Emmy Maats works as a doctor in an intensive care unit

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I was given the opportunity to combine my medical study with the MA Applied Ethics; I graduated from both Master programmes in 2021. Though I always enjoyed studying Medicine, it was at an early point in my bachelor that I realised my academic interests exceeded the borders of medical practice. This led to an interest in medical ethics that has grown steadily over the years. It is the ethical background that makes medical practice much more meaningful to me, and, likewise, it is the practical experience that makes moral theory applicable to real-life situations. In the MA Applied Ethics, I found the perfect combination of both.

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To me, the interdisciplinary and international nature of this programme was truly valuable: the most interesting insights emerged during discussions with fellow students. Even though most of the programme took place online due to COVID-19 restrictions, I felt that we as a student group became very close during this year. This was complemented by a great freedom of choice regarding elective courses and internships, which provided me the chance to do a research internship at a medical-ethical institution. I highly recommend this programme for anyone who is looking for a balanced combination of moral contemplation, intellectual challenge, and practical applicability!

Currently I am working as a doctor on an ICU in Utrecht, and I daily come across medical-ethical dilemmas in my work. I am grateful for feeling equipped to deal with such situations due to my background in applied ethics. Next year, I will continue my academic path by starting a PhD-project in medical ethics. I hope to continue finding ways of combining the fields of Medicine and Ethics in my future career!

Diana Francês works as an advisor for Wereld Natuur Fonds (World Wide Fund for Nature)

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"Ethical dilemmas are everywhere around us… from our personal lives and choices to the most important public institutions and democratic bodies. Navigating these difficult questions in a way that feels meaningful and rooted in the current societal problems was what attracted me to this Master’s programme. The combination between sound philosophical theory with tangible, real-life scenarios allowed me to truly 'apply' Philosophy and Ethics.

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"Personally, I felt particularly drawn to explore the field of environmental ethics, as the current climate crisis seems to increasingly touch upon all other humanitarian challenges. I was pushed to reflect on the complexities of climate change and what this means in terms of justice, power dynamics and inequalities. At the end of the programme, I felt ready to dive into the “real world” and contribute to this debate. I am currently working at Wereld Natuur Fonds Netherlands (World Wide Fund for Nature) as an Advisor for nature conservation projects dealing with challenges and dilemmas in inclusion and culturally-sensitive participation. As biodiversity loss and climate change are two sides of the same coin, I am happy to contribute with ethical thinking to projects with concrete impact on the wellbeing and health of communities around the world.

Applied Ethics have proven to be relevant not only at every step of my young career so far but also in all aspects of my personal life as a citizen and political agent."

Arnaud Cohen Stuart works as Head of Business Ethics at ING

Profile picture Arnaud Cohen Stuart

"Large corporations are expected to balance the interests of stakeholders in their business conduct. To do so, they engage with their employees, clients, investors, and many others like civil society. But how to balance differing viewpoints on matters like fossil fuels in relation to climate change? What is right and fair when financing energy? What can reasonably be expected from business in the first place? Struggling with these questions I decided to study Applied Ethics."


"Studying ethical theory and discussing the arguments of ethicists applying theory to real life cases, helped me to develop a wider perspective. I truly got inspired by the many new viewpoints and arguments. They sparked my academic thinking and creativity.

The Applied Ethics Master’s programme did not give me the answers I had hoped for though. There is no silver bullet to solve ethical dilemmas. Yet, when dealing with dilemmas, guidance from ethical theory and the arguments from applied ethicists do help. They help to structure a dilemma into relevant building blocks, to define moral boundaries, and to remain receptive to new ideas at the same time, knowing that new and relevant ethical insights continue to be developed over time.

I very much enjoyed the master’s programme and highly recommend it!"