Master of Philosophy (MPhil) (Leuven)

Master of Arts

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.

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.

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 http://hiw.kuleuven.be/eng/events/graduatestudentconference 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 http://hiw.kuleuven.be/eng/programmes/writinglab HIW Writing Lab .


This is an advanced master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Philosophy has been taught at KU Leuven since its founding in 1425. Throughout the centuries, the university has remained an important and influential centre of philosophical thought, with a strong commitment to the international dimension of education. In more recent times, the Institute of Philosophy, established in 1889, has continued this august tradition and is now an internationally recognised centre of philosophical research.
The Institute of Philosophy has its roots in the eminent tradition of European continental philosophy. In recent years, however, the Institute has embraced other philosophical traditions ranging from Anglo-American thought to non-Western philosophy. The Institute of Philosophy is committed to philosophical pluralism and aspires to the highest possible standards in education and research. Its teaching staff offers a wide variety of challenging courses and research seminars at undergraduate and graduate levels.

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.

Studying philosophy in Leuven will not only let you know yourself but also a big part of Europe and some major European capitals. Leuven is only twenty minutes by train or car from Brussels, two hours from Cologne, three hours from Amsterdam and London, an hour and a half from Paris and an overnight trip away from Rome. The cultural riches of Europe are within easy reach.

The Institute of Philosophy offers a high quality education at a very affordable fee. The tuition fee for one academic year is 890 EUR for all our programmes and all students. Yet in 2015 the Institute of Philosophy was ranked 24th in the world among philosophy programmes ( QS World University Rankings). Furthermore, as many of our current students and our alumni would happily testify, the Institute of Philosophy provides all necessary support and guidance to its incoming international students, taking carefully into account their needs and concerns. Each student also receives individual study advice and feedback on their study progress.
The programme is oriented towards specialised research in philosophy. It aims to deepen a student's advanced knowledge of a topic in philosophy closely connected with the on-going research of one of the Institute's research centres. The accent is placed firmly on the development of 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 during which specialised skills are developed. The programme is envisioned as a bridge or transitional programme to the doctoral programme and functions as a qualification for formal acceptance to doctoral studies at the Institute. The MPhil thesis should demonstrate the student's ability to conduct original research.

At the end of the MPhil programme, the student should:

1. Specialised philosophical knowledge in context
a) Have a profound knowledge of the recent, "state of the art" research work in her/his chosen field of research
b) Be able to engage at the highest level with the key texts in her/his chosen subdomain
c) Have genuine insight into the ongoing research of other philosophical domains as chosen by her/himself
d) Be able to situate her/his own research within a much larger philosophical framework and be able to explain its significance within this framework

2. Research skills
a) Be able to formulate independently a well-defined and original research question
b) Be able to independently develop a well-defined research approach appropriate to the topic of study
c) Be able to independently conduct the research necessary for adequately addressing the research question through close reading of primary sources (preferably in the original language) and critical use of a wide range of secondary sources

3. Philosophical skills
a) On the basis of independent research in the student's philosophical subdomain be able to develop a personal philosophical standpoint and defend it in debate

4. Writing skills
a) Be able to clearly present the results of the student's research in written form in both shorter papers and a more extensive thesis, all displaying signs of professional philosophical standards

5. Presentation skills
a) Be able to clearly present and defend orally the results of the student's research

6. Intellectual maturity
a) Possess sufficient intellectual maturity to proceed to doctoral studies
b) Be able to take initiative and use creativity in the pursue of high level research
c) Be able to efficiently organise her/his research work

7. Professional skills
a) Be able to present a paper at a professional philosophical meeting, be able to write an article that meets professional standards, be able to compose a grant application in a professional manner, be able to write an application to PhD programmes, be familiar with the publication process
b) Be able to communicate effectively both in research and more general professional contexts
Prospective students are encouraged to contact the Institute of Philosophy to arrange a campus visit. (See contact information)

KU Leuven organises a Graduate Fair each spring. In addition, faculties also organise information sessions for many of their bridging and graduate programmes. Click here for the schedule of upcoming information sessions (website mainly in Dutch).
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.
Philosophy has been taught at KU Leuven since its founding in 1425. Throughout the centuries, the university has remained an important and influential centre of philosophical thought, with a strong commitment to the international dimension of education. In more recent times, the Institute of Philosophy, established in 1889, has continued this august tradition and is now an internationally recognised centre of philosophical research.

The Institute of Philosophy has its roots in the eminent tradition of European continental philosophy. In recent years, however, the Institute has embraced other philosophical traditions ranging from Anglo-American thought to non-Western philosophy. The Institute of Philosophy is committed to philosophical pluralism and aspires to the highest possible standards in education and research. Its teaching staff offers a wide variety of challenging courses and research seminars at undergraduate and graduate levels.

With more than 700 students from some 60 different nations, the Institute is a vibrant and cosmopolitan intellectual community that celebrates the subject of philosophy in its many forms. 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.
Institute of Philosophy
Kardinaal Mercierplein 2
3000 LEUVEN, Belgium
tel. + 32 16 32 63 02
fax + 32 16 32 63 52
international.office@hiw.kuleuven.be

www.hiw.kuleuven.be/eng

This programme is organised in Leuven.

General
Study Advice Service
Naamsestraat 80 box 5415
3000 LEUVEN, Belgium
To contact us please complete the contact form on our website.


Career paths

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.


Choose your courses of study