Philosophy (60 EC), 2013-2014
The one-year MA programme in Philosophy has no specialisations, but in order to help students compile a coherent programme the courses on offer are presented in three tracks:
- History and Philosophy of the Sciences
- Ethics and Politics
- Philosophical Anthropology and Philosophy of Culture
Students in the MA Philosophy (60 EC) follow four courses (each 10 EC) and write a master’s thesis (20 EC). The MA courses on offer have yearly varying subjects. The choice may be made from the courses listed below, arranged by track. Please note that courses may be part of two different tracks. Programmes in which at least two of the four courses as well as the subjects of the master’s thesis belong to the same track, will always be approved of by the examination committee. Not more than two of the four courses can have the same instructor.
Students of the full-time programme choose three MA courses in the first semester. In the second semester they choose a fourth course and write their master’s thesis.
Students of the part-time programme will spread the components over three semesters. In the first and second semesters students are expected to follow two MA courses per semester. In the third semester, students write their master’s thesis.
Courses in 2013-2014
Objectives and Achievement Levels
The MA programme in Philosophy has the following objectives:
with respect to knowledge, understanding and their applications
1. to impart scholarly knowledge, insight, methods, and skills in the field of philosophy, building on the foundations laid in the BA-programme in Philosophy;
2. to impart a scholarly attitude, which is characterized by the student’s capacity to:
- engage in individual and independent academic thought and action;
- analyse complex problems;
- write academic reports;
- apply specialist skills in an intellectual and social context.
with respect to a career:
- to prepare students for the educational master’s programme in philosophy;
- to prepare students for professions in which philosophical knowledge, insight and skills have added value;
- to prepare students to some extent for an academic career and for postgraduate education, in particular for a PhD project;
- to prepare students for any non-academic career for which general academic skills such as abstraction skills, heuristic capability and creativity are required.
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the MA programme in Philosophy:
- Knowledge and understanding and their applications
Students who have completed the programme
- have acquired knowledge of systematic philosophy and its history, and of recent developments in contemporary philosophy, that is founded upon and extends that associated with the bachelor’s level, and that provides a basis for originality in developing and applying original ideas and analyses;
- know the discussions in the forefront of their field, and are able to take part in them;
- are able to contribute to current discussions in philosophy and in new and complex contexts related to philosophy;
- are able to contribute to the philosophical-social debate on the basis of their philosophical knowledge and understanding.
- Making judgements
Students who have completed the programme
- are able to handle philosophical complexity and to formulate judgments based on information from diverse sources, even if this information is limited or incomplete;
- have a realistic view of the tenability and reliability of their own conclusions;
- are able to integrate or confront different approaches to philosophical questions.
- Communication skills
Students who have completed the programme
- have been trained in giving clear expositions of philosophical problems, ideas, theories, interpretations and argumentations, to specialist and non-specialist audiences, in English, and, in case of students who are Dutch native speakers, in Dutch as well;
- are able to write philosophical papers whose quality shows the potential to come close to that of articles in refereed journals in the field.
- Learning skills
Students who have completed the programme have developed the learning skills to allow them to continue their study in a research context in a manner that may be largely self-directed, and to conceive and design a PhD project.
The Leiden Institute for Philosophy represents a wide range of research interests, enabling students in the one-year MA Programme in Philosophy to take courses in the History of Philosophy, Logic, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Mind and Cognition, Ethics and Political Philosophy, Philosophical Anthropology, and Cultural Philosophy.
Students in the MA Philosophy (60 EC) follow four of 10 EC each; they also complete a 20 EC master’s thesis.
The one-year master’s programme in Philosophy has no specialisations, but in order to help students compile a coherent programme the courses on offer are presented in three tracks: History and Philosophy of the Sciences, Ethics and Politics, and Philosophical Anthropology and Philosophy of Culture.
The subjects of the MA seminars are varying yearly and the choice can be made from all courses listed in the overview. Programmes in which at least two of the four courses as well as the subject of the master’s thesis belong to the same track, will always be approved of by the examination committee. Please note that courses may be part of two different tracks. Not more than two of the four courses can have the same instructor.
Students are allowed to include an internship of not more than 10 EC in their MA programme. The internship will replace one of the four courses of 10 EC.
Full-time and part-time
The programme offers both full-time and part-time tuition. The part-time programme is offered as a daytime course. The full-time programme spans one year, the part-time programme a year and a half. The only difference between the two programmes is in the length of time required for their completion; in content they are identical.
Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation
In order to graduate, students must have successfully completed the 60 EC programme and have completed their final thesis as a component of that programme. The master’s thesis is an independent academic contribution to philosophy in the field of the chosen specialisation. The student is required to write a master’s thesis in the second semester of the MA programme in Philosophy. (For students starting their MA programme in February, the second semester will be the Fall semester.)
The master’s thesis should clearly show that the student meets the attainment levels which have been set for this programme in terms of knowledge and skills. More specifically, the master’s thesis and the working method for the thesis should demonstrate that the student:
- has acquired knowledge of systematic philosophy and its history, and of recent developments in contemporary philosophy, that is founded upon and extends that associated with the bachelor’s level, and that provides a basis for originality in developing and applying original ideas and analyses;
- knows the discussions in the forefront of their field, and is able to take part in them;
- is able to contribute to current discussions on philosophy and in new and complex contexts related to philosophy;
- is able to handle philosophical complexity and to formulate judgments based on information from diverse sources, even if this information is limited or incomplete;
- has a realistic view of the tenability and reliability of his/her own conclusions;
- is able to integrate or confront different approaches to philosophical questions;
- in short, is able to write philosophical papers, the quality of which comes close to that of articles in refereed journals in the field.
Formal requirements and assessment criteria
The thesis for the Master’s programme in Philosophy has a workload of 20 ECs, and the length of the thesis is normally approximately 20,000 words. Depending on the subject, the student and the supervisor may agree on a different length. Other formal requirements that the thesis must satisfy are listed in the Protocol Graduation Phase MA in Philosophy
Agreements and Supervision
The agreements relating to the planning and supervision of the writing of the MA thesis are set out in writing by the student and the supervisor in the Agreements relating to the MA thesis form- . The agreements include details on the choice of subject of the thesis, on the frequency of sessions with the thesis supervisor and the manner of supervision, and on the phasing of the research leading up to the thesis.
The master’s thesis shall be defended as part of the final examination. The grade of the master’s thesis is determined by the examiners after the questioning (defence of the thesis) in the MA examination. The final examination may be held at any time during the academic year. However, graduation within the current academic year is only guaranteed when the final draft of the thesis has been approved of by the supervisor on July 1st at the latest.
In addition to their MA programme in Philosophy students are qualified to follow the teacher-training in Philosophy: a preparation for a career in high school education or in MBO (intermediate vocational) education. On completion of this MA programme students obtain a second master’s degree and a high-school teaching qualification (eerstegraads lesbevoegdheid) in philosophy. Please note that students who have completed an Educational Minor as their optional subject, are allowed to follow a fast-track Educational Master’s Programme (30 EC instead of 60 EC). For more information, see ICLON
Students awarded a master’s degree are eligible to pursue a doctorate. Information about the PhD programme is available on the institute’s website.