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St Andrews and Amsterdam Global PhD

The University of St Andrews and the University of Amsterdam have established an agreement to allow excellent PhD candidates to undertake research leading to the award of a joint doctoral degree in the areas of Philosophy, Logic, Language and Computation.

Key information

Course type

Joint Doctoral Degree (PhD)

Course dates

We strongly encourage students to begin their studies in September, but the start date for research study can be flexible. Start dates are 27 August, September, October, January or May.

Course duration

The PhD consists of three years of full-time study. A further extension will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances.

Entry requirements

Applicants for the joint PhD must have a minimum of a good Masters degree (or equivalent) in Philosophy. A Masters degree (or equivalent) must have been completed and the final evaluation must be available at the time of application. In each case, your Masters degree will be considered with regard to its quality and how it prepares you for doctoral research.

Applicants must also meet the English language requirements. If you require an English language certificate, this must be gained before the start of the PhD.

International students

Depending on your nationality, you may require a visa to study in the UK and in the Netherlands:

How to apply

 

Tuition fees

The University of Amsterdam does not charge tuition fees to students on this programme. While studying at Amsterdam, you will be exempted from fees at St Andrews.

While studying at St Andrews, students will pay local fees unless otherwise outlined in the individual candidate agreement.

However, each year, the School of Philosophy, Anthropology and Film Studies at St Andrews will pay for the tuition fees of one student attending St Andrews under this programme. The joint PhD programme does not provide dedicated bursaries, but you may find scholarships from external funding bodies, the University of St Andrews, or the University of Amsterdam. Any funding or scholarships you obtain must be approved by St Andrews and Amsterdam before starting the doctoral programme. Students who have accepted a place and an offer of full funding at St Andrews are not eligible to be considered for the joint programme.

Application deadline

Applications can be sent in any time throughout the academic year. However, it is important to remember that if you are applying for any scholarships or funding, then the deadline for this may be early in the year.

Application requirements

The academic coordinators of the joint programme, Professor Luca Incurvati (l.incurvati@uva.nl) for Amsterdam and Professor Franz Berto (fb96@st-andrews.ac.uk) for St Andrews, can be contacted for information and help at any point during the procedure.

Students can also directly contact a supervisor at St Andrews and a supervisor at Amsterdam to discuss the opportunities available. 

If a supervisor from each university agrees to support a project, students will need to complete the applications requirements at both universities. You can access the St Andrews application form online. At Amsterdam, applicants need the definite commitment of a supervisor before starting the application procedure. You will also need to complete Amsterdam’s request for admission to a doctoral programme. The ILLC website also has further information about admission to its doctoral programme.

Admission to the PhD must commence prior to matriculation at St Andrews. Students matriculated at St Andrews cannot transfer part way through their studies.

Course information

The University of St Andrews and the University of Amsterdam are pleased to offer a joint programme leading to the award of a joint doctoral degree (PhD) in Philosophy. The joint programme covers the School of Philosophy, Anthropology and Film Studies at St Andrews and the Institute for Logic, Language and Communication at Amsterdam.

Programme structure

Candidates start the programme at either St Andrews or Amsterdam. The University of Amsterdam will be the lead institution for the programme.

You will have to spend at least a year (12 months) in total as a resident student at both St Andrews and Amsterdam in order for the universities to recognise the degree. You will divide your time into study blocks in order to facilitate access to the resources that will maximise your research opportunities. Each study block should be at least six months in length where possible.

The agreement provides students with access to one supervisor at each institution throughout the duration of their degree. You are expected to engage with both supervisors from start to finish and to meet regularly with all parties, either in person or using virtual methods, such as video call.

Students are encouraged to take part in doctoral training, undergraduate teaching and research seminars at both universities. 

Philosophy at St Andrews

St Andrews is one of the leading international centres for philosophy in Britain. Philosophy at St Andrews was ranked top in Scotland and fifth in the UK in the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014. The department runs a busy programme of conferences, workshops and visiting speakers from universities in the UK and from abroad. The Philosophy Club, which is open to everyone, is the regular visiting speakers' seminar. Several specialized research seminars meet weekly or fortnightly. There is also a Friday Seminar for doctoral students. 

There are two philosophical research centres in St Andrews: The Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs (CEPPA), and the Arché Philosophical Research Centre for the Philosophy of Logic, Language, Metaphysics and Epistemology. The Philosophical Quarterly, one of the most respected international philosophy journals, is edited from St Andrews.

