Unique in Europe
Our programme is the only English-taught Master’s programme on the European continent in the field of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS). The programme is flexible and only three courses are mandatory, allowing you to choose the remainder based on your specialisation or interests.
Leading institutes in the Netherlands
The HPS programme is supported by Utrecht University’s Descartes Centre and the Freudenthal Institute for science and mathematics education, which are top centres for teaching and research in the history and philosophy of science in Europe and beyond.
The Descartes Centre is a singular collaborative within the Netherlands. It unites HPS scholars from all department who collaborate in both research and teaching. The Descartes Centre hosts workshops, lecture series, and intellectual exchanges in HPS and across the university at large. HPS students are strongly encouraged to participate in Descartes Centre activities.
About a third of the HPS Master’s students come from abroad, and all courses are offered in English. Visiting professors at the Descartes Centre regularly offer full semester or short specialized seminars to HPS students. In 2010, for example, Peter Galison from Harvard offered a master class on science and film, and Larry Principe from Johns Hopkins University taught a course on the history of alchemy. In 2015, JB Shank organised an exchange course with the University of Twin Cities, Minnesota, on art and science in the time of the ‘scientific revolution’.
Students benefit from the personal scale of the HPS programme and its close community of scholars and students. HPS students are a tightly knit group, sharing both their studies and social life in the vibrant college community of Utrecht. Teaching and student coaching is offered in an individualised setting, and our staff is actively involved in student work.