SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or registered on the National Qualifications Framework, are public property. Thus, the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction: it is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Master of Arts in Philosophy 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
91725  Master of Arts in Philosophy 
ORIGINATOR
University of Johannesburg 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Master's Degree  Field 07 - Human and Social Studies  General Social Science 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  180  Not Applicable  NQF Level 09  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2021-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2022-06-30   2025-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
This qualification aims to develop the theoretical competence of learners in depth by teaching them to analyse, interpret and apply the best philosophical theories from the history of Philosophy up to the present. The qualification contributes to the development of knowledge at an advanced level through requiring a high level of theoretical engagement and intellectual independence from learners. It further develops the intellectual, research, discussion and presentation skills of the learners. The qualification prepares learners to participate meaningfully in philosophical debates anywhere, including as citizens in a democracy.

Rationale:
Philosophy facilitates the development of a systematic approach to thoughts and careful reasoning. Education has developed into a powerful tool through the influence of philosophical inputs. The importance of philosophy in education is the fact that today it forms the strengthened and underpinned foundation on which all academic teaching and intellectual learning is built. Philosophy has become an enormously complex discipline with a wide range of fields. The qualification introduces learners to the core fields and major figures from the widely shared history of Philosophy that gives philosophers throughout the world a shared vocabulary and background to enable meaningful dialogue about philosophical issues.

The qualification aims to develop learners with a strong reasoning capacity that will enable them to make decisions in difficult situations. Learners will acquire strong argumentation skills and the ability to present a clear and logical input. 

LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
Learners are expected to be able to read and critically evaluate academic text in English and communicate information and their own ideas orally and in written text that is grammatically correct, well structured, clear and concise, using accepted standards of medical science and academic writing at NQF Level 8.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
This Qualification can be achieved in part through the Recognition of Prior Learning and the Qualification may be granted, according to the policies governing higher education, to learners who have acquired the skills and knowledge, without attending formal courses, providing they can demonstrate competence in the outcomes of the qualification as required by the Fundamental, Core and Elective areas stipulated in the Qualification and the Exit Level Outcomes.
RPL may also be used by learners, who are not in possession of a National Senior Certificate (NSC) or equivalent qualification, to gain access to the qualification.

Entry Requirements:
  • Bachelor of Arts with Honours Degree in Philosophy at NQF Level 8.
  • A Postgraduate Diploma: Philosophy or equivalent at NQF Level 8. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    The qualification consists of two compulsory modules, a minor dissertation worth 90 Credits and a research project worth 15 Credits. Learners select three optional modules, of which each is worth 25 Credits, totalling 180 Credits.

    Core Modules:
  • Minor Dissertation Essay.
  • Research Proposal.

    Elective Modules:
  • African Philosophy.
  • Analytic Philosophy (Advanced).
  • Applied Ethics (Advanced).
  • Continental Philosophy (Advanced).
  • Critical Theory (Advanced).
  • Eastern Philosophy (Advanced).
  • Epistemology (Advanced).
  • Hermeneutics (Advanced).
  • Logic (Advanced).
  • Marxism (Advanced).
  • Meta-Ethics (Advanced).
  • Metaphysics (Advanced).
  • Normative Ethics (Advanced).
  • Philosophy of Art (Advanced).
  • Philosophy of Language (Advanced).
  • Philosophy of Mind (Advanced).
  • Philosophy of Religion (Advanced).
  • Philosophy of Science (Advanced.
  • Postmodernism (Advanced).
  • Select Author (Advanced).
  • Select Topic (Advanced).
  • Social, Political and Legal Philosophy (Advanced). 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Select and analyse contemporary debates, impact and appropriation of classic philosophical theories and ideas that dominate the field the learner has chosen.
    2. Demonstrate own independent philosophical thinking and reasoning with respect to the central issues in this field as a result of deep engagement with high quality philosophical theories.
    3. Demonstrate advanced research skills in Philosophy, including the ability to find cutting-edge materials that might not yet be in print.
    4. Write a philosophy minor dissertation that complies with peer review standards.
    5. Present results at a departmental seminar. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria For Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • One or more classic theories from the fields are analysed and evaluated in depth and in detail.
  • Debates, impact and appropriation of theories by contemporary philosophers are analysed and evaluated.
  • The results of the analyses and evaluations are expressed clearly and systematically in philosophical essays.

    Associated Assessment Criteria For Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Motivations of own position to specific debates are based on sound integration of relevant theory, practice, research and independent, creative thinking.
  • Understanding of one's own position and its feasibility in relation to major debates is demonstrated in discussions.
  • Written and oral explanations of own position are clearly and coherently/logically communicated.

    Associated Assessment Criteria For Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • A plausible topic is selected for research in the light of philosophical research problems and current scholarship.
  • Current literature and research are accessed, analysed and organised and evaluated systematically in the chosen theory.
  • Evaluations to demonstrate clear evidence of effective application of the principles of research practice are applied in the chosen theory.
  • Conclusions and recommendations are justified by the use of appropriate evidence and arguments.

    Associated Assessment Criteria For Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Research themes are appropriately identified and demarcated.
  • Research reports that critically and coherently describe theoretical arguments of the research process, methodology, results, conclusions and recommendations are outlined.
  • Research reports display skill in extrapolating key findings and are used to justify conclusions and make feasible recommendations.
  • Research methods, techniques and technologies are selected to show evidence of a clear understanding of relevant research theory and practice.

