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Decipher truth and reality

A play of question and answer

How do we deal with the free market? Am I complicit in climate change? Does the use of arguments ever really change a person’s mind?

You are curious by nature and interested in answers to fundamental questions such as these. Taking current social issues as your starting point, you will be investigating the nature of reality, different perspectives on such inquiry, and its relation to own situation. During the programme there are extensive reading and intensive writing assignments. You will be engaged in debate with fellow students, learn to support your arguments, and develop your own position. Your lecturers are thought leaders who participate in international research projects and are parties to public debates. They will often be introducing their research topics into the class room. If you go for the Bachelor of Philosophy at the VU Amsterdam, you will be mixing with students from diverse backgrounds hailing from all over the world.

Philosophy as second study programme

If Philosophy is your second study programme, you can combine your main bachelor degree programme with courses from the Philosophy programme. You will be connecting the substance of your primary discipline to philosophical skills while developing your analytical qualities. You will also be eligible for exemptions (via the Examination Board) and will receive the full Philosophy degree upon completion.

If you would prefer to follow this programme in Dutch, see Filosofie.

The start date of this programme is September 1st.

Facts and Figures

First year

In the first year, you will become familiar with the great philosophers, from Greek antiquity up to the present day. You will be introduced to practical philosophical disciplines such as ethics and social philosophy. You will take courses in theoretical philosophy, and develop competence in propositional logic and logical argumentation. And you will be diving into the field of epistemology, posing the question: What is knowledge?

Second year

In the second year, you will be immersed in the three main areas of philosophy: historical, practical, and theoretical philosophy. You will take part in two ‘text’ seminars, involving close-reading and analysis of a key philosophical work. In addition you will select two elective courses within these three main areas, e.g., an in-depth course on the history of philosophy, ethics, or the philosophy of science. This helps you to identify the area that holds the most interest to you to explore further in due course, providing the initial impetus for writing a thesis.

Subjects

You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

Third year

The first semester you will be following a minor at another faculty, allowing you to broaden your understanding and to apply philosophy to other disciplines. During the the second semester you will again (as in the second year) be taking two elective courses in historical, practical , or theoretical philosophy. You will also receive training and tutoring in writing a thesis. Unique to the VU Amsterdam among Dutch universities, you are free to select the topic, philosophical problem, and supervisor for your thesis

Subjects

You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

  • 1st year

    First year

    In the first year, you will become familiar with the great philosophers, from Greek antiquity up to the present day. You will be introduced to practical philosophical disciplines such as ethics and social philosophy. You will take courses in theoretical philosophy, and develop competence in propositional logic and logical argumentation. And you will be diving into the field of epistemology, posing the question: What is knowledge?

    Subjects

  • 2nd year

    Second year

    In the second year, you will be immersed in the three main areas of philosophy: historical, practical, and theoretical philosophy. You will take part in two ‘text’ seminars, involving close-reading and analysis of a key philosophical work. In addition you will select two elective courses within these three main areas, e.g., an in-depth course on the history of philosophy, ethics, or the philosophy of science. This helps you to identify the area that holds the most interest to you to explore further in due course, providing the initial impetus for writing a thesis.

    Subjects

    You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

  • 3rd year

    Third year

    The first semester you will be following a minor at another faculty, allowing you to broaden your understanding and to apply philosophy to other disciplines. During the the second semester you will again (as in the second year) be taking two elective courses in historical, practical , or theoretical philosophy. You will also receive training and tutoring in writing a thesis. Unique to the VU Amsterdam among Dutch universities, you are free to select the topic, philosophical problem, and supervisor for your thesis

    Subjects

    You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

Change your future by studying for a Philosophy degree

Change your future by studying for a Philosophy degree

After the bachelor phase, you can specialise further by following a master’s programme. As a Philosophy graduate, you can work as an ethics advisor to a committee or board; a policy consultant for a hospital or government agency; a teacher at an educational institution; or a journalist or editor for print or online media, magazines, and television programmes.

Explore your future prospects
Student in a square with other people in the background