Do you have a strong desire to sharpen and clarify the loose arguments and vague concepts we all encounter in newspaper articles, textbook readings and everyday conversations? Are you at least as interested in questioning answers as answering questions? The Research Master in Philosophy provides a challenging research-oriented program that prepares you to participate in the current debates in the international philosophical community and to develop your own research contributions to the field.

Philosophy is a selective, two-year, English-language program that emphasises active participation in research. During your studies, you will develop the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to be a successful researcher - whether you go on to pursue a PhD in philosophy (our graduates have been highly successful in securing PhD grants) or to pursue a career in one of the many fields that require key research skills. As a graduate of this program, you will be able to approach your ongoing work with analytical rigour, conceptual clarity, expressive precision, compelling argumentation, and a keen awareness of historical perspectives.


The program combines an advanced grounding in the core themes and texts of philosophy with ample opportunity and flexibility for specialisation. Through elective seminars, specialised tutorials, and seminars at other universities in the Netherlands or abroad, you will have the opportunity to dive into issues, methods, and philosophers that are central to your own research project. Moreover, since you will conduct your research in an active research community of postdocs, PhD researchers, and senior staff, you will gain hands-on experience as a researcher and participant in current international discussions in philosophy.


During this Research Master’s program, you will develop the knowledge and skills to participate in the international research community in philosophy. Our course content offers high standards of analytical rigour, conceptual clarity, expressive precision, compelling argumentation, and historical perspective.

Your studies will also help you acquire:

  • A comprehensive knowledge of central philosophical debates, methods, and texts.
  • Advanced insights into your chosen area of specialisation.
  • The ability to understand and analyse the claims and arguments made in philosophical texts (both classic texts and contemporary research publications).
  • The ability to identify, formulate, investigate, and propose solutions to research problems in philosophy.
  • The ability to express yourself effectively and coherently in written and spoken English, including utilising specialised terminology related to the field.

Philosophers can be found in a surprisingly wide range of careers, from journalism and politics to banking and consulting. Those who go on to do a PhD in Philosophy can pursue numerous different roles that professional philosophers play in society.


Philosophers can be found in a surprisingly wide range of careers, from journalism and politics to banking and consulting. Those who go on to do a PhD in Philosophy can pursue numerous different roles that professional philosophers play in society. Some teach or have leadership roles at universities, while others work in governmental policy contexts or in non-governmental organisations. Philosophers often play a prominent role in the cultural and intellectual life of their societies as well.

What all of these different philosophical career paths have in common is an emphasis on employing analytical and conceptual skills to critically examine existing practices and think in an argumentatively rigorous and conceptual innovative way about new possibilities and the reasons for (and against) them.


If you are interested in an academic career as a researcher and teacher in philosophy, a Research Master’s degree is the best preparation. As a graduate of the Philosophy program, you are well prepared to start working on a PhD project.

In addition, the program also prepares you to compete successfully for PhD positions at universities in the Netherlands and abroad. Frequently students work closely with the academic staff in developing grant applications to fund these positions, and in recent years, graduates have been exceptionally successful – 66% have secured full-time, funded PhD positions in philosophy.

  • Harmen Ghijsen is a PhD student at KU Leuven.
  • Laura Menenghello is a PhD candidate at the Justus-Liebig-Universitat Giesse.


Philosophy graduates frequently report that their philosophical training gives them an edge in establishing themselves and advancing in the workplace, particularly in organisations where decision- making and communication calls for drawing careful conceptual distinctions, articulating compelling arguments, and analysing complex texts and situations. Below you will find some particularly common professional contexts for philosophers.

  • Anna van Dijk spent several years after graduation as a staff member at the think tank for political party GroenLinks. Currently, she is working as a freelance journalist and has published several articles in De Groene Amsterdammer.
  • Another alumnus is a full-time Policy Analyst for the NGO COC Nederland, an organisation that works for the human rights of LGBTs and has a special consultative role with the United Nations. She focusses on international human rights advocacy.

Increasingly, philosophers are active as entrepreneurs in the cultural sector, working with clients to provide a variety of services in the area of philosophical consulting and ongoing education beyond the walls of the academic. For example, a graduate of our program organises philosophical workshops and training sessions about the intersections of philosophy and psychology.

Furthermore, some of our graduates pursue a career teaching philosophy at the secondary-school level.

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Last updated December 1, 2018
This course is Campus based
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2 years
2,083 EUR
Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee 2019-2020): € 2,083. Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee): 2018-19: € 15,575, 2019-20: € 16,600
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