    Associated Assessment Criteria For Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Results of analyses and evaluations are clearly and systematically expressed in several shorter philosophy essays.
  • Philosophical ideas are presented to an audience.
  • Ability to present information in an appropriate structure is demonstrated.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Learners would write two essays critically discussing arguments for important philosophical theses, which would be worth at least 20% each (and at most 25% each) of the mark for the course. In some classes, Learners would also be evaluated on a number of continuous formative assessments (reading reports) and on class preparation and participation, together worth a maximum of 10%. A final examination must be written, which would count as 50% of their mark for the course. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    The qualification has been compared with the qualifications below. Modules and entry requirements compare favourably with these qualifications from the chosen qualifications in different countries.

    The department of Philosophy at the University of Columbia in the City of New York offers a Master's in Philosophy which is intended for learners who wish to develop an advanced competence in Philosophy. The qualification modules are divided into groups.

    Group I:
  • Ethics.
  • Aesthetics.
  • Political Philosophy.

    Group II:
  • Theory of Knowledge.
  • Philosophy of Logic.
  • Philosophy of Language.
  • Philosophy of Science.
  • Metaphysics.

    Group III:
  • History of Philosophy (a major philosopher or philosophical period).

    Learners who complete and meet the requirements of the qualification are afforded the opportunity to enrol for a Doctor of Philosophy.

    The Central European University offers a Masters in Philosophy of Arts in Philosophy which attempts to combine historical and analytical approaches to philosophy.

    Modules for this qualification include:
    Compulsory Modules:
  • Epistemology.
  • Philosophy of Language.
  • Metaphysics.
  • Ethics.
  • Ancient Philosophy.
  • Early Modern Philosophy.
  • Kant and After.

    Elective Modules:
  • Philosophy of Mind.
  • Philosophy of Religion.
  • Aristotle.
  • Aesthetics.

    The Kings College of London offers a one year full time or two years part time Master of Arts in Philosophy that also leads to a Doctor of Philosophy for learners who want to pursue education further. The qualification consists of modules worth 180 Credits.

    Modules:
  • Dissertation (MA Philosophy) 60 Credits.
    Select three modules (20 Credits each).
  • Aesthetics.
  • Early Modern Philosophy.
  • Epistemology.
  • Ethics.
  • Greek Philosophical Texts I: Plato.
  • Greek Philosophy I: Plato.
  • Indian Philosophy I: The Orthodox Schools.
  • Metaphysics.
  • Nineteenth-Century Continental Philosophy.
  • Topics in the Philosophy of Medicine.
  • Philosophy of Mind.
  • Philosophy of Psychology I.
  • Philosophy of Religion.
  • Philosophy of Science.
  • Political Philosophy.
  • Set Theory.
  • Theory of Grammar.

    Select three modules (20 Credits each):
  • Epistemology II: Special Topics.
  • Ethics of Science and Technology.
  • Foundations of Analytic Philosophy.
  • Greek Philosophical Texts II: Aristotle.
  • Greek Philosophy II: Aristotle.
  • Greek Philosophy III: Special Topics
  • Indian Philosophy II: The Heterodox Schools.
  • Kant I: Critique of Pure Reason.
  • Kant II: Moral Philosophy.
  • Medieval Philosophy.
  • Topics in the Philosophy of Medicine.
  • Modal Logic.
  • Philosophy of Language.
  • Philosophy of Language.
  • Philosophy of Mind II: Special Topics.
  • Philosophy of Physics.
  • Philosophy of Psychology II.
  • Theory of Meaning.

    Conclusion:
    The qualifications above compare to the Masters of Arts in Philosophy for the following reasons:
    The aim of these qualifications is to consolidate and to augment learners' existing knowledge in philosophy.
    The qualifications introduce learners to key theories and arguments, concepts and terminology, and classic texts from across the philosophical spectrum. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    The Master of Arts: Philosophy will articulate:
  • Horizontally with qualifications at NQF Level 9 in a similar focus area, such as:
    > Master of Arts: Philosophy: Research.
    > Master of Arts: Philosophy: Theories: Research.
    > Master of Arts: Politics: Philosophy and Economics.
    > Master of Philosophy.
  • Vertically with qualifications at NQF Level 10, such as:
    > Doctor of Literature and Philosophy.
    > Doctor of Literature and Philosophy: Administration.
    > Doctor of Literature and Philosophy: African Languages.
    > Doctor of Literature and Philosophy: Applied Linguistics and Literary Theory.
    > Doctor of Literature and Philosophy: Comparative Labour Studies. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    Assessment is done according to the institution's policy. Moderators are experienced assessors with knowledge of the learning field. External moderation is done for all summative assessments. Reports from external moderators are used to improve teaching and learning as well as formative and summative assessments. Final examination assessment is done in line with the institution and Faculty policy requirements and procedures. 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    Criteria for the registration of assessors:

    All examiners and assessors are expected to be in possession of a Doctorate in Philosophy. 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. University of Johannesburg 



    All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or registered on the National Qualifications Framework, are public property. Thus, the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction: it is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.