Philosophy is reflection – it advances our understanding of reality and our place within it by raising fundamental questions. Philosophers analyse concepts and claims that common sense and science take for granted. They investigate the conditions of human experience and understanding from the most comprehensive perspective, and they discuss our current norms, values, and practices. By exploring the facts and fictions of theoretical and practical rationality within science and society, philosophy provides the interpretive discourses and logical tools that allow us to generate and maintain transparency in how we reason about what we are and what we do.
The MA programme in philosophy at Aarhus University offers advanced courses in the main areas of contemporary professional philosophy, taught by professors with doctoral degrees from leading international departments including Cambridge, Canberra, Oxford, Pittsburgh, St Andrews, and Tübingen. The guiding principle of our curriculum is to offer our students a learning environment that encourages specialisation but never loses sight of general philosophical competencies: a learning environment that provides the best philosophical education and the best career opportunities.
THE TRACK CONCEPT:
SPECIALISATION AND EARLY ENGAGEMENT WITH RESEARCH
Our two-year programme is divided into four tracks that reflect the departmental areas of active research and allow students to pursue their interests at an advanced level in both the analytical and the continental tradition of philosophy: (a) epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of cognition; (b) idealism and post-idealism; (c) ethics, legal and political philosophy; (d) philosophy of science and technology in society.
Students concentrate their efforts on the core courses and research laboratories offered in one of the tracks. Core courses provide advanced introductions to relevant areas of the current research discussion. In research labs, students practise their research skills, explore ideas, and engage directly with ongoing departmental research activities. The MA thesis is produced interactively under the supervision of experts.
BEYOND THE TRACK: PHILOSOPHY IN CONTEXT
In supplementary courses from the other tracks, students broaden their competencies in philosophy and become part of a lively, open-minded research environment with many international events. We cultivate an informal climate of intellectual curiosity, we value collaboration across different philosophical traditions, and we actively explore interdisciplinary research with the health-care sciences, cognitive science, anthropology, information science, robotics, and other disciplines.
PHILOSOPHERS CREATE TRANSPARENCY
The programme is designed to prepare our students for a wide variety of workplaces both within academia and outside. All four tracks give students the opportunity to experience the praxis of professional academic philosophy. In their third semester students take a philosophy semester abroad, put their philosophical skills to use in a business company or a public social institution, or work on their ‘professional profiles’ taking university-wide ‘profile’ courses that address the demands of specific sectors of the labour market.
Employers increasingly appreciate that philosophy graduates have outstanding transferable skills in analytical, innovative thinking. With a degree in philosophy you can create transparency in complex decision contexts and communicate complex subjects to a variety of audiences. Outside of academia our alumni are employed in education, IT, consultancy, and public administration.
Track A engages students in the most important and intriguing current issues in theoretical analytical philosophy. Our courses and student projects address research questions within a wide variety of topics such as aspects of the epistemology of counterfactual reasoning; scepticism; conceptions of rationality; the metaphysics of time, space, and modality; process ontology; philosophical aspects of embodied cognition research; and theoretical aspects of social robotics.
Track B provides students with in-depth scholarly knowledge of key figures in idealist and post-idealist philosophy. Courses in this track explore the relevance of thinkers from Kant to Wittgenstein in contemporary discussion contexts. The track’s general aim is to investigate the relation between our conceptions of the world and the human capacities of knowing, understanding, perceiving, feeling, and acting. These investigations often connect to studies in aesthetics, religion, culture and language.
Track C focuses on ethics, legal and political philosophy (ELPP). We offer courses such as Advanced Ethics, Metaethics, Pragmatism, Practical Reasoning, Ethics of War, Well-Being and Public Policy, Professional Ethics and the Limits of Liberalism, Theories of Rights, Theories of Punishment, Ethics and Cognitive Science, Moral Responsibility and Global Issues, and Moral Limits of the Market. Special attention is given to covering the empirical aspects, be they psychological, economic, legal or political.
Track D addresses issues in philosophy of science and philosophy of technology that are at the forefront of current social concern. The courses of this track relate philosophical concerns to basic considerations of social policy-making. Typical topics include health, environment, and social justice; science and
democracy; sociable technologies such as social robotics; ethics of biotechnology; the link between philosophy and history of science and technology; risk and hope in biomedicine and public health; and science studies and philosophy of practice.
Access to the Master’s programme in Philosophy at Aarhus University requires successful completion of a relevant BA degree within the humanities or social sciences.
All applicants must enclose a motivation letter stating their reasons for applying.
No work experience is required.
Aarhus University is a Danish state university, and the philosophy programme has been accredited for the period 2010-2016 by ACE Denmark.
Aarhus University was awarded the European ECTS Label in 2009.
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Aarhus University is a young, modern university established in 1928 and situated in Denmark in the Northern part of Europe. It has grown to become a leading public research university with international reach covering the entire research spectrum.