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.
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?
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.
Get more detailsVisit official programme website
The Master's specialisation in Philosophy, Politics and Society is run by the department of Ethics and Social and Political Philosophy. It has a course load of 60 EC (one-year). The structure is as follows:
- Philosophy of Sustainability and Environment 1
- Philosophy of Sustainability and Environment 2
- Elective course(s) or internship: You can substitute your elective courses for an internship. Students will need to look for their own post, but they get plenty of room to find a post that suits their interests. If desired, the internship can also be done abroad.
- Public Philosophy
- Philosophical Tools
- Master's thesis: You will write a Master's thesis within the theme of your specialisation, guided by one of teachers who are experts on your subject. This guidance also consists of the thesis-workplace which you will attend. During these meetings you will get feedback from your teacher and other students of the track Philosophy and Science.
Check out the full curriculumVisit official programme website
- 12 months
Start dates & application deadlines
- Apply before , EEA/EU
- Apply before , International
- 1 April: Final deadline
- 1 July: Final deadline
DisciplinesPhilosophy & Ethics View 57 other Masters in Philosophy & Ethics in Netherlands
Explore more key informationVisit official programme website
We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.
We are not aware of any English requirements for this programme.
Students with a Dutch degree:
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, students with an International degree must 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 ≥100 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
Radboud University offers a one-year pre-Master’s programme in Philosophy. On completion of this pre-Master programme you are admissible to the Specialisation in Philosophy and Science. Please note that this pre-Master is only taught in Dutch.
Make sure you meet all requirementsVisit official programme website
International16000 EUR/yearTuition FeeBased on the tuition of 16000 EUR per year during 12 months.
EU/EEA2209 EUR/yearTuition FeeBased on the tuition of 2209 EUR per year during 12 months.
Tuition fees vary depending on your personal situation (nationality and previous education), your study programme and whether you have received a scholarship.
Living costs for Nijmegen
The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.
We have a number of scholarships available only for international Master’s students. You can find the full list, including details about eligibility requirements and how to apply, on the university's website
- Please do note, that most of these scholarships are not fully funded. The Radboud Scholarship Programme (RSP) is the only scholarship that offers both fully and partially funded scholarships.
Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
Double-check all feesVisit official programme website
Apply and win up to €10000 to cover your tuition fees.