Universiteit Leiden

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Philosophy of Law, Governance, and Politics (MA)

About the programme

You will take courses in Philosophy and in Law, Public Administration, or Political Science (or an adjacent discipline). Students in this two-year programme typically also enroll in one of the relevant master’s programmes taught at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, or the Law School.

Philosophy courses integrate historical and systematic approaches in philosophy as well as the study of primary philosophical texts.

The two-year programme consists of the following components:

  • MA courses in the discipline outside philosophy (for a total of 40 EC)
  • Two specialist courses in Philosophy of Political Science (for a total of 20 EC)
  • The core seminar (10 EC)
  • One mandatory course in Practical Philosophy (10 EC)
  • Two elective courses in Philosophy (for a total of 20 EC)
  • Master’s thesis, thesis seminar, and exam (20 EC)

Students have the opportunity to do an internship, and/or to participate in an exchange programme with another research university.

  • Seminars
  • Self-study
  • Internship options
  • Class presentations
  • Course assignments
  • Midterm and term papers
  • Thesis

Detailed programme

For a detailed programme, see this year's Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

Bruno Verbeek

University Lecturer

Bruno Verbeek

“Students in our programme are encouraged to apply the theoretical work on real-world practical problems which gives them an advantage over ‘normal’ philosophers and ‘normal’ lawyers and social scientists alike. In addition, there is a heavy emphasis on the analytical and communicative skills that today's job market demands.”

Small scale intensive seminars

“Most of our students are ambitious and highly motivated. They typically have already an MA in Law or one of the social sciences Science or are combining this programme with such an MA. What we offer them is the opportunity to find out about the underlying normative and systematic continuities of our political and legal systems and institutions in small scale intensive seminars where they can test and critically asses their own and others’ assumptions in a safe environment with like-minded and motivated peers.”

Applying abstract critical thinking

“Our programme combines the traditional methods of philosophical analysis with an interdisciplinary interest in politics in all its facets. In this way students learn to apply highly abstract critical thinking to both deep and mundane questions about the societies and institutions we live under.”

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