Philosophy of Contemporary Challenges

Philosophy of Contemporary Challenges

1 year English Starts end of August and end of January

Critically engage with key challenges that contemporary societies are facing today, such as climate change, migration, populism, racism and economic inequality. Learn how to review familiar ideas with regard to such issues and how to reform or revise these ideas in order to face the challenge at hand. This program can also be followed part-time. Philosophy of Contemporary Challenges is a track of the MA Philosophy.

of the current students is (very) satisfied with their program

National Student Survey, 2023 | n = 46 (Master Philosophy, all tracks)

number of months on average between graduation and first job

National Alumni Survey,  2021 | n = 7 (Master Philosophy, all tracks)

In their field in the Netherlands

Elsevier Beste Studies 2022 & Keuzegids Universiteiten 2023

Program and courses

Learn how to systematically analyze complex societal challenges and shine a new light on them and their solutions. Address not only the theoretical but also the normative questions surrounding these challenges.

  • Delve into essential philosophical questions such as:
    What is the moral status of national borders? Do people have a right to migrate? What obligations do nation states have when it comes to providing protection and aid to refugees?' 
    To what extent does populism threaten our democracies? How should we think of debate, dialogue and nonpartisan politics in an age of polarization?'
    Are economic inequalities unjust? If so, would that still be the case when all people would have enough to meet their basic needs?' 
    What are ethical challenges that come with technological developments in healthcare and medicine? Do we have a duty to not only cure but, also avoid diseases through genetic engineering and biohacking?
  • Profit from small-scale working methods with a great deal of interaction, which enables in-depth analysis and discussion with fellow students and lecturers. 
  • This program can also be followed part-time.

Philosophy of Contemporary Challenges is a track of the MA Philosophy. You always choose one of the tracks.

Typical courses are:

  • Migration, Refugees and Human Rights
  • Populism and Active Citizenship
  • Sustainability and Environmental Ethics
  • Justice and Inequality

More on the program and courses

  • Nora van Poelje - Philosophy of Contemporary Challenges



    "I liked the program because it's about the things that I think and talk about all the time, in my personal life as well. Everybody talks about contemporary challenges, like the environment and terrorism, but do we always know what's really the case?"

  • Christoph Klaas - Philosophy of Contemporary Challenges



    "I was looking for philosophy programs, but also wanted to deal with current questions and issues that we are confronted with on a global level. This program seemed to contain the right mix of philosophy, politics and practical application."

  • Masterstudent Jenny



    "The program challenges you to think about how the world is structured and to formulate problems and their corresponding solutions in a well-argued manner"

Career prospects

Upon graduating from this track, you will be an MA in Philosophy, specialized in Philosophy of Contemporary Challenges. You are able to critically analyse current social, political and ethical issues and to provide well-founded answers based on classical and contemporary philosophical insights.

This will equip you well for positions requiring broad general development, sharp thinking and excellent communication skills. These can be various positions, for example within education and research, journalism, consultancy and the public sector.

Some examples of positions in which our Philosophy alumni and alumni of this specific track are employed: 

  • PhD researcher at the University of Edinburgh
  • Manager Resilience & Crisis Management at Deloitte
  • Policy advisor Youth at a Dutch municipality

Alumni facts

  • Average number of months between graduation and first job: 4.6
  • 86% would choose this program at Tilburg University again

Source: National Alumni Survey 2021 | n = 7 (Master Philosophy, all tracks)

More on your career prospects

Students on campus enjoying the good weather

Application and admission

This Master's program starts:

End of August and end of January (both the Master’s and the Pre-Master’s programs)

Best preparatory programs:

Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy or - combined with the pre-Master - a Bachelor’s degree in another relevant field.

Pre-Master's program:

Open to both Research University students and students of a Dutch University of Applied Sciences (HBO).

Tuition fees and scholarships

International students find all information about tuition fees and scholarships here.

Interested in this Master's program?

Check your eligibility

More information on this Master's program

Create your own e-brochure with information on program content, admission requirements, career prospects, and student life in Tilburg. Throughout the year you can take part in various types of events: on-campus, abroad or online.

Interested in the Philosophy of Contemporary Challenges track?

Check your eligibility and the deadlines for application