Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy (MLitt) 2019 entry

The MLitt in Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy provides a firm foundation for students wishing to specialise in ethics, and specifically in contemporary ethics, including moral philosophy, political philosophy and legal philosophy.

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Course type

Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course dates

  • Start date: 9 September 2019
  • End date: 30 September 2020

If you started this programme in 2018, you can find information about 2018 entry on the 2018 Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

One year full time or two years part time

Entry requirements

A very strong 2.1 Honours degree in or including Philosophy. If you do not have an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, you may be interested in the Conversion in Philosophy.

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

UK and EU: £9,000
Overseas: £18,480 

Application deadline

1 August 2019. 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 (2,500 words maximum)
  • 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.

Further information on the application process can be found on the SASP website

Course information

The MLitt in Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy is a one-year taught postgraduate programme run by the St Andrews and Stirling Graduate Programme in Philosophy (SASP), taught by staff from both the University of St Andrews and the University of Stirling. The focus is on introducing students to contemporary debates in the fields of Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy, whilst also encouraging connections between these various specialisms.

Highlights

  • Philosophy at St Andrews was ranked top in Scotland and fifth in the UK in the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • The St Andrews and Stirling Graduate Programme was ranked the third best Philosophy programme in the UK in the latest Philosophical Gourmet Report.
  • Optional modules in moral, political and legal philosophy are available to students on the MLitt.
  • Supervisors at both St Andrews and Stirling are available to oversee the MLitt dissertation.

Teaching format

Students on the MLitt in Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy have the opportunity to study topics in these philosophical areas through lectures, tutorials and reading groups. Modules are taught in small groups, normally consisting of four to ten students. 

The programme consists of six taught modules taken over two semesters (each assessed by coursework) and a 15,000-word dissertation in an area of your choice.

Every MLitt student is assigned an advisor at the beginning of the year. Your advisor will provide you with individual guidance on essay planning and writing, academic conduct, and advice on how best to apply for a PhD place.

Part-time studies

The MLitt in Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy can also be taken as a part-time programme. Students will be expected to take three modules per year over two years, working on the dissertation over two summers. For more information about part-time study, please contact the SASP secretary by emailing sasp@st-andrews.ac.uk.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Greek philosophy busts

The MLitt in Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy is run by SASP

More information on the application process can be found on the SASP website

Modules

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 2018–2019 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2019 entry.

Students must take three compulsory modules over the course of the programme. 

Semester 1 – these two modules are taught in Stirling on Mondays. A coach will take you to and from Stirling without additional cost.

  • Current Issues in Philosophy 1: focuses on epistemology and ethics.
  • Research Methods: aims to foster the range of skills required for independent research in Philosophy. Students may choose to join a seminar group most related to their interests.

Semester 2

  • Current Issues in Philosophy 2: explores philosophy of language and philosophy of mind.

You will also have the opportunity to choose three modules from a selection of modules which focus on moral, political or legal philosophy. These modules may include:

  • Aesthetics 
  • Kant
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Political Philosophy 
  • Texts in the History of Political Philosophy 
  • Topics in Recent Moral Theory.

If you wish to brush up on your knowledge of logic, or if you have limited prior experience in this area, there is also an optional weekly seminar, Basic Logic, throughout the year. 

Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development).

The final element of the MLitt is a 15,000-word dissertation. The dissertation should be on an area of philosophy you are interested in; you will be encouraged to start considering a topic for the dissertation during Semester 2. Each student is supported through their dissertation by a relevant supervisor from the Department.

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.


The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 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 an open day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Postgraduates

Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 14 November 2018
  • Wednesday 13 March 2019

Sign up

Conferences and events

Studying the MLitt is enhanced by a busy programme of conferences, workshops and visiting speakers from universities in the UK and from abroad. This includes:

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

Funding

The following competitive scholarships are available for students on the MLitt in Epistemology, Mind and Language:

Philosophical Quarterly bursaries
SASP will be funding a number of bursaries for students in the MLitt programme in 2019-2020 courtesy of generous funding provided by the Philosophical Quarterly journal. Each bursary will cover the cost of tuition fees at the Home/EU fee level. The Home/EU fee waiver can be awarded to an Overseas fee-paying student, who will then be required to meet the remainder of the tuition fee from other sources.

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.

Other taught postgraduate scholarships

St Andrews and Stirling are both committed to helping as many students as possible continue in higher education through scholarship opportunities. There are a wide range of postgraduate scholarships available for you to apply for, either via the university or directly via charitable organisations.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships at the University of St Andrews.

You may also be eligible to apply for funding opportunities available via the University of Stirling.

After the MLitt

Research degrees

If you have successfully completed the MLitt in Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy, you may be able to proceed onto the SASP MPhil. This involves converting your 15,000-word MLitt dissertation into a 40,000-word dissertation, which is examined by an internal and external examiner at the end of the second year.

Students who graduate from the MLitt or MPhil are eligible to apply for a philosophy PhD programme.

PhD in Philosophy

Careers

Recent graduates in Philosophy have found openings in:

  • local government
  • television production (Sky Sports)
  • the National Health Service
  • the Co-operative Bank
  • insurance
  • the Crown Prosecution Service
  • publishing
  • teaching English in Japan.

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 to build their employability skills.

Contact information

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

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2487
Email: sasp@st-andrews.ac.uk

Philosophy website

St Andrews and Stirling Graduate Programme in Philosophy (SASP)
For further information regarding the application process, please contact the SASP secretary by emailing sasp@st-andrews.ac.uk

Email: sasp@st-andrews.ac.uk 
Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2487

SASP website

Policies

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).