Study Programme

The History and Philosophy of Science research Master's is a fulltime two-year programme of 120 EC.

The flexibility to shape your own HPS-curriculum and the diversity and interdisciplinarity of its courses allows you to create your own path within the programme.


Each year is divided into four periods. The first year is devoted to theoretical courses, while the second year is dedicated to your own research.


View the extensive range of possible (elective) courses. This will give you, as a prospective student, a good idea of what to expect when putting together your own study programme.

Interdisciplinary profiles

A profile is a coherent set of courses totaling 30 EC and can be chosen to expand the thematic range of your Master's programme. 

Educational methods

  • Seminar discussions: 25 %
  • Lectures 10 % 
  • Self-study 50 % 
  • Group work 5 %
  • Other (including workshops, excursions) 10 %


  • Papers or other writing assignments: most courses involve one or more writing assignments, often based on your own research 
  • Presentations: many courses include oral presentations on prescribed literature or on your own research 
  • Other assignments: courses may include group assignments, hands-on workshops, or other formats. Also, you may be asked to submit critical questions about the course literature.   
  • Exams (oral/written) are rare in the master. 

Examples of recent thesis

  • Birth of the Human Being: historicizing the notion of ‘human’ in the study of reproduction
  • Measurements and Elements of Reality in Relational Quantum Mechanics
  • The Spectacle of Scientific Masculinity: military, science and masculinity in Great Britain and Germany 1820 – 1880
  • How We Became Our Brains: an analysis of the relation between brain imaging technologies and beliefs in brain research
  • Lab Coats, Heroes and Impending Doom: the visibility of science in video games

Extracurricular opportunities

Are you looking for an extra challenge?  

Utrecht University offers several programmes for students looking for an extra challenge. These programmes are followed on top of your regular Master’s programme and go beyond the regular curriculum. Do you want to know more about extracurricular opportunities? 

Read more about the opportunities