About the Graduate School

In 2017, the University of St Andrews launched a new and exciting initiative – a Graduate School offering interdisciplinary Masters degrees and developing an innovative approach to postgraduate support.

A unique environment for postgraduate study

The Graduate School offers a unique environment for postgraduate study.

The St Andrews approach seeks to maximise the intellectual and professional value of postgraduate study. The Graduate School's interdisciplinary programmes and community provide a stimulating opportunity to work across subject boundaries and expand your knowledge base. Drawing on concepts and methodologies from the humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences, you will be encouraged to use ideas from different disciplines to illuminate your studies and give you new insights into contemporary debates and professional practice.

As well as their interdisciplinary character, the Graduate School’s Masters degrees are distinguished by their emphasis on the development and application of practical skills. Modules provide students with the opportunity to explore methodologies and techniques relevant to academic and professional contexts. You can apply these skills and demonstrate your ability in the summer research project or dissertation, where you research a topic in depth. Programmes also provide the opportunity to work with a relevant external agency or organisation, allowing students to gain first-hand professional experience.

The Graduate School also recognises the importance of the wider aspects of being a postgraduate. As a wholly postgraduate unit, the Graduate School is dedicated to understanding and meeting the needs of Masters students. To help you adapt to life as a postgraduate and make the most of your degree, the Graduate School will offer a programme of events and activities exclusively for Masters students. Bringing together students from each of the Graduate School’s programmes, these events are an opportunity to meet fellow postgraduates, make new connections, and foster interdisciplinary contacts. Scheduled at key points over the degree, the programme provides advice and guidance as you need it and a welcoming and supportive framework.

You will also be part of a much wider community of postgraduates across the University. All postgraduates are members of St Leonard’s College. Originally established as a college for poor clerks of the Church of St Andrews in 1512, St Leonard’s College joined St Salvator’s College to form the United College in the 18th century. St Leonard’s College was then reconstituted as a postgraduate centre in 1972. St Leonard’s College brings together Masters students and research students and, working with the Postgraduate Society, aims to promote a vibrant and intellectually rich postgraduate community.

This is an exciting and innovative approach to postgraduate study and support - learn more about our degree programmes and join us: 

The Graduate School and English Language Teaching also offer the MLitt in English Language Teaching.

Degree structure

Degrees are one-year full-time programmes taught over two semesters. Each semester is organised around one or more core modules exploring the concepts and skills needed to complete the summer research project or dissertation. Alongside these core modules, students choose from the available optional modules – allowing them to shape the degree around their own personal and professional interests.

Career development

The Graduate School’s Masters degrees will help you develop the academic and transferable skills to support your career plans including:

  • analysis and appraisal
  • critical thinking and creativity
  • problem solving and decision making
  • self-reflection and personal development
  • project management and personal leadership
  • team working and interpersonal communication.

Alongside your studies, you will be able to complete M-Skills – a programme of face-to-face and online workshops and training materials for Masters students. M-Skills is designed to help you succeed in your degree and further enhance your employability. You will also have access to the Careers Centre which offers one-to-one advice to all postgraduates as well as a programme of career development events.


The Graduate School is based in the Bute Building in St Mary’s Quad in St Andrews. The Graduate School will move to a new customised postgraduate centre in St Andrews following the opening of the University’s Eden Campus. All teaching takes place in St Andrews.


Professor Andy Murphy is the director of the Graduate School, and Dr Monique MacKenzie is the deputy director.

The Graduate School brings together academic staff from across the University. Modules are taught by colleagues from the following Schools:

  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Classics
  • Computer Science
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Economics and Finance
  • English
  • Geography and Sustainable Development
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Management
  • Medicine
  • Modern Languages
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Philosophical, Anthropological, and Film Studies
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Psychology and Neuroscience.