Utrecht University

History and Philosophy of Science, M.Sc.

The Master’s programme in the History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) at Utrecht University offers a unique opportunity to study the foundations, practices, and culture of the sciences and humanities from a historical and philosophical perspective. Our two-year research programme addresses the historical development of scientific thought and practice with a broad approach that investigates the interplay of science or the humanitites with cultural, social, and institutional factors.

About

History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) at Utrecht University has twice been judged ´best in category´ by the national Master guide (Keuzegids Masters): in the category ‘Science and Policy’ (Bèta en Beleid, 2012) and in the category ‘Philosophy’ (Wijsbegeerte, 2013).

The curriculum covers courses on selected subjects in:

  • History of Science or the Humanities
  • Philosophy of Science or the Humanities
  • Foundations of Physics
  • Foundations of Mathematics and Logic
Programme objective

The general aim of the Master’s programme HPS is to offer you a thorough training in the history and/or philosophy or foundations of the sciences and humanities. You'll learn to develop and research historical or philosophical research questions. You will be educated in developing a professional attitude which enables you to enroll in a PhD programme in the HPS field, or start (on the job training) for a career in science education and communication, in museums, in science policy or science management.

Interested?

If you are interested, you may consider doing the (Dutch) minor 'Geschiedenis en Filosofie van de Natuurwetenschappen', which provides an excellent preparation for the Master's programme. It is also possible to do individual bachelor course.

Accreditation

  • Accredited by the NVAO

Programme Structure

Compulsory courses and seminar
  • History of the natural sciences (compulsory)
  • Philosophy of science (compulsory)
  • History, role and impact of the humanities (compulsory)
  • Research seminar HPS (compulsory)
Electives
  • Topics in early modern philosophy
  • Topics in metaphysics: the logic and metaphysics of time
  • Philosophy of A.I.
  • Science and the public. The making, distribution and reception of science
  • Topics in epistemology and philosophy of science: philosophy of probability and statistical inference
  • Topics in moral psychology
  • Topics in hellenistic philosophy
  • Philosophy of the social sciences
  • Law as an academic discipline, science and humanities
  • Philosophy of space and time
  • Science and the dilemmas of modernity
  • History and philosophy of biology
  • History of modern physics
  • Current issues in analytic philosophy b:conceptual issues in evolutionary biology
  • Logic and computation
  • History of drugs
  • Seminar history of mathematics
  • Tutorial history & philosophy of sciences
  • Tutorial philosophy 2

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score: 6.5

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test
  • Minimum required score: 93

    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

You have a University Bachelor’s degree and can demonstrate:

  • Solid basic knowledge in one academic discipline with interest in history and/or philosophy of the sciences and/or the humanities, for instance demonstrated by successfully completed courses in HPS of 10-15 credits and a motivation letter;
Proof of your proficiency in English (CAE- Level B, CPC- Grade C).

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • EUR 18201 International
  • EUR 2006 EU/EEA

Funding

Scholarships, fellowships, and grants offered by Utrecht University, the Dutch government, and other organisations can help fund your studies at the university. Please note that the scholarship options for programmes starting in February are limited.

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.