Masters in Philosophy: Philosophy, Bioethics and Health

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Program overview

  • 2 years
  • Full time
  • Master's degree
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • €2,143 excl. VAT

Start dates

September 2020

Application deadline: 01 May 2020

Program description

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.

Tuition fees

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


MSc in Philosophy  

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.

Request info

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About this institute

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 of 122 nationalities create a dynamic international academic community.

VU Amsterdam is located in the vibrant city of Amsterdam, one of the most multicultural cities in the world, with the largest concentration of students in the Netherlands and where English is the second language spoken. The campus is surrounded by one of the most dynamic and fast-growing business districts in the Netherlands hosting over 700 companies.

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. We distinguish itself in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes: Human Health and Life Sciences, Science for Sustainability, Connected World and 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.

Contact info

De Boelelaan 1105 1081 HV Amsterdam Netherlands, the
+31 20 59 89898
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Request information

Want to know more about this program, Masters in General Management? Fill out the following form and include any questions you have. This information will be sent directly to the school, and a representative will respond to your enquiry.