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Master's programmes

History and Philosophy of Science

The Master’s programme in History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) offers a unique opportunity to study the foundations, practice and culture of science from historical and philosophical viewpoints.

There are four thematic focus areas:

History of Science or the Humanities

The historical approach focuses on the development of knowledge and scientific practice in the past. It does not limit itself to the problems, methods and solutions studied by scientists, but extends its scope to include their interplay with cultural, social or institutional features at particular times and places. Subjects studied range from mathematics to disciplines in the humanities.

Philosophy of Science

The philosophy of science addresses general questions concerning the nature of scientific knowledge and scientific methods, but also includes conceptual analysis of fundamental theories such as relativity, quantum mechanics, evolution and modern genetics.

Foundations of Physics

Foundational research in physics focuses on the conceptual challenges that modern theories of physics pose, and addresses their impact on philosophical questions. Subjects studied are, for example, the physical basis for the direction of time, the interpretation of quantum mechanics, and related topics.

Foundations of Mathematics and Logic

This focus area offers insight into the most recent developments in philosophical logic and foundational debates in mathematics and artificial intelligence; advanced classes in the history of mathematics are also recommended.

Why HPS in Utrecht?

The Utrecht HPS programme is the only English taught programme in the field on the European continent. Also, HPS is the best Dutch Master's programme in this field, according to the Dutch Master's guide "Keuzegids Masters 2013". The programme is both broad and flexible and it offers excellent career opportunities.

Critical attitude

You are expected to form a critical attitude with regard to the literature and a readiness to express your views in an open discussion. Participation in debates on science and scholarship with fellow students and faculty is strongly encouraged.

>> Find out more about the Master’s programme History and Philosophy of Science


NVAO accredited programme

This Master’s programme has been accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO).
Find out more about the NVAO

Research programme Language: English Type of education: full-time
Start: September; February Duration: 2 years (120 ECTS) Degree: MSc
Statutory tuition fee: 1.906 euro (2014-2015) Scholarship: Yes
More information about grants and scholarships
Institutional tuition fee: 18.850 euro (2014-2015)
Read more about tuition fees.
Offered by: Graduate School of Natural Sciences; Faculty of Science
This Master's programme is officially registered under the name History and Philosophy of Science (code 60711).