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Philosophy (60 EC): Ethics and Politics

Structure of the programme

The MA Philosophy (60 EC): Ethics and Politics consists of the following components:

Optional courses (in total 40 EC)

Students follow four optional courses (each 10 EC). Please be informed that students can only take the optional courses selected for the specialisation to which they have been admitted. Students with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Leiden University may also take optional courses selected for the specialisations History and Philosophy of the Sciences, or Philosophical Anthropology and Philosophy of Culture, provided that at least two of the four electives of their programme belong to the specialisation Ethics and Politics.

Not more than two of the four courses can have the same instructor. Topics of the optional courses are varying each year.

Master’s thesis, thesis seminar, and exam (20 EC)

The MA programme will be concluded by a master’s thesis of 20 EC. The master’s thesis is an independent academic contribution to philosophy in the field of Ethics and Politics. Students follow the compulsory thesis seminar during the semester in which the thesis is being written. Before graduation students sit for a final exam for which they defend their thesis.


Students enrolled in the full-time programme choose three optional courses in their first semester. In their second semester they take a fourth optional course, follow the thesis seminar and write their master’s thesis.

Students enrolled in the part-time programme will normally spread the components over three semesters. In their first and second semester students are expected to follow four optional courses. In their third semester, students follow the thesis seminar and write their master’s thesis.

Further information

Additional information concerning objectives of the programme, master’s thesis and requirements for graduation is availabe at MA Philosophy 60 EC, 2017-2018.


Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Optional courses Ethics and Politics

Select four courses (40 EC).

Contemporary Theories of Justice, Democracy and Human Rights 10
Conscience and Moral Competence 10
The Question of Europe 10
Authority 10
Plato's Politeia 10
Democracy, State Secrecy, and Leaks 10

Optional courses outside the chosen specialisation

Under certain conditions students may select a part of their optional courses from other specialisations
(see above: Structure of the programme).


Students may choose to replace one of the four electives (10 EC) by an internship.

Internship (MA Philosophy) 10

MA Thesis

Thesis Seminar Philosophy (Fall) 0
Thesis Seminar Philosophy (Spring) 0
MA Thesis Philosophy 20