Philosophy of Knowledge (MA)
Create a world of opportunities with a master's degree from Leiden University.
What our graduates do
The one-year master’s programme in Philosophy prepares you for any career in which reasoning skills, high levels of abstraction and critical thinking are valued. Our graduates are currently employed in a wide range of professions in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Successful completion of an MA can also lead to PhD research and a career in academia.
Currently 100% of our students find employment at university-graduate level within one year of completing our one-year MA in Philosophy. We can attribute this both to the high quality of the programme and the talent and ambition of our students.
You will find our graduates working in an astonishingly wide range of professions and professional organisations. Examples include:
- Policy Officer at a ministry
- Copywriter at a media company
- Freelance editor
- PhD candidate at an foreign university
- Editor at a communications consultancy firm
- Consultant at an IT consultancy firm
- Editor at a company specialising in reviewing theses and dissertations
- Coordinator at an international human rights watch organisation
- PhD candidate at a university in Sweden
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 MA History and Philosophy of the Sciences
Flexibility of the programme “My first degree was in chemistry, so I needed a program with the flexibility to allow me to change paths. Leiden offered that, and I was able to take additional undergraduate courses in philosophy as preparation for the master. This flexibility was one of the big attractions for me about the program. I also liked the broad scope of the courses offered, which allowed me to take master courses in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind as part of the MA programme.”
“I'm currently a PhD student in philosophy at the University of Connecticut in the United States. I'm building on the work I did in philosophy of mind and cognitive science at Leiden for my PhD research here, and the courses I took at Leiden were crucial preparation both for the PhD application process and for the doctoral work I am doing now.”
Inspiring professors at Leiden University
“As I am continuing with my study of philosophy at the doctoral level I make direct use of the skills and knowledge I acquired during my master at Leiden. I think Leiden was an excellent place to study theoretical philosophy, and the rigour of the work I did during my master - under the supervision of some inspiring professors - was excellent preparation for doctoral study.
The graphs below are based on alumni data from the MA in Philosophy (60EC) 2016-2020.
In which sector do students find jobs?
- 31 % Education
- 25 % Government and semi-government
- 13 % Research
- 6 % Non-profit (e.g. at an idealistic organization)
- 6 % Media and journalism
- 6 % Business services
- 6 % Financial organisations
- 6 % Consultancy
- 1 % Other
How successful are they in finding a job?
- 61 % found a job within two months
- 67 % found their first job at academic level
The MA in Philosophy at Leiden University aims to equip you with a range of intellectual skills and academic attitude that will help you thrive in any future position. Your high-level skills in abstraction, reasoning and critical thinking can be applied within any role, to any conceptual problem, helping you come up with innovative and out-of-the-box solutions.
A growing number of students choose to do an internship during their study. Internships are a great way to gain indispensable firsthand experience in your area of interest before you decide on making it a career.
In recent years students from the MA Philosophy (60EC) have been doing internships at the following organisations:
- Filosofie Magazine
- Dutch Royal Library The Hague
- Peace Palace The Hague
- Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment
- Dutch Consulate Office in Chongquing, China
- PricewaterhouseCoopers Consultancy
Our staff can help you identify both the career that is right for you, and the necessary steps to get you there. Our team at Humanities Career Service provide all Leiden University humanities students with professional advice and guidance on everything from internships and career planning to job applications. Humanities Career Service also organises regular workshops on topics such as effective interview skills and creating a successful CV.
The Humanities Career Service offers you various (online) workshops, webinars and info sessions. Check our overview of career activities.
The Leiden University Career Zone is an online career portal that helps you to prepare for the job market. Here you can find information, tools and tips to help you gain more personal insight, learn about the job market, develop your application skills, plan your academic and professional career, find job vacancies and discover what the Career Service can do for you.
Join the Mentor Network to contact alumni with experience on the labour market and ask them for advice. More than 1200 alumni are happy to help you!
Jelle on finding an internship via Leiden University's Mentor Network
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