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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
  • Start date September
  • Duration MLitt full-time: 12 months
  • Mode of study Full-time

This Masters course is part of the SASP 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

    Philosophy at St Andrews was ranked top in Scotland and top five in the UK in the most recent Research Excellence Framework. Meanwhile, 62 percent of the University of Stirling’s research was classed 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, 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

The programme involves a one-year taught MLitt, delivered largely in St Andrews by staff from both universities, after which you may progress to a 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 and two core modules (one in each semester) on current issues in Philosophy, the programme offers a range of options in the history of Philosophy and in special areas of philosophy. The core modules are:

  • Current Issues in Philosophy I (first semester) and Current Issues in Philosophy II (second semester): Over the two semesters the following four components are covered by these modules (two in each semester, not necessarily in the order given): Philosophy of Mind; Philosophy of Language; Epistemology; Ethics
  • Research Methods: You take this module in Semester 1. It provides an introduction to the methods and practice of research in philosophy. It will be run as a book seminar, where you present and discuss chapters or sections of a major work chosen to be accessible and challenging for MLitt students. The module will provide the experience of philosophising together: vital for philosophical development but liable to take second place in standard taught modules; it will also leave you better prepared to undertake larger and more autonomous research projects, beginning with the 15,000-word MLitt dissertation

You are required to take a History module from a list of those available. Those recently available includes the following:

  • Classical Philosophy
  • Philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment
  • Kant
  • Origins and History of Analytic Philosophy

Option modules recently available include the following:

  • Advanced logic
  • Philosophy of Mathematics
  • Philosophy of Perception
  • Aesthetics
  • Political Philosophy
  • Topics in Recent Moral Theory
  • Wittgenstein
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Intuitions and Philosophical Methodology
  • Advanced Epistemology


The module details given below are subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes. The modules outlined below represent those offered in 2018/19 on this course of study.

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Course Details

  • Teaching

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

  • Assessment

    Assessment is normally carried out through coursework. Each full module is assessed by two essays.

    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 15,000 words

  • Classroom hours

    The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

    Example Timetable

    Semester 1





    PY5101 Current Issues 1 (Core)


    11am - 1pm

    Pathfoot Building, Room C1/C2, Stirling

    PY5103 Research Methods (Core)


    3pm - 4.30pm

    Pathfoot Building, Room C1/C2, Stirling

    PY5201 Classical Philosophy


    11am - 1pm

    Room G01, Edgecliffe

    PY5203 Kant


    2pm - 4pm

    Room 104, Edgecliffe

    PY5319 Topics in Recent Moral Theory


    1pm - 3pm

    Room 104, Edgecliffe

    PY5319 Intuitions and Philosophical Methodology


    3pm - 5pm

    Room 104, Edgecliffe

    PY5205 Origins of Analytic Philosophy


    11am - 1pm

    Room 104, Edgecliffe

    Please note this is an illustrative timetable, and not the timetable for 2017/18.

  • Course director

    University of St Andrews Programme Director: Dr Patrick Greenough

    University of Stirling Co-ordinator: Dr Philip Ebert

    Contact details

    Laura Newman
    University of St Andrews
    St Andrews
    KY16 9AL

    +44 (0) 1334 462487

    Graduate Studies Office
    University of Stirling
    FK9 4LA

    +44 (0) 1786 466220

  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (fees are different for each course)

      2018/19 2019/20

    Home/EU Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course*

    If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

    If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

    English students apply for a loan of up to £10,609 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £13,000 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

    *Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.

    £6,300 TBC

    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course. Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.

    £15,250 £15,950

    Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

  • Scholarships
    SASP Doctoral Studentship

    Appropriately qualified applicants could be sponsored by the SASP programme. Get more details on the SASP website.

    There are other categories of funding available to support the cost of your studies at the University of Stirling. You may qualify for University funding, as well as funding from government bodies, the European Commission, funding trusts, research councils, industry and employers.

    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. That’s why we offer a wide range of scholarships and funding opportunities available.

    To explore our scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

  • Additional costs

    If you choose to attend your graduation ceremony, you will be liable for an additional charge. There is no charge if you wish to graduate in absentia. Learn more about additional fees.

  • 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.

    EU 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

A number of MLitt Philosophy graduates gone on to the further study of philosophy at PhD level. Some have remained within the SASP Graduate Programme at Stirling or St Andrews – while others have moved to leading institutions in the UK and abroad.

A large number of former MLitt students have secured permanent university teaching positions.

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.

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