Conversion in Philosophy (Graduate Diploma) 2016 entry

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.

Course type

Postgraduate; leading to a Graduate Diploma (Conversion)

Course duration

One year full time; two years part time

Entry requirements

A good 2.1 undergraduate Honours degree (or equivalent) in any subject. Applicants who have not met the required 2.1 standard 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. See English language tests and qualifications.

Tuition fees

UK and EU: £6,800
Overseas: £16,250

Application deadline

Application requirements

  • CV
  • personal statement (500 words)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • English language requirements certificate.

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes. 

If you are looking to start this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 Conversion in Philosophy GradDip page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.

Course information

Course highlights

  • This conversion course gives an opportunity for students with no undergraduate philosophy qualifications to pursue philosophy at postgraduate level. 
  • Students who pass the Diploma at a satisfactory level can go on to join the SASP MLitt Philosophy programme
  • You will have full access to the postgraduate Philosophy community, including reading parties, seminars and workshops. 
  • 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.

Teaching format

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

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. 

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.


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.

For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue.

Compulsory modules

Students take at least one of the following two modules:

Optional modules

Students take at least two from the following Honours-level undergraduate Philosophy modules:

Semester 1

Semester 2

Students on the Diploma may choose take their remaining credits from sub-honours modules offered from the Philosophy Department. Some of the modules available can be found in the undergraduate module catalogue. Optional modules are subject to change each year, and attendance may be limited. 

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.

The modules listed ran in the academic year 2015-2016 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2016 entry.

Take a look at the most up to date modules in the module catalogue.


Conferences and events

Students on the Conversion Diploma are encouraged to participate in the postgraduate community. Studying the Diploma is enhanced by a busy programme of conferences, workshops and visiting speakers from universities in the UK and from abroad. This includes:

This is accompanied by a wide range of student-led reading groups and informal seminars.


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

Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% reduction in tuition fees for students who have graduated during the last three years and are now starting a postgraduate programme.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships. 

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.

PhD in Philosophy


Department of Philosophy
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AR

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2486

Philosophy research portal   Philosophy website

St Andrews and Stirling Graduate Programme in Philosophy (SASP)

For further information regarding the application process, please contact the SASP secretary by emailing

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2487

SASP website

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB)