Study programme

The Master's programme Applied Ethics comprises one year (60 EC). A study year is divided into two semesters, running from September until January and from February until June. A semester is divided into two study periods. 


The programme consists of compulsory courses, restricted choice options, electives, an internship option and a Master's thesis. Check the study schedule (PDF). 

Semester 1 

During the first semester, you will take four compulsory courses and two elective courses. This part mainly consists of theoretical courses which always also have a focus on application to concrete societal problems, and you and your fellow students will discuss the societal context of applied ethics.

Semester 2

The focus of the second semester is on your internship and your thesis. You can choose between a regular internship - onsite practical work experience in a company or organisation - or a research-oriented internship at for example the Ethics Institute. 

Instead of an internship you can choose to follow courses of the Master Applied Ethics or the Research Master Philosophy or a course offered at another university.


The programme is also offered in part-time. Please note, however, that this doesn’t mean that the courses are offered in the evenings, but that we strive that you can finish the programme if:

  • you have the Mondays and Thursdays available for two consecutive years (although you won’t have seminars on all Mondays and Thursdays); and
  • you can on average spend 20 hours a week in total on your study.
Picture: Tim Vermeire

Educational methods

  • lectures (30%)
  • seminars (10%)
  • group work & group projects (10%)
  • self-study (35%)
  • internship (15%)

A group project for instance involves producing a report to provide advice on moral problems, requested by a bank, NGO or other organisation or company.

    Do an internship

    In the past Applied Ethics students have found various positions: at financial organisations, such as banks, at the Red Cross, with political parties (think-tanks), with advisory boards like the Centre for Ethics and Health, ministries, the WHO, The Dutch Embassy in London, the Ethics Institute and the Utrecht University Green Office.

    Keep in mind that most organisations in the Netherlands use Dutch as their working language. However, you can also do an internship abroad, at an international organisation or in a research project at a university..


    • papers
    • written assignments
    • presentations
    • active participation in class and group work
    • advisory report
    • thesis

    Extra opportunities

    For students looking for an extra challenge in addition to their Master's, there are several options. Utrecht University offers several honours programmes for students looking for an extra challenge. Honours education is followed on top of your regular Master's programme and goes beyond the regular curriculum. Honours programmes are available at interdisciplinary level and allow you to work on projects that transcend your own discipline. 

    Read more about the honours programmes