Conversion in Philosophy (Graduate Diploma) 2024 entry

The information on this page is for 2024 entry. If you are considering applying for 2025 entry or later, some of these details may differ and we advise you to check the page again before you apply. To receive a notification of when applications open for 2025 entry, please register your interest.

The Conversion Diploma in Philosophy is for those who wish to pursue the study of philosophy at postgraduate level but have studied little or no philosophy in their undergraduate degree. It builds a firm foundation for those looking to undertake research in philosophy.

Start date
September 2024
End date
June 2025
Ten months full time
School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies

Application deadline

Thursday 8 August 2024

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and there are a limited number of places available.

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

Entry requirements

  • An upper 2:1 undergraduate Honours degree (or equivalent) in any subject. Applicants who have not met the required 2.1 standard may still apply but will be required to submit a writing sample in support of their application.
  • If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
  • English language proficiency.

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.

Application requirements

  • CV 
  • personal statement (500 words) 
  • two original signed academic references 
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates 
  • sample of your own, single-authored academic written work (2,000 words).

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

English language proficiency

If English is not your first language, you may need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability.  See approved English language tests and scores for this course.

Course details

The Conversion in Philosophy Graduate Diploma is a one-year taught programme aimed at students who are interested in undertaking research in philosophy but have studied little or no philosophy at undergraduate level. Satisfactory performance on the Diploma may lead to entry to the MLitt Philosophy programme


  • The Stirling and St Andrews Graduate Programme was ranked the third-best Philosophy programme in the UK in the latest Philosophical Gourmet Report
  • Students can choose from a number of optional modules in philosophy.  
  • There is also an optional (not for credit) module on Basic Logic for those who wish to brush up on their logic.  


The modules published below are examples of what has been taught in previous academic years and may be subject to change before you start your programme. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the module catalogue.

The modules in this programme are delivered through lectures combined with tutorials, discussions and independent study. They are assessed through coursework, examinations, and in some cases, in-class presentations.

Students take at least one of the following two modules:

  • Reading Philosophy 1: Texts in Language, Logic, Mind, Epistemology, Metaphysics and Science: close study of philosophical texts – historical and contemporary – that address a variety of topics within metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophies of logic and language, mind and science.
  • Reading Philosophy 2: Texts in Ethics, Metaethics, Religion, Aesthetics and Political Philosophy: close study of philosophical texts – historical and contemporary – that address a variety of topics within ethics, metaethics, aesthetics, philosophy of religion and political philosophy.

Students must also take at least one senior Honours (4000-level) Philosophy module. You can find the full list of 4000-level Philosophy modules in the module catalogue.

Students on the Diploma may choose to take their remaining credits from Philosophy modules offered at any undergraduate level.

Some of the Honours optional modules offered in previous years include:

  • Advanced Logic
  • Classical Philosophy
  • Contemporary Epistemology
  • Contemporary Philosophy of Language
  • Philosophy, Feminism and Gender
  • Philosophy of Economics
  • Philosophy of Logic
  • Philosophy of Perception
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Political Philosophy in the Age of Revolutions
  • Why Does the World Exist?.

If you wish to gain an understanding of logic, there is also an optional weekly seminar, Basic Logic, held throughout the year. This is a non-credit course for postgraduate students.

Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University's position on curriculum development).


Conversion Diploma students take upper-level undergraduate modules but remain members of the large and vibrant postgraduate community at the universities of St Andrews and Stirling. 

You are invited to all postgraduate events, such as the various postgraduate reading parties, and are strongly encouraged to get fully involved with the many and various seminars, workshops, talks, and reading groups. 

You will be able to choose from a range of undergraduate modules in philosophy according to your own interests. At least one module must be selected from two compulsory modules designed to introduce students to key philosophical ideas and techniques.

Students on the Conversion course do not write a dissertation.  


Students on the Conversion Diploma are encouraged to participate in the postgraduate community. The Diploma is enhanced by a busy programme of conferences, workshops and visiting speakers from universities in the UK and abroad. This includes: 

This is accompanied by a wide range of student-led reading groups and informal seminars. 




Application fee

Before we can begin processing your application, a payment of an application fee of £50 is required. In some instances, you may be eligible for an application fee waiver. Details of this, along with information on our tuition fees, can be found on the postgraduate fees and funding page.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews is committed to attracting the very best students, regardless of financial circumstances.

15% Recent Graduate Discount

If you have graduated from the University within the last three academic years, you may be eligible for a 15% discount on postgraduate taught tuition fees. Terms and conditions apply.

Taught postgraduate scholarships    Postgraduate loans

After your degree

Further study

Satisfactory performance on the Diploma leads to entry to the Philosophy MLitt programme

Many previous Conversion Diploma students have gone on to further study in philosophy at PhD level – either at St Andrews and Stirling or on another equally prestigious PhD programme. 

Postgraduate research

What to do next

Online information events

Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.

Postgraduate online visiting days

We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online visiting days.

Contact us

+44 (0)1334 46 2486
Department of Philosophy
5 The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

Department of Philosophy website