ILLC-St Andrews Joint PhD Programme

The ILLC and the Department of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews have established a joint four year PhD programme to allow excellent PhD candidates to undertake research leading to the award of a joint doctoral degree in the areas of Philosophy, Logic, Language and Computation.

The PhD candidates admitted to the Joint Amsterdam-St Andrews Programme will be supervised in co-tutelle by academics from both institutions. They will conduct research for at least one year in St Andrews and for at least one year in Amsterdam. They will be awarded a joint degree and a twofold diploma, with the titles of Doctor of Philosophy for St Andrews and Doctor for Amsterdam.


  • Admission Procedure

    To apply for the joint PhD programme via the ILLC, you must first follow one of the two routes to becoming a PhD candidate at the ILLC (see the page on admission).

    • If you apply for a paid PhD position at the ILLC, please specify that you are seeking admission to the joint PhD programme in your cover letter.
    • If you apply for a self-funded PhD position at the ILLC, please specify that you are seeking admission to the joint PhD programme in your motivation letter.
    Admission at ILLC

    Once you have been granted admission to the ILLC PhD programme, in order to enter the ILLC-St Andrews joint PhD programme you will need to satisfy two further requirements:

    1. A supervisor at St Andrews must agree to support your project, in addition to your supervisor in Amsterdam. Students can directly contact potential supervisors at St Andrews and Amsterdam to discuss their research plan.
    2. You must complete the online application form at the University of St Andrews to be officially admitted by St Andrews.

    supervisors at St Andrews

    supervisors at Amsterdam

    application form St Andrews

  • Tuition Fees

    The University of Amsterdam does not charge tuition fees to PhD candidates.

    While studying at St Andrews, you will pay local fees unless otherwise outlined in your individual candidate agreement.


    The University of Amsterdam and the University of St Andrews have reached an agreement whereby every year the fees for one year of PhD study for one student are paid for by the Department of Philosophy at St Andrews.

    The student will be determined on a first come first served basis.

    Tuition fees St Andrews

  • Programme Structure

    Candidates start the programme at either St Andrews or Amsterdam. The University of Amsterdam will be the lead institution for the programme.

    You will have to spend at least one year (12 months) in total as a resident student at both St Andrews and Amsterdam in order for the universities to recognise the joint degree. You will divide your time into study blocks in order to facilitate access to the resources that will maximise your research opportunities. Each study block should be at least six months in length where possible.

    The agreement provides students with access to one supervisor at each institution throughout the duration of their degree. You are expected to engage with both supervisors from start to finish and to meet regularly with all parties, either in person or using virtual methods, such as video call.

    Students will be able to take part in doctoral training, teaching activities and research seminars at both universities. At the ILLC, students are expected to contribute to teaching activities, just like all ILLC PhD candidates, but proportionally to the time they spend in Amsterdam. They will receive a training and supervision plan at the start of their PhD trajectory specifying the details of their doctoral training and teaching.

  • Thesis and Examination

    The length of the thesis should be limited to 70,000 words (excluding bibliography, references and appendices). Subject to approval, you may be able to submit a thesis which does not exceed 80,000 words. The thesis must be written in English and contain a substantial synopsis written in Dutch.

    Following the submission of the thesis (after approval by the supervisors), you will undertake a pre-defence exam at St Andrews. The pre-defence will follow the rules for viva voce examinations at St Andrews. The pre-defence exam will be conducted in English and is not open to the public. Following the pre-defence exam, the examiners at St Andrews may suggest corrections to your thesis. You will then have up to 38 weeks to resubmit your corrected thesis prior to the doctoral defence ceremony at Amsterdam, and a further 14 weeks before this final defence takes place.

    At Amsterdam, you will defend the final version of your thesis, following any corrections requested at the pre-defence. The final exam will be a doctoral defence ceremony, conducted according to the regulations of the University of Amsterdam. The ceremony will be conducted in English and open to the public. The hour-long doctoral defence ceremony at Amsterdam usually includes a ten-minute presentation (exposé), a brief time for public questions and questioning by members of the Doctorate Committee. The Doctorate Committee decides in private if you have successfully defended your thesis. If you have defended your thesis successfully, you will then receive a doctoral degree at the end of the ceremony.

  • Further Information

    The academic coordinators of the joint programme, Dr. Luca Incurvati for Amsterdam and Prof. Franz Berto for St Andrews, can be contacted for information and help at any point for questions specifically about the joint PhD programme.

    For general inquiries about the ILLC PhD programme, please contact ILLC's PhD Programme For inquires about specific vacancies at the ILLC, please get in touch with the contact person listed in the relevant announcement.