KU Leuven

12 months
3500 EUR/year
938 EUR/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
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The Master of Arts in Philosophy crosses the boundaries of all philosophical disciplines, traditions, and approaches to help you form your own well-rounded view. The programme aims to develop students' knowledge of philosophy by exposing them to more advanced study of the central issues of the subject and by equipping them with the requisite research skills needed to proceed to a higher degree.

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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 aim of the MA programme is to deepen students’ knowledge of philosophy by exposing them to more advanced study of the central issues of the subject and by equipping them with the requisite research skills needed to proceed to a higher degree. The programme is comprehensive and at the same time allows students to begin to develop their own specialisation. 

Programme outline

The Master of Arts in Philosophy is a one-year programme providing a broad range of both historical and systematic Core Courses which, together with elective courses, guarantee the comprehensiveness of the programme. Yet, the programme structure allows students to deepen their knowledge in a particular philosophical domain or period, thus laying the basis for their future specialisation.

The Master’s Thesis is a key part of the programme, where students demonstrate their research, writing and argumentative skills, as well as thorough insight in the chosen research question and the correct use of primary and secondary sources. 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 great success since 2011. For help with the writing process or preparing a presentation, students can turn to the HIW Skills Lab.


At the end of the Master of Arts in Philosophy programme, the student should ...

  • Have a profound knowledge of and insight into at least one systematic or historical philosophical domain and have an appreciation of the way this domain fits together with other philosophical domains
  • Have a thorough knowledge of issues in several other systematic and historical philosophical domains as chosen by her/himself
  • Be able to relate the acquired specialised philosophical knowledge to the cultural, societal and academic context
  • Have knowledge of and insight into current philosophical debates and research and be able to follow and actively incorporate them into the student's own reflections and research
  • Have an insight into the characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of various philosophical traditions, methods and approaches
  • Be able to apply this insight to a variety of philosophical issues
  • Have an insight into the relevance of approaches from other academic disciplines for investigating philosophical problems
  • Be able to reflect philosophically on societal and cultural phenomena and scientific developments
  • Be able in a professional context to provide insight into philosophy's importance in society
Career perspectives

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 ...

Many employers seek candidates who are not only well grounded in a specific field, but are 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 to the evolving challenges of contemporary employment.

The Philosophy programme is offered at KU Leuven.

Questions about student life in Belgium, life at KU Leuven or more information about a specific course? Chat with our students: www.kuleuven/be/chatwithourstudents.

Programme Structure

Core Courses (24 ECTS)

  • Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
  • Phenomenology and Continental Philsophy
  • Metaphyics, Philosopy of Religion and Philosophy of Culture
  • Analytic Philosophy
  • Ethics and Political Philosophy

Master's Thesis (24 ECTS)

Electives (12 ECTS)

  • Philosophical Electives
  • Non-philosophical Electives
  • Short Mobility: Summer School
  • Service-Learning


Prospective students should have a BA in Philosophy degree from KU Leuven or another recognised university or the equivalent (BA in a related discipline and a sufficient academic background in philosophy). Students without sufficient academic background in philosophy are recommended to apply to our one-year BA in Philosophy abridged programme. 

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months

Start dates & application deadlines


IELTS or TOEFL needed




On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA Your GPA, or Grade Point Average, is a number that indicates how well or how high you scored in your courses on average. Usually a GPA scales between 1.0 and 4.0, however different countries and universities can have different grading systems.
GMAT admission requirements GMAT The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a test intended to assess certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for use in admission to a graduate management program, such as an MBA. GMAT contains 4 sections - Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal. The score has a range from 200 - 800.

English requirements

IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).
7 (required)
TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT The TOEFL iBT® is given online through the internet at desiganated testing site. The test measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The score refers to the total score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading), each subject has a range of 0 - 30.
100 (required)
PTE Academic admission requirements PTE Academic PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic) is a language test that enables students to demonstrate their writing, listening, speaking, and reading skills when applying to study in English. The score refers to a total score which ranges between 10 and 90.

Other requirements

General requirements

Students with a Bachelor in Philosophy from a recognised university or the equivalent (bachelor in a related discipline and a sufficient academic background in philosophy) may be admitted by the Board of Admissions upon consideration of their complete application file. 

Decisions on admission are based on the candidate's letter of motivation and academic excellence. 

  • Non-native speakers of English are required to provide evidence of English proficiency.
  • Students who hold a prior degree awarded by an English-speaking university from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom or the USA get an exemption from the language requirement.

For more information, please visit the homepage of the programme.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    3500 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 3500 EUR per year and a duration of 12 months.
  • EU/EEA

    938 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 938 EUR per year and a duration of 12 months.


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.

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