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Philosophy (60 EC)

Students in the MA Philosophy (60 EC) follow three courses (each 10 EC) and they also complete the following compulsory elements: a supervised literature study in the area of the master’s thesis (10 EC), and the master’s thesis (20 EC).

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
  • Philosophical Anthropology and Philosophy of Culture

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 three courses as well as the subjects of the literature study and the master’s thesis belong to one track, will always be approved of by the examination committee. Not more than two of the three courses can have the same instructor.

Students of the full-time programme who start their supervised literature study in the first semester, choose two MA courses in the first semester. In the second semester they choose a third course and write their master’s thesis. Students conducting their literature study in the second semester will take three courses in the first semester.

Students of the part-time programme will spread the components over three semesters. In the first and second semesters students are expected to follow three MA courses and they also conduct their supervised literature study. In the third semester, students write their master’s thesis.

Courses in 2012-2013

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

History and Philosophy of the Sciences

Categories 10
The Scientific Revolution 10
Psychology, Ethics and Education in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy 10
Nietzsche and the Germans 10
Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem and the Philosophy of Mathematics 10
Frege: Philosophy of Logic and Language 10
Philosophy of Natural Sciences: What's Wrong in Science? 10
Belief, Opinion and the Free Market of Ideas 10
Images of Stoic Thought: Assessing the Sources 10
Privatissimum: Current Issues in Ancient Philosophy 10

Ethics and Politics

Just War Theory 10
Sense Perception, Emotion, and the Foundation of Ethics 10
Psychology, Ethics and Education in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy 10
Human Rights Philosophy 10
Tocqueville and Democratic Political Prudence 10
Belief, Opinion and the Free Market of Ideas 10

Philosophical Anthropology and Philosophy of Culture

Nietzsche and the Germans 10
Het oneindige van Levinas 10
Filosofie en literatuur II: Literaire gerechtigheid 10
Wijsgerige antropologie III: Toeval en noodzakelijkheid II 10
Nietzschean and Post-Nietzschean Aesthetics 10
Walter Benjamin, Einbahnstrasse 10
Wijsgerige antropologie IV: Kosmopolitisme en Bodenständigkeit 10
Images of Stoic Thought: Assessing the Sources 10
Privatissimum: Current Issues in Ancient Philosophy 10

Supervised literature study in the area of the master’s thesis

Literature Study (Philosophy) 10

MA Thesis

MA Thesis (Philosophy) 20

Meer info

Objectives and Achievement Levels
Programme
Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation
Additional programmes

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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Programme

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.

Structure

Students in the MA Philosophy (60 EC) follow three seminars of 10 EC each; they also complete a 10 EC supervised literature study in the area of the master’s thesis, and 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 three courses as well as the subjects of the literature study and the master’s thesis belong to one 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 three courses can have the same instructor.

Students who start their literature study in the first semester choose two MA courses in the first semester and a third course in the second semester. Students conducting their literature study in the second semester will take three courses in the first semester.

Internship

Students are allowed to include an internship of not more than 10 EC in their MA programme. The internship will replace the supervised literature study of 10 EC. Students will then write a master’s thesis including a literature study of 20 EC total.

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.) In preparation to the master’s thesis students complete a supervised 10 EC literature study in the area of the master’s thesis. This literature study may be started in the first semester.

Attainment levels

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.

Final examination

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.

Additional programmes

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.