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Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy MLitt

The MLitt in Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy provides a firm foundation for students wishing to specialise in ethics, and specifically in these three areas of contemporary philosophy.

Course type Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters
Course duration 1 year full time; 2 years part time.
Entry requirements

A very strong 2.1 honours degree in or including Philosophy. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see international entry requirements.

English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.

If you do not have an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, you may be interested in the Conversion to Philosophy.
Tuition fees
UK and EU £5,500
Overseas £15,440
Find out about scholarships and funding
Application deadline Applications are accepted until shortly before teaching starts in September.
Application requirements
  • Two academic references
  • A transcript of your academic records
  • A written piece of work no more than 2500 words.

Apply for the MLitt in Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy

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Find out more about Philosophy at St Andrews

Student perspective

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MLitt Philosophy Liverpool, England

Course information

Teaching format

The MLitt in Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy is a one year taught programme run by the St Andrews and Stirling Graduate Programme in Philosophy (SASP), taught by staff from both the University of St Andrews and the University of Stirling. 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 advisor at the beginning of the year. Your advisor will provide you with individual guidance on essay planning and writing, academic conduct, and advice on how best to apply for a PhD place.


Core modules

All students taking a Philosophy MLitt must take three core modules over the course of the programme. These are:

  • Current issues in philosophy 1 (semester 1) – focusing on ethics and philosophy of language.
  • Research methods (semester 1) – aiming to foster the range of skills required for independent research in philosophy.
  • Current issues in philosophy 2  (semester 2) – focusing on epistemology and philosophy of mind.

In Semester 1 the two core modules (Current issues in philosophy 1 and Research methods) will be taught in Stirling on Mondays. A coach will be organised to take you to and from Stirling.

Optional modules

You will also have the opportunity to choose three modules from a selection of courses which focus on moral, political or legal philosophy. These module include:

  • Aesthetics
  • Kant
  • Legal philosophy
  • Moral and political philosophy of the 19th century
  • Political philosophy
  • Political philosophy in the age of revolutions
  • Topics in recent moral theory
  • Twentieth century philosophers

All optional modules are taught in St Andrews.


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 disseration during semester 2. Each student is supported through their disseration by a relevant supervisor from the Philosophy department.

Part time studies

The MLitt in Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy can also be taken as a part time programme. Students will be expected to take three modules per year over two years, before completing the dissertation. For more information about part time study, please contact the SASP secretary.

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Conferences and events

Studying the MLitt 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 the following scholarships for Philosophy MLitt students.

Philosophical Quarterly bursaries

SASP will be funding a number of bursaries for students in the MLitt programme in 2015-2016 courtesy of generous funding provided by the Philosophical Quarterly. Applicants who wish to be considered for an award should submit their MLitt application by mid-March 2015. All applications recieved by this date will be considered for these bursaries.

Carnegie-Cameron Bursaries

Scottish students may apply for a Carnegie-Cameron bursary of up to £4,000.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships.

After the MLitt

If you have successfully completed the MLitt in Moral, Legal and Political Philosophy, you may be able to proceed onto the SASP MPhil. This involves converting your 15,000 word MLitt dissertation into a 40,000 word dissertation, which is examined by an internal and external examiner at the end of the second year.

Students who graduate from the MLitt or MPhil are eligable to apply for a philosophy PhD programme.

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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 For specific inquiries about the MLitt, please contact Dr Jens Timmermann (, coordinator of the MLitt programme.

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2487

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