Master of Arts in Practical Philosophy


What will I learn?

Philosophy in real life

Traditional and commonplace philosophy courses focus on the teaching of philosophers’ works, theories and history – solid knowledge which relies mainly on reading and memorising. However, Lingnan’s Master of Arts in Practical Philosophy Programme, goes further. This emphasises the practicality of philosophy with the aim of helping and inspiring the student to become a whole person who is able to utilise their philosophical, analytical and problem-solving skills at work or in everyday life.

Practice makes perfect

“It is definitely not a career-oriented course; it does help students critically examine their own value systems and be receptive to different perspectives,” says programme director Chiu Wai-wai. “Hong Kong has witnessed many social and cultural changes over the years, and our society needs reflective and open-minded citizens who are able to respond to challenges – and answer challenging questions – in a positive way on either an individual or collective level.”

The taught master’s programme welcomes enrolment by degree holders in any discipline and all walks of life. “Even though applicants with a basic philosophy training will be given preference, those with other qualifications will also be considered on a case-by-case basis,” Chiu explains.

Embracing breadth and depth

To Chiu, what also makes the Master of Arts in Practical Philosophy programme stand out is its wide variety of courses, which are linked to the irreducibly pluralistic nature of daily life and practice. “We have three main categories of subjects for students to choose, the range and nature of which are so different but which somehow correlate together. For instance, in the value philosophy category, students can study the relationship of philosophy with cinema, with love, with literature, or, they can get a ‘glimpse’ of the face of utopia.

“In the philosophical thinking category, they will learn subjects such as probability and scientific method, and reasoning and argumentation. In the third category, traditions and practical wisdom, they will be able to gain a thorough understanding of a variety of theories, classics, and religions, as well as the works of dominant philosophers, including Wei Jin metaphysics, Buddhism, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Pre-Qin, and their relationship and relevance to today’s world and life,” explains Chiu, a renowned scholar with a research interest in Pre-Qin Daoism and Mohism.

With this depth and diversity, the Master of Arts in Practical Philosophy programme has, unquestionably, successfully transformed the lives of numerous graduates and students, turning each one into a whole person, which is exactly Lingnan University’s mission.

The full-time study mode of the Master of Arts in Practical Philosophy is a 1-year MA taught programme. Students are required to take and pass 8 courses (24 credits) in one academic year in order to graduate from the programme. The maximum period of study is 2 years. Once students have been approved to study in the full-time mode will not be allowed to switch back to the part-time study mode.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Arts

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
HK$80,000.00 (8,48,770) per year
Note: This fee is for 2018/19 (subject to change)
Start date

Expected January 2024


Lingnan University

8 Castle Peak Road,

Tuen Mun, Hong Kong, New Territories

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree from a recognised tertiary institution; and An applicant whose degree is from a non-English-medium tertiary institution should obtain: IELTS: minimum acceptable score of 6.5 or TOEFL: minimum acceptable score of 550 (paper-based test) or 79 (internet-based test) or an equivalent score in a recognised test

For international students

  • Applicants should possess an honours degree in any field from a recognized institution.
  • Applicants with other acceptable and equivalent qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Applicants that have a basic training in philosophy will be given preference. (Note: Applicants with prior training in philosophy should also specify the level attained and provide relevant supporting documents.) An applicant whose degree or, exceptionally, an alternative qualification deemed equivalent is not from a tertiary institution in Hong Kong or an English-speaking country should obtain:
  • TOEFL: minimum acceptable score of 550 (paper-based test) or 213 (computer-based test) or 79 (internet-based test) or
  • IELTS: minimum acceptable score of 6.5 or
  • an equivalent score in a recognised test,
  • or an equivalent qualification to prove his/her language proficiency which will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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