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Masters in Philosophy: Philosophy, Bioethics and Health

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
2 years
Full time
Master's degree
September 2020
Application deadline: 01 April 2020
2,143 EUR excl. VAT

Program description

Study a Masters in Philosophy, Bioethics, and Health in Amsterdam

The two year Master’s specialization in Philosophy, Bioethics and Health will provide you with the theoretical and practical tools to deal with ethical issues in health care. You will learn how to reflect on practical problems from a medical, moral, legal, political and economic perspective.

The need for interdisciplinary reflection is growing as developments within society lead to new challenges in health care. For example shifts in responsibility: patients are expected to take greater responsibility for their own health and to ’manage themselves’ and insurers are becoming responsible for both the cost and the quality of health care provisions. In addition, there are many rapid scientific and technological developments to take into account: from knowledge of the genetic basis of diseases, pre-implantation diagnosis and IVF, to the use of plastic surgery for aesthetic enhancement.

Then there are the problems of just allocation caused by the growing number of treatment options for all kinds of diseases and the growing number of people living well into old age. Such developments cause a change in the medical ethical agenda. In the specialization Philosophy, Bioethics and Health, you will acquire expertise in the area where medical ethics meets neuroscience and mental health.

The specific expertise you will acquire at VU Amsterdam is not covered by other Master’s programs in the Netherlands. It is the result of close collaboration between Faculty of Humanities at VU Amsterdam and the Department of Medical Humanities at VU Medical Center, and the backgrounds of the course coordinators and academic staff.

With Philosophy, Bioethics and Health you will be an attractive candidate for the position of clinical ethicist or advisor to the management and the board within health-care organizations, health insurance companies, medical ethical committees and other organizations dealing with societal and ethical issues in healthcare.

Philosophy and Bioethics Curriculum

The PBH curriculum includes 30 EC in Philosophy, 30 EC in Master courses Health Sciences, or Medicine, or Psychology, 30 EC in Master courses PBH, 12 EC practical training and winter school in Oxford, 18 EC for the individual Master’s thesis, in total 120 EC. 

Admission requirements

  • A Bachelor's degree in Health Sciences, Law, Medicine, Philosophy, Psychology or Social Sciences from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent.
  • Motivation, background and personality (motivation letter, CV and personal reference)
  • Proof of sufficient proficiency in English.

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Tuition fees

The cost of this program for students of EU/EEA countries is €2,060.


MSc in Philosophy

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About this institute

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Welcome to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (‘VU Amsterdam’) is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 170 English-taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to more than 24,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff...

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Contact info

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands, the

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