Philosophy (MLitt) 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.

Philosophy is an interdisciplinary subject that examines and attempts to answer questions raised by human life and action, natural science, art and literature, language and communication, and history. 

In the MLitt in Philosophy, you will study a wide range of topics within the discipline to broaden your understanding and investigate different research topics. 

Start date
September 2024
End date
September 2025
One year full time
School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies

Application deadline

Thursday 8 August 2024

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

“I have been able to choose my essays and write about a wide range of philosophical subjects that specifically piqued my interest. I have learnt that provided I work hard, refer to others when help is needed and have good friends to surround me, I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.”
- London, England

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.

Application requirements

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

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 MLitt in 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 St Andrews and Stirling Graduate Programme was ranked the third best Philosophy programme in the UK in the latest Philosophical Gourmet Report. 
  • Supervisors at both St Andrews and Stirling are available to oversee the MLitt dissertation. 
  • You can choose any of the optional modules offered by the Department, allowing you to explore any combination of philosophical topics.  


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.

Students must take one compulsory module over the course of the programme (in Semester 1):

  • 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.

You will also have the opportunity to choose four modules from all of the postgraduate Philosophy modules across the Department. These modules may include some of the following:

  • Aesthetics
  • Classical Philosophy
  • Conceptual Engineering
  • Current Issues in Philosophy 1
  • Current Issues in Philosophy 2
  • Current Topics in the Philosophy of Physics
  • Ecophilosophy
  • Introduction to Formal Epistemology
  • Kant
  • Origins and History of Analytic Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Logic
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Political Philosophy
  • Texts in Contemporary Metaphysics
  • Texts in the History of Political Philosophy
  • The Philosophy of David Lewis
  • Topics in Recent Moral Theory
  • Wittgenstein.

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, held throughout the year.

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 final element of the MLitt is an 8,000-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. All students are supported for their dissertation by a relevant supervisor from St Andrews or Stirling.

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 on the MLitt in Philosophy have the opportunity to study a broad range of philosophical topics through lectures, seminars and reading groups. Modules are mostly taught in small groups, normally consisting of 4 to 15 students.  

Those on the MLitt in Philosophy may sign up for any of the postgraduate taught modules offered by the philosophy departments at the universities of St Andrews and Stirling, building a timetable which best suits individual interests.

The course offers flexibility for those students who are not yet sure of their research interests, or who wish to gain a broader understanding of issues and debates across the discipline. This flexibility allows students to combine the modules which are of most interest: combining logic and ethics for example, or metaphysics and political philosophy. 

The programme consists of six taught modules taken over two semesters (each assessed by coursework) and an 8000- 10,000-word dissertation in an area of your choice. 

Every MLitt student is assigned an academic mentor at the beginning of the year. Academic mentors offer individual guidance on academic life and advice on how best to apply for a PhD place. 


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

This includes: 

There is also 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.

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

You are also eligible to apply for funding opportunities available via the University of Stirling

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


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 as well as a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.

Further study

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

Students enrolled for the MLitt or MPhil are eligible to apply for a Philosophy 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 2206
Department of Philosophy
5 The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

Department of Philosophy website