Course information

The PGDip/MLitt in Legal and Constitutional Studies is an interdisciplinary programme run jointly by the Schools of History and International Relations.


  • Students have the opportunity to work on an individual and small-group basis with internationally leading scholars in the fields of legal, constitutional and historical research.
  • The flexible nature of the programme makes it suitable both for those wishing to go on to doctoral research and for those wishing only to take a year’s specialist study.
  • The compulsory modules equip students with knowledge of different theoretical approaches to law, legal history, and constitutionalism, using the past to interrogate and investigate current issues and controversies.

Teaching format

Over two semesters, students take six modules taught through a range of group seminars, workshops, one-to-one discussion and supervised independent research projects. The specialist modules are designed to be flexible enough to enable students to choose their own areas of in-depth study and include individually tailored research training and guidance. Module assessment comprises coursework; there are no final exams for this programme.

MLitt students will research and write a 15,000-word dissertation as their final assessment piece.


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 catalog which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.

Semester 1

In the first semester, you will take the following compulsory module:

  • The Idea of Law: introduces fundamental concepts, questions and analytical frameworks relevant to legal, historical and constitutional research.

You will also choose two additional modules from the lists below. These modules may be subject to a maximum number of participants (students will be asked to indicate their first and second choices).

You will choose one of the following:

  • Approaches to Legal History: a grounding in particularly influential authors and works on the history of law.
  • Approaches to International Law: underlying philosophical issues arising from the nature and practice of international law.

and one of:

  • Special Topic in Legal and Constitutional Studies 1 (tailored individual course of study): detailed research and tuition within a specialized field of choice.
  • Sources and Source Criticism: an introduction to medieval sources, suitable for those intending to work on medieval legal history.

Semester 2

In the second semester, you will take the following compulsory modules:

  • Comparative Studies in Legal and Constitutional Research: a forum for students to develop, present and write on a particular field or topic, drawing on methodological ideas from Semester 1 modules.
  • Special Topic in Legal and Constitutional Studies 2: provides students with the opportunity for detailed research and tuition within a specialized field of their choice.

You will also choose one additional module from the list below. These modules may be subject to a maximum number of participants (students will be asked to indicate their first and second choices).

You will choose one of the following:

  • Comparative Studies in Legal History: a forum for students to develop, present and write in a particular field or topic.
  • Global Constitutionalism: fundamental training for students specializing in constitutionalism.


Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation of not more than 15,000 words must be submitted by a date specified in August.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt. Students may apply to undertake the PGDip instead of the MLitt from the outset of their application.


Legal and Constitutional Studies is designed to prepare students for work beyond the MLitt: doctoral research within the field; study for a law degree; and employment in areas more broadly related to law, legal history, global constitutionalism and international relations.

Course dates

  • Start date: 10 September 2018
  • End date: 30 June 2019 (PGDip) or 30 September 2019 (MLitt)

Entry requirements

A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in a subject-related area. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.

Postgraduate English language requirements

The University of St Andrews welcomes postgraduate students from many countries. To enter the University of St Andrews as a postgraduate student you must be able to provide evidence that you meet our minimum English language requirements. Your evidence should be one of the following:

  • a first or an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in an appropriate subject OR an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard from a recognized higher education institution
  • proof that you are from a majority English-speaking country

a valid English language test from this list:

  • IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System - Academic version)
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English - Academic version)
  • CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English)
  • CAE (Cambridge English: Advanced)
  • TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based test)
  • Trinity ISE (Trinity Integrated Skills in English)

Application deadline

Applications are accepted until shortly before teaching starts in September. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV
  • a sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • English language requirements certificate
  • letter of intent (optional).

Tuition fees

  • UK and EU: £8,500
  • Overseas: £17,600

Program taught in:
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sept. 2019
10 - 24 months
8,500 GBP
UK and EU: £8,500; Overseas: £17,600
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sept. 2019
End Date
Sept. 30, 2019
Application deadline

Sept. 2019

Application deadline
End Date
Sept. 30, 2019