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.
Postgraduate; leading to a Graduate Diploma (Conversion)
One year full time; two years part time
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.
UK and EU: £6,800
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
Students take at least one of the following two modules:
- Reading Philosophy 1: Texts in Language, Logic, Mind, Epistemology, Metaphysics and Science: 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: close study of philosophical texts – historical and contemporary – that address a variety of topics within ethics, metaethics, aesthetics, philosophy of religtion and political philosophy.
Students take at least two from the following Honours-level undergraduate Philosophy modules:
- Metaphysics: covers a series of inter-related issues in the metaphysics of modality and time.
- Philosophy of Art: examines some of the fundamental contemporary debates in philosophy of art.
- Philosophy of Creativity: examines some of the fundamental issues in the philosophy of creativity.
- Rousseau on Human Nature, Society, and Freedom: examines the argument that republican political freedom is possible through a close reading of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's The Social Contract.
- Reasons for Action and Belief: considers the nature of reasons and their relationship to claims about what we ought to do and believe.
- Conceptual Engineering and its Role in Philosophy: introduces the ways in which we can criticise and improve our concepts.
- Effective Altruism: explores philosophical issues and questions surrounding the effective altruism movement.
- Philosophy of Human Rights: explores cutting-edge research on the nature, content and justification of human rights.
- Philosophy of Mind: introduces topics of central interest in contemporary philosophy of mind.
- Life and Death: deals with general questions concerning moral problems of life and death.
- Philosophy of Logic: covers philosophical issues that arise in connection with the logical notions of truth and consequence.
- Philosophy of Law: explore topics in and concerning law.
- Humans, Animals, and Nature: examines the place of human beings in nature.
- Philosophy, Feminism and Gender: introduces metaphysical, epistemological, linguistic and ethical issues concerning gender, via the arguments and methodology of analytic feminism.
- Ethics and Lifestyles: Philosophy and Ways of Living in Antiquity: examines the functions, purposes and contexts of philosophical biography, considering the interconnections and interplay between biography and philosophy in antiquity.
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:
- The St Andrews Philosophy Club — meetings for visiting speakers.
- The Department of Philosophy at Stirling — meetings for visiting speakers.
- The Arché research group — seminars and discussion groups.
- The student Philosophy Society (PhilSoc) — 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.
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.
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.
Department of Philosophy
Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2486
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
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).
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).