Undergraduate study in Philosophy

The MA in Philosophy will familiarise you with the views put forward by the principal figures of the philosophical tradition. It will also provide you with the means of rationally and independently assessing arguments. Studying Philosophy is about acquiring skills of criticism and analysis, of clear thinking and principled debate.

It is one of the great advantages of the Scottish university system that you can experiment with subjects you have not taken at school. During the first two years you can try out courses in philosophy, alongside other subjects, without committing yourself to taking the subject further.

Many of those who graduate in Philosophy at St Andrews did not start in that direction, but tried it and then fell in love with it.

St Andrews offers courses across a wide range of philosophy and modules provided at sub-honours level in the different areas of the subject can be treated as independent components in the degree structure. The teaching staff are numerous and specialise in a variety of areas. St Andrews is one of the larger centres of philosophical studies in Britain.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for the current academic year are available on the Philosophy MA course page.

Honours options


Training in the sort of clear and logical thinking, writing and speaking required for philosophical study makes a good preparation for many careers. The critical thinking developed by the study of philosophy is highly valued by many employers.

A philosophy degree is suited to many careers that require these skills, such as (but not limited to):

  • advertising
  • the civil service
  • non-profit organisations (including Oxfam and Charityworks)
  • banking
  • journalism
  • management consultancy
  • retail area management
  • local government
  • government organisations (including the NHS)
  • film and television production
  • law
  • publishing
  • teaching

Many of our graduates have gone into careers in fields listed above, among others. A significant number have gone on to pursue academic careers, either in philosophy or in other fields, by enrolling in Masters, and then Doctoral programmes around the world.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.