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Conversion Diploma (Philosophy)

Course Description

Conversion Diploma

This Conversion Diploma is designed for those who wish to pursue the study of philosophy at postgraduate level but have studied little or no philosophy in their undergraduate degree. Satisfactory performance on the Diploma leads to entry to the SASP MLitt Programme. Many previous Conversion Diploma students have gone on to further study in philosophy at PhD level – either at St Andrews/Stirling or on another equally prestigious PhD programme.

Though Conversion Diploma students take only undergraduate modules (1000 - 4000 level), they nonetheless remain bona fide 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.

To complete the Conversion Diploma, you must take 60 credits in 3000-and/or 4000-level Philosophy modules (to include at least 30 credits of a compulsory 3000-level module) and 60 further credits which may be in 1000- through 4000-level Philosophy modules. (Most 3000-and 4000-level modules are 30 credits, so this usually means you will take four modules – two in each semester).

There is also the option of taking a not-for-credit MLitt module in Basic Logic which runs every Friday in Semester 1. This module is designed for those with little or no knowledge of logic, or for those who wish to brush up on their basic logic skills.


* 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.

Upon successful completion of the taught component of the programme you can progress to the MLitt dissertation which is completed during the summer. The current MLitt population is 40 students, drawn from the UK and around the world, and the annual intake is around 40 – 50 students. Many MLitt students progress to a PhD programme here or elsewhere, including some of the top institutions in the US. A first degree in or including philosophy is the normal pre-requisite. Postgraduates are taught in dedicated postgraduate classes.

Visit the Conversion Diploma (Philosophy) 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

2017/18: Home/EU £7,500; Overseas £17,090

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