Universiteit Leiden

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Philosophy in World Traditions (MA)

This master’s programme combines advanced levels of philosophical analysis with the study of non-Western sources, in particular, Chinese, Indian, and Arabic sources.

The master’s programme Philosophy in World Traditions is meant for students who wish to combine a master’s in (classical) Chinese, Indian, Arabic, or an adjacent discipline with a master’s in Philosophy in World Traditions. Only students with a bachelor’s degree in Chinese, Indian studies (Sanskrit), Arab studies, or an adjacent discipline (or an equivalent degree) are admissible. Students with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and that are admitted to the MA Asian Studies (with basic knowledge of one of the languages mentioned above) can be admitted to the programme as well.

Why study Philosophy in World Traditions at Leiden University?

This programme is unique in Europe. Leiden is the only place where you can study the histories and languages of India, East Asia, and the Arab world combined with upper-level philosophical analysis of these sources, taught by internationally renowned experts in their fields. Leiden University is home to various institutes dedicated to study these areas and has a world-famous collection of Asian and Arabic manuscripts and materials. You will combine advanced courses in the non-Western tradition of your preference–including language acquisition—with high-level philosophical analysis of the central concepts, and theories of philosophy in that tradition. In addition, great attention will be paid to the methodology used in interpreting and learning from these traditions.

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What are your career prospects?

The MA Philosophy in World Traditions is an ideal preparation for a career in which besides high levels of abstract reasoning an open attitude towards other cultures is essential. A substantial number continues to do PhD research in academia. Others find rewarding careers elsewhere.

Find out more about your career prospects

Is Philosophy in World Traditions the programme for you?

If you are curious about intellectual philosophical traditions outside of the standard canon and have the ambition to familiarize yourself with the historical, cultural, and linguistic contexts in which these traditions were formed, this is the programme for you. A love for reading both classical and modern texts and analysing and discussing these intensively with your instructor and fellow students, is essential. If, moreover, you are ambitious and not averse to hard intellectual work, you have what it takes to complete this programme successfully. 

Do you want to find out if you are eligible for this Master's programme?

Check the admission requirements

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