Combined Studies MA (General) September 2024 or January 2025 entry

The MA Combined Studies degree is designed specifically for those returning to education after a significant break. Delivered on a part-time basis in the evening, this course is ideal for those who may have other commitments which prevent them from undertaking full-time study.

between four and nine years - flexible
Access and Widening Participation Team

Due to the flexible nature of this degree, students can take between four and nine years to complete it.

There are two different entry points available for this course, September and January.

  • September 2024 - application deadline of 22 July 2024
  • January 2025 - application deadline of 15 December 2024
MA Combined Studies – Flexible Evening Degree at the University of St Andrews

Entry requirements

We would normally expect you to have a basic level of education at school level, which should include English and mathematics. This will be discussed at interview and does not have to be evidenced through formal qualifications.

We will consider work experience, professional qualifications and other forms of evidence of ability to study instead of a recent formal qualification.

Course details

The MA Combined Studies allows you to study in the evenings to work towards a degree. During the course, you will be able to choose from a wide range of subjects based on your interests.

You will take either one or two modules over a 12-week semester. Each class takes place once a week and is delivered between 6.30pm and 9.30pm. MA Combined Studies classes run using a hybrid format, which means that students have the option to either join online or attend in-person.

Over the course of your programme, you will take modules at levels equivalent to first, second and third years of full-time study. You will complete a total of 360 credits over the course of your degree. Each module is typically worth 20 to 30 credits. 

First and second-year level modules provide a firm foundation within each subject which allows you to progress to modules at a third-year level. Third-year modules are more in-depth and cover a specific area of the subject.

Within your first 120 credits, you must complete the following subjects at level one:

•    Reading English
•    Information Technology
•    Introduction to Psychology 

These are the core subjects which will equip you with skills you need to successfully complete your degree. The rest of your degree programme can be tailored to suit your personal interests.

Aside from the compulsory three modules above you can choose modules to suit your interests from the range of subjects available each year. Some subjects are offered at lower levels only, and others progress into more specialised Level 3 modules, which can be taken toward the end of your degree programme.

The MA Combined Studies also offers a range of flexible study options, including classroom-based teaching, blended digital learning and collaborative opportunities with the University of Dundee and the Open University in Scotland.

Not only will you finish your studies with a reputable qualification and a wealth of knowledge on the topics you have studied, but you will also develop and improve a variety of transferable skills:

•    verbal and written communication
•    team working
•    organisational and time management skills
•    research, interpretation and analytical skills
•    computer literacy
•    interpersonal skills
•    dedication and personal motivation
•    listening skills
•    presentation skills
•    critical thinking and evaluation
•    confidence

If you need support getting started back into study, you can take the pre-sessional induction programme which covers study skills, good academic practice, and an introduction to student life.


To make your degree journey as flexible as possible, we have collaborative agreements with two leading institutions (The University of Dundee and The Open University – see separate tabs) which allow you to tailor your degree to your needs. Modules from these institutions can be taken alongside your St Andrews modules and will be recognised on your final degree award.

Subjects to be confirmed. Subjects offered in previous years include:

  • Languages for All – French
  • Languages for All – Spanish

Subjects available include:

  • Mathematics
  • Business and management
  • Economics
  • Statistics


Each module runs over a 12-week semester, with one class per week, delivered in the evenings between 6.30pm and 9.30pm. Students may study either one or two modules per semester. 

Teaching in each module varies slightly depending on the content, but most take the form of a combined lecture and tutorial. Modules in science subjects may also include lab work.

Most classes involve a combination of group work and discussion, but also involve individual study outside of the class times to prepare for future classes and enhance your subject knowledge. 

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge in their subject. 

Almost all of the modules in the MA Combined Studies are assessed by a balanced combination of coursework and class tests.

The exact breakdown of the assessment method will vary between subjects and modules.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale.

In addition to your studies, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University. This includes an optional Study Skills course specifically for MA Combined Studies students that runs prior to the beginning of studies.

The University’s Student Services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long-term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page.


MA Combined Studies students can apply for the SAAS part-time fee grant to cover the cost of tuition fees. To be eligible for SAAS funding you must earn less than £25,000 per year in gross income (before tax and national insurance). For more information about SAAS funding for part-time study, please refer to the SAAS website.

Tuition fees will be calculated on a pro-rata basis dependent on your fee status and the number of credits taken. For example, in the academic year 2023-2024, a Home Fee student would pay £303 per 20 credits studied. Please see the fees table for further information.

For details of current full-time study fees and fee statuses, see the undergraduate fees and funding page.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Students on the MA Combined Studies programme are eligible to apply for a part-time study scholarship to help with the costs associated with being a student, including travel, books and childcare. 

If your personal earned or pension income is under £25,000 and you are taking at least 30 credits each academic year, then you can apply for the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) part-time fee grant. The part-time fee grant provides financial support for your tuition fees.

Further information about this process is available on the SAAS webpage.


As a part-time student, you will have full access to the range of facilities available through the Careers Centre to help you develop your skills at graduate level and explore employment options. 

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.

Contact us

Access and Widening Participation Team


University of St Andrews
16 The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AX