The Department of Philosophy provides the bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, as well as various master’s degrees. Each programme begins with a number of core subjects, after which students can choose their own specialization. Teaching is generally small-scale and students are given the freedom to take their pick out of various courses, as well as choosing their own thesis topic. Besides these degree programmes, the department also provides basic philosophical education for virtually all VU bachelor’s degree programmes.
The first year of the bachelor’s programme consists of a broad introduction to the field through introductory foundation courses and a course in academic skills. The second year consists of more in-depth courses, allowing students to start thinking about their thesis topics. Third-year students take their minors, which can be in-depth or broad-based. You could opt for a minor in a specific academic field, placing philosophy in an interdisciplinary context, or choose the in-depth minor in the ‘Philosophy of Freedom’ .
Students can choose to specialize in a specific field during their minor, but they can also use the period to study abroad. Ambitious and talented bachelor’s students can also participate in the Honours Programme, which allows students to collaborate on current research. Philosophy degrees last three years (fulltime) or six years (part-time), and a shortened version of the degree can be taken by students who are also taking another degree (two years fulltime or four years part-time). Non-students can take individual subjects through the contract education system
Master’s and research master’s programmes
The department has a wide range of master’s programmes. The Graduate School of Humanities plays an important role, as this is where master’s students and research master’s students become acquainted with current research first hand. The Graduate School organizes Graduate Lectures, course presentations given by students, seminars for research master’s students and PhD candidates, and career events.
Two-year master’s programme
The two-year master’s programme consists of four tracks. The English-taught track Philosophy of Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary programme in collaboration with the VUmc neuroscience research master. Philosophy of Law and Governance reflects on concepts in and the foundations of law and governance from a philosophical angle. Philosophy, Bioethics and Health is an interdisciplinary track that reflects on moral questions in healthcare. The Dutch-taught track Filosofie van Cultuur en Bestuur aims to close the gap between professional managers and thinking about the big contemporary issues, inasmuch as they relate to human culture.