Faculty of PhilosophyPhilosophy – Master

Philosophy is at times viewed as abstract discussion of life’s “big questions”. Although students of philosophy do discuss topics which one might consider life’s “big questions”, they first gain the methods and skills they need to consider these issues in detail. This includes the art of rational argumentation, and informed reading of central philosophical texts.

Facts & Formalities

DegreeMaster of Arts
Type of programmeConsecutive
Start of programmeWinter and summer semester
Standard period of study4 semesters
Language(s) of instructionGerman
Fees and contributions171.75 € / Semester
Application procedureConsecutive master’s programmes with access restriction
Application deadlinesInformation about deadlines can be obtained after you have put together a degree program.
Part-time optionYes
May be studied as a minor subjectYes

Course Content

The Master’s degree programme in Philosophy builds and strengthens students’ skills and knowledge, enabling them to competently engage with philosophical questions. Students learn to conduct independent philosophical research and develop their specialist profile. The department particularly supports students to develop an analytically differentiated understanding of philosophical debates, thereby encouraging them to engage with both traditional and contemporary solutions and arguments to develop an understanding of their various merits and drawbacks. Students of the Master’s degree programme in philosophy also learn how to justify their own conclusions using informed arguments. They develop the skills required to present these in a clear and understandable way, and can articulate them in both spoken and written formats. The Master’s degree programme in philosophy at Heidelberg University focuses on the history of philosophy via the study of classical texts, and on systematic philosophical questions such as metaphysics, the theory of science or the theory of language. 

Course Structure

Students complete lectures and courses as part of the compulsory modules “systematic philosophy” and “history of philosophy”, and in their elected specialist area. Students also select an elective module. At the end of the degree programme, students take an oral examination and complete a Master’s thesis.  

Students must complete a term paper for each of the compulsory seminars which they attend. Students thereby gain experience of working with philosophical ideas, and develop the skills required to complete a qualitatively demanding thesis.  

The Master’s degree programme in Philosophy at Heidelberg University does not entail study of a minor subject. If however, students attend other, relevant courses offered at other institutes, these may be recognised as a minor subject. Philosophy may be studied as a minor subject as part of another Master’s degree programme in which students select a minor subject.