Master of Arts in Moral Sciences

Studying Ethics has two crucial cornerstones: mastering the theories on ethical behaviour and thought, and gaining insight into ethical ideas, reasoning and behaviour of individuals and groups. Ethicists always strive for specific results, either to participate in values debates or to apply to upbringing, education, training, aid and assistance, politics … Specialization is achieved by means of the Master’s dissertation and a wide range of electives.

Master's Programme
1 year 60 credits
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
About the programme
Programme summary
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Off to a good start
After graduation


The Ethics programme wants to offer insight into ethical behaviour and thought in the broadest sense possible. This insight is based on two cornerstones: first and foremost, it requires a thorough study of the most prominent philosophical and ethical approaches. Second, it requires an understanding of ethical ideas, reasoning and behaviour of individuals and groups, in the past as well as the present. We gather this knowledge from so-called auxiliary disciplines such as History, Literature, Sociology and Psychology. In addition, we focus on the acquisition of qualitative and quantitative Ethics research competencies. We build bridges between these two cornerstones throughout the programme. Ultimately this culminates in an integrated empirical and philosophical study of values, norms and ideologies. This foundation allows you to become a critical citizen capable of providing a reasoned view of the complex problems of our society. This is a critical role that Philosophy and Ethics have in common. Ethics, however, are more application-oriented. They strive for specific results either to participate in values debates, or to apply to upbringing, education, training, aid and assistance, politics ...

For whom

The admission requirements vary. Depending on your prior education, you are either able to enrol directly, or there are additional requirements.


Apart from in-depth Ethics course units, the curriculum also contains a special focus on applied ethics. In addition, you can to some extent choose a number of course units, depending on your personal interests and your choice of Master’s dissertation topic. Students without a Bachelor’s degree in Ethics will have to take the abridged Bachelor’s programme to catch up with the general philosophical, ethical and methodological course units. 

In addition to the (domain) Master’s programme described above, you can also choose a Master’s Programme in Teaching (in Dutch: Educatieve Master) (120 ECTS).

Labour Market

Although the Ethics programme usually does not lead to a fixed or rigid career path, this is of little consequence on the contemporary job market and its ever-increasing demand for graduates with a polyvalent education. Today’s HR managers focus less on specific diploma requirements, and all the more on finding the perfect match between a certain profile and a candidate. Nowadays it is often the candidate’s personality that plays an important role rather than their specific diploma. 

Graduates from various disciplines are eligible for these ‘all-round jobs’. Ethics graduates, however, have a favourable starting place thanks to their critical ethical reflection skills, broad background and great independence and ability to synthesize. If, moreover, you decide to combine Ethics with another field of study, you have an additional advantage over others.
Career opportunities that are directly in line with the programme are all situated in the academic research and/or education sectors. A career in education would be that of a “non-denominational ethics” teacher (in Dutch: niet-confessionele zedenleer). Other possibilities are cultural, sociocultural, ideological and other organizations, and even in less obvious sectors such as government services, journalism, librarianship or even in the business world.

Take a look at our website for a list of specific professions.