This programme draws on our long-established strengths in research and teaching in Continental Philosophy. It is distinctive in offering an unusually broad range of module options specifically in this area of philosophy, covering major figures and themes, as well as more specialized or less mainstream topics. Because of the breadth of our expertise in this area, whichever module option you choose, you will be taught by world leaders in their respective fields. Unlike some other postgraduate programmes, you’ll have the chance to choose all of your course work and your dissertation from the field of Continental Philosophy, although modules from other philosophical traditions or subject areas can also be taken.
There is no restriction on the selection of module options. If you are looking for a course that gives you an exposure to Continental Philosophy that is both broad and in-depth, this is likely to be the right course for you. The influential Leiter Report 2014-15 ranks our graduate programme 1st in the UK and 3rd internationally in the area 20th Century Continental Philosophy. In the category 19th Century Continental Philosophy we are ranked 1st in the UK and 6th internationally. The 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) ranks the research produced by our department as 1st in the UK.
On this course, you'll have the freedom to choose six modules from our department's extensive selection. You can view our complete listing of Philosophy modules on our module webpage. So, whether you're interested in Nietzsche, Kant's Aesthetics, Hegel's Science of Logic or 20th Century French Philosophy, you'll find modules here that suit you.
You might wish to take this MA as a self-standing degree, to enhance your knowledge of continental philosophy, or perhaps you wish to take this programme as an entry route to PhD research in Continental Philosophy. Either way, we'll offer you a comprehensive education in the Continental tradition.
This popular Modern History course is focused on European and British history from the mid 18th century onwards and explores the key topics of the period, from European nation building to modern British politics. The couse is designed primarily for those interested in Continental European and/or British History and draws on a wide range of approaches to give you a comparative perspective.
It offers a huge range of options taught by world-leading experts, including modules taught in the Institute of Contemporary British History.
The degree leads to further research or careers in education, journalism, finance, politics and cultural sectors.
The history of modern Europe and Britain has always been central to our teaching. This popular Modern History MA course will give you the skills that you need to study modern history, and you will explore the key topics of the period, from European nation building to modern British politics. We have designed this MA primarily for those interested in Continental European and/or British History since the mid-18th century, and the course draws on a wide range of approaches to give you a comparative perspective. You will also have the opportunity to study a modern language, which will extend the range of sources that you can engage with.
We will help you to make comparisons between the experiences of different societies and polities, a skill that we believe is fundamental to understanding historical issues, and to think broadly, not just in terms of country, period and discipline.
The course will give you access to an exceptionally wide range of optional modules from across the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, as well as other institutions. You can also attend relevant undergraduate lecture series, such as Europe from 1793–1991 and Politics & Society in Britain, 1780–1945.
Institute of Contemporary British History (ICBH)
The Institute of Contemporary British History (ICBH) joined us in September 2010, and it has close links with the Department of History, enabling you to take ICBH modules and participate in Institute activities.
Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHoSTM)
The Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHoSTM) joined us in August 2013. The Centre is one of the most vibrant groups of historians devoted to the study of science, technology and medicine in the world, covering a wide chronological range, and concerned with global as well as national histories. You can take modules offered by CHoSTM and we will encourage you to attend their fortnightly seminar series.
Provides a distinctive programme suitable both for those intending to proceed to a PhD and for those who wish to study modern history at an advanced level. Encourage a broad vision in study that escapes rigid divisions of country, period or discipline.
Full-time study: 4-8 hours of taught classes per week.
Part-time study: 2-6 hours of taught classes per week.
The taught compulsory and optional modules are assessed by coursework and/or take-home examination. The compulsory 15,000 word dissertation enables students to research a topic of their choice, working one-to-one with an academic supervisor.
This programme provides you with the opportunity to study Philosophy at an advanced level, with world leading researchers and teachers. Through interactive seminars, written and oral coursework, research skills classes, and—in the dissertation—the production of a piece of independent philosophical research, you will develop and refine the skills which will provide a foundation for PhD research in Philosophy, or for the research, communication and analysis needed in a non-academic career.
The breadth and depth of research expertise in the Philosophy department means that we can offer you an unusually broad range of options for Masters-level study. The department has strengths across all core areas of analytic philosophy and continental philosophy. But, we have particular strengths in Philosophy of Mind and Psychology, Epistemology, Aesthetics, Moral and Political Philosophy, Post-Kantian Continental Philosophy, and 20th Century Continental Philosophy. The influential Leiter report lists us in the top groupings in each of those six areas. In each area, we are one of the top 3 UK departments for that specialism. The strength of research in the Philosophy department was acknowledged in the 2014 REF, in which the department was ranked 4th in the UK overall and 1st in the UK for the quality of published research in Philosophy.
To develop your research skills, you’ll take a core Research Methods module.
