University of St Andrews

University of St Andrews

History of Philosophy

The MLitt in the History of Philosophy focuses on the historical traditions of western philosophy, allowing students to study across a range of periods - from the classical period through to early analytic philosophy. Students have the opportunity to study a range of philosophical periods through lectures, tutorials and reading groups. Modules are taught in small groups of four to ten students, with all postgraduate taught students in the department participating in the compulsory Current Issues modules. In 2014-2015, there were approximately 30 postgraduate taught students in the Department. The programme consists of six taught modules taken over two semesters (each assessed by coursework) a 15,000 word dissertation in an area of your choice. Every MLitt student is assigned an adviser at the beginning of the year. Your adviser will provide you with individual guidance on essay planning and writing, academic conduct, and advice on how best to apply for a PhD place.

Entry requirements

A good Honours degree in philosophy or a cognate discipline.

Course modules

Semester 1 - these two compulsory modules are taught in Stirling on Mondays. A coach will take you to and from Stirling without additional cost.
1. Current Issues in Philosophy 1: focuses on epistemology and ethics.
2. Research Methods: aims to foster the range of skills required for independent research in Philosophy. Students may choose to join a seminar group most related to their interests.
Semester 2: 1. Current Issues in Philosophy 2: examines philosophy of language and philosophy of mind.
Optional module: You will also have the opportunity to choose three modules from a selection of modules which focus on the history of philosophy. These module may include:
1. Classical Philosophy: topics in ancient metaphysics and ethics concentrating on selected readings from the works of Plato or Aristotle.
2. Justice: Ancient and Modern: introduces the main theories of justice in the Western philosophical tradition.
3. Kant: essential topics and concepts from the Kant's Doctrine of Virtue, part II of Metaphysics of Morals.
4. Moral and Political Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century: examines influential ethical and political ideas of the nineteenth century, based around works by one or more of Hegel, Mill and Nietzsche.
5. Origins and History of Analytic Philosophy: introduces the works of the founding philosophers of analytic tradition in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Political Philosophy: an examination of liberalism and its critics.
Optional modules are subject to change each year, and attendance may be limited (see the University's position on curriculum development).

If you wish to brush up on your knowledge of logic, or if you have limited prior experience in this area, there is also an optional weekly seminar, Basic Logic, throughout the year.

Dissertation: The final element of the MLitt is a 15,000 word dissertation. The dissertation should be on an area of Philosophy you are interested in; you will be encouraged to start considering a topic for the dissertation during Semester 2. Each student is supported through their dissertation by a relevant supervisor from the Department.

Assessment methods

MLitt assessment: 9 months of ongoing coursework and a supervised 15,000-word dissertation.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MLitt Full-time September 2017 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (EU) 12 months
MLitt Full-time September 2017 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (England) 12 months
MLitt Full-time September 2017 GBP 16,250 per Year 1 (International) 12 months
MLitt Full-time September 2017 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 12 months
MLitt Full-time September 2017 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (Scotland) 12 months
MLitt Full-time September 2017 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (Wales) 12 months

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
University of St Andrews St Andrews KY16 9AX Scotland

Key information

Philosophy Postgraduate Enquiries
Telephone number: