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Legal and Constitutional Studies (PGDip/MLitt) 2020 entry

The PGDip/MLitt in Legal and Constitutional Studies is an interdisciplinary programme in which students can construct an individually tailored degree with a primary focus in legal history or international law, or they can pursue an integrated, interdisciplinary, degree.

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Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) or a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course dates

  • Start date: 7 September 2020
  • End date: 30 June 2021 (PGDip) or 30 September 2021 (MLitt)

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

10 months full time (PGDip); one year full time or two years part time (MLitt)

Entry requirements

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

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Tuition fees

UK and EU: £9,450
Overseas: £19,400

Application deadline

Wednesday 12 August 2020. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV
  • personal statement (optional)
  • sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

Course information

The PGDip and MLitt in Legal and Constitutional Studies are interdisciplinary programmes run jointly by the Schools of History and International Relations.


  • Students have the opportunity to work on an individual and small-group basis with internationally leading scholars in the fields of legal, constitutional and historical research.
  • The flexible nature of the programme makes it suitable both for those wishing to go on to doctoral research and for those wishing only to take a year’s specialist study.
  • The compulsory modules equip students with knowledge of different theoretical approaches to law, legal history and constitutionalism, using the past to interrogate and investigate current issues and controversies.

Teaching format

Over two semesters, students take six modules taught through a range of group seminars, workshops, one-to-one discussions and supervised independent research projects.

The specialist modules are designed to be flexible enough to enable students to choose their own areas of in-depth study and include individually tailored research training and guidance.

Module assessment comprises coursework; there are no final exams for this programme. 

MLitt students will research and write a 15,000-word dissertation as their final assessment piece.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.


The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2019–2020 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2020 entry.

In the first semester, you will take the following compulsory module:

  • The Idea of Law: introduces fundamental concepts, questions and analytical frameworks relevant to legal, historical and constitutional research.

You will also choose two additional modules from the lists below. These modules may be subject to a maximum number of participants (students will be asked to indicate their first and second choices).

You will choose one of the following:

  • Approaches to Legal History: a grounding in particularly influential authors and works on the history of law.
  • Approaches to International Law: underlying philosophical issues arising from the nature and practice of international law.

You will also choose one of the following:

  • Sources and Source Criticism: an introduction to medieval sources, suitable for those intending to work on medieval legal history.
  • Latin for Medieval Studies 1 and 2: classes are offered at beginner, intermediate and advanced level, so students take the class most appropriate to their needs. 

The structure and modules of Semester 1 may be subject to change for 2020 entry.  

In the second semester, you will take the following compulsory module:

  • Comparative Studies in Legal and Constitutional Research: a forum for students to develop, present and write on a particular field or topic, drawing on methodological ideas from Semester 1 modules.
  • Special Topic in Legal and Constitutional Studies (2): provides students with the opportunity for detailed research and tuition within a specialised field of their choice.

You will also choose one additional module from the list below. These modules may be subject to a maximum number of participants (students will be asked to indicate their first and second choices).

You will choose one of the following:

  • Comparative Studies in Legal History: a forum for students to develop, present and write on a particular field or topic. 
  • Global Constitutionalism: explores legal and political thought leading to constitutionalism through a range of approaches.

Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation of not more than 15,000 words must be submitted by a date specified in August.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt. Students may apply to undertake the PGDip instead of the MLitt from the outset of their application.

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2020 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Find out more

Virtual events

Join our Admissions team for one of our upcoming virtual events. During these events, you can find out more about studying at St Andrews and what it will do for your future.


Conferences and events

The Institute of Legal and Constitutional Research at St Andrews hosts a number of reading groups, seminars and lectures, including visiting speakers and cross-discipline presentations, on legal and constitutional research and ideas. 


ILCR MLitt scholarship
The Institute of Legal and Constitutional Research (ILCR) intends to offer MLitt scholarships on the basis of academic merit for students applying for the MLitt in Legal and Constitutional Studies.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships

Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews. 

After the MLitt

Research degrees

Many graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews. 

PhD in Legal and Constitutional Research


Legal and Constitutional Studies is designed to prepare students for work beyond the MLitt, such as:

  • doctoral research within the field
  • study for a law degree
  • employment in areas more broadly related to law, legal history, global constitutionalism and international relations.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.


Institute of Legal and Constitutional Research
School of History
University of St Andrews
71 South Street
St Andrews
KY16 9QW

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2907

ILCR website


Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online (PDF, 84 KB).

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