Philosophy (60 EC), 2018-2019
The one-year MA programme in Philosophy consists of the following specialisations:
Objectives and Achievement Levels
The MA programme in Philosophy 60 EC has the following objectives:
- to enable students to acquire academic knowledge, understanding and skills, and train them in the use of scientific methods in the field of philosophy;
- to enable students to develop the following academic and professional skills:
- independent academic reasoning and conduct,
- the ability to analyse complex problems,
- the ability to clearly report academic results, both in writing and orally;
- to prepare students for an academic career and further education;
- to prepare students for a career outside academia.
Graduates of the programme have attained the following learning outcomes, listed according to the Dublin descriptors:
Knowledge and understanding
- knowledge and understanding in the field of systematic philosophy and its history, as well as of developments in contemporary philosophy, that are based on the bachelor's programme, surpass the level of the latter, and form the basis of the independent development and application of original ideas, understanding and analyses;
- knowledge and understanding of recent discussions in the field of their specialisation, and the ability to make their own contribution here.
Applying knowledge ad understanding
- the ability, on the basis of the knowledge and understanding of philosophy they have acquired, to make their own contribution to current discussions within the discipline of philosophy and within new and complex contexts related to philosophy.
- the ability, on the basis of the deepened knowledge of philosophy acquired during the programme, to deal with complex philosophical problems, and to formulate judgments based on information from different kinds of sources, even when this information is incomplete or uncertain;
- a realistic view of the reliability of their own conclusions;
- the ability to integrate different approaches to philosophical questions and/or compare them with each other.
- the ability to give a clear explanation of philosophical problems, ideas, theories, interpretations and arguments, for specialist audiences as well as for a general audience;
- the ability to write philosophical papers that show the potential to approach the level of articles in national and international academic journals in the field of philosophy.
- the possession of learning skills that allow graduates to continue their study of philosophy more or less independently within a research context, and to draw up a research proposal for a PhD.
The MA programme in Philosophy 60 EC consists of the following specialisations:
- Ethics and Politics
- History and Philosophy of the Sciences
- Philosophical Anthropology and Philosophy of Culture
- Philosophical Perspectives on Politics and the Economy
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.
Structure specialisation Philosophical Perspectives on Politics and the Economy
Students in the specialisation Philosophical Perspectives on Politics and the Economy follow one mandatory core seminar (10 EC) and three optional courses (each 10 EC).The programme will be concluded by a master’s thesis of 20 EC, the subject of which must belong to the field of Philosophical Perspectives on Politics and the Economy. Students follow a mandatory thesis seminar during the semester in which the thesis is being written.
Structure other specialisations
Students in the specialisations Ethics and Politics, History and Philosophy of the Sciences, and Philosophical Anthropology & Philosophy of Culture, follow four optional courses (each 10 EC). The programme will be concluded by a master’s thesis of 20 EC. Students follow a mandatory thesis seminar during the semester in which the thesis is being written.
At least two of the optional courses, as well as the subject of their master’s thesis must belong to the field of the chosen specialisation. Not more than two of the four courses can have the same instructor. Topics of the optional courses are varying each year.
Students may include an internship their MA programme in Philosophy 60 EC. A maximum of 10 EC of optional courses can be replaced by an internship. If more than 10 EC have been obtained for the internship the extra credits will be recorded as extra-curricular components on the diploma supplement.
Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation
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 60 EC. (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 60 EC 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 thesis must be supervised by a staff member of the Leiden Institute for Philosophy. 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, students who graduate on the last working day of August need to hand in the graduation form no later than July 1st and the final draft of the thesis need to be approved by the supervisor and sent to the Board of Examiners no later than June 15th.
In addition to their MA programme in Philosophy 60 EC students who have obtained a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy as well 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.