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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, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September
  • Duration MLitt full-time: 12 months
  • Mode of study Full-time, Stand-alone modules

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

    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
  • 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.

  • Application procedure

    The administrating institution for the SASP programme is currently the University of St Andrews, whose application procedures should be followed:

  • 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 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 56 in each sub-skill
    • IBT TOEFL 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

    Last updated: 5 December 2019

    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.

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.


Semester 1 modules

PY5101 Current Issues in Philosophy I Monday, 11am - 1pm; Room C1/C2, Pathfoot Building, Stirling Rowan Cruft
PY5103 Research Methods Monday, 3pm - 4:30pm; Room C1/C2, Pathfoot Building, Stirling Kent Hurtig
PY5203 Kant Wednesday, 9am - 11am; Room 104, Edgecliffe, St Andrews Jens Timmermann
PY5205 Origins of Analytic Philosophy Tuesday, 11am - 1pm; Room 104, Edgecliffe, St Andrews Peter Sullivan
PY5315 Philosophy of Law Thursday, 10am - 12pm; Room 104, Edgecliffe, St Andrews Ben Sachs
PY5319 Topics in Recent Moral Theory Tuesday, 2pm - 4pm; Room 104, Edgecliffe, St Andrews Justin Snedegar
PY5324 Philosophy of Logic Thursday, 3pm - 5pm; Room 104, Edgecliffe, St Andrews Aaron Cotnoir


Semester 2 modules

PY5102 Current Issues in Philosophy II

Monday, 11am - 12pm; Room 310, Irvine George Cumming, St Andrews

Thursday, 10am - 11am (tutorial), 11am- 12pm (tutorial); Room 104, Edgecliffe, St Andrews

Derek Ball
PY5204 Moral and Political Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century Wednesday, 11am - 1pm; Room G01, Edgecliffe, St Andrews Antonino Falduto
PY5212 Formal Epistemology Monday, 1pm – 3pm; Room G03, Edgecliffe, St Andrews Philip Ebert
PY5213 Texts in the History of Political Philosophy Thursday, 2pm – 4pm; Room 104, Edgecliffe, St Andrews James Harris
PY5214 Wittgenstein Tuesday, 12pm - 2pm; Room 104, Edgecliffe, St Andrews Peter Sullivan
PY5310 Philosophy of Mind Tuesday, 10am - 12pm; Seminar Room 3, St Mary's College Michael Wheeler
PY5312 Aesthetics Tuesday, 2pm – 4pm; Room 104, Edgecliffe, St Andrews Berys Gaut
PY5318 Political Philosophy Friday, 2pm - 4pm; Room G03, Edgecliffe, St Andrews Elizabeth Ashford
PY5325 Texts in Contemporary Metaphysics Friday, 11am - 1pm; Room 104, Edgecliffe, St Andrews Katherine Hawley
PY5403 Intuitions and Philosophical Methodology Wednesday, 9am - 11am; Room 104, Edgecliffe, St Andrews Jessica Brown



The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

Course Details

  • Teaching

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

  • Assessment

    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

  • Course director

    University of St Andrews Programme Director: Professor Jens Timmermann

    University of Stirling Co-ordinator: Dr Philip Ebert

    Contact details

    Diane MacLachlan, Postgraduate Secretary
    University of St Andrews
    St Andrews
    KY16 9AL

    +44 (0) 1334 462487

    Graduate Studies Office
    University of Stirling
    FK9 4LA

    +44 (0) 1786 466220

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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