Philosophy - Master's Programme in the Humanities 2021/2022

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The Master's Programme in the Humanities, specialising in Philosophy aims to provide a set of tools for thinking precisely about issues and problems in a variety of domains, from questions about the fundamental nature of the world around us to ideas about how we ought to live our life. These tools can be used for a variety of purposes: to analyse the language that we use; to gain insight into social, political, and ethical questions concerning gender; or to address what is good and bad argumentation or science.

Why this programme?

The Master's Programme in the Humanities, specialising in Philosophy, is a unique two-year programme that is designed for you who want to advance your studies in the field of philosophy. You will explore and gain broad knowledge in practical philosophy and theoretical philosophy, whilst having the opportunity to specialise in a research area of your choice.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • specialise your studies in either practical or theoretical philosophy
  • explore neighbouring disciplines by taking elective courses at other departments
  • take courses led by internationally recognised researchers.
The Department of Philosophy offers specialised supervision in a wide range of subject areas within philosophy, including the central subjects of theoretical analytic philosophy (language, mind, metaphysics, philosophy of logic, and philosophy of science) and practical philosophy (meta-ethics, normative ethics, reasons and normativity, philosophy of law, and applied ethics). The department has also significant strengths in aesthetics, the history of philosophy, and at the intersection of the study of philosophy and anthropology.

The structure of this programme closely mirrors that of a Swedish doctoral programme. If you wish to continue your studies at the doctoral level in Sweden or elsewhere in the world, this programme will be an excellent preparation for commencing your research career.


The programme leads to a Master of Arts (120 credits) with Theoretical Philosophy or Practical Philosophy as the main field of study depending on your choice of topic for the thesis and the area of specialisation. It is also possible to graduate after one academic year with a Master of Arts (60 credits).

All specialisations of this programme


The Master's Programme in the Humanities specialising in Philosophy has a duration of two academic years. You can opt for a one-year version, but the programme is structured to best suit the two-year programme. At the beginning of the first semester, you will make an individually tailored study plan together with the programme coordinator. This is a comprehensive plan for courses you will take and how to organise your thesis writing, etc. The plan can be revised every semester if needed.

The two-year programme consists of course and seminar work equivalent to 75 credits, and a Master's thesis of 45 credits. You will choose to specialise in practical philosophy or theoretical philosophy.

There are three compulsory courses that you must take: Philosophical Perspectives I (semester 1), Philosophical Perspectives II (semester 1 or 2), Master Class (semester 3 or 4). The purpose of Philosophical Perspectives is to introduce and discuss a selection of Western philosophy's historical and contemporary classics, paying special attention to methodological questions including: what is philosophy, what are its tools and methodologies, what is philosophical writing and argumentation? The course Master Class is associated with one of the year's visiting international philosophers. You will read and discuss the guest scholar's work before the visit, under the guidance of one the department's own philosophers.

It is also mandatory to participate in the Higher Seminars that take place throughout both years. The higher seminars that take place may vary between years. However, the following higher seminars currently recur each semester: Theoretical Philosophy, Practical Philosophy, Aesthetics, History of Philosophy, Philosophy of Language and Culture, Philosophy of Law, and Philosophy of Science.

You will also take elective courses. At the department, you can choose courses in theoretical philosophy, practical philosophy, and aesthetics). You can also take courses offered in the other specialisations within the Master's Programme in the Humanities. There may also be the possibility of taking other intensive Master's courses in philosophy at other Swedish universities.

You may also choose to include an internship in your study plan, equivalent to either 7.5 or 15 credits. You are responsible for taking the initiative and finding a suitable internship. The programme coordinator will help you to make schedules, determine your internship role and relevance for the studies, and will check that your follow-up when the internship is completed.

The 45-credit thesis is to be written over several semesters. In consultation with the programme coordinator, you may choose to devote full attention to the thesis in one semester or to write while you take courses at the same time. The thesis will enable you to undertake an in-depth study of an area or question which you have chosen together with your thesis supervisor and programme coordinator. The writing of the thesis is supported by special seminars intended only to Master's students, in which your final work will also be presented and discussed.

In practice, you should study two to four courses in parallel, depending on how much time is devoted to thesis writing in a given semester. Typically, you will study a greater number of parallel courses in the first year, while thesis writing intensifies towards the end of the programme.

If you wish to take a 60-credit one-year Master's degree, you will take the course Philosophical Perspectives I and participate in the weekly Higher Seminars, as well as two elective courses in the first semester. In the second semester, you will write a 30-credit Master's thesis (30 credits).

Learning experience

Courses are typically worth 7.5 credits and run for five weeks. Some courses may run through the whole semester or may be given intensively within a short period. Teaching takes the form of seminars, lectures, and independent work guided by study questions.

On a seminar, you present your ideas and discuss with your classmates regarding a course book or other work that you are required to read before the seminar. The aim is to develop critical thinking and collaborative skills. All the students are expected to be active participants in all forms of discussions.

The most common forms of examination are written assignments and take-home exams, although other forms of examination may be used depending on the course. Take-home exam is unsupervised examination that you need to complete independently at home within a certain amount of time. The purpose is to test your ability in applying knowledge to new information or your understanding of a topic. You can check your course book or other study material, but you must use your own insights and considerations to create your answers.

The programme is taught entirely in English.


This programme provides you with a deep and diverse set of analytical skills applicable across a variety of career paths. In addition, the supervised writing of a Master's thesis and the written course work will develop your analytical writing skills. The rigorous reasoning and writing skills associated with philosophy are an asset in diverse careers including in the financial sector, at non-governmental organisations, in policy analysis, healthcare, and even in law for those with appropriate qualifications.

The training is also highly suitable for students who wish to continue their philosophical studies at the doctoral level, either in Sweden or elsewhere in the world.

Career support
During your whole time as a student UU Careers offers you support and guidance. You have the opportunity to partake in a variety of career activities and events, as well as receive individual career counselling. This service is free of charge for all students at Uppsala University. Read more about UU Careers.


Below you will find the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fee. For information on how to apply and what documents you need to submit, check the application guide. For this programme, besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one programme-specific document: a statement of purpose.


120 credits

Autumn 2021 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 2021-01-15

Application code: UU-M5014 Application

Language of instruction: English

Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. The main field of study must be within the humanities or social sciences. Also required is 60 credits in philosophy.

Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies.
The minimum test scores are:

  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
More information about English language requirements

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies; and
  • a statement of purpose (1 page) where you detail why you want to pursue Master's studies within the programme.
Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application Fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 50000

Tuition fee, total: SEK 200000

Contact and further resources


Aesthetics and Philosophy: Pauliina Remes

+46 18 471 28 97


+46 18 471 20 93

Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, Archeology, Egyptology

Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology: Claudia Merli

+46 18 471 22 83

Cultural Heritage and Sustainability: Gustaf Leijonhufvud

+46 18 471 28 87


+46 18 471 28 97

Gender Studies: Jacob Bull

+46 18 471 57 98

Musicology: Mattias Lundberg

+46 18 471 15 84

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team:

Faculty of Arts

Dag Hammarskjölds väg 7

Box 256, 751 05 UPPSALA