Some of our PhD students take the opportunity to teach while studying for their degee.

Postgraduate study 

We provide a dynamic environment for postgraduate research and taught programmes. Our students are offered an opportunity to work in a friendly environment and in close contact with internationally recognised researchers in their field of study. 

Our varied taught programmes provide advance study across a range of interests, including philosophy of science and social science, science and technology and cultural sociology. We support Research degrees across a diverse range of topics, a vibrant research culture and good opportunities for funding.

Why study Sociology, Philosophy or Anthropology at Exeter?

  • 9th in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research1
  • 6th for Philosophy in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015
  • 6th for Anthropology in The Complete University Guide 2016
  • Internationally recognised for work in science and technology studies, philosophical anthropology and the sociology of culture
  • Funding opportunities available through ESRC South West Doctoral Training Centre - a hub of world-class social sciences research 

1Research Excellence Framework 2014 based on the percentage of research categorised as 4* and 3*.

Anthropology student's community project receives UN Gold Star award

A United Nations Gold Star Award for Environmental Impact has been awarded to a sustainability project that has improved the livelihoods of Kenyan farmers through the provision of trees and a communal water system. Anthropology PhD student Luci Attala has been embedded within the reforestation initiative and has monitored how people collect and use the water and how it alters their lifestyles. Read more.

Mattia Gallotti

I find engaging with issues of social cognition and agency truly inspirational and rewarding. After completing a Masters in Economics and Philosophy, I wanted to combine these interests by pursuing a PhD in the Philosophy of Social Science at the University of Exeter. Several research groups at Exeter have rapidly gained international recognition for the quality of their projects, especially in the philosophy of society and cognition, thus making the intellectual life on campus very attractive.

While studying at Exeter, I was twice invited by the Department of Philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley as a ‘visiting student researcher’, and as a ‘guest scientist’ in a psychology lab at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. During and after these visits, I have developed significant portions of my doctoral project and disseminated the results by presenting refereed papers at international conferences as well as by leading discussions in various workshops and departmental seminars. 

Shortly after completing my PhD, I was awarded a European Neuroscience and Society Network grant from the European Science Foundation, which has allowed me to engage with working scientists in sustaining discussions and cross-disciplinary exchanges about the practice, methodology and experimentation in the mind and brain sciences. This has also enabled me to secure a postdoctoral fellowship at the Jean Nicod Institute, the centre of analytic philosophers of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris.

I would strongly recommend considering the University of Exeter for two reasons. Firstly, the Sociology and Philosophy department is a highly interdisciplinary and flexible research environment with a focus on naturalistic approaches to the study of culture and cognition. Secondly, over the last four years the University has actively worked to position itself at the forefront of research and teaching across the country, going through major changes and increased investments in research infrastructures.

Mattia Gallotti, PhD in Philosophy 2010.