Master's Programme in Philosophy

120 credits

What is the nature of reality? What can be known? What is the relationship between language, language users, and the world? How should we live our lives? Are there objective moral truths? What is good and bad science? The Master's Programme in Philosophy provides you with tools for thinking about such fundamental issues in a precise way, as well as gives you extensive guidance on how to write philosophical texts. You will widen your general philosophical education and specialise in practical or theoretical philosophy.

Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

Autumn 2024 Autumn 2024, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

The Master's Programme in Philosophy is a unique international two-year programme, taught in English, that is designed for students who want to advance their studies in the field of philosophy. Through the programme you will broaden and deepen your knowledge of philosophy, while having the opportunity to specialise in a research area of your choice.

During the programme, you can expect to:

  • broaden your knowledge and skills in philosophy,
  • specialise in either practical or theoretical philosophy,
  • influence the design of your studies with the guidance of the programme director and thesis supervisor,
  • take courses led by internationally recognised researchers.

The Department of Philosophy offers specialised supervision in a wide range of subject areas within philosophy, including the central subjects of theoretical analytic philosophy (philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, philosophy of logic, and philosophy of science) and of practical philosophy (metaethics, normative ethics, rationality and normativity, philosophy of law, and applied ethics). The Department also has significant strengths in aesthetics, the history of philosophy, and the intersection of the study of philosophy and anthropology.

The structure of this programme closely mirrors that of a Swedish doctoral programme. If you wish to continue your studies at the doctoral level in Sweden or elsewhere in the world, this programme will be an excellent preparation for your future research career.

Student Profile

Students in the programme usually have backgrounds in philosophy, but some students do have their major in other disciplines within the humanities or social sciences. There are usually around 20-25 active students, representing a wide range of nationalities.


The programme leads to the degree of Master of Arts (120 credits) with Theoretical Philosophy or Practical Philosophy as the main field of study. After one year of study, it is possible to graduate with a degree of Master of Arts (60 credits).

The Master's Programme in Philosophy has a duration of two academic years (120 credits). You can opt for a one-year version (60 credits), but the programme is best suited for two years of study.

At the beginning of the programme, you will make an individually tailored study plan together with the programme director. This is a comprehensive plan detailing the courses you will take and how you will organise the writing of your Master's thesis.

The two-year programme consists of coursework equivalent to 75 credits, and a Master's thesis of 45 credits. You will choose to specialise in practical philosophy or theoretical philosophy.

There are three mandatory courses: Philosophical Perspectives I, Philosophical Perspectives II, and Master Class. The purpose of Philosophical Perspectives I and II is to introduce and discuss a selection of Western philosophy's historical and contemporary classics, paying special attention to methodological questions including: What is philosophy? What are its tools and methodologies? What is philosophical writing and argumentation? The course Master Class is usually connected to the Hägerström Lectures, an annual series of lectures given by an invited internationally recognised researcher.

You will also take elective courses. At the Department, you can choose courses in theoretical philosophy, practical philosophy, and aesthetics.

You may also choose to include an internship in your studies, equivalent to either 7.5 or 15 credits. You are responsible for taking the initiative and finding a suitable internship.

The 45-credit Master's thesis is to be written over several semesters. The thesis will enable you to undertake an in-depth study of an area or question that you have chosen together with your thesis supervisor and programme coordinator.

Courses within the programme

Below is a standard outline for the two-year Master's programme.*

Semester 1

  • Philosophical Perspectives I, 7.5 credits (mandatory)
  • Philosophical Perspectives II, 7.5 credits (mandatory)
  • Elective courses, 15 credits in total

Semester 2

  • Elective courses, 22.5 credits in total, possibly including a Master Class, 7.5 credits
  • Master's thesis work, 7.5 credits

Semester 3

  • Elective courses, 15 credits in total
  • Master's thesis work, 15 credits

Semester 4

  • Master thesis work, 22.5 credits: completion of master's thesis and defence in a master's seminar
  • Elective course, 7.5 credits; must be Master Class if not taken in semester 2

* For the one-year Master's degree (60 credits), your Master's thesis is 30 credits. You will start the programme with the course Philosophical Perspectives I, two elective courses and launch your thesis work with 7.5 credits. In the second semester, you will take the course Master Class and then focus on completing your Master's thesis (22.5 credits).

Courses are typically worth 7.5 credits and run for five weeks.

Teaching takes the form of lectures, seminars, and independent work guided by study questions. The most common forms of assessment are written assignments and take-home exams.

At seminars, you and your classmates discuss material you have read beforehand.

Work on the Master's thesis (45 credits) is carried out over at least two terms. Participation in a regular Master's seminar, where students present and discuss their work, is an important part of this work.

The language of instruction is English.

This programme provides you with a deep and diverse set of analytical skills applicable across a variety of career paths. In addition, the supervised writing of a Master's thesis and the written coursework will develop your analytical writing skills. The rigorous reasoning and writing skills associated with philosophy are an asset in diverse careers, including journalism, policy analysis, teaching, work in governmental and non-governmental organisations, business, financial sector, and even law for those with appropriate qualifications.

The training is also highly suitable for students who wish to continue their philosophical studies at the doctoral level, either in Sweden or elsewhere in the world.

Career Support

During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to participate in various activities and events that will prepare you for your future career.