History and Philosophy of Science has been judged as a 'Top Rated' Master's program by the national Master guide (Keuzegids Masters) of 2018!
A Long-term Perspective on Science and Society
The Master’s program in the History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) offers a unique opportunity to study the foundations, practices, and culture of the sciences and humanities from a historical and philosophical perspective. Our two-year research program addresses the historical development of scientific thought and practices with a broad approach that investigates the interplay of science or the humanities with cultural, social, and institutional factors. Students will also learn to analyse the structure and concepts of theories such as relativity, quantum mechanics, evolution, and modern genetics.
The curriculum covers courses on selected subjects in:
- History of Science or the Humanities
- Philosophy of Science or the Humanities
- Foundations of Physics
- Foundations of Mathematics and Logic
The general aim of the Master’s program HPS is to offer you a thorough training in the history and/or philosophy or foundations of the sciences and humanities. You'll learn to develop and research historical or philosophical research questions. You will be educated in developing a professional attitude which enables you to enrol in a PhD program in the HPS field, or start (on the job training) for a career in science education and communication, in museums, in science policy or science management.
If you are interested, you may consider doing the (Dutch) minor 'Geschiedenis en Filosofie van de Natuurwetenschappen', which provides an excellent preparation for the Master's program. It is also possible to do individual bachelor courses.
Graduates are exceptionally well prepared to enter PhD programs in the Netherlands or abroad. A PhD position in the Netherlands is usually fully funded for a four-year period.
Almost half of our graduates have continued to a PhD project in the field in Utrecht or elsewhere. Recent Utrecht University PhD projects have included studies of the history of the law of energy conservation in 19th-century German culture, the role of correlations in physical theories and what these say about the world, the teaching of pharmacology in the 16th century, and the role of genetics in animal breeding.
Some graduates have entered PhD programs in fields outside of HPS and successfully continued their graduate studies in either the sciences or humanities.
If you want to find a job or internship in the Netherlands, knowing Dutch will get you places. Even if you work within an international organisation, knowing at least some Dutch is always a benefit and in some cases even a requirement. In order to learn Dutch, free language websites such as duolingo.com or dutchgrammar.com can get you started or take a look at the Dutch courses offered by Babel. As a student from Utrecht University, you receive a 25% discount on their course offerings.
If you want to stay in the Netherlands after your graduation, you can apply for the ‘residence permit orientation year’. This permit can be submitted within 3 years after completing your studies and allows you unlimited working rights (hence: a work permit –TWV- is not required). For an overview of the conditions that apply for this permit, please visit the IND website.