MLitt Philosophy


Program Description

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

  1. You’ll be studying in a centre of excellence for philosophy.
  2. You’ll benefit from excellent teaching from authoritative and knowledgeable researchers.
  3. You can progress to PhD study.

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.


The philosophy at St Andrews was ranked top in Scotland and top five in the UK in the most recent Research Excellence Framework. Meanwhile, 62 per cent 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.

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


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

Course director

University of St Andrews Programme Director: Dr Patrick Greenough
University of Stirling Co-ordinator: Dr Philip Ebert

Fees - 2020/2021

  • Home/EU: £9,450
  • Overseas: £19,400
Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society.

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society. Read less