Taught course (will run subject to approval)

Philosophy, Politics and Society (specialisation of Philosophy)

Radboud University · Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies

Entry requirements

In order to be admitted to the Master's specialisation in Philosophy, Politics and Society, you need to hold one of the following:

  • a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Politics and Society
  • a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy
  • a pre-master in Philosophy
  • a Bachelor's diploma with a philosophical component of at least 60 EC.

Additionally, 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 iBT or ≥90 overal, 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

* Applicants are considered to be a native speaker of English if they are from Australia, Canada (with exception of Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, UK or USA.

Application deadlines to start September

Non-EU/EEA students - 1 April

EU/EEA students - 1 May

Months of entry


Course content

The Master's specialisation in Philosophy, Politics and Society revolves around questions about sustainability and our environment. Why does mankind have such a profound influence on planet earth? And what can we do to avoid climate catastrophe? Those are questions of a profoundly philosophical and political nature and whose answers will impact society.

Why study this programme

Master's specialisation in Philosophy, Politics and Society

  • The only master programme in the world in Philosophy, Politics and Society
  • Topics directly related to urgent social issues and concrete policy dilemma’s
  • Much attention for the different fields where philosophers can end up.
  • Our students rate this Master’s programme 8.5 out of 10 according to the National Student Survey 2019.

Our approach in this field

The philosophy of sustainability and the environment is particularly interesting and valuable for two reasons. The first reason is practical: humanity is facing immense challenges due to our impacts on the environment, challenges to which we cannot postpone a response. We know that human influence on the climate system is clear and that human actions threaten more species with global extinction now than ever before. Furthermore, we have 17 sustainable development goals to reach by 2030. This situation raises many philosophical questions. What are the fundamental causes of the situation we presently find ourselves in? How should we react? What do we owe to future generations, to non-human organisms and to our present fellowmen? These questions urgently need answers. In this master specialisation we will scrutinise the various answers given by past and present philosophers.

The second reason is theoretical: the central theories in practical philosophy, such as deontology and utilitarianism or theories about democracy and communication, have generally been concerned about and developed for the interaction of presently-living rational human beings. The application of these theories to the ‘border cases’ of philosophy, such as humans who do not yet exist or organisms that are non-human offers interesting stumbling blocks. If our philosophical theories cannot explain or match our intuitions regarding what we owe to future generations or animals, for example, we have also reason to doubt their applicability to the ‘normal’ cases of presently-living rational human beings as well. Philosophy of sustainability and the environment therefore makes us look more critical to our philosophical toolbox.
Interesting topics

To give you an example of the types of questions you will encounter in the Master's Specialisation of Philosophy, Politics and Society, a (non-exhaustive) list of possible thesis topics and essay questions is listed below:

  • Can animals be political citizens of our society?
  • Can nations be held responsible for past emissions of greenhouse gases?
  • Can we have duties towards species and ecosystems as such or only towards individual organisms?
  • What are the moral responsibilities of companies in achieving a sustainable development?
  • How can governments share the burdens of environmental policy fairly among their citizens?
  • Why would we care about the far future when we ourselves will not be around anymore? ​

Fees and funding

UK students
€ 16,500
International students
EU € 2,314 Non EU € 16,500

There are a variety of scholarships available for studying at Radboud University. Please consult the following pags to find out which scholarships may be available to you: www.ru.nl/scholarships

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Study Information Team