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Faculty of Philosophy


The aim of the Training Programme is threefold:

  1. To enable students to learn about, and be trained in, all the resources available in Cambridge that might assist their studies;
  2. To enable students to learn teaching, presentation and other transferable skills; and
  3. To prepare students for making applications and attending interviews for the next stage of their career.


CamGuides ( is a free online pre-arrival resource for Master’s. It’s designed to introduce you to some of the academic, digital and research practices that you’re likely to engage in during your time at Cambridge.

CamGuides encourages you to think about ways you can prepare for your course before it starts and is divided into the following sections:

    • Welcome to Cambridge: learn more about the University and the city: how to find your bearings, useful websites to explore, and about the library services in Cambridge
    • Software for academic use: information about some of the software you might use during your degree – to stay organised, for writing, referencing, design, and working with statistics
    • Finding and using resources: guidance in navigating the wide variety of resources available to you in your subject, how to search effectively
    • Managing your study resources: learn how to organise and safely store the information you use and create – including your assignment drafts, your references, and any images or data you use
    • Becoming a graduate student: information about some of the transferable academic practices you will need as a graduate student: time management, reading techniques, self-direction, critical thinking and academic writing
    • Managing your digital presence: guidance in understanding your digital practices, developing a digital identity, using social media for academic networking, and digital wellbeing and security

CamGuides has been created by Cambridge University Libraries with valuable input from existing Master’s students who share their experiences and advice throughout.



The wealth of print and electronic resources offered by the 100+ libraries at Cambridge can initially feel overwhelming and tricky to navigate.

Further information about the Casimir Lewy Library for Philosophy can be found here:


The Researcher Development Programme offers a variety of online training for Research students. Information on the courses available can be found here:

Some of the courses available to do online include; Managing a Research Project, Presentation Skills Toolkit, Time Management Toolkit, and Making the Most of Conferences. Courses can be booked here:

Students are also encouraged to take the Skills Analysis Survey (for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) to help identify research development needs. A link to this survey is here:


The University provides a Research Development Log which PhD students are encouraged to use to keep a log of all research development training attended. The log can be found here:

What is Open Research and what does it mean FOR YOU?

The Office of Scholarly Communication have an exciting and varied set of training programmes, aimed at different members of the University community. Their training focuses mainly on Open Research practice and policies, the publishing landscape, and Research Data Management.

Please see here for further information about the training they offer:


Cambridge University Library, known affectionately as the ‘UL’, is unique. It is a national, legal deposit library providing access to vast collections of print and electronic resources. The UL and other Cambridge University Libraries are currently offering a blend of online, zero-contact and in- person services to allow you to access the resources and support you need wherever you are working or studying. For up to date information about services and the measures Cambridge University Libraries are taking to keep staff and users safe during the global pandemic go to

Cambridge University Libraries maintain a guide to online courses for Cambridge researchers about publishing, managing data, finding and disseminating research:

In particular, PhD students may find the ‘Publishing in Journals’ online course being useful. Booking details are here:

The online course “Build your own online profile’ may also be of interest

to PhD students:


Writing and discussing

  • Your fellow postgraduate students and research fellows are an invaluable resource. Show your work to them and ask for feedback. Or set up a reading group to discuss works of common interest. The Boardroom can be booked (via the Faculty Office) for informal seminars.
  • Read Phillips & Pugh’s How to Get a PhD
  • For style, read Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style

(Please refer to P.16, Recommended Reading, for full details of these publications.)

  • Reference books (dictionaries, thesaurus, style manuals, etc.) are on the shelves at the far end of the Postgraduate Study Centre.

