The Conversion Diploma is designed for students without a first degree in Philosophy who wish to pursue study in Philosophy at the graduate level. It consists of two semesters of coursework, involving a selection of undergraduate modules—typically advanced Honours modules and one or two core modules. Though your modules are drawn from the undergraduate programme, we treat you as part of the large and flourishing graduate community. Satisfactory performance on the Conversion Diploma may lead to the MLitt or MPhil.
The programme is increasingly popular and draws students from all over the world. Typically, there are 8-10 students on the programme from a variety of backgrounds—theology, fine art, science, and the humanities. Most of our students go on to study at Masters level and many have gone on to pursue philosophy at PhD level and beyond.
The programme includes seminars on how to plan and write a Philosophy essay. This ensures that you will be able to get to grips with the demands of the programme whatever your academic background.
The programme also includes an optional (not for credit) module in Basic Logic. This module is for those with little or no logic under their belt who wish to pick up the basic techniques of logic. It consists of a relaxed and friendly two-hour seminar on Fridays—the first hour is devoted to a lecture and in the second hour the class works through some examples together. This optional module has proved to be extremely popular with our Conversion Diploma and MLitt students.
You are assigned an academic advisor who will guide your studies and give advice on how to apply for study at Masters level.
You may study for the Conversion Diploma part-time over two years.
As part of the graduate community at St Andrews, we also invite you along to the Graduate Reading Party which is held every October and involves a trip to the Scottish Highlands for the weekend. It provides a great opportunity to get to know the other graduate students and members of staff. Further information on the Graduate Reading Party can be found at the bottom of the Current Postgraduates page.
Please get in touch with the Director of the Conversion Diploma programme for further information and advice.
To apply click here.
During the course of my undergraduate degree in Economics, I developed a strong interest in the field of philosophy. Upon the completion of my degree, I sought to convert my major from Economics to Philosophy. The Conversion Diploma in Philosophy offered by the University of St Andrews provided me with the ideal opportunity to do so.
What I regard as the best aspect of studying philosophy at St Andrews is the efficacious teaching style members of staff at the Department of Philosophy employ. Along with interactive lectures, students are provided with the opportunity to engage with the curricula of their courses by partaking in weekly seminar discussions. These weekly discussions are student-led in that each student is provided with an opportunity to share their thoughts on the subject matter and to elaborately discuss them with their fellow classmates
St Andrews caught my attention for having the right amount of a lot of things. Apart from its excellent reputation as a university, it also ticks a lot of other boxes. The location and scenery make it impossible to not want to grab a book and read as you overlook the beautiful seascape. Furthermore, the relatively small size of the university instills a deep sense of community among peers. When studying philosophy at St Andrews, you can be sure that you’ll be doing philosophy that’s happening ‘now.’ You’ll be taught by academics who are all currently contributing to their field. You won’t just be ‘taught’ the material, but also invited to ‘think through’ it, to engage, criticize, and develop on current theories and arguments. Maybe the best thing about studying philosophy in St Andrews is that you don’t study philosophy, you do it.
The conversion course allowed me to quickly pick up the basics of doing philosophy: the lectures were excellent, and it was inspiring to be surrounded by fellow students who had already studied philosophy for years and knew what they were doing. I had time to explore which areas of philosophy I was drawn to, and I found some wonderful friends and a home in the St Andrews philosophy community.
I completed my undergraduate degree in Medicine in Sudan and decided, after six years from my graduation, to shift my career to philosophy. Coming from a completely different cultural and educational background, I was unsure of how I would face the academic and financial obstacles ahead and concerned of how I could compete, to progress in this new career, with those who studied their undergraduate degree in philosophy from all over the world. However, thanks to St Andrews’ supportive, educative and embracing department I found the SASP Conversion Diploma a very smooth, solid and enlightening transition. I managed through this program to considerably raise my philosophical skills and academic endurance. I completed the SASP MLitt and proceeded to the SASP PhD, receiving funding from the department to complete both degrees.