To promote breadth of knowledge, you’ll also be expected to take at least one module from three different areas of Philosophy:
The Institute of Philosophy offers a comprehensive range of BA, MA, Research Master and PhD degrees, all taught in English. Viewed collectively, our undergraduate and post-graduate degrees aim to familiarise students with the history of philosophy as well as with contemporary movements in analytic and continental philosophy so that they are able to engage with the fundamental areas of philosophical research. The Institute of Philosophy is proud to offer its students a broad philosophical education and a wide range of courses and seminars, as well as personalised study support and guidance.
The Research Master programme is primarily research-oriented and functions as a first step towards the doctoral programme. It focuses firmly on the development of high-level independent research. Your study programme is tailored to this goal. It allows you to concentrate on a particular field of study, supplemented by courses, seminars, and the oral defense of a research-based thesis.
The Research Master of Philosophy is a programme of 120 credits (2 years of full-time study). Students with an MA degree in philosophy are eligible for the Abridged Research Master of Philosophy programme of 60 credits. They in fact enter directly the second stage of the regular 2-year Research Master of Philosphy.
This is a programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.
The research master programme offers a diversity of research topics and areas, in line with the research centres of the Institute of Philosophy; this diversity allows a student to focus on practically any key area/domain/period/figure in philosophy, while still promoting the comprehensiveness of the philosophical education students receive at the Institute.
Upon registration you select one out of the following eight majors:
The Major reflects your area of specialization and it includes both course work (specialised research seminars and courses) and individual research (Research Paper in the 1st stage of the 2-year programme, Research Master’s Thesis in the 2nd stage of the programme).
The Research Master’s Thesis has the format of a research article and should demonstrate your ability to conduct original research and eventually pursue doctoral studies. You are encouraged to present your thesis research to the international audience of fellow students, permanent teaching staff and young researchers associated with the institute at the yearly Graduate Student Conference. For any help with the writing process or preparing a presentation, you can turn to the HIW Writing Lab.
The Common Seminar equips you with skills and knowledge necessary for an academic career: formulating a good research proposal (for doctoral studies or financial aid); composing a CV or a grant application; academic publishing; giving a clear, well delivered presentation an international conference…
Students can use the Open Research Seminar as a platform for supervised reading groups of their own devising. Students can also join existing reading groups in the doctoral programme through this course and in this way become closely involved with research done in their research centre or the Institute of Philosophy more generally.
Philosophy has been taught at KU Leuven since its founding in 1425. Throughout the centuries, the university has remained an important and influential centre of philosophical thought, with a strong commitment to the international dimension of education. In more recent times, the Institute of Philosophy, established in 1889, has continued this august tradition and is now an internationally recognised centre of philosophical research and education.
The Institute of Philosophy is international in every sense of the word.
Most of our graduates aspire to an academic career and go on to obtain PhDs in Philosophy, either at the Institute of Philosophy or at universities abroad, even at such prestigious universities as Oxford, Yale, Princeton and New York University (NYU). After completing their PhD they eventually work as professors or researchers, and our placement records are very good.
Other graduates go on to careers in many different sectors, including: business, civil service, politics, education, publishing, media, the socio-cultural sector, journalism, academia and elsewhere. Many employers seek candidates who are not only well grounded in a specific field, but also able to handle the diverse challenges arising in a fast-paced workplace. Graduates in philosophy are well positioned to think clearly and respond effectively in the workplace.
On this MA, you’ll gain an advanced general grounding in philosophy, forming a good basis for further research.
This course includes innovative modules in both the analytic and continental traditions of philosophy, reflecting the wide range of interests within the Department of Philosophy. In assessments, you may concentrate on just one of these traditions, or both.
Choose to study this course full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life. Modules for the full-time course are listed below.
For details about the part-time course, contact Philosophy Postgraduate Convener Dr Gordon Finlayson at [email protected]
Taught modules are assessed by term papers of 5,000 words. At the end of the year, you also submit a dissertation of up to 15,000 words.
Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.
Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work
Our graduates have gone on to careers in:
90% of students from the School of History, Art History and Philosophy were in work or further study six months after graduating. Our Philosophy students have gone on to jobs including:
(EPI, Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015 for postgraduates)
The Master’s programme in Earth Surface and Water involves the study of natural and human-induced physical and geochemical processes, patterns, and dynamics of the Earth’s continental and coastal systems. This two-year programme provides you with knowledge that is essential to manage the planet sustainably, guarantee the availability of resources for future generations, and understand and avert natural hazards.
The main subject areas you will study consist of the dynamics of coastal and river systems, (geo-)hydrological processes, groundwater remediation, land degradation in dry lands and mountainous regions, natural hazards, and delta evolution on centennial and longer time scales.
Check the programme's website for more information.
You can choose one of four tracks based on your interests in the field:
The Earth Surface and Water programme trains students to quantitatively study the natural and human-induced physical and chemical processes, patterns, and dynamics of Earth’s continental and coastal systems as well as their responses to global change. Students explore and understand the modelling capabilities of the past, present, and future as well as the evolution of Earth’s environment, including human impact on this evolution.