Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

MA Philosophy and Scottish Literature

UCAS code: VQ55

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Philosophy and Scottish Literature

Philosophy

Philosophy has been at the core of Western intellectual life for at least 2,500 years. It is central to our understanding of the world and of our place in and interaction with it.

Philosophy provides the tools by which the presuppositions of all areas of intellectual and practical activity may be systematically and critically examined.

While there are different approaches that philosophers have taken, characteristic of philosophy is the emphasis on the use of:

  • argument

  • critical enquiry

  • rigour in reasoning

  • clarity of expression, including the making of pertinent distinctions

Philosophy at Edinburgh

The University has a strong historic connection to the subject, counting Adam Ferguson and Sir William Hamilton among its former students.

Edinburgh has one of the UK’s largest philosophy departments and the Philosophy Society attracts high-profile speakers.

Scottish Literature

By enhancing your unique literary and critical faculties, studying Scottish Literature prepares you to contribute to a society in which an understanding of texts of all kinds is crucially important.

On this programme, you will explore the cultural contexts of all major periods of Scottish literature from the late Middle Ages to the present.

You will also study research-led courses selected on the basis of your own interests, developing a detailed knowledge of specific topics, periods or genres.

Studying Philosophy and Scottish Literature together

This joint programme enables you to gain an in-depth knowledge in both subject areas, and the opportunity to specialise in the topics that interest you most.

Year 1

Philosophy

You will study:

  • Greats: From Plato to the Enlightenment

  • Morality and Value

  • Logic 1

These courses introduce you to key topics in:

  • the history of philosophy

  • morality and ethics

  • the nature of argument

Scottish Literature

In Scottish Literature, you will take two ‘Literary Studies’ courses which will introduce you to the essential skills needed for the critical close reading of the core literary genres of:

  • poetry

  • drama

  • prose

You will read works of literature written in English from around the world, and encounter a range of ideas about the nature and purpose of literary study.

Option courses

You can also choose to take Philosophy of Science 1, which looks at philosophical problems and assumptions around science.

Year 2

Philosophy

In philosophy, you will take two courses:

  • Mind, Matter and Language

  • Knowledge and Reality

Scottish Literature

You will be introduced to the study of Scottish literature in its cultural and historical contexts, focusing on a selection of major periods.

These courses will explore the relationship between literary texts and the construction of national, international and imperial cultures.

Option courses

You can also choose option courses in a wide range of subjects.

Year 3

Philosophy

You will start to specialise. You will normally choose courses from a range linked to our areas of the subject.

Scottish Literature

In Scottish Literature, you can choose courses that explore different periods, topics and approaches according to your area of interest.

These courses will help you prepare if you choose to do your dissertation in Scottish Literature in Year 4.

Year 4

You will choose further courses from a range linked to the major areas of the subject.

You will also complete either an independent dissertation, consisting of a single extended essay on a topic of your choice in philosophy or Scottish Literature, or a coursework dissertation through two extended essays in philosophy.

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the University of Edinburgh's Central Area.

This area has excellent computing and audiovisual resources, support services and social spaces, including many in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences and neighbouring School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures.

There’s lots going on in our subject areas, including:

  • multiple student societies for philosophy, literature and drama enthusiasts

  • reading and writers’ groups

  • poetry slams

  • creative writing magazines

  • guest seminars

English and Scottish Literature's Peer-Assisted Learning Scheme - LitPALS - is one of the University's largest.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad in Year 3 through international exchange programmes.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials.

You will be expected to undertake substantial reading each week in preparation for Scottish Literature classes.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by a mixture of coursework.

In Year 4, you will also complete either an independent dissertation on a topic of your choice or a coursework dissertation through two extended essays.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2021/22)

The philosophy and Scottish Literature courses you study throughout your programme provide you with the analytical and critical-thinking skills that are highly valued in the workplace.

Previous graduates have gone on to work in:

  • education

  • commerce

  • journalism

  • finance

  • law

  • computing

Some graduates also choose to continue with their studies and pursue a research or academic career.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAB-ABBB by end of S5 or AAAA-AABB/ABBBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB.
  • IB: 36 points with 665 HL - 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: English at B.
  • A Levels: English Literature or combined English at B.
  • IB: HL: English at 5.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

SQA, GCSE and IB

For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components.

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Philosophy and Scottish Literature

Additional costs

None.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding