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Scotland Study Group

University of St. Andrews
Director Spring 2016: Professor David Dudrick, 
Department of Philosophy

Founded in 1413, the University of St. Andrews is the oldest university in Scotland, and one of the premier institutions of higher learning in Britain. The university draws over a fifth of its 5,700 undergraduates from overseas, representing some 75 different nationalities.
The town of St. Andrews — also known as the "home of golf" — is a beautiful burgh of about 15,000 people on the rugged east coast of Scotland. It has a vibrant town center filled with shops, cafes, and restaurants (plus the impressive ruins of the ancient cathedral).

There is reliable train and bus service to nearby larger cities, such as Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Stirling. Edinburgh's international airport offers daily budget flights to European destinations.

This study group has not been designated to satisfy the Core Global Engagements requirement.  Students will need to meet the Global Engagement requirement by enrolling in a designated course offered on campus.


Academic Program

Participants register as students at the University of St. Andrews and have the same access to all of its facilities as regular students do. In order to earn the equivalent of four Colgate credits, each student takes the course offered by the study group director and two to three courses from the St. Andrews curriculum.


In 2016 the Director’s course will be PHIL 380, “MacIntyre, Narrative, and Faith.”  Alasdair MacIntyre is the greatest living Scottish philosopher and one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century.  In this class we will use his work – especially his masterwork, After Virtue – as a foundation from which to investigate questions concerning the role of narrative in constituting our selves, our society, and our relationship to the divine.  In doing so, we’ll discuss questions posed in the philosophy of religion (e.g., the problem of evil, the rationality of faith, and the challenge of religious pluralism), especially as they pertain to MacIntyre’s brand of Christian theism.  We will use the works of authors ranging from Shakespeare to J. M. Coetzee to investigate the potency of narrative.  During the course of the term, we will travel to Stratford-upon-Avon to see a play at the Royal Shakespeare Company, to Oxford and to London to meet with philosophers working on issues germane to the course, and to the isle of Iona, where St. Columba introduced Christianity to Scotland in 563 AD.  This class is required for all study group participants.

Students are expected to take 75 St. Andrews credits, which is the equivalent of 4.00  Colgate course credits. This includes the 15-credit director’s course. Exceptions to the standard course load must be pre-approved by the study group director, the director of off-campus study, and the associate dean of the faculty.

  • Students register for courses (or “modules”) the first week of the term at St. Andrews.
  • Students must notify the Colgate registrar’s office of final selections.
  • Course catalogues are available at: catalogue.
  • Students are expected to consult the online catalogues and meet with their Colgate advisers prior to departure to determine appropriate courses to best serve the student’s overall academic goals.
  • The Colgate philosophy and religion departments will award concentration credit for all philosophy or divinity courses taken at St. Andrews. Credit levels will be determined by the department chair.
  • Students are not permitted to take courses that duplicate or substantially overlap with previously completed coursework.
  • All courses outside of the philosophy or divinity faculties at St. Andrews require preapproval from Colgate’s registrar’s office and also in some cases, the relevant department or program. Courses are expected to fit within Colgate’s liberal arts curriculum. If there are questions about a specific course, please contact the registrar’s office.
  • St. Andrews courses do not fulfill Core Curriculum requirements.
  • Course Approval Form

Living Arrangements

Students share a meal as a large group.Study group participants live with St. Andrews students in the university's halls of residence. There are options to choose from (single or double, en suite or not, catered or not, etc.).Colgate students enter the university's housing lottery along with everyone else.

Extracurricular Activities

In addition to day trips to Edinburgh and Glasgow, there will be two group excursions: a trip to Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon and London during the first week of the two week spring break, and a trip to the isle of Iona during review week.  Travel arrangements are made by the Study Group Director.


Start of Classes:   January 25, 2016
Spring Vacation:  March 14—March 21, 2016
Revision period:  April 25—May 9, 2016
Examinations:  May 9—May 30, 2016

Please see


Ideally, students should have taken at least two courses in philosophy or religion by the time they arrive in St. Andrews.  In order to be admitted to St. Andrews, students need to have at least a 3.2 grade point average.


For details of student expenses on this study group, please see Student Cost Estimate Sheets.


The deadline for applications to the Spring 2016 Scotland Study Group is Friday, November 7th, 2014.  Applications are on the Colgate University Off-Campus Study/International Programs study groups’ websites and are submitted online.  Student notification of selections will take place late December 2014.

Passports and Visas

Scenic of a city in ScotlandYou must confirm that your passport is valid through December 2016. Some students participating on the Spring 2016 Scotland Study Group will be required to obtain a U.K. student visa. With participation on this study group comes the responsibility of understanding and complying with U.K. visa requirements. If you will not be traveling on a U.S. passport it is imperative that you contact an adviser in Off-Campus Study/International Programs, 101 Lathrop, and International Student Services, 103C Lathrop, to learn as much as you can about the regulations. For all students there are significant visa requirements to be met that take time, advance planning, and incur extra costs.

Program Dates

The Departments of Philosophy and Religion Program at St. Andrews University program dates: about mid-January through May, 2016.

Informational Sessions

  • Monday, October 6, 2014 at 9 p.m., Library Cafe
  • Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 7 p.m., 202 Hascall Hall
  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 8 p.m. Library Cafe

More Information

For more information contact Professor Dudrick,