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Masters in Philosophy: Philosophy of Neuroscience

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Program overview
2 years
Full time/part time
Master's degree
Virtual open day
Start dates
September 2022

September 2023

September 2024

Program description

Masters in Philosophy: Philosophy of Neuroscience

Are you interested in the conceptual basis and the social, legal and ethical implications of neuroscience research? In this program you will study the conceptual foundations and the broader implications of neuroscientific research from different philosophical perspectives.

The main focus of this program is:

  1. to train you to become conceptually sensitive in the translation of neuroscientific research findings to different fields of application (clinical, educational, public health);
  2. to give you an idea of what it is to be ‘a good scientist’.

The program in a nutshell

The two-year program consists of:

  • general philosophy (introductory courses and reading), 30 EC
  • philosophy of neuroscience, 7 courses, 42 EC
  • neuroscience, courses and internships, 36 EC
  • thesis, 12 EC

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Admission requirements

Admission requirements:

  1. Hold an academic Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Biomedical Sciences, or Psychology with a Biological Psychology or Neuropsychology profile. If you hold a BSc degree in a closely related discipline (e.g. Movement Sciences, Artificial Intelligence or Medicine) you are also eligible to apply
  2. Have good grades: A minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 7.5 (or international equivalent, e.g. a B+, or a GPA of 3.4); and a minimum grade of 8 (or international equivalent, e.g. an A, or a GPA of 4.0), for both the Bachelor’s thesis and neuroscience-related courses.
  3. Possess well-developed academic skills including writing and presenting abilities, the ability to evaluate and apply knowledge, and the ability to engage in critical thinking.
  4. Have an active interest in neuroscience research and have clear ideas about a future career in neuroscience.

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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 opportunity 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 fees

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


MSc in Philosophy

Continuing studies

Career prospects

The directors of this program (Gerrit Glas, philosopher, and Jeroen Geurts, neuroscientist) are convinced that this master program will make you a better neuroscientist and scholar. For those who don’t aim at a scientific career this master program gives the necessary background, both philosophical and empirical, to address implications of neuroscientific research in the widest possible sense, as advisor, policy maker, writer or scientist in other domains of science. 

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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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