Programme details

As explained in Course Structure, some students can obtain the Research Master in Philosophy degree through a 60 credits programme. They are called 60Cr students here. Other students have to follow a 120 credits programme. They are called 120Cr students here. We give details about the programme for each group.

Block I: advanced optional courses

Block I consists of course units at specialized level from the standard master’s programmes in philosophy of the participating universities. The possible courses are listed below. Some of the courses are taught in English, some in Dutch.
Block I is to be followed by 120Cr students in their 1st year;  60Cr students are exempt from it. 120Cr students choose between 30 and 39 credits form this list. If they take less than 39 credits, this must be compensated by elective courses (see Block II).

The following courses are taught in English:

The following courses are taught in Dutch:

Block II: elective courses

120Cr students take between 0 and 9 ECTS elective courses in their 1st year. Elective courses are taken from the master’s programme of the participating universities. In the programme of each 120cr student, Block I and II add up to at least 39 ECTS.

Block III: research project

Block III contains a compulsory course unit Developing and Writing Research Proposals in Philosophy (9 credits), to be followed by all students (120cr students take this course in their 2nd year).
Graduates of the Research Master in Philosophy must be able to develop a philosophical research project autonomously and be able to write a funding application that can be filed with institutions like the FWO, the Special Research Funds of Flemish universities and similar foreign institutions. This is why this course is on the programme.

Block IV: language proficiency

Block IV contains a compulsory course unit Advanced Academic English (3 credits), only to be followed 120cr students (in their 1st year).

Block V: research seminars

Block V includes three or five research seminars of 9 credits each (27 or 45 credits in total) from a list of 18. 120Cr students take 2 research seminars in their first year and 3 and their second year. 60Cr students take 3 research seminars.
Every student must attend seminars in at least two participating universities. All research seminars are offered in English.
The research seminars on offer, arranged in terms of research areas, are as follows (responsible institution between brackets):

(1) Moral Psychology and Meta-Ethics (Antwerp)
(2) Empirical Ethics (Ghent)
(3) Political Philosophy after Rawls: Equality, Justice and Diversity (Antwerp)
(4) Bio-Ethics (Ghent)
(5) Media Philosophy and Media Theory (Brussels)
(6) Philosophy and Ethics of Gender, Sexuality and Diversity (Brussels)

Logic and Philosophy of Science
(7) Logic (Ghent)
(8) Philosophy of Biomedical and Social Sciences (Ghent)
(9) Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (Brussels)
(10) History and Philosophy of Science (Ghent)

Philosophical Psychology and Metaphysics
(11) Philosophy of Mind and Cognition (Antwerp)
(12) Philosophical Anthropology (Ghent)
(13) Contemporary Continental Philosophy (Ghent)

History of Philosophy and of Religions
(14) Religion and Secularisation (Antwerp)
(15) History and Reception of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy and Religion (Ghent)
(16) History of Early Modern Philosophy (Antwerp)
(17) Kant and Post-Kantian Philosophy (Ghent)

Philosophy of Art
(18) Aesthetics/Philosophy of Art (Antwerp)

The research seminars develop the following skills of the students:
– the ability to formulate original and innovative research problems based on the duly founded insight into the internationally recognised state-of-the-art in a given domain.
– the ability to develop work out original solutions to the selected research problems, and argue for them clearly and convincingly.
– the ability to deepen one’s knowledge of philosophical subdomains independently.
– the ability to report on research orally in a clearly-understood manner.

Each research seminar develops these skill in its specific domain.

Block VI: master’s dissertation

Block VI contains the master’s dissertation (24 credits). This dissertation is supervised by a supervisor affiliated to the university where the student is enrolled; co-supervisors (from the same or another institution) are possible.

By means of the master’s dissertation, students show that they can act as lead authors of academic articles.

The master’s dissertation contains 1 long or two shorter 2 articles (about 10.000 words together) in a format in which they can be submitted to an academic journal or book (e.g. conference proceedings) in philosophy.

The dissertation also contains a meta-level text on each article (or one such text for two articles) This text describes the intended audience, including a list of possible journals to which the article(s) may be submitted. Description of the audience and choice of journals must be motivated. The text also contains a specific “state of the art”, i.e. an exposition of the background knowledge that the readers of the article are supposed to have (in the article itself, there is no space for such an exposition).

If the dissertation contains two articles, these must belong to the same subdiscipline of philosophy or should have a thematic coherence.