Bachelor of Arts in Moral Sciences

Moral Studies offer insight into ethical behaviour and thought in the broadest sense possible. This requires a thorough theoretical approach as well as an understanding of specific ethical ideas, reasoning and behaviour of individuals and groups.

Bachelor's Programme
3 year 180 credits
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
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About the programme
Programme summary
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Postgraduate studies


The Moral Studies programme is built on the ambition to deal with moral issues in an integrated manner. Good conduct and all its concomitant questions should always take into account ethical insights as well as the specific circumstances in which that conduct takes place. With that in mind, we offer you a fundamental theoretical training: you study how philosophy in general, and ethics in particular approach moral thought. At the same time, you will also study such auxiliary disciplines as Economics, Sociology and Psychology. You will gain a specific understanding of how individuals and groups think, reason, and behave, and how this has evolved throughout history. These two cornerstones culminate in an integrated philosophical and empirical study of norms, values and ideologies. You achieve that level of integration by taking on course units on the basics of quantitative and qualitative research methods for Moral Studies. A Moral Studies graduate is equipped to become a critical citizen capable of providing a reasoned view of the complex problems of our society. This critical role is something that Philosophy and Moral Studies have in common. Moral Studies, however, is more application-oriented with a focus on specific empirical circumstances in which moral issues surface.

For whom

Do you have a special interest in ethical thinking? Do you often stop and think about the injustice in society around you? Do you ponder the notion of justice as a guideline for society, and how it should be shaped? Do you wonder what values such as ‘freedom’, ‘respect’, ‘diversity’, and ‘self-determination’ mean exactly? If the answer to all of these questions is a resounding ‘yes’, the Moral Studies programme might be the right choice for you. As a Moral Studies graduate, you provide the critical voice to personal and social choices that concern everyone. Throughout the programme you will learn to combine insights gained from moral philosophy with academic research methods in order to carefully unravel moral dilemmas and take up a substantiated position.



We offer a three-year Bachelor’s programme, which combines a broad, general training with gradual specialisation. The first year offers a broad introduction to the Humanities. Together with students from other study programmes, you will take on a number of general introductory course units in literature, and psychology, among others. You also take a basic training in philosophy. The emphasis, however, is always on specific Ethics course units in which we deal with contemporary theories extensively. From the second year onwards, you gain more in-depth knowledge of the first-year learning contents, and you study a number of so-called auxiliary sciences. This in-depth study and specialisation continues in the third year. Staggered over the second and the third year, you take on a number of ECTS credits of a minor of your choice, i.e. a coherent set of course units from one or more other discipline(s).The choice of minors offers an indispensable acquaintance with other disciplines. In some cases, it even facilitates a transition to another Master's programme. In the course of the three-year Bachelor’s curriculum you will also take on methodology course units, introducing you to general philosophical as well as more specific ethics-related research skills such as researching and assessing information, formulating research questions and critically reading texts relevant to your research question, elaborating and presenting your findings orally and in writing. In the third year, the skills that you have acquired throughout the Bachelor’s programme culminate in a Bachelor’s dissertation, an independent research assignment you conduct under the guidance of a supervisor.


The Master’s programme contains the actual discipline-specific expertise. The focus is mainly on applied ethics and a thorough study of topical ethical issues. There is room for electives as well. As in other Master’s programmes, here too, the Master’s dissertation is your crowning achievement. Distinguished students of Philosophy or Moral Studies can also choose apply for the two-year interuniversity Philosophy Research Programme.

Labour Market

Our programme usually does not lead to a fixed or rigid career path. Career opportunities that are directly in line with the programme are all situated in the academic research and/or education sectors. Research has shown that our graduates also end up in government services, NGOs, at financial institutions or in the media world, the cultural and the IT sectors. As civic engagement is an important factor in their career choice, our graduates also often find their way to positions in the social and education sector.
Take a look at our website for a list of specific professions (in Dutch).