I.T. resources

    • The Faculty’s web pages:
    • The Faculty website includes user guides for online meeting tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet and Skype. These can be found here:
    • Many resources are available on-line. The most comprehensive list of the databases and e-journals now available can be found on the Cambridge University Libraries website at .   The Philosophy LibGuide provides a summary of electronic resources for Philosophy, such at Attend the Navigating University Libraries and Their Collections workshop (see above) for more information about these. The Philosophy Library has two shared PCs providing secure access to a wide range of software and facilities using your CRSid and Raven Password. See for further details.
    • The Computing Service runs courses on all aspects of computing, including word processing and construction of web pages: or pick up lists from the Service’s reception in the Roger Needham Building (where you can also find some handy leaflets).
    • Cambridge University is committed to achieving excellence in research and scholarship. The pursuit of excellent research and the fulfilment of our responsibilities to participants in research, research users and the wider community require the maintenance of the highest standards of integrity and ethics. Information on training on these topics can be found here: https://www.research-
    • The website contains a wealth of information for doctoral students including planning a doctorate, self-development, supervision, raising your profile etc.
    • The Postgraduate Study Centre is equipped with full computing facilities. Postgraduate Students receive an initial allocation of printer credit from the Faculty, but should you use this up, additional printer credit is available online.



The programme, led by the Undergraduate Coordinator, is directed at postgraduate students and research fellows in philosophy. It consists of four interactive workshops. It aims to achieve:

  • greater understanding of what is involved in learning and teaching;
  • increased confidence and control through the development of skills;
  • improved teaching practice through reflection and discussion.

This programme has been running for over twenty years. It undergoes continuous improvement in the light of the feedback received from previous years’ participants.

Postgraduate students and Research Fellows play a significant part in our undergraduate teaching programme. The Faculty is firmly committed to providing the best possible teaching for its undergraduates and expects that every PhD student will attend every workshop. The official list of supervisors distributed to Directors of Studies specifies whether supervisors have attended them. It is also a requirement for holders of AHRC awards to undertake transferable skills training.

MPhil students are very welcome to attend any of the training sessions. Visiting postgraduate students are also encouraged to attend.

Why you should take part

  • The programme will help you state ideas simply and clearly.
  • It will, as a side-effect, improve both the oral and written presentation of your research.
  • We hope that the workshops will be enjoyable occasions that bring together graduate students and research fellows to share experiences, ideas and concerns.
  • The Faculty will provide a certificate to add to your CV.

Brief descriptions of the workshops

  1. The Philosophy Tripos at Cambridge

Monday 2nd October 2023, 2-3pm. Faculty Board Room, Philosophy Faculty, Sidgwick Site

This first workshop provides an introduction/overview to the Philosophy Tripos at Cambridge, covering issues such as: the syllabi, the modes of teaching, the modes of assessment. Recommended audience: anyone interested in teaching for the Faculty of Philosophy who is unfamiliar with the undergraduate programme.

  1. Small group teaching

Tuesday 3rd October 2023, 2 - 3pm. Faculty Board Room, Philosophy Faculty, Sidgwick Site

This workshop covers discussion groups and other seminars. We discuss basic practical matters related to the running of discussion groups/seminars, as well as the options for covering the relevant parts of the syllabus. We also consider the impact of non-verbal behaviour on learning, and examine ways to develop skills in listening and asking questions.

  1. Supervising, assessment and evaluation

Wednesday 4th October 2023, 2-3 pm. Faculty Board Room, Philosophy Faculty

We will focus on the particular challenges of supervising students one-to- one. We will look at the roles of supervisor and student, ways to structure supervisions, and the aims and methods of giving oral and written feedback. We will also consider methods of evaluation, both of students and of your own teaching, including supervision reports, questionnaires, and observation of colleagues.

  1.  Inclusive Teaching and Learning: Disabled Students

This is an online course, promoted by the Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre (ADRC)

This Moodle course will provide concise, practical strategies for best practice in working inclusively with disabled students. Please self-enrol onto this course and do the online training when convenient.

If you haven't received an email with sign up details about the first three sessions and would like to attend please contacting Anna Simpson (


Details of all training available for both staff and students can be searched and booked here:

Listed below are courses particularly relevant to our postgraduate students.


