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What will I learn?

In the Specialisation Philosophical Ethics, you research the moral conflicts and ethical issues in contemporary Western culture and frame them against the backdrop of continental European philosophy. As a student in our Research Master Philosophy you will learn all the tools for a career in academics. You will be affiliated with the Center for Contemporary European Philosophy which offers you a chance to experience what it is like to work in a professional academic environment.

Philosophical Ethics: Something for you?

  • An ethical specialisation within philosophy is unique in the Netherlands and internationally it occupies a special position amidst the standard approaches of philosophical ethics.
  • Our programme emphasises the acquiring of research skills for an academic career (PhD) or for professions with large social and political responsibilities.
  • The programme offers a lively, international environment.
  • Our students rate this Master’s programme 8,6 out of 10 according to the National Student Survey 2019.

What will you learn?

During your studies you will unravel the ethical presuppositions that underlie contemporary socio-cultural debates. The hermeneutical perspective – which is characteristic of philosophical ethics at Radboud University – combines the precise interpretation of influential texts with a focus on culture philosophical approaches, phenomenological analysis and ethical applications. A unique addition in the ethical discussion is the attention for ethical issues, especially in literary sources. Key authors for this specialisation are Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Kant, Hegel, Schleiermacher, Heidegger, Gadamer, Levinas, Ricoeur, Habermas, Taylor and Toulmin.

Career prospects

Master's programme in Philosophy (Research)

Philosophy has a unique role within contemporary society. Unlike other academic disciplines, its subject matter is not limited to one set of questions, or one domain of investigation. Philosophers poke their noses into all aspects of science and society. In order to do this, they must possess two essential skills, namely the ability to analyse complex issues logically and conceptually and the ability to document their conclusions in clear and persuasive language. Such skills are not innate. They require intensive training. The research Master's programme in Philosophy constitutes the first professional step towards the acquisition of these skills.

Job positions

This programme has been designed for people with the ambition to do research. Graduates tend to fall into one of three groups:

A majority of the students continue their research within academia by applying for a doctoral programme in the Netherlands or abroad. We take particular pride in the fact that more than 75 percent of our graduates manage to obtain a PhD position within two years of graduating.
A second group goes on to teach philosophy at secondary schools.
And a third group enter research-related professions outside of education.

Our graduates are also represented in journalism, science policy, and politics.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies

Study options

Full Time (2 Years)

Tuition fees
€16,000.00 (12,92,407) per year
Start date

Expected September 2022


Radboud University

Houtlaan 4,



6525 XZ, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

A completed Bachelor's degree in related area, which is equivalent to a Dutch WO Bachelor. A proficiency in English: In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following: A TOEFL score of 577 (paper based) or 90 (internet based); An IELTS score of 6.5; Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of C or higher.

For international students

A completed Bachelor's degree in Philosophy or in a related discipline (in the latter case, students must have acquired at least 60 EC in Philosophical disciplines).

The applicant must have a degree with merit or distinction or equivalent. Meaning: a student’s weighted grade-point average in Philosophy in the 2nd and 3rd year of their Bachelor's programme must be the equivalent of 7.5 or more (on the Dutch scale of 10).

A completed Master’s degree in Philosophy.

The applicant must have a degree with merit or distinction or equivalent. Meaning: a student’s weighted grade-point average in Philosophy in the 2nd and 3rd year of their Master's programme must be the equivalent of 7.5 or more (on the Dutch scale of 10).

A TOEFL iBT or ≥100 overall, with subscores of ≥22
An IELTS score of ≥7.0, with subscores of ≥6,5
A Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 proficiency, with marks of C or higher

Application deadlines to start September

Non-EU/EEA students - 1 April
EU/EEA students - 1 May

Application deadlines to start February

Non-EU/EEA students - 1 November
EU/EEA students - 1 December


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