Master in Philosophy, Bioethics, and Health (Specialization of Philosophy, 2 years)

The Master’s specialization in Philosophy, Bioethics and Health will provide you with the theoretical and practical tools to deal with ethical issues in health care and health-care policy.You will learn how to reflect on practical problems from a medical, moral, legal, political and economic perspective.

The need for interdisciplinary reflection is growing as developments within society lead to new challenges in health care. Take the shifts in responsibility for example patients are expected to take greater responsibility for their own health and to ‘manage themselves’ and insurers are becoming responsible for both the cost and the quality of health-care provisions. In addition, there are many rapid scientific and technological developments to take into account: from knowledge of the genetic basis of diseases, pre-implantation diagnosis and IVF, to the use of plastic surgery for aesthetic enhancement. Then there are the problems of just allocation caused by the growing number of treatment options for all kinds of diseases and the growing number of people living well into old age. Such developments cause a change in the medical ethical agenda.

The program in a nutshell

Philosophy, Bioethics, and Health is a two-year full-time program.

Firth year

You combine your non-philosophy Master with three of our courses in the first year: ethics, philosophical anthropology and an introduction to health sciences. They follow these courses when other students do their practical training and/or work on their thesis.

Students who have a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences will take three philosophy courses and two elective courses in, e.g., health law or public administration.

If you have a Bachelor’s in Philosophy, you can take a modified two-year program. In the first year, you will follow a range of complementary courses, preferably in the fields of Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Law, though other combinations may be possible.

Second year

The second year consists of four thematic courses, a seminar including a winter school (30 ECTS), a practical training course (12 ECTS), and a literature survey and thesis (18 ECTS) which count towards both Master’s degrees.

Admission requirements

  • A Bachelor’s degree, preferably in Health Sciences, Law, Medicine, Philosophy, Psychology, and Social Sciences.
  • The Minor in Ethics and Social Philosophy (Minor Ethiek en Praktische Filosofie; in Dutch) taught by the Philosophy Department at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
  • Or another Minor of 30 ECTS consisting of courses in Philosophy and Ethics and a 6 EC paper on a philosophical subject, showing your capacity to organize your thoughts in written form can also be acceptable. The Examencommissie (Examination Committee) of the Faculty of Philosophy will decide about your admission.
  • For the second master's the admission requirements of that program apply.

Students who want to start with the Master's degree specialization Philosophy, Bioethics and Health in 2012-13 and who do not fulfill the admission requirements, may send a request for admission to the Examination committee in which is specified how they think to fulfill the requirements.

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Last updated October 26, 2018
This course is Campus based
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2 years
2,083 EUR
for EEA students. €14.600 for non-EU/non-EEA students.
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