Bachelor of Philosophy (Leuven)

Bachelor of Arts

What could you come to have in common with Herman Van Rompuy, the former President of the European Council? A bachelor's degree in philosophy from Leuven, in the heart of Europe! An ideal basis for further studies in philosophy at Leuven or further afield, or a launching pad for an exciting professional career in fields such as law, economics and medicine, the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (BA) programme will do much more than introduce you to the highly sought-after skills of logic, critical thinking and close reading. Structuring your own quest for meaning, a BA in philosophy will help you to make sense of the world and your own place in it, and it will also teach you to use philosophical skills in analysing contemporary societal debates. Come to Leuven and get to know yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the Bachelor of Philosophy all about?

The aim of the BA programme is to provide a thorough, broad and comprehensive historical and systematic education in philosophy. At the same time, the programme seeks to provide students with research skills for successful written and verbal expression in philosophy. Students also learn to use philosophical skills in analysing contemporary societal debates. The BA thus prepares students for further studies in philosophy and many other fields as well as for a variety of careers.

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.

Advanced Placement

The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy is a three-year programme (180 ECTS credits) but students with some university-level education may be eligible to apply for admission with advanced placement. Students with a BA degree in a field other than philosophy and no academic background in philosophy are recommended to apply to the one-year Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy abridged programme (64-65 ECTS credits). 

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

 

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Structure

The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy programme is a three-year programme of 180 ECTS credits divided into 3 stages. The student should earn an average of 60 ECTS credits per stage. The programme is structured around basic and historical philosophy courses (the so-called “Core Courses”), seminars and electives.

  • The Core Courses provide the student with the necessary knowledge of the history of philosophy and key philosophical themes and concepts.
  • In the seminars, the student learns how to read and analyse texts closely, as well as give well-structured presentations.
  • Electives, which also include non-philosophical courses, stimulate the student’s interests and encourage interdisciplinarity.

An important part of the programme is the Bachelor’s Paper with Seminar, a course in which the student learns to research and write a more extended piece of philosophical scholarship.

Abridged programme (64-65 ECTS)

The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy Abridged programme is a one-year programme of 64-65 ECTS credits structured on the same principles as the regular BA programme but focusing particularly on the Core Courses, a limited number of Seminars and the Bachelor’s Paper with Seminar.

International

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 and education.

The Institute of Philosophy is international in every sense of the word.

  • It offers a complete programme of philosophical studies in English, in addition to a complete programme in Dutch.
  • It has its roots in the eminent tradition of European continental philosophy. In recent years, however, it has embraced other philosophical traditions ranging from Anglo-American thought to non-Western philosophy. The Institute is truly committed to philosophical pluralism.
  • Members of its teaching staff come from, among others, the USA, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and Ireland.
  • It attracts visiting scholars and students from all over the world. Some 70 different nationalities are represented.
  • It has Erasmus+ exchange agreements with more than 40 European universities, including universities in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Madrid, Siena and Istanbul. Bachelor-level students have the opportunity to study at a foreign partner university for one semester, in either the second or the third stage of the 180 ECTS BA programme.
  • With 5 research centres, some 30 full-time staff and more than 150 adjunct faculty members, post-docs and doctoral students, it is among the largest research groups in philosophy on the continent.
  • It 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.
  • It has one of the finest philosophical libraries in the world. The library 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, extensive electronic resources and an online catalogue.
  • In 2016 the Institute of Philosophy was ranked 26th in the world among philosophy programmes (QS World University Rankings).

Application deadline

  • 1 March 2017 (for non-EEA citizens) 
  • 1 June 2017 (for EEA citizens) 

For the application procedure and the specific application requirements of the Institute of Philosophy, please see www.hiw.kuleuven.be/eng/admission.

Tuition fee

The Institute of Philosophy offers a high quality education at a very affordable fee. The exact tuition fee for the 2017-2018 academic year will be determined in the spring of 2017. Please consult the website for the most recent information: www.kuleuven.be/tuitionfees.

 

OPEN DAYS REQUEST THE BROCHURE DOWNLOAD THE BROCHURE

 

 

 

Is this the right programme for me?

Applicants for the BA programme should possess intellectual curiosity, a strong interest in questions of meaning, a capacity for abstract and conceptual thinking as well as a critical capacity to examine one’s own presuppositions and views.

  • Students holding a high school diploma that gives access to university-level education in their home country 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 potential as well as on letters of recommendation. Non-native speakers of English are required to provide evidence of English proficiency.
  • The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy is a three-year programme but students with some university-level education may be eligible to apply for admission with advanced placement. Students with a BA degree in a field other than philosophy and no academic background in philosophy are recommended to apply to the one-year Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy abridged programme. The Admissions Board of the Institute of Philosophy makes all decisions regarding equivalencies.

