The MSc Economics and Philosophy offers a unique combination of rigorous training in economics together with the opportunity to engage with moral, methodological and foundational questions.
Taught jointly by the Department of Economics and the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, this thoroughly interdisciplinary programme encourages you to engage constructively with key economic and political issues, whilst allowing you to explore and question your conceptual and theoretical foundations. Questions typically addressed include: What are the moral advantages and disadvantages of market institutions? Can we make interpersonal comparisons of well-being, and if so, how? How do models of economic phenomena relate to the actual social world? What are the assumptions underlying the rational choice model in economics? Can they be normatively justified? Are they descriptively accurate?
You will have access to the wealth of resources available in both the Economics and the Philosophy Departments, including research seminars and colloquia on topics in economics, rational and social choice, scientific evidence and policy-making. You may apply to the LSE Internships programme in Public Policy, Social Issues and Public Affairs, which offers internships to LSE graduate students in key organisations working across the field of public policy, social issues and public affairs.
The degree offers a good preparation for doctoral research in both economics and philosophy. It also prepares students for careers in financial institutions, and intergovernmental, governmental, and non-governmental organisations, and for employment in such fields as financial and economic journalism and consulting.
The Graduate Diploma in Philosophy is a one-year conversion course (two years part-time), designed for those who already have a degree and wish to pursue an interest in philosophy. No formal training in philosophy is required. The programme provides an ideal learning environment if you are interested in progressing to an MA in Philosophy, or simply want the opportunity to learn about philosophy.
The Diploma has two main components:
You can choose from a wide range of modules, which in the past have included:
Students in the Graduate Diploma programme receive an average of eight timetabled contact hours per week over the course of the programme. The contact hours come in the form of lectures, tutorials and seminars, depending on the four modules chosen by the student. In addition, students are offered six hours of one-to-one dissertation supervision with an expert in their chosen research area.
Philosophical development involves not only familiarizing oneself with a body of knowledge but also acquiring skills in critical reasoning and argumentation. Thus, in addition to introducing students to key works in philosophy, the programme offers many opportunities for dialogical interaction. Lecture sessions include time for questions, tutorials consist mainly of structured, critical dialogue in a supportive environment, and seminars provide opportunities for extended discussion. Dissertation supervision meetings give guidance on suitable reading, critical discussion of relevant sources, detailed advice on how to write a 12,000 word piece of research, and intensive critical engagement with the student’s philosophical position and argument.
Timetabled contact is only a part of the learning process; its aim is to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to navigate the relevant literature themselves and to pursue independent learning. Lectures and accompanying documents contextualise material and introduce students to topics, positions and debates. At least four hours of additional study per week are recommended for each lecture or seminar, which includes reading and the completion of assignments. Having completed the reading, students engage in discussion in seminars or return to lecture topics in small group tutorials. These help students to refine their understanding of material and to develop the reasoning skills needed to formulate, present, defend and criticise philosophical positions.
Graduate Diploma students also can benefit from a range of other activities in the department, including the department’s postgraduate philosophy society (EIDOS), weekly research seminars and reading groups, and occasional conferences, workshops and Royal Institute of Philosophy lectures. The programme director remains in contact with students throughout the year and is always available to discuss any issues that might arise, whether personal or academic.
The one-year master’s programme in Philosophy at Leiden University integrates historical and systematic approaches in philosophy to offer you an advanced training in different philosophical methodologies as well as reason, logic and critical thinking.
The master in Philosophy offers you the choice of four specialisations, each provides a broad overview of the most important philosophical branches, including their historical development and recent topical debates. Contrasting philosophical methodologies are explored, including continental and analytical philosophy. Electives within each specialisation investigate everything from logic, mind and cognition, to ethics, politics and cultural philosophy.
The intellectual tools acquired during the study of philosophy are typically transferable skills to complement any given profession. The master’s programme in Philosophy will train you to become an outstanding critical thinker, capable of breaking down the most complex ideas and evaluating the principles upon which various positions are based. During your Master, you will study, analyse and discuss primary philosophical texts while learning how to develop and communicate your own theories and ideas.
At Leiden University, great minds have been gathering for over five hundred years to explore fundamental questions relating to human existence. Today, the Institute for Philosophy at Leiden University is an international centre for research and education, with an expansive network of partner institutes and an active programme of visiting lecturers.
During your master’s programme in Philosophy, you learn from researchers of the highest international standing. These lecturers are committed to helping you reach your potential, from using their contacts to help you get the internship you want, to inspiring you to challenge traditional ways of thinking. At Leiden, small classes allow for plenty of direct contact between you and your lecturers. Outside of class, an open door policy means that support is on hand at any time.