Taught course

Contemporary Studies (MLitt)

University of St Andrews · Graduate School

Entry requirements

A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.

English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.

The qualifications listed are indicative 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.

Months of entry


Course content

The MLitt Contemporary Studies is an interdisciplinary degree that explores the nature of the contemporary. It addresses contemporary subjects from a range of arts, social science, and science disciplinary perspectives. The programme will develop your ability to approach contemporary subjects and challenges with an interdisciplinary, and thus flexible, mind-set.


  • Brings together students from the humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences - offering an interdisciplinary degree that is unique within St Andrews.
  • Broadens your knowledge base and enhances your skills of analysis and communication; you will think beyond the methodologies of any single discipline and start to develop a common lexicon that bridges disciplinary divides.
  • Students complete two short placements that promote engagement beyond academia and help you develop your professional skills set.
  • Your summer research project can take the form of a practice-based submission based on a practical component such as a video essay, curation work, or website design or a standard written dissertation.

What might a specialist in English literature, a computer scientist, and a physicist have to say about climate change? How might a linguist, a social anthropologist, and a biologist approach concepts of time in the 21st century? The MLitt Contemporary Studies considers how issues deemed to be contemporary are approached differently by different academic disciplines as well as by those outside academia. Bringing together academic staff from the humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences, this programme offers an interdisciplinary degree that is unique within St Andrews and rare in any academic context in the UK.

The multidisciplinary approach means that you will think beyond the concepts, theories, and methodologies of any single academic discipline as well as learn how to challenge disciplinary stereotypes and start to develop a common lexicon that bridges disciplinary divides.

You will also have the opportunity to complete two short placements (of up to three days each). Placements will be hosted within the University or with an external agency. The placements serve to promote engagement and communication beyond the academic context and to build on the skills set that you can offer to future employers.

Whatever your disciplinary background, the MLitt Contemporary Studies will help you to see it in a new light.

Teaching format

The MLitt degree is a one year full-time programme. Students complete two core modules in semester 1 (September to December) and a third core module as well as one or two optional modules in semester 2 (January to June). The period from June to August is used to complete the summer research project.

The MLitt degree involves both independent and group study and teaching methods include seminars, workshops, and reflective practice. Most modules are assessed through coursework including written assignments, presentations, and reflective work.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.


The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2018–2019 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2019 entry.

Fees and funding

UK students
EU £9,000
International students
EU: £9,000 Overseas: £18,480

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Secretary
+44 (0)1334 46 2032