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What will I learn?

Explore the interaction between moral practices and ethical reflection

Moral problems occur in all areas of life: professional, personal, political. Should banks impose strict criteria on clients to promote corporate social responsibility? How to allocate fairly the benefits and burdens of climate change policy options? For which purposes is the use of big data morally permissible? Do you believe it is ethical for us to use biological enhancement technologies to make us better, rather than simply well? Can it be justified to use biotechnology to change animals in order to avoid welfare problems in livestock? Such problems require careful reflection on the facts – but also on our basic moral values.

Interdisciplinary studies

Our interdisciplinary approach offers you multiple avenues of investigation into applied ethics. In addition to studying philosophy, you’ll learn about the contexts in which moral problems arise and the different types of analysis that may be needed in various contexts. You’ll also examine how viewpoints from different disciplines can strengthen ethical reflection and argumentation.

Internationally oriented programme and research

This English-taught, one-year Master’s programme attracts international and Dutch students with diverse disciplinary backgrounds (for example, philosophy, medicine, law, international studies, economics) as well as people with professional experience (for example, health care professionals, lawyers, veterinarians, management consultants in corporate social responsibility & business ethics, or journalists). This unique student body provides a wide range of cultural viewpoints through which you can explore ethical dilemmas. The programme offers the opportunity to do an internship with a national or international organisation or NGO, and to participate in elective Master-level courses abroad.

The Master’s programme in Applied Ethics is embedded in Utrecht University’s Ethics Institute, a research-driven organisation that focuses on human dignity and human rights, education ethics, animal ethics, sustainability ethics, public health ethics, and bioethics.

After Graduation

During your studies in this programme, you’ll develop the necessary skills to analyse important current ethical issues. You’ll learn to critically propose possible solutions as well as to engage professionals and other concerned individuals in reflection on the moral dimensions of their practice. After completing the programme, you’ll have the skills to:

  • Identify and analyse ethical arguments about moral problems in different social and professional contexts.
  • Present sound input to public debates on moral issues.
  • Formulate theory-based policy recommendations regarding moral issues in specific practices.
  • Organise constructive ethical deliberation in institutional and professional contexts.

Career prospects

There are various career opportunities after graduating with a degree in Applied Ethics. A recent survey shows that around 30% of our graduates work at a university today, either as teachers or as PhD students. After finishing the programme, you are also able to teach ethics to professionals or to work as a consultant in governmental and diplomatic services. Some of our alumni work in journalism or in various NGOs or banks.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Humanities

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
€17,078.00 (13,79,483) per year
Start date

Expected September 2022

Venue

Utrecht University

Heidelberglaan 8,

Utrecht Science Park / De Uithof,

Utrecht,

3584, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants will be considered for admission to the Research Master’s programme in Religious Studies if you can demonstrate the following knowledge, insight, and skills: A relevant Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in the humanities or in one of the social sciences; Proven interest in Religious Studies, as evidenced in a minimum of 30 EC in a relevant field at the Bachelor’s level; Knowledge of basic concepts in Religious Studies and insight into relevant methods; A high standard of academic achievement, as evidenced in an overall grade point average and a Bachelor’s thesis grade equaling “good” or better in the applicable national system. (Typically, Dutch grade 7.5; US grade B; ECTS grade C.) English language requirements: ELTS, Academic Module. Minimum score: 6.5 overall band, at least 6 for writing. TOEFL, iBT. Minimum score: 93 with at least 24 reading, 22 listening, 20 speaking, 17 writing (internet-based test), institutional scores are not accepted. Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English, at least a B grade. Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English, at least a C grade.

For international students

You have adequate knowledge of the most important and currently debated theories in the field of philosophical and applied ethics, as demonstrated by:

  • a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, or
  • a Bachelor’s degree in a different discipline combined with a major in Ethics or Philosophy, or
  • a Bachelor’s degree combined with a minor in Ethics of at least 30 EC. A minor in Ethics should contain courses at both the introductory and advanced undergraduate levels.

Other English language requirements: Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English, at least a B grade; Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English, at least a C grade.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

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