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The study of philosophy is concerned with trying to make sense of ourselves and the world we live in through rational argument. It is a highly inter-disciplinary subject and attempts to examine and answer questions raised by natural science, by the study of art and literature, by the nature of language and communication, and by history.  

At St Andrews, you will become familiar with views put forward by the principal figures of the philosophical tradition, and learn how to rationally and independently assess your own arguments. Studying philosophy is thus a means of acquiring skills of criticism and analysis, of clear thinking and principled debate.



Philosophy MA (Hons)

Joint degree options

You can take Philosophy MA (Hons) with another subject as part of a joint degree.



Conversion to Philosophy GradDip
Epistemology, Mind and Language MLitt
History of Philosophy MLitt
Logic and Metaphysics MLitt
Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy MLitt
Philosophy MLitt



Please contact a supervisor in your research area to inquire about PhD opportunities.

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  • Wednesday 8 March 2017
  • November 2017 - date to be confirmed.

Booking for the spring visiting days is now open.

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Latest in Philosophy at St Andrews

In the most recent National Student Survey (NSS 2016) the Department of Philosophy received a 100% score for student satisfaction.


Philosophy research areas

Postgraduate degrees in Philosophy at St Andrews are run jointly by the St Andrews and Stirling Graduate Programme in Philosophy (SASP). SASP offers expertise in most areas of philosophy including language, espistemology, ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, philosophy of the mind and the history of philosophy.

Specialised research areas in Philosophy at St Andrews include:

Moral, political and legal philosophy

Research staff currently undertaking research in moral, political and legal philosophy: 

Epistemology, philosophy of mind and philosophy of language

Research staff currently undertaking research in epistemology, philosophy of mind and philosophy of language: 

Logic and metaphysics

Staff currently undertaking research in logic and metaphysics:

History of philosophy

Staff currently undertaking research in the history of philosophy:

Philosophy research centres and institutes

There are two research centres and institutes related to Philosophy:

Philosophical Research Centre for the Philosophy of Logic, Language, Metaphysics and Epistemology (Arché)
The Arché philosophical research centre focuses on producing and disseminating original research in topics on language and mind, history and philosophy of logic and mathematics, epistemology, and metaphysics.

Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs (CEPPA)
CEPPA brings philosophical reflections on matters of broad interest and concern. Its field of activity comprises ethics, social and political philosophy as well as the ethical and philosophical dimensions of public affairs.

Philosophy research portal


Careers for graduates in Philosophy

Philosophy graduates are highly employable in a wide variety of fields in both private and public sectors. Recent graduates have found careers in:

  • local government
  • National Health Service
  • Co-operative Bank
  • insurance
  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • publishing
  • teaching English abroad
  • law.

See recent graduate employment case studies.


A graduate in Philosophy typically will have transferable skills in:

  • the ability to analyse problems in a multi dimensional way
  • the ability to think creatively, self critically and independently
  • self-motivation
  • the ability to work autonomously
  • time and priority management skills
  • a flexible mind adaptable to managing change.

Funding opportunities

There is a range of funding opportunities available to prospective undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD students.


The Dr Lawrence M Wodehouse Scholarship provides financial assistance for students studying in the Faculty of Arts who are academically gifted but would otherwise struggle with the cost of studying at St Andrews.

Undergraduate scholarships


The University of St Andrews offers a range of postgraduate funding opportunities.

Postgraduate taught scholarships

PhD students

Find out more about funding at PhD level.

Funding for PhD students


REF 2014

‌The Department of Philosophy was ranked first in Scotland and fifth in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 assessment. 83% of the Department's research was rated world leading or internationally excellent.

University league tables

The Department of Philosophy was ranked first in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2017 and first in Scotland by the Complete University Guide 2017 for high student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects.


Department of Philosophy
University of St Andrews
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2486

Philosophy website  Philosophy research portal