 

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS GENERAL ADMISSIONS ABRIDGED PROGRAMME

 

 

 

The aim of the programme is that students obtain systematic and historical insight into the posing of questions, the formulation of answers, and their evolution within the foremost domains of philosophy. They learn the history of philosophy, and they teach themselves to handle the domain's research instruments for written and verbal expression.

At the end of the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy programme, the student should:

1. History of philosophy:
- Have a broad knowledge of the historical development of philosophy from antiquity through the middle ages and the modern period to the present day
- Be able to see how both philosophical questions and solutions are historically influenced by cultural, social and intellectual factors and developments
- Be able to see how the history of philosophy is present in contemporary systematic philosophy and to use the history of philosophy to challenge common philosophical assumptions

2. Systematic philosophy:
- Have an insight into the major questions posed in the following constituent domains of philosophy: logic, ethics, social and political philosophy, metaphysics, philosophical anthropology, theory of knowledge, philosophy of science
- Have an insight into the interrelations between these various fields of philosophy
- Have familiarity with at least one other important sub-domain of philosophy such as: aesthetics, applied ethics (ethics of care, biomedical ethics, media ethics, philosophy of law, environmental philosophy, philosophy of technology, etc.), and other philosophical traditions (Arabic, Jewish, Russian, and Chinese philosophy)
- Have an insight into what is unique about philosophy and into philosophy's relation to other approaches to reality such as science or religion

3. Philosophical terminology:
- Know and be able to correctly employ fundamental philosophical concepts and terminology

4. Non-philosophical disciplines:
- Have familiarity with the contents and methods of at least one other academic discipline and be able to relate this to philosophical questions

5. Philosophical traditions, methods and approaches:
- Be aware of the plurality of traditions, methods, and approaches in philosophy and that this plurality has been at the heart of the philosophical endeavour from its beginnings
- Be able to differentiate between these various traditions, methods, and approaches

6. Philosophy and society:
- Have familiarity with and an insight into the relationship between philosophical questions on the one hand and general societal and cultural phenomena and scientific developments on the other

7. Philosophical skills:
- Be able to read closely and critically a broad range of primary sources and secondary literature from various historical and systematic domains of philosophy (in so far as possible in their original languages) and to correctly analyse and accurately summarize these texts
- Possess such skills as abstract thinking, the ability to build up arguments and to reason logically
- Be able to reflect critically on philosophical theories and positions and to begin to develop a personal critical stance towards them
- Be able to use philosophical skills in analysing contemporary societal debates; including identifying philosophical issues in those debates and evaluating the standpoints taken

8. Research skills:
- Be able, under supervision, to formulate a philosophical question and to conduct research that will result in a paper of limited scope or in an oral presentation
- Be able to locate and critically use secondary literature relevant to a topic and to make use of the basic philosophical research tools and electronic and printed resources
- Be able to make a proper bibliography and use a proper system of referencing
- Be able to properly distinguish between the student's own words and ideas and the words and ideas of others

9. Communication skills:
- Be able to discuss a philosophical issue in a proper academic style with student peers, including in an oral presentation
- Be able to communicate philosophical ideas in a written form to student peers

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 in the workplace.

Institute of Philosophy
Kardinaal Mercierplein 2
3000 Leuven, Belgium
tel. + 32 16 32 63 02
fax + 32 16 32 63 52
hiw.international.office@kuleuven.be

Visit the faculty's web page.

 

General
Study Advice Service
Naamsestraat 80 box 5415
3000 LEUVEN, Belgium

To contact us, please complete the contact form on our website .

 

Prospective students are encouraged to contact the Institute of Philosophy to arrange a campus visit. (See contact information)

Click here for the online calendar of all info sessions for prospective bachelor's students (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.


You came to Leuven to pursue your undergraduate or graduate studies but you would still like to know more places, people and cultures and broaden your (study) horizons? The Institute of Philosophy offers students the opportunity to study at a foreign partner university for a one semester as part of the Erasmus+ exchange programme. Our partners include universities in Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Madrid, Siena and Istanbul, among many others. Bachelor-level students can participate in an Erasmus+ exchange in the second or third stage of the BA programme, in either the first or the second semester. Studying abroad will not only add an extra dimension to your degree, it is also a once-in-a-lifetime experience and opportunity that should not be missed.

For more information please visit the faculty Erasmus+ exchange website .
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.
Career paths

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 in the workplace.


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