A long-term perspective on science and society

The Master’s programme in the History and Philosophy of Science 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. Students will also undertake conceptual analysis of theories such as relativity, quantum mechanics, evolution, and modern genetics.

HPS 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).

Tailor your own programme

Our programme is flexible and only three courses are mandatory, allowing you to choose the remainder based on your specialisation or interests. In the first year, you can select  five elective courses  from a list of various options.

The History and Philosophy of Science programme offers the following specialisations:

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

Your second year will be dedicated to a research project, optionally combined with a internship, that is closely attuned to current developments in  your chosen field and culminates in your Master’s thesis.

Graduates of our Master’s programme often continue in PhD programmes in Utrecht, elsewhere in the Netherlands, or abroad. Many have also found employment in science communication, teaching, consultancy, and the financial services industry. This is the only English-taught programme in this field within Continental Europe.

Programme objective

The general aim of the Master’s programme History and Philosophy of Science is to offer students a thorough training in the history and/or philosophy or foundations of the sciences and humanities. You will aquire a deep knowledge and understanding of one of the fields of HPS. You learn to develop and research historical or philosophical research questions. Students are educated in developing a professional attitude which enables them 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.


Degree: This Master's programme is officially registered under its name in the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes
  • Title: MSc
  • Master's degree in: History and Philosophy of Science
  • Programme: History and Philosophy of Science
Accredited by the NVAO
Croho code:
Language of instruction:
Part- or full-time status:
2 years
Start of studies:
  • February
  • September
Tuition fees:
  • Statutory fee - fulltime: € 1,906 (2014-2015) € 1.951 (2015-2016)
  • Institutional fee: € 18,850 (2014-2015) € 19.080 (2015-2016)
Graduate school:
Natural Sciences