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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    1 year

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees

    Please see website for details

  • Last Updated

    04 September 2017

Course Content

Course content

What is the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) all about?

 The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programme is situated in the curriculum of the Institute of Philosophy after the BA and MA. The MPhil programme is primarily research-oriented and functions as a first step towards the doctoral programme. The MPhil allows each student to concentrate on a particular field of study, supplemented by courses, seminars, and the oral defence of a research-based MPhil Thesis.

This is a programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.


The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is a one-year advanced Master’s programme of 60 ECTS Credits. Applicants for the MPhil programme should have already obtained an MA degree in philosophy with good results or have an equivalent academic background.

The structure of the MPhil programme focuses firmly on the development of high-level independent research. Each student's study programme is tailored to this goal. Hence, there is a strong concentration on a number of fundamental research seminars and on the MPhil Thesis, during which specialised skills are developed. The research seminars are grouped into 5 "Majors", in line with the Institute of Philosophy's five research centres, which organise these seminars:

  • Centre for Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy;
  • Centre for Logic and Analytic Philosophy;
  • Centre for Metaphysics , Philosophy of Religion and Philosophy of Culture;
  • De Wulf-Mansion Centre for Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy;
  • Husserl-Archives: Centre for Phenomenology and Continental Philosophy.

Upon registration the student chooses the Major which reflects the student's specialisation. The Major, comprising 2/3 of the student's programme, includes both course work and the MPhil Thesis. The MPhil Thesis should demonstrate the student's ability to conduct original research and eventually pursue doctoral studies.

Students are encouraged to present their 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. The Institute of Philosophy has hosted the conference with much success for five years now. For any help with the writing process or preparing a presentation, students can turn to the HIW Writing Lab.


The Institute of Philosophy is international in every sense of the word: not only due to its English-language programmes but also thanks to cultural diversity of its teaching staff and student body. We have members of our teaching staff coming from the USA, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Ireland and others. Furthermore, with a large number of visiting scholars and students of some 55 nationalities, the Institute of Philosophy is a vibrant and cosmopolitan intellectual community that celebrates the subject of philosophy in its many forms.


The Institute of Philosophy offers a comprehensive range of BA, MA, MPhil and PhD degrees. Viewed collectively, our undergraduate and post-graduate degrees aim to familiarise students with the historical traditions of philosophy as well as with contemporary movements in English-speaking and continental philosophy so that they are able to tackle 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 Institute also hosts several international conferences every year with widely varying themes and involving a mix of well-established and up-and-coming philosophers from near and far.All its international programmes are taught in English.

Furthermore, with 5 research centres, some 30 full-time staff and nearly 130 adjunct faculty members, post-docs and doctoral students, the Institute of Philosophy is among the largest research groups in philosophy on the continent. The Institute's library is one of the finest philosophical libraries in the world. It contains more than 90,000 volumes and maintains subscriptions to more than 300 journals. It is user-friendly, with open stacks, a liberal lending policy and an online catalogue. The Institute offers a most attractive opportunity for studying philosophy in Europe. Let this one-year programme open doors for your further research at other universities, or introduce you to our pre-doctoral programme, the advanced MPhil programme.

Career perspectives

Students of philosophy deepen their skills of analysis and synthesis and are thus uniquely prepared to take on a variety of different careers. Most of our graduates aspire to an academic career and go on to obtain PhDs in Philosophy, eventually working as professors or researchers.

Other graduates in philosophy 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.

Visit the Philosophy MPhil page on the KU Leuven website for more details!




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