There is also a central training course that the University will be running, which will complement our own programme and should be attended by new supervisors. The course is called An Introduction to Undergraduate Supervision’ and consists of an initial self-paced module, an in-person workshop and an information pack for ongoing support and information. The course can be booked here and runs on various dates:

Undergraduate Supervision course

If you are likely to be involved in giving undergraduate supervisions online, you may be interested in guidance provided by the Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning on moving supervisions online. This introductory guide addresses planning for and conducting online supervisions, including practical considerations about devices, platforms and tools, as well as structuring online conversations and giving feedback. Further information is here:

Postgraduates who are giving supervisions to undergraduate students may find this online short book, ‘Tackling the Philosophy Essay: A Student Guide’, written by recent Cambridge PhD students, a useful resource, as it is designed to introduce students to the process of writing an essay in philosophy:


Lecturing Performance

The Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning has put together various online resources, which give an introduction to large-group teaching - lectures, classes and seminars - and the differences between online and face-to-face teaching. More details on this are here: and-seminars

Guidance within the Faculty

Final year PhD students who are asked to offer a course of lectures may request advice from a member of the Faculty at the writing stage and feedback on the lectures. It can also be arranged for fellow PhD students to sit in on your lecture and offer feedback. Recording equipment is available if you would prefer to listen to a rerun of your lecture in private! Any questions to the Postgraduate Secretary.

Presentation Skills

The Careers Service subscribes to two platforms to help you practice interviews

More information can be found on the attached link:

The Computing Service offer various self taught training courses on Powerpoint. Please see the following webpage for further information:

There are also a range of courses covering voice, presentation and communication. Full details of all these courses are on the Centre for Personal and Professional Development website:


(Raven password needed)

  • Refer to the Undergraduate Handbook for information about the Philosophy Tripos. Recommend the notes on reading and writing philosophy to your students. The handbook can be viewed here:
  • Consult the Lecture List, Course Outlines/Descriptions, Reading Lists and past papers, which can all be found on the Faculty’s webpage. Philosophy Faculty Lecture List The Faculty’s lecture listings can also be found on the University’s Timetable app:
  • At the end of this document is an annotated reading list on teaching and learning. Some you can recommend to undergraduates.
  • Supervision rooms can be booked via the following link: (Raven password needed).
  • Feel free to consult the Director of Postgraduate Studies for advice on any aspect of teaching.



The Language Centre will be running weekly classes for students in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to develop their skills in reading documents in French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. The aim is to develop strategies for reading longer texts faster. A variety of beginners and intermediate classes are offered.

Details of classes for the academic year can be found here:

The Language Centre also holds resources that can be used to study 170 different Languages in the John Trim Centre, as well as online courses.

More information can be found here:


Towards the end of your time here as a PhD student you may well be asked by one of the Colleges to assist in the interviewing of prospective undergraduates. If this were the case you may be expected to take part in some form of professional development. The Centre for Personal and Professional Development runs Admissions Selection Workshops which can be booked via the following link:


If you are considering getting your work published, you may find it useful to read some online guides and be aware of phishing scams. Some good guides to read are:

Publishing Advice for Postgraduate Students and

Publishing your Philosophy

Your Supervisor will also be happy to give advice on this.


Presentations and Conferences

Take every opportunity to present your work to discussion groups, seminars, faculty colloquia, philosophy societies and conferences. The public defense of your work will:

  • stimulate your research
  • provide extra feedback
  • improve your presentation skills
  • make you a better teacher
  • enhance your CV
  • raise your profile
  • give you deadlines.

There are many philosophy seminars, formal and informal, in Cambridge. Presenting work at these will boost confidence in a friendly setting. But it is also important to branch out. You could start with postgraduate conferences or postgraduate sessions at conferences (e.g. the Joint

Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association held every July).

Advertisements for conferences are generally circulated by e-mail, but some are displayed in the Postgraduate Study Centre. Many journals contain announcements for conferences.