Philosophy at Amsterdam

The Institute of Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) at the University of Amsterdam offers high-quality instruction and supervision in the interdisciplinary area between mathematics, linguistics, computer science, artificial intelligence and philosophy. Building on longstanding collaborations, the ILLC was formally established in 1991. It is home to research lines such as the Amsterdam tradition in modal and intuitionistic logic, and dynamic semantics of natural language, which have fed into subsequent research on logics of information dynamics and agency. The Institute hosts running research grants supported with several million Euros by such funding bodies as the European Research Council (ERC) and the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

The ILLC has developed a strong reputation for its PhD programme and its teaching in Logic. In particular, it hosts the MSc Master of Logic, one of the most prestigious Master programmes in Logic in the world. PhD candidates enrolled in the joint programme will be allowed to attend courses from the Master of Logic during their Amsterdam stay, subject to place availability.

Supervision and examinations

Co-supervision

Both institutions will ensure that the supervisors for students carry out the duties normally expected of them in their own institution. The supervisors for both institutions will hold an in-person or virtual meeting with you at least once per year. The progression of research candidates will follow normal procedures as per the local rules of the institution in which the student is registered at the time.

Thesis and examinations

The length of the thesis should be limited to 70,000 words (excluding bibliography, references and appendices). Subject to approval, you may be able to submit a thesis which does not exceed 80,000 words. The thesis must be written in English and contain a substantial synopsis written in Dutch.

Following the submission of the thesis, you will undertake a pre-defence exam at St Andrews. The pre-defence will follow the rules for viva voce examinations at St Andrews. The pre-defence exam will be conducted in English and is not open to the public. Following the pre-defence exam, the examiners at St Andrews may suggest corrections to your thesis. You will then have up to 38 weeks to resubmit your corrected thesis prior to the doctoral defence ceremony at Amsterdam, and a further 14 weeks before this final defence takes place.

At Amsterdam, you will defend the final version of your thesis, following any corrections requested at the pre-defence. The final exam will be a doctoral defence ceremony, conducted according to the regulations of the University of Amsterdam. The ceremony will be conducted in English and open to the public. The hour-long doctoral defence ceremony at Amsterdam usually includes a ten-minute presentation (exposé), a brief time for public questions and questioning by members of the Doctorate Committee. The Doctorate Committee decides in private if you have successfully defended your thesis. If you have defended your thesis successfully, you will then receive a doctoral degree at the end of the ceremony.

Meet us online

If you're interested in studying at St Andrews, join us on a virtual visiting day or daily information session to find out about our courses, how to apply, and to meet current students. 

The next virtual visiting day will be in November 2021.

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.

Online information events

Facilities

The Philosophy graduate study centre in St Andrews is housed in a separate building in Edgecliffe’s grounds, facing the sea and immediately adjacent to the main building. It has a common room, study rooms and computer facilities. The Department endeavours to provide desk space to many, not all, research students, most within this building. Edgecliffe itself has computing facilities, as well as its own philosophy library which has over 3,500 volumes.

At St Andrews, St Leonard’s Doctoral and Postgraduate College supports all postgraduates and provides social and intellectual opportunities.

University accommodation at St Andrews is available for postgraduate students, provided all necessary application deadlines are met. 

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) is located in the Amsterdam Science Park, six kilometres east of the city centre. It is easily accessible by public transport, with a train from Amsterdam Central Station taking around eight minutes. The Amsterdam Science Park is one of the largest scientific hubs in Europe, home to the University of Amsterdam Faculty of Science and a large number of knowledge-intensive companies and institutes.

The ILLC offers access to an individual workspace, assistance in finding accommodation and opportunities for PhD students.

Graduation

If you have defended your thesis successfully, you will graduate at the end of the doctoral degree ceremony at Amsterdam. If you wish, you can then ask to attend a graduation ceremony at St Andrews.

You will receive a certificate from each institution. The certificates will clearly state that the doctoral degree was jointly supervised and awarded by both institutions. 

Support

Students shall be entitled to the same rights and privileges as other students enrolled at the host institution.

University policies

The student will be registered at both institutions according to the terms and regulations specific to each of them. Registration will be administered by Registry at St Andrews and by the Doctorate Board at Amsterdam. Personal details of the student will be shared between both institutions to facilitate registration but shall otherwise be maintained confidential in accordance with Data Protection laws. 

For day-to-day functions, the local rules of the institution in which the student is resident at the time will apply. 

Contact information

Global Office
University of St Andrews
St Katharine's West
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AX

Email: partnerships@st-andrews.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2245