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Masters in Philosophy: Philosophy of Law and Governance

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
2 years
Full time/part time
Master's degree
On campus
01 September 2022

About this program

Masters in Philosophy: Philosophy of Law and Governance

The track Philosophy of Law and Governance of the two year master Philosophy trains students to reflect philosophically upon the presuppositions and basic features of contemporary Western legal systems. The programme is interdisciplinary. General philosophical courses and specific courses in philosophy of law are combined with a student’s own selection of legal courses. The students of this track usually complete simultaneously a one year master’s degree in Law.

Study programme

What is a legal system? Under what conditions is law just? Are citizens of modern, liberal welfare states free and equal? Are there any natural rights? Is international law legitimate? Does social justice apply beyond the state? Which understanding of a person underlies bioethical legislation? Do new forms of technology and governance undermine standards of what it is to be an autonomous legal subject? These and many other questions are raised and addressed in the two year master track Philosophy of Law and Governance.

This master programme is truly interdisciplinary. Students combine courses in philosophy, worth a total of 84 ECTS, with their own selection of courses in law, worth 36 ECTS. The philosophy courses either bring students up to speed on fundamental philosophical discussions (30 ECTS) or are especially designed for this track and concern philosophy of law specifically (54 ECTS).

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Scholarships & funding

With our own scholarship, the VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP), we offer highly motivated students with excellent study results the unique oppurtunity to pursue a Master’s degree with financial support provided by the university. The VUFP scholarship is a tuition fee waiver. The Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP) is meant for students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who want to follow a Master’s programme in the Netherlands. VU Amsterdam embraces diversity as an enrichment to our teaching, research and our contribution to society. This scholarship is specifically intended  for excellent students who contribute to  the diversity at our campus. As an international student planning to study at VU Amsterdam, you can apply for a variety of grants and bursaries


  • Tuition fee for EU: € 1,084
  • Tuition fee for NON-EU/EEA: € 15,546

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About this institute

Welcome to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (‘VU Amsterdam’) is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 175 English-taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to more than 26,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff...

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Why study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

With more than 24,000 students, of which 4,088 are international, VU Amsterdam conducts cutting-edge research into problems of societal and scientific importance.

They distinguish themselves in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes:

  • Human Health and Life Sciences
  • Science for Sustainability
  • Connected World
  • Governance for Society

As a student this will help you to look beyond the boundaries of scientific disciplines, and to seek for tangible solutions for a better world.

In addition, VU Amsterdam regards diversity, whether in culture, conviction, nationality or prior education, as source of innovation and progress, and hence as special strength.

The Dutch higher education system has been ranked in the top 10 by Universitas 21. In the first Times Higher Education University Impact Ranking, VU Amsterdam is ranked 16th worldwide. In this ranking, universities are assessed based on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to measure the impact of the universities on society. In the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018 (Shanghai Ranking) VU Amsterdam holds the 104th position. The international QS World University ranking 2021 places the Vrije Universiteit at number 236 in the world, which means the Vrije Universiteit belongs to the top 20% of the world.

At VU Amsterdam, the teaching style can be described as student-centred: they encourage students to develop their own opinions through independent and creative thinking. This means that teaching is mainly conducted in small tutorials, where interactivity is the norm rather than the exception. At every opportunity, students are encouraged to engage in constructive dialogue with their professors.

Contact info

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands, the

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