Conversion in Philosophy (Graduate Diploma) 2022 entry

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.

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Key information

Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Graduate Diploma (Conversion)

Course dates

  • Start date: 5 September 2022
  • End date: 30 June 2023

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

Course duration

Ten months full time or two years part time

Entry requirements

  • A 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. See English language tests and qualifications.

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

Home: £10,395
Overseas: £21,390

Application deadline

Friday 27 May 2022. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

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)
  • 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 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. 
  • Philosophy at St Andrews was ranked top in Scotland and fifth in the UK in the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • There are introductory seminars on 'Ten Basic Concepts in Philosophy' and 'How to Write a Philosophy Essay'.
  • There is also an optional (not for credit) module on Basic Logic for those who wish to brush up on their logic. 

Teaching format

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. 

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.


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.

For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2021–2022 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2022 entry.

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
  • Animals, Minds and Language
  • Classical Philosophy
  • Conceptual Engineering
  • Contemporary Epistemology
  • Contemporary Moral Theory
  • Contemporary Philosophy of Language
  • Medieval Philosophy
  • Philosophy, Feminism and Gender
  • Philosophy of Logic
  • Philosophy of Perception
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Political Philosophy in the Age of Revolutions.

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).

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2022 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

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. 

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

Conferences and events

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:

  • St Andrews Philosophy Club — meetings for visiting speakers
  • Department of Philosophy at Stirling — meetings for visiting speakers
  • Arché research group — seminars and discussion groups
  • the student Philosophy Society (PhilSoc) — programme of talks and events
  • St Andrews research student weekly seminar
  • annual reading party for postgraduate students.

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


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.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships. 

After the Conversion Diploma

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.

PhD in Philosophy


Department of Philosophy
University of St Andrews
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AR

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2487

Department of Philosophy


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

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

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.

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.

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