Philosophy: Specialization Philosophy, Bioethics and Health

2 Jahre
1. September. (Studiengänge mit Studienbeginn Februar)
Abgeschlossenes Bachelorstudium oder vergleichbarer Studienabschluss
Informationen zu Studiengebühren
Application deadline: 1 May (1 April if you want to use the housing options of the VU)
Worum geht's im Studium

Interdisciplinary reflection on health issues
The 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 and health-care policy. 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.

The programme
Philosophy, Bioethics and Health is a two-year full-time programme.

First year
You combine your non-philosophy Master’s with three of our courses in the first year: ethics, philosophical anthropology and an introduction to health sciences. You will follow these courses when other students do their practical training and/or work on their thesis.

Students who have a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences will take three philosophy courses and two elective courses  in, e.g., health law or public administration.

If you have a Bachelor’s in Philosophy, you can take a modified two-year programme. In the first year, you will follow a range of complementary courses, preferably in the fields of Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Law, though other combinations may be possible. Your choice of courses will first have to be approved by the programme coordinator.

Second year
The second year consists of four thematic courses, a seminar including a winter school (Oxford) (30 ECTS), a practical training course (12 ECTS), and a literature survey and thesis (18 ECTS) which possibly counts for both master's degrees. Travel expenses for Winter school will have to be covered by the students themselves, estimated approx. 250 Euro.


Career prospects
With Philosophy, Bioethics and Health you will be an attractive candidate for the position of clinical ethicist or assistant/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 health care. As a holder of two degrees (if you take the full two-year programme), you will have an extra advantage on the labour market.

For more information create your own program brochure on
Request up to five programs and select which information you wish to receive. After sending the request, you will get an email with a download link for your pdf brochure.

VU University Amsterdam - Campus
De Boelelaan 1105 
1081 HV Amsterdam

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