Philosophy of Humanity and Culture

Program and courses Philosophy of Humanity and Culture

Put yourself in the midst of society by reflecting on fundamental questions related to art, culture and humanity. What do we mean by 'identity' and what is the importance of art and culture in a civilization?

Program structure

This one-year program consists of 60 credits (ECTS), which are divided between two semesters:

  • 2 common courses with the other Philosophy tracks (12 ECTS)
  • 8 track-specific courses (27 ECTS)
  • Master Seminar (0 ECTS)
  • 1 elective course of 6 ECTS or 2 elective courses of 3 ECTS (6 ECTS)
  • Master’s thesis (15 ECTS)

You can start at the end of August or at the end of January.

Program content

Core courses

You take 2 common courses (12 ECTS) together with students from the other Philosophy master tracks:

  • Ethics (6 ECTS)
  • The Canon and Beyond (6 ECTS)

You will follow 8 track-specific courses (27 ECTS):

  • Enlightenment and Counterenlightenment (6 ECTS)
  • Close Reading I (3 ECTS)
  • Close Reading II (3 ECTS)
  • Digital Aesthetics (3 ECTS)
  • Identity, Race and Gender (3 ECTS)
  • Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious (3 ECTS)
  • Trauma and Art (3 ECTS)
  • Philosophy of Media and Online Culture (3 ECTS)

The Master Seminar (0 ECTS) offers a theoretical and practical deepening and enrichment of the Master's program. For the seminars, philosophers and professionals from relevant fields are invited.

Elective courses

Choose one course of 6 ECTS or two courses of 3 ECTS from the curriculum of the following tracks:

Master's thesis

In the first semester, you will receive practical information about the process of writing your Master's thesis and then get to work choosing a topic, developing an outline, and finding a supervisor. In the second semester, you get to work on writing your thesis.

Examples of thesis subjects are:

  • Phenomenology of Time: Husserl compared to Heidegger
  • Gender matters: Judith Butler versus Irish Marian Young
  • What is Critique? Said, Foucault and Arendt’s Ideas of Philosophy

You will find a detailed description of the courses and required literature in our course catalog.

Go to the course descriptions


Please note: programs are subject to change. We advise you to look up the current program in OSIRIS Student at the start of the year.


Part-time study program

Read more about the part-time Master's track Philosophy of Humanity and Culture

Part-time students usually take two years to complete the master (instead of one year), and three years for pre-master plus master. However, a higher or lower study tempo is also negotiable.

As a part-time student, keep the following in mind:

  1. The courses from the Master's are scheduled in such a way that the program can be followed partly in the evening hours as a part-time student.
  2. Evening lectures start at 17.45h (or later) and are given on one or two regular evenings during the week. They usually take place on Monday and/or Thursday evening. Lectures that start before the evening (e.g., 16.45h) and end in the evening do not count as evening classes.
  3. As a part-time student you will also encounter lectures that are given during the day. These lectures can take place on all working days (Monday up to and including Friday). 
  4. Lecturing schedules are drawn up per semester and are usually announced one or one and a half month before the start of the semester.
  5. Since lectures can be scheduled every day of the week, during the day as well as in the evening, it is important to have some flexibility in your working schedule when you want to combine this study with a job.
  6. The average study load when studying part-time is 20-25 hours per week. This includes lectures, exams and preparation for the lectures and exams.
  7. Attendance during the working lectures is not mandatory for part-time students, but it is highly recommended.

Do you want to know more about this Master’s program?

Find out more during one of our events

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Short overview of Philosophy of Humanity and Culture

  • Delve into the most important 20th-century and contemporary movements in European philosophy, such as critical theory, existentialism, postcolonialism, poststructuralism, aesthetics, phenomenology, media philosophy and feminist philosophy.
  • Through close reading, learn to interpret some of the great classical texts and explore their relevance for present-day society.
  • Profit from small-scale working methods with a great deal of interaction, which enables in-depth analysis and discussion with fellow students and lecturers. 
  • Choose a program that scores high on student satisfaction. In the most recent National Student Survey (2022), students of the Master’s in Philosophy at Tilburg University (incl. all tracks) gave high scores for, among other things, connection of the program to current developments, expertise of the lecturers, and the degree to which the program inspires them.

Interested in the Philosophy of Humanity and Culture track?

Check your eligibility and the deadlines for application