The Conversion Diploma in Philosophy is for those who wish to pursue the study of philosophy at postgraduate level but have studied little or no philosophy in their undergraduate degree. It builds a firm foundation for those looking to undertake research in philosophy.
The Conversion in Philosophy Graduate Diploma is a one-year taught programme aimed at students who are interested in undertaking research in philosophy but have studied little or no philosophy at the undergraduate level.
The Stirling and St Andrews Graduate Programme was ranked the third-best Philosophy programme in the UK in the latest Philosophical Gourmet Report.
Students can choose from a number of optional modules in philosophy.
Philosophy at St Andrews was ranked top in Scotland and fifth in the UK in the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014.
There are introductory seminars on “Ten Basic Concepts in Philosophy” and “How to Write a Philosophy Essay”.
There is also an optional (not for credit) module on Basic Logic for those who wish to brush up on their logic.
Conversion Diploma students take upper-level undergraduate modules but remain members of the large and vibrant postgraduate community at the universities of St Andrews and Stirling.
You are invited to all postgraduate events, such as the various postgraduate reading parties, and are strongly encouraged to get fully involved with the many and various seminars, workshops, talks, and reading groups.
You will be able to choose from a range of undergraduate modules in philosophy according to your own interests. At least one module must be selected from two compulsory modules designed to introduce students to key philosophical ideas and techniques. Students on the Conversion course do not write a dissertation.
The modules in this programme are delivered through lectures combined with tutorials, discussions and independent study. They are assessed through coursework, examinations, and in some cases, in-class presentations.
Students take at least one of the following two modules:
Reading Philosophy 1: Texts in Language, Logic, Mind, Epistemology, Metaphysics and Science: a close study of philosophical texts – historical and contemporary – that address a variety of topics within metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophies of logic and language, mind and science.
Reading Philosophy 2: Texts in Ethics, Metaethics, Religion, Aesthetics, and Political Philosophy: a close study of philosophical texts – historical and contemporary – that address a variety of topics within ethics, metaethics, aesthetics, philosophy of religion and political philosophy.
Students must also take at least one senior Honours (4000-level) Philosophy module.
Students on the Diploma may choose to take their remaining credits from Philosophy modules offered at any undergraduate level.
Some of the Honours optional modules offered in previous years include:
Animals, Minds and Language
Contemporary Moral Theory
Contemporary Philosophy of Language
Philosophy and Literature
Philosophy of Perception
Philosophy of Religion
Political Philosophy in the Age of Revolutions
If you wish to gain an understanding of logic, there is also an optional weekly seminar, Basic Logic, held throughout the year. This is a non-credit course for postgraduate students.
Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.
Conferences and events
Students on the Conversion Diploma are encouraged to participate in the postgraduate community. The Diploma is enhanced by a busy programme of conferences, workshops and visiting speakers from universities in the UK and abroad. This includes:
St Andrews Philosophy Club — meetings for visiting speakers
Department of Philosophy at Stirling — meetings for visiting speakers
Arché research group — seminars and discussion groups
the student Philosophy Society (PhilSoc) — a programme of talks and events
St Andrews research student weekly seminar
annual reading party for postgraduate students.
This is accompanied by a wide range of student-led reading groups and informal seminars.
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.
A good 2.1 undergraduate Honours degree (or equivalent) in any subject. Applicants who have not met the required 2.1 standards may still apply but will be required to submit a writing sample in support of their application.
If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency.
The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
personal statement (500 words),
two original signed academic references,
academic transcripts and degree certificates,
evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
After the Conversion Diploma
Satisfactory performance on the Diploma leads to entry to the Philosophy MLitt programme.
Many previous Conversion Diploma students have gone on to further study in philosophy at PhD level – either at St Andrews and Stirling or on another equally prestigious PhD programme.