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

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. You will broaden and deepen your knowledge of philosophy, while also 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 at 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 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 obtain a degree of Master of Arts (60 credits).

The Master's Programme in Philosophy has a duration of two academic years. You can opt for a one-year version, but the programme is structured to best suit the two-year programme. At the beginning of the first semester, 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.

Degree of Master of Arts, 120 credits: The two-year programme consists of course and seminar work 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 (semester 1), Philosophical Perspectives II (semester 1 or 2), and Master Class (semester 2 or 4). The purpose of Philosophical Perspectives I & 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 are philosophical writing and argumentation? The course Master Class is usually connected to the Hägerström Lectures, an annual series of lectures given by an invited esteemed scholar.

You will also take elective courses. At the department, you can choose courses in theoretical philosophy, practical philosophy, and aesthetics. One elective course per year can be replaced by regular and examined participation in the Higher Seminars that take place throughout both years. The following higher seminars currently take place regularly each semester: Theoretical Philosophy, Practical Philosophy, Aesthetics, History of Philosophy, Philosophy of Language and Culture, Philosophy of Law, and Philosophy of Science.

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

The 45 credits 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 which you have chosen together with your thesis supervisor and programme coordinator.

Degree of Master of Arts, 60 credits: If you wish to graduate with a 60 credits one-year Master's degree, you will write a master's thesis of 30 credits. In the first semester, you will take the course Philosophical Perspectives I and two elective courses as well as launch your thesis project 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 within the programme

Besides the mandatory courses, you have some freedom to plan your studies together with the programme coordinator. Below is how the course work is normally organised for a two-year programme leading to a Master's degree (120 credits).

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.
  • 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
  • Master Class, 7.5 credits (mandatory)

Courses are typically worth 7.5 credits and run for five weeks. Teaching takes the form of seminars, lectures, and independent work guided by study questions. The most common forms of examination are written assignments and take-home exams.

At seminars, you discuss the assigned reading you have done beforehand with your classmates and present your ideas.

Work on the dissertation (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.

The training is highly suitable for students who wish to continue their philosophical studies at the doctoral level, either in Sweden or elsewhere in the world, and thus possibly pursue a career in philosophy.

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.