Academic job advertisements

  • The best website for philosophy jobs is Also, keep an eye on the jobs pages of the THE and the Guardian for UK jobs (including Research Fellowships), the Reporter for Research Fellowships.
  • lists academic jobs
  • the e-mail list (PHILOS-L@LISTSERV.LIV.AC.UK) has postings of jobs. To join, mail to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.LIV.AC.UK with the command: SUBSCRIBE PHILOS-L
  • Tell the Director of Postgraduate Studies and other members of the Faculty that you are applying for jobs so that they can keep you up to date with any information they receive.

Advice for job seekers; mock interviews etc.

  • Supervisors are obvious first stops for advice on prospects and written submissions.
  • You can consult your supervisor for advice on the construction of CVs, etc. They will help organise mock interviews, job talks and presentations when the real things loom.
  • The Careers Service can also help with CVs and mock interviews.

TIMETABLE 2023 - 2024



Presented by

Date, Time and Venue

*MPhil Seminar

Jessie Munton, Alexander Bryan and Rae Langton

Weekly, from Thursday 5th October, please check lecture list for details

Publication in journals

Cambridge University Libraries

Academic Languages

Language Centre, with all courses online for 2021-22

Please refer to Language Centre website: specialist-courses.html

Teaching and Transferable Skills Training Programme:

1. The Philosophy Tripos at Cambridge

Undergraduate Coordinator

Monday 2nd October, 2-3pm, Faculty Board Room

2. Small group teaching

Undergraduate Coordinator

Tuesday 3rd October, 2-3pm, Faculty Board Room

3. Supervising, assessment

and evaluation

Undergraduate Coordinator

Wednesday 4th October, 2- 3pm, Faculty Board Room

4. Inclusive Teaching and Learning: Disabled Students

Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre (ADRC)

Online Moodle Course, please sign up.

*Obligatory for MPhil students

Recommended Reading for Postgraduate Students and Research Fellows in Philosophy

The following books and many more can be found in the Study & Teaching Skills collection in the Casimir Lewy Library of Philosophy. If there is a book you would like to recommend the Library purchase for this collection please complete the book suggestion form at:

The PhD

Kirchherr, J., The Lean PHD: Radically improve the efficiency, quality and impact of your research (London: Macmillan Palgrave, 2018)

Applies lean methodologies used by start-up companies to offer a new and more efficient approach to the doctoral research process. Ebook available via 673678750003606.

Phillips, E.M. and Pugh, D.S., How to get a Ph.D.: A Handbook for Students and their Supervisors, 6th ed., Milton Keynes: Magraw-Hill/Open University Press, 2015)

A classic ‘survival manual’ with useful chapters on managing supervisors and the psychology of writing a thesis. Ebook available via 621211790003606.

Silvia, P. J., How to Write a Lot: A practical guide to productive academic writing, 2nd ed., (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2019)

Offers advice to help overcome barriers to writing journal articles, books and proposals for grants and fellowships. Ebook available via 640874790003606

Wisker, G., The Postgraduate Research Handbook, 2nd ed., (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)

Provides guidance on how to plan and conduct your research from getting started, managing your time and your supervisor, starting to write through to writing up, the viva, presentations and beyond. Ebook available via 519414520003606


The wealth of print and electronic resources offered by the 100+ libraries at Cambridge can initially feel overwhelming and tricky to navigate.

Come along to this workshop to learn how to find, access and manage relevant material for your research as painlessly as possible. The workshop will be delivered by your Philosophy Librarian, Jo Harcus, on Friday 7 October at 11am -12pm in the Faculty Board Room. All new philosophy postgraduate students are expected to attend.

Hoffman, E., (ed.), Guidebook for Publishing Philosophy (Bowling Green: Philosophy Documentation Center, 1997)

In addition to notes on getting papers published, there is a section on resources for writing and publishing philosophy and a comprehensive listing of philosophy journals.

