places from last year. This is the fifth consecutive year we have ranked in the top 30 for Arts and Humanities in this league table.

Our Strategic Vision

Our broad aim is to sustain and enhance our tradition of world-leading research, building on the existing strengths of our four research clusters (‘Aesthetics, Ethics and Politics’, ‘History of Philosophy’, ‘Mind, Language and Metaphysics’, ‘Science, Medicine and Society’) so as to develop world-leading concentrations of research expertise across all our clusters. We will continue to grow, and strengthen our research culture by:

  • consolidating and deepening current areas of strength with new appointments;
  • further developing our collaborations with researchers, policymakers and practitioners from other disciplines and beyond academia;
  • using external funding and university centres and institutes to support innovative research and the environment it needs to flourish.

Our Opportunities

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