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Philosophy (MPhil)

Course Description

MPhil in Philosophy

The MPhil in Philosophy is a two-year research degree that is awarded after successful completion of the taught element of the MLitt programme (see above) plus a supervised research thesis of 40,000 words. The MPhil is primarily designed for those wishing to undertake an extra year of research study in preparation for PhD studies, although the MPhil remains a desirable independent qualification in its own right.

A distinctive feature of the SASP MPhil programme is that you have two academic supervisors to provide regular academic guidance and advice throughout the research project.

A further distinctive feature is that students in the second year of the MPhil programme are actively encouraged to participate and make presentations at the regular dedicated MPhil seminar hosted by senior members of staff.

The number of MPhil students is typically between five and ten, drawn from the UK and around the world. Many MPhil students progress to a PhD programme here or elsewhere, including some of the top institutions in the US.

- Entry to the MPhil
Entry to the programme is in the first instance via progression from the SASP MLitt programme. You must complete 120 credits of 5000-level modules, as in the MLitt regulations. If you meet the standard progression-to-dissertation requirements on the MLitt, you will have the option to write an MLitt dissertation of 15,000 words and either graduate with an MLitt degree or convert your MLitt dissertation into a 40,000-word MPhil thesis and graduate with an MPhil degree (subject to meeting all the requirements for the award of both qualifications).

Note that you can apply for admission to the MPhil programme as well as to the MLitt programme. You will still be required to complete the MLitt programme as detailed above in year 1 before progressing to the MPhil dissertation in year 2.


* In the latest Philosophical Gourmet Report produced by Brian Leiter the St Andrews and Stirling Graduate Programme was ranked the third best Philosophy programme in the UK http://www.philosophicalgourmet.com

* Between 40 – 50 taught postgraduate students are admitted each year, drawn from the UK and around the world.

* Over 35 dedicated full-time Philosophy staff in the SASP programme work in a broad spectrum of disciplines, from logic and metaphysics to moral philosophy and beyond.

* The SASP programme maintains a staff of authoritative researchers, a majority of whom have significant experience of teaching at leading international institutions, and which is large enough to teach a comprehensive and flexible range of graduate courses, and to supervise research projects.

* There is an annual reading party in the Scottish Highlands for all taught and research postgraduates and staff.

* Friendly and congenial atmosphere in which postgraduate students are encouraged to participate actively through, for example, the weekly Graduate Seminar and the Philosophy Club.

Postgraduate community

SASP is taught by the Philosophy departments in the universities of St Andrews and Stirling. The philosophy graduate programmes of St Andrews and Stirling are fully merged for all postgraduate degrees.

St Andrews and Stirling together form Scotland’s premier centre for philosophy and one of the top philosophy schools in the United Kingdom. The philosophical ambience is intense, friendly and co-operative.

The research programme is enhanced by a busy programme of conferences, workshops and visiting speakers from universities in the UK and from abroad. The St Andrews Philosophy Club meets several times each semester, usually on Wednesday afternoons, for papers by visiting speakers.

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

If you wish to brush up on your knowledge of logic, or if you have limited prior experience in this area, the SASP programme runs an additional weekly seminar, Basic Logic, throughout the year.

St Andrews also has a weekly seminar run by and for the research students, meeting Friday evenings, to which everyone is welcome. Arché (Philosophical Research Centre for the Philosophy of Logic, Language, Metaphysics and Epistemology) runs a variety of informal seminars and discussion groups. The programme also supports and encourages a wide range of student-led reading groups on topics relevant to their degree.

The student Philosophy Society (PhilSoc) is the most vibrant and active student-led society in the Faculty of Arts. It boasts a lively programme of stimulating talks and events throughout the year and attracts a regular following from across the University.

There is an annual reading party for postgraduate students and staff. The party provides an opportunity for you to present your work in an informal and relaxed setting. The reading party takes place at a country retreat in beautiful surroundings: a fine opportunity for seeing Scotland, hiking, and sampling Scottish food and drink, with the give and take of philosophy in the evenings.

The SASP programme has the most diverse postgraduate student population in the University. In addition to students from the UK, USA, Canada and across Europe, the programme has in recent years attracted students from areas such as China, Hong Kong, the Middle East and South America. This gives a uniquely international, cosmopolitan and welcoming feel to the philosophical community.


The SASP MLitt is a much sought after and highly desirable qualification which is greatly valued by leading employers nationally and internationally.

Structure of the MLitt programmes

The structure of our MLitt programmes is the same, regardless of which you choose to do.

Visit the Philosophy (MPhil) page on the University of St Andrews website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Our minimum academic requirement for entry to most programmes is a 2:1 degree classification from a recognised UK university or the equivalent in a subject-related area

Course Fees

2016/17: Home/EU £6,800; Overseas £16,250

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