Murray, R., Writing for Academic Journals, 3rd ed., (Maidenhead: Macgraw/Open University, 2013)

‘This book demystifies the process of writing academic papers, showing readers what good papers look like and how they can be written.’



Dummett, M., Grammar and Style for Examination Candidates and Others

(London: Duckworth, 1993)

A philosopher offers advice; witty.

Gopen, G. The Sense of Structure: Writing from the Reader's Perspective

Richardson, B., MHRA Style Guide, 3rd ed., (London: MHRA, 2013)

‘Notes for Authors, Editors and Writers of Theses’.

Strunk, W. and White E.B., The Elements of Style, 4th ed. (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2000)

A sensible and simple set of guidelines for improving writing style.

Sword, H. Stylish Academic Writing. Ebook available via 2850003606

N.B. There are several other relevant reference books in the graduate centre.



Pears, R. and Shields, G., Cite them Right, 11th ed., (London: Red Globe Press/Macmillan Education, 2019)

‘The essential referencing guide’. Available online via 526746880003606


Guides for teachers


The following titles are selected from the reading list for the Teaching

Associates’ Programme offered by the Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning. The full course description and reading list can be downloaded from their website at:

Ambrose, S., (ed.), How Learning Works: Seven researched-based principles for smart teaching (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010). Ebook available via 4640003606

Biggs, J. and Tang, C.S., ‘Teaching according to how students learn’ in Teaching for Quality Learning at University, 4th ed. (Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/Open University, 2011). . Ebook available via 38650003606

Bligh, D., What’s the Use of Lectures? (San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 2010).   Ebook available via 1270003606

Fry, H., Ketteridge, S. and Marschall, S., (eds.), A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 4th ed., (London: Routldege, 2015).

Ebook available via 7570003606

Kember, D. and Ginns, P., Evaluating Learning and Teaching: A practical handbook for colleges, universities and the scholarship of teaching (London: Routledge, 2012).

Mills, D. and Alexander, P. Small-Group Teaching: A toolkit for learning [Online]. Available to download from the Higher Education Academy website at: teaching (Accessed: 22 August 2019).

Morss, K, and Murray, R., Teaching at University: A guide for postgraduates and researchers (London: SAGE, 2005). Ebook available via 94860003606

Race, P., The Lecturer’s Toolkit: A practical guide to assessment, learning and teaching, 3rd ed., (London: Routledge, 2007).

Ramsden, P., Learning to Teach in Higher Education, 2nd ed., (London: Routledge Falmer, 2003).


You may also find the following Philosophy specific titles helpful for your teaching:


Cahn, S. M., Teaching Philosophy: A guide (London: Routledge, 2018)

Fisher, A. and Tallant, J., How to Get Philosophy Students Talking: An instructor’s toolkit (London: Roultedge, 2016)


Guides for undergraduates (to recommend to them and to mine for tips)


Bailey, S., Academic Writing for International Students, 5th ed., (London: Routledge, 2018).

‘Written to deal with the specific language issues faced by international students, this practical, user-friendly book is an invaluable guide to academic writing in English.’

Martinich, A. P., Philosophical Writing, 4th edition. (Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2016)

Focuses on the structure of arguments. Ebook available via 623657110003606

Moran, A., Managing Your Own Learning at University: A practical guide, 3rd ed., (Dublin: University College Dublin Press, 2018)

‘…a practical self-help guide for new and continuing students who are faced with taking responsibility for their own studies in college and university.’

Saunders, C., et al., Doing Philosophy: A practical guide for students, 2nd ed., (London: Bloomsbury, 2013)

Offers practical exercises and useful examples to examine what it means to think, read, discuss and write philosophically. Includes a guide to key library and online resources for Philosophy.

Warburton, N., Philosophy: The essential Study Guide (London: Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2004).

Advice from a philosopher on reading, listening to, discussing and writing philosophy as well as preparing for exams. Very short.