MA in Philosophy (Research)


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Programme Overview

  • This programme is designed for students with a background in Philosophy or related fields.
  • Gain the skills to analyse issues and concepts logically, and document your conclusions in clear and persuasive language.
  • Engage and understand with continental, analytic and historical approaches to philosophy in a stimulating research environment, and surrounded by scholars at a number of highly regarded research institutes.
  • Prepare yourself for a career as an academic, policy maker, journalist or in related fields.

Why study at Radboud University?

The Research Master's Programme in Philosophy offers students a wide range of specialisations to choose from, and gives students the option to attend seminars from many different disciplines all designed for research students.

Radboud is also affiliated with the Center for Contemporary European Philosophy, which means students will be in a stimulating research and learning environment. Furthermore, students will work closely with a supervisor to develop research ideas that they are passionate about.

Recently, the MA in Philosophy had its accreditation renewed by NVAO, and was given an above average rating.

What will you learn?

The Research Master's programme in Philosophy is a two-year course for students of proven ability who wish to prepare for an academic career in philosophy.

You will receive expert supervision in continental, analytic and historical approaches to philosophy and, if you intend to embark on an academic career, this course will give you the necessary research skills. A number of important research institutes, including the Centre for Contemporary European Philosophy in the Netherlands, provide a stimulating and dynamic research environment.

With many options to choose from, there is surely a specialisation for everyone- whether you are interested in the historical progress of philosophy or would like to grapple with the socio-political aspects of philosophical arguments, there is a programme suited for you.


You can choose from one of the following specialisations, which is the widest range of philosophical specialisations in Europe:

  • Metaphysics and Epistemology
    This specialisation focuses on how metaphysical questions are raised in the continental tradition. You examine the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it.
  • Philosophical Anthropology
    In the specialisation Philosophical Anthropology you will deal with philosophically significant questions related to human beings and examine the different states of the human condition.
  • Social and Political Philosophy
    In this specialisation you will study ‘the political' as an essential but conflict-ridden aspect of the human condition, and how politics is a way of coping with the issues resulting from this.
  • Philosophical Ethics
    The specialisation Philosophical Ethics centres on the most important moral conflicts and ethical issues in contemporary Western culture. You study these subjects against the backdrop of contemporary European philosophy.
  • Philosophy of Mind
    You will investigate the biggest questions that concern the mind. Do we have free will? What is consciousness? What is it that makes (most) human beings persons? You investigate answers to these questions from both the analytical and continental tradition.
  • History of Philosophy
    You will explore the history of philosophy and science from antiquity to the contemporary period. Our specialities are: ancient cosmologies; medieval natural philosophy; the Scientific Revolution and the birth of modern philosophy; idealism and phenomenology; the emergence and end of the metaphysical tradition; philosophy in the technological age.
  • Philosophy of Language and Logic
    You will study the relationship between language and verbal and non-verbal communication in the context of social interaction. This requires a thoroughly interdisciplinary approach that combines insights, not only from philosophy, but also psychology, linguistics and the social sciences.
  • Philosophy of Religion
    This specialisation focuses on the philosophical reflection on religion in Western thought and contemporary society. It also explores the relation between philosophy and religion in Western and other cultural contexts.

Faculty scholarships for excellent international students

The Faculty offers a scholarship for excellent students from abroad wishing to start the Research Master’s programme in Philosophy on 1 September. Each scholarship amounts to €10.000 for the first year of the Research Master’s programme, and in case of good study results can be renewed for the second, final year. Students wishing to start on 1 September are asked to submit their application before 1 May to Prof. Carla Rita Palmerino (

Admission requirements

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Philosophy or in a related discipline (in the latter case, students must have acquired at least 60 EC in Philosophical disciplines).
The applicant must have a degree with merit or distinction or equivalent. Meaning: a student’s weighted grade-point average in Philosophy in the 2nd and 3rd year of their Bachelor's programme must be the equivalent of 7.5 or more (on the Dutch scale of 10).

On our website look at the page 'Conversions of international grades'; there you will find an indication of what the equivalent of a Dutch 7.5 or 8 might be in the country where you obtained your Bachelor’s degree.

2. Highly motivated
The applicant has to demonstrate to the Examination Board that they have serious research interests and skills. They must write a motivation letter and send a writing sample which can help evaluate their research and writing skills.

Language Requirements

In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English* without a Dutch Master's degree must either have obtained a higher diploma from an English-teaching institution or be in possession of one of the following certificates:

  • A TOEFL score of ≥577 (paper based) or ≥90 (internet based)
  • An IELTS score of ≥6.5
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of C or higher

* Applicants are considered to be a native speaker of English if they are from Australia, Canada (with exception of Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, USA or South Africa.


Programmes starting in September

  • Non-EEA students: 1 April
  • EEA students: 1 May

Programmes starting in February

  • Non-EEA students: 1 November
  • EEA students: 1 December

Quality label

Both the Keuzegids Masters and the Bachelor’s programme information guide Keuzegids Universiteiten have designated Radboud University as the ‘Best General University’ in the Netherlands.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

At Radboud University in the Netherlands, you can obtain a high-quality and internationally accredited Master’s degree. Leading academics and excellent professors offer you what you need a a top-200 r ... Read More

At Radboud University in the Netherlands, you can obtain a high-quality and internationally accredited Master’s degree. Leading academics and excellent professors offer you what you need a a top-200 research university. We offer 11 English-taught Bachelor's programmes and 35 English-taught Master’s programmes with many specialisations which will give you the necessary skills and insights into research and practice within your own subject area. You will benefit from our personal teaching style, our top research institutes, and a green and friendly student city. Read less