Philosophy (MA) (120EC)
Create a world of opportunities with a master's degree from Leiden University.
The master’s programme in Philosophy (120 EC) offers outstanding preparation for students seeking a profession that requires knowledge of a specific discipline and the added value of advanced skills in logic, reasoning, abstraction and critical thinking.
What our graduates do
Successful completion of the master’s programme can lead to PhD research and an academic career, or in the public, private or non-profit sectors. 75% of our students choose to enter a PhD programme after their studies, primarily in the Netherlands, the UK, the US, Germany or France. The remaining 25% already have a job when they joined the programme and were seeking to enhance their performance.
If you are interested in a career in teaching, you can apply for the Dutch-taught teacher-training MA at the ICLON Graduate School of Education after graduating from the master’s programme. To be admitted, you need to have a master’s degree in the relevant discipline. Fluency in Dutch is mandatory, and additional entry requirements may apply.
A Leiden University degree
Leiden University Master's graduates are sought-after employees at (inter)national organisations. Our graduates are known for their combination of robust academic training, in-depth and relevant knowledge, and critical, multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving.
Graduated in Philosophy of Law (MA Philosophy 120)
“As a legal consultant, I provide legal support to employees who come into conflict with their employer. I use my input to try to get both parties back to the negotiating table. If this is no longer possible, negotiations are necessary to find a definitive resolution. Sometimes, if no settlement can be reached, the case goes to an appeals board or a court. Being able to give a voice to the ‘weaker’ employee in the face of a strong employer is inspiring and gives me a sense of satisfaction.”
Learning to (literally) think through abstract texts and concepts
“During this Master’s specialisation, you learn to (literally) think through abstract texts and concepts. What is the rationale, the thinking, behind a text? In my legal ‘craft’, there is often a need to interpret legal texts and collective labour agreements. These texts, which can be abstract, are not set in stone, but rather are constantly changing, so you can’t look only at the literal interpretation of the text; the intention and the spirit are just as important. If you can think in the abstract, you have an advantage over the opposition.”
Getting into even more philosophical depth
“Once I’d completed the Master’s degree in Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law within the Faculty of Law, I wanted to study philosophy in even more depth. This Master’s specialisation definitely met this expectation. The course offers a great opportunity to add philosophical depth to legal questions, a depth which, unfortunately, you don’t get from the classical study of law.”
Jaap van Diggele
Graduated in Philosophy
“Like many budding philosophers, I started out wanting to unravel the workings of the universe. But as my studies progressed, I realized philosophy actually is much more down to earth and practical!”
United Nations and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
“I worked with the United Nations and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, mainly in the Middle East. Trying to address the root causes of conflict or extremism has many philosophical dimensions, that put the politics into perspective. When is it morally justified to act (or not). How do we work with people and organizations when our world views seem so far apart? What should the relationship between a state and its people be?”
Uncover the logic
“In my day-to-day work my philosophical skills have proved very useful. Philosophy taught me to uncover the logic in arguments that at first make no sense at all. It taught me to separate transient distractions from fundamental problems. And after one has had to read Wittgenstein, reading even the most complicated conflict analysis is a piece of cake!”