GradDip in Conversion in Philosophy


Program Description

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 an undergraduate level. Satisfactory performance on the Diploma may lead to entry to the SASP MLitt Philosophy programme.


  • Philosophy at St Andrews was ranked top in Scotland and fifth in the UK in the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • 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 with a focus on philosophy.

Teaching format

Conversion Diploma students take undergraduate-level 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:

  • Advanced Logic
  • Animals, Minds and Language
  • Classical Philosophy
  • Contemporary Epistemology
  • Contemporary Moral Theory
  • Contemporary Philosophy of Language
  • Mediaeval Philosophy
  • 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.

After the Conversion Diploma

Satisfactory performance on the Diploma leads to entry to the SASP 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.

Entry requirements

  • 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.

Application requirements

  • CV,
  • 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).


There are many potential scholarships or support schemes available to postgraduates.

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.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

Founded in the fifteenth century, St Andrews is Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world. St Andrews is a unique place to study and live. Nestled on the east coas ... Read More

Founded in the fifteenth century, St Andrews is Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world. St Andrews is a unique place to study and live. Nestled on the east coast of Scotland, students may find themselves crossing golf-courses on their way to class, or jogging along the beach after dinner. Not only does the University have a world-class reputation, but it also offers a diverse range of social activities, including over 140 student societies and 50 sports clubs. Historic buildings are juxtaposed against the modern facilities, and the many student traditions truly make studying at St Andrews an unforgettable experience. Read less
Saint Andrews