1. 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).
2. 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 Master's degree must either have obtained a higher diploma from an English-teaching institution or be in possession of one of the following certificates:
- 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
3. Highly motivated
An applicant must be able to demonstrate to the Examination Board that they have serious research interests and skills. Applicant must write a motivation letter and send a writing sample which can help evaluate their research and writing skills.
Months of entry
Are you looking for a highly challenging two-year Research Master's programme in Philosophy? Come to Radboud University! At the end of April the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders NVAO has renewed the accreditation of the Research Master Philosophy. The NVAO evaluates the Research Master Philosophy as 'good'. This evaluation by the NVAO is exceptional. The verdict shows that the NVAO finds the Master's programme systematically above average quality.
Research Master's in Philosophy
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.
What makes this programme special
The English-taught Research Master's programme in Philosophy is a two-year course that is meant for students of proven ability who wish to prepare for an academic career in philosophy. We offer the following to provide you with the best possible academic background:
- A combination of internationally acclaimed research and excellent teaching
- A big offer of research seminars in the history of philosophy, continental philosophy and analytic philosophy
- A broad range of specialisations in Philosophical Anthropology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of mind, Philosophy of language and Logic, Philosophical Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, History of Philosophy, and Philosophy of Religion
- An emphasis on the training of research skills
- A personal supervisor who guides you throughout the programme
- An excellent preparation for post-graduate life by means of the specialised character of the Research Master's thesis, which is composed of a publishable article and of a PhD research proposal
- A high chance of obtaining a PhD position in the Netherlands or abroad
- An international climate.
Note that if you already have an Master's degree in philosophy, you can apply for a waiver; depending on your previous course work, you may be allowed to enter directly into the second year of this programme.
Specialisations of the Master's in Philosophy
The Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen offers the entire range of philosophical disciplines. However, students enrolling in the Research Master's programme are expected to choose one of the following specialisations:
In Metaphysics and Epistemology you focus on the development of the hermeneutic tradition – key figures being Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Heidegger, Gadamer, Ricoeur and Derrida.
In Philosophical Anthropology you study the philosophical significance of psychoanalytical hermeneutics as developed by Freud and followers (Lacan, Klein, et. al.). Research focuses in particular on the phenomenological tradition (Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Deleuze and Butler).
In Philosophical Ethics you investigate the moral implications of human actions from the point of view of virtue ethics (Aristotle, MacIntyre), phenomenology (Heidegger, Levinas) and hermeneutics (Gadamer, Ricoeur). This section also runs an international Nietzsche research project.
In Social and Political Philosophy you study ‘the political’ as an essential but conflict-ridden aspect of the human condition, and politics as a way of coping with this. Spinoza, Hobbes, Kant, Schmitt, Arendt, Zizek and Foucault are central figures in this specialisation.
Philosophy of Language and Logic involves the study of linguistic expressions such as words, sentences, texts and dialogues, where the emphasis is on the context in which these expressions are being interpreted.
In Philosophy of Mind and Science you study problems such as mental causation, phenomenal consciousness and the nature of mental state attribution from the viewpoint of neurophenomenenology and the embodied embedded cognition paradigm.
In History of Philosophy you explorethe development of natural philosophy and metaphysics from the late Middle Ages to early modern and modern times, investigating, in particular the evolution of the sciences of psychology and physics from philosophy.
In Philosophy of Religion you focus on the philosophical reflection on religion in Western thought and contemporary society, and also exploring the relation between philosophy and religion in Western and other cultural contexts.
To apply for this course, please contact us by e-mail.
Fees and funding
There are various scholarships available for studying at Radboud University. Some of the opportunities are described below. A full list, including detailed information, can be found on our scholarships and grants page at our website.
Radboud Scholarship Programme
Open to a select number of excellent international students. Instead of the institutional tuition fees, non-EEA students pay the legal tuition fees (€2,060 in 2018/2019). Visa and residence permit costs, liability insurance and health insurance are also covered.
Orange Tulip Scholarship
Open to students from Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Indonesia, South-Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and China. Instead of the institutional tuition fees, non-EEA students pay the legal tuition fees (€2,060 in 2018/2019). Visa and residence permit costs, liability insurance and health insurance are also covered.
Open to excellent American students. The grant will be paid in 12 monthly instalments of 1,050 euros. International travel and the cost of the residence permit will be covered, and an extra allowance of €1150 will be paid on arrival.
Sino-Dutch Bilateral Exchange Scholarship
Open to excellent students from China. Consists of a contribution of € 16,113 towards the total costs of one year of study or research in the Netherlands.
Aimed at lecturers at higher education institutions in Indonesia who wish to pursue a PhD or Master's at a university in the Netherlands. A DIKTI scholarship includes allowances for living expenses, insurance, travel costs, tuition fees and more.
Indonesian Education Scholarship (LPDP)
Open to excellent Indonesian students under the age of 35. Involves a full scholarship.
Holland Scholarship Programme
Open to excellent students from Canada, America, India and Turkey. Scholarship consists of 5,000 euros payed at the start of study.
Dutch Student Finance
EU/EEA students and Swiss students under 30 years of age are eligible if they are working at least 56 hours per month in the Netherlands, or have been living in the Netherlands for five years or more. Dutch student finance consists of four components: a basic grant, a supplementary grant (depending on the parental income), a student travel product, and a loan.
Qualification and course duration
MA by research
Course contact details
- Admission Office