MLitt Philosophy

This MLitt in philosophy is offered jointly by the philosophy departments at the Universities of St Andrews and Stirling. Together, they form a centre of excellence - The St Andrews and Stirling Philosophy Graduate Programme (SASP)


Key facts

  • Award Masters / MLitt, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Start date September 2023, September 2024
  • Application notes For students who need a visa: we are closed for September 2023 entry. Applications for 2024-25 entry will open in September 2023.
  • Duration MLitt full-time: 12 months, MLitt part-time: 24 months
  • Mode of study full time, part time
  • Delivery on campus


This Masters course is part of the St Andrews and Stirling Philosophy (SASP) Graduate Programme - which is Scotland's leading centre for graduate study in Philosophy, and one of the highest-ranked and largest philosophy schools in the United Kingdom. It also has an outstanding placement record for its graduates.

The course is primarily designed for recent philosophy graduates, and serves as a preparatory year for entry to postgraduate research by giving you a firm foundation of general understanding and skills in philosophy. Those skills will give you a sound basis for philosophical research.

The MLitt is a one-year taught course delivered mainly in St Andrews by staff from both universities. After gaining the MLitt, you may progress to a PhD at either Stirling or at St Andrews. Previous graduates have also gone on to leading institutions in the UK and abroad.

On this course, you’ll benefit from excellent teaching from authoritative and knowledgeable researchers in a wide range of areas, including the history of philosophy.

Top reasons to study with us

Flexible learning

If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

Research overview

University of Stirling was ranked joint top in Scotland for research impact in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2021). Meanwhile, 82% of the University of St Andrew's research was classed as either 'world leading' or ‘internationally excellent'. We also have a very strong record of success in gaining research funding.

The University of Stirling has an active philosophy research environment (ranked 3rd in Scotland in the most recent REF), with regular events open to all. These include:

  • weekly visiting speaker seminars
  • frequent conferences and seminar series (including the recent Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association, as well as Frege@Stirling, the Stirling Political Philosophy group)
  • on-going research projects, and a lively student Philosophy Society with a regular programme of talks and an annual staff-student reading weekend in the Highlands

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Applicants for the MLitt should normally have a good first degree in philosophy, such as a UK upper Second Class Honours degree or its equivalent (or the equivalent level of pass in the SASP Conversion Diploma).

Applicants with other qualifications may be admitted on the recommendation of the Programme Director.

International entry requirements

View the entry requirements for your country.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Academic or UKVI 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 185 overall with a minimum of 169 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 185 overall with a minimum of 169 in each sub-skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 67 overall with a minimum of 60 in each sub-skill
  • IBT TOEFL 94 overall with 18 in reading, 23 in writing, 19 in listening and 21 in speaking
  • IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition Test 94 overall with 18 in reading, 23 in writing, 19 in listening and 21 in speaking
  • Trinity ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
  • Aptis (4 skills) CEFR C1 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
  • LanguageCert International ESOL C1 Expert - Pass with minimum 33 in each sub-skill

Last updated: 23 August 2022

For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

Course details

The programme involves a one-year taught MLitt, delivered largely in St Andrews by staff from both universities, after which you may progress to an MPhil or PhD within the SASP programme. The MLitt programme lasts for one year and involves six modules over two semesters and a dissertation written over the summer. The Diploma involves a nine-month, taught programme and requires satisfactory completion of all taught modules. In addition to a Research Methods module, which is a core module, the programme offers a range of options in many areas of philosophy.

See more information about the modules available.


The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the current academic year (September 2022). Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course Details


The programme is taught by seminars and/or lectures (normally one two-hour seminar per week for each module), along with individual supervision.


To gain the Postgraduate Diploma, you must satisfactorily complete all the taught modules. To gain the MLitt, you must complete the taught modules, and write a dissertation of no more than 8,000 words.

Course director

University of St Andrews Programme Director: Dr Alex Douglas

University of Stirling Co-ordinator: Dr Sonia Roca-Royes

Contact details

Postgraduate Secretary, University of St Andrews,St Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL 

phone:+44 (0) 1334 462487


Fees and funding

Fees and costs

Tuition fees for this course can be found on the University of St Andrews website.

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

This course is eligible for a postgraduate tuition fee loan from one of the UK’s governments. See the section, below, for more details.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Scholarships and funding

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

Scottish students may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for loans of up to £11,500 to cover tuition fees and associated living costs.

English students can apply for a loan of up to £12,167 each year as part of the Postgraduate Masters Loan Scheme.

Welsh students can apply for financial support of up to £18,770 as a combination of grant and loan from Student Finance Wales.

Northern Irish students can apply for a postgraduate tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 from Student Finance NI.

If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

European Union and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

After you graduate

Many MLitt Philosophy graduates have gone on to do further study of philosophy at PhD level, some have remained within the SASP Graduate Programme, while others have moved to leading institutions in the UK and abroad.

A large number of former SASP students have secured permanent university teaching positions. Please see our placement record on the SASP website.

The general training in research and analytical thinking as part of this course also prepares you for a wide range of careers in various areas of public policy, public administration and governance.

According to the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2021, 88% of the Law and Philosophy students felt their course has enhanced their employability.

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