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Philosophy: Philosophy of Law and Governance
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Name of the Masters programme

Philosophy: Philosophy of Law and Governance


Institution

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


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Philosophy: Philosophy of Law and Governance at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Discover the why behind the law

 

How can we respond to grave injustices committed by the state in the past, like slavery and racism? What does it mean to be a free and equal citizen in a modern democracy? What are the ethical considerations behind euthanasia and abortion laws? 

 

If you have a legal background, but you’ve found yourself asking questions about the underlying justice behind legal assumptions and provisions, you’ve come to the right place.

 

In the Philosophy of Law and Governance specialisation of the two-year Master’s in Philosophy, you’ll tackle challenging questions like these, gaining a deeper understanding of the systems of law and justice in Western society.  


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Philosophy: Philosophy of Law and Governance

Get to the core of modern legal systems

 

Philosophy sits at the very core of modern legal systems, and in this programme you’ll learn to assess those legal systems against the ethical standards that have been discussed by philosophers for centuries. You’ll study the philosophy of science, normative ethics, ancient and medieval philosophy, modern philosophy, and how to read philosophical texts.

 

The programme is highly interdisciplinary, consisting of introductory philosophy courses, courses in philosophy of law, and your own choice of law courses that you can tailor to your area of interest. You’ll also write a Master’s thesis on a legal issue of your choice – perhaps related to your research for your Master’s degree in Law. 

 

This is a small-scale programme, meaning you’ll work a lot in small groups and receive plenty of attention from the teaching staff. But you’ll also benefit from working with students and teachers whose backgrounds are in different disciplines. All students following a Philosophy specialisation take the core introductory philosophy courses, which means you’ll come into contact with people specialising in neuroscience or bioethics and health as well. 

 

 

Year 1

In your first year, you’ll take four legal courses of your choice, four introductory philosophy courses, and two philosophy of law courses.
As well as studying a basic history of philosophy, from ancient times to modern day, you’ll learn about normative ethics – asking yourself how human beings can co-exist when we subscribe to different ethical theories, such as virtue ethics, utilitarianism, Kantian ethics and so on. You’ll also learn about the scientific method, finding out what makes knowledge scientific knowledge, and asking whether objective knowledge is possible.
In your legal philosophy courses, you’ll read an entire philosophical treatise on the philosophy of law – previous authors have included Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Plus, you’ll look at the challenges of migration and how these are affected by international law.

 

Year 2

Your second year continues with several legal and philosophical courses, but also involves writing your Master’s thesis. A couple of courses help you come up with your research question and prepare you to write a philosophical thesis. Many students choose a topic that complements their Law Master’s thesis.
In parallel, during the Bioethics, Technology and Law course, you’ll examine socially relevant ethical questions relating to care in medicine – like abortion, euthanasia and organ trade. You’ll also read and discuss a classic treatise, like Kant’s "Doctrine of Right” – the first part of his Metaphysics of Morals.

 


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Philosophy: Philosophy of Law and Governance

You’ll come out of the Philosophy of Law and Governance programme with excellent critical-thinking and analytical skills.

 

Your critical attitude means you’ll be able to reason independently and to reflect on both your own learnings and what others tell you. Your writing will also be top notch, and you’ll know how to give and receive feedback on written texts – a very useful skill in all kinds of professions.


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Philosophy: Philosophy of Law and Governance

I have an international degree

 

To be admitted to the programme, you should have a Bachelor’s degree in Law. With a broad university bachelor with a legal track of at least 60 EC (such as Liberal Arts and Sciences or PPLE) you may also be eligible for admission. The Admissions Committee will invest this. 

 

Do you have another university bachelor's degree that is relevant to the specialization you want to follow? And do you have knowledge and insight into a sub-area of ??law, at least at the level of the final attainment levels of the VU Bachelor Rechtsgeleerdheid? And can you demonstrate this with at least 60 ECs in legal courses or knowledge or experience gained in the legal field? Then you may be eligible for admission. This will be investigated by the Admissions Committee.

 

English language requirements

You must always present official test results proving your proficiency in English. You can apply online without having the test results, but in case you haven’t taken a test yet we advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. The qualification or test result must have been awarded no more than two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the English taught programmes at the Faculty of Humanities:

  • TOEFL score 600 paper based with a minimum of 55 in each of the subtests plus 4.0 in TWE, score 250 computer based or score 100 internet based with a minimum of 20-23 in each of the subtests).
  • IELTS score of 7.0 overall band score (with none of the separate section scores dropping below a minimum score of 6.5).
  • Cambridge English: Cambridge Proficiency Exam with score A, B, or C; or Cambridge Advanced Exam with score A, B, or C

 

Exemptions from providing the English test scores are applicable to students, who:

  • have completed an English-taught secondary or higher education degree in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia; or
  • have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in an English-taught programme accredited by NVAO in the Netherlands, or
  • have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in an accredited English-taught programme in another member state of the European Union

 


 

I have a Dutch university level (WO) Bachelor’s degree (VU Bachelor's degree, VU premaster or Bachelor's degree at another university)

 

To be admitted to the programme, you should have a Bachelor’s degree in Law. With a broad university bachelor with a legal track of at least 60 EC (such as Liberal Arts and Sciences or PPLE) you may also be eligible for admission. The Admissions Committee will invest this.

 

Do you have another university bachelor's degree that is relevant to the specialization you want to follow? And do you have knowledge and insight into a sub-area of ??law, at least at the level of the final attainment levels of the VU Bachelor Rechtsgeleerdheid? And can you demonstrate this with at least 60 ECs in legal courses or knowledge or experience gained in the legal field? Then you may be eligible for admission. This will be investigated by the Admissions Committee.


More information on this programme? Visit the website!

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Institution

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


Location: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Niederlande
Nord Holland
T   +31 20 59 89898
E   international@vu.nl

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Facts about the Masters programme

Location

Amsterdam

Field of study

Business & Economics, Humanities, Law

Degree

Master of Philosophy

Language

English

Start

winter semester - September

Application deadline

ask the institution

Type of study

Full-time

Duration of study: 2 years

Tuition fees EU: 2168 EUR / year

Tuition fees Non EU: 16630 EUR / year

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Facts about the Masters programme

Location

Amsterdam

Field of study

Business & Economics, Humanities, Law

Degree

Master of Philosophy

Language

English

Start

winter semester - September

Application deadline

ask the institution

Type of study

Full-time

Duration of study: 2 years

Tuition fees EU: 2168 EUR / year

Tuition fees Non EU: 16630 EUR / year

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Masters portal for Germany: www.master-and-more.de

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