About the Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Studies

The Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Studies is the University of St Andrew's newest academic School and has been established to foster interdisciplinary postgraduate education and scholarship.

The Graduate School offers six Masters degree programmes:

The Graduate School’s interdisciplinary programmes and community provide postgraduates with a stimulating environment in which you can:

  • learn across subject boundaries and expand your knowledge base, allowing you to maximise the intellectual and professional value of your time at St Andrews
  • develop and apply practical skills relevant to academic and professional contexts, enhancing your employability
  • explore a topic in depth and demonstrate your ability to plan and manage academically rigorous research
  • benefit from being part of a vibrant and welcoming postgraduate community and a Graduate School that is wholly focused on understanding and meeting the needs of Masters students.

Learn across subject boundaries

Interdisciplinary learning is at the heart of the Graduate School and its programmes. You will be encouraged to develop a more rounded, interdisciplinary understanding of contemporary debates and professional practice and to use ideas from different disciplines to illuminate your studies.

Graduate School programmes draw on concepts and methodologies from the humanities, the social sciences, and the physical and life sciences. Subject experts from across the University lead seminars on core modules providing different disciplinary perspectives on key topics.

Develop and apply practical skills

As well as their interdisciplinary character, Graduate School programmes are distinguished by their emphasis on the development and application of practical skills.

Through the core and optional modules you will deepen your subject knowledge, solve problems creatively and with originality, and develop your understanding of research and enquiry methodologies.

Programmes may also provide the opportunity to work with a relevant external agency or organisation, allowing you to gain first-hand professional experience.

Explore and manage your own research project

The final module of every Graduate School programme is the summer research project. The project takes the form of a period of independent supervised research where you will explore a topic in depth. Through the project you will apply the theory and analytical methods learned in the core modules as well as demonstrate your ability to plan and manage academically rigorous research.

On some programmes you can choose the format in which to present your project. This might be as a policy-focused report, a multi-media portfolio, or a written dissertation.

Be part of a vibrant, intellectually stimulating community

To help you make the most of your degree, the Graduate School hosts a programme of events and activities exclusively for Masters students. Bringing together postgraduates from each of the Graduate School programmes, these events are an opportunity to meet fellow postgraduates, make new connections, and foster interdisciplinary contacts.

Graduate School postgraduates are also part of the University's wider postgraduate community. All postgraduates are members of St Leonard’s College which brings together Masters students and doctoral students.

Transferable skills training and conference

As an integral part of the core modules on Graduate School programmes, you will complete a transferable skills training programme. The training and the conference are designed to connect your academic learning with the development of professional skills that enhance employability.

Graduate School training programme

The transferable skills training programme places a particular emphasis on skills relating to the use of different media to communicate academic concepts to different types of audiences. You will learn both how to communicate effectively in different formats – such as a podcast or short film – as well as techniques to ensure that messages are appropriate for the needs of both specialist and general audiences.

This training is then applied in the assignments for the core modules as well as in the summer research project. Additionally, you are able to develop a portfolio of work demonstrating your ability to present technical ideas in exciting and engaging ways.

Graduate School conference

The training programme culminates with the Graduate School conference.

At this interdisciplinary event, you will share your learning with your fellow postgraduates and invited guests. The conference is intended to be both a social and academic event – a chance for postgraduates to celebrate their achievements and look ahead to the summer research project.

Advice for applicants

Applications may be submitted anytime between October and August for programmes starting in September. You should apply as early as possible if you will need a visa to study in the UK.

Visit St Andrews

Visiting days are held throughout the year to offer prospective postgraduates a chance to explore the town, find out about our degrees, and meet current postgraduates. Find details of upcoming visiting days.

If you are unable to visit St Andrews in person, it may be possible to arrange a telephone or Skype meeting with the Graduate School team or the programme coordinators. For further advice please email gradschool@st-andrews.ac.uk