Bachelor of Philosophy (Leuven)

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Ever thought what’s behind the subtle reasoning of Herman Van Rompuy, the former President of the European Council? A bachelor's degree in philosophy from Leuven, in the heart of Europe! An ideal basis for further studies in philosophy at Leuven or further afield, or as a launchpad for an exciting professional career in related fields such as law, economics, and medicine.

The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (BA) program will do much more than introduce you to the highly sought-after skills of logic, critical thinking, and close reading. Structuring your own quest for truth, a BA in philosophy will help you to orient your thoughts about the world that we are living in, and it will also teach you to use philosophical skills in analyzing contemporary scientific and societal debates. Come to Leuven and get to know yourself.

What is the program all about?


The aim of the BA program is to provide a thorough, broad and comprehensive historical and systematic education in philosophy. At the same time, the program seeks to provide students with the research skills required for successful written and verbal expression in philosophy. You’ll also learn to use philosophical skills in analyzing contemporary societal debates.

The Institute of Philosophy offers a comprehensive range of BA, MA, Research Master, and Ph.D. degrees, all taught in English. Viewed collectively, our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees aim to familiarise students with the history of philosophy as well as with contemporary movements in analytic and continental philosophy so that they are able to engage with the fundamental areas of philosophical research. The Institute of Philosophy is proud to offer its students a broad philosophical education and a wide range of courses and seminars, as well as personalized study support and guidance.

Course outline

The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy program is a three-year program divided into 3 components:

  • Core Courses will provide you with the necessary knowledge of history of philosophy and expound on the key philosophical themes and concepts.
  • Seminars will teach you how to read and analyze texts closely, as well as offer well-structured presentations, and write philosophical papers.
  • Electives, which also include non-philosophical courses, will stimulate your broader interests and encourage interdisciplinarity.

An important part of the program is the Bachelor’s Paper with Seminar, a course in which you’ll learn to research and write a more extended piece of philosophical scholarship.

Advanced Placement

The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy is a three-year program (180 ECTS credits) but students with some university-level education may be eligible to apply for admission with advanced placement. Students with a BA degree in a field other than philosophy and no academic background in philosophy are recommended to apply to the one-year Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy abridged program (60 ECTS credits).

Abridged program (60 ECTS)

The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy Abridged program is a one-year program of 60 ECTS credits structured on the same principles as the regular BA program but focusing particularly on the Core Courses, a limited number of Seminars and the Bachelor’s Paper with Seminar.

Strengths

Philosophy has been taught at KU Leuven since its founding in 1425 and has remained an important and influential center of philosophical thought. The Institute of Philosophy is international in every sense of the word:

  • Members of its teaching staff come from, among others, the USA, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and Ireland.
  • It has its roots in the eminent tradition of European continental philosophy. In recent years, however, it has embraced other philosophical traditions ranging from Anglo-American thought to non-Western philosophy. The Institute is truly committed to philosophical pluralism.
  • It attracts visiting scholars and students from all over the world. Some 70 different nationalities are represented.
  • It hosts several international conferences every year with widely varying themes and involving a mix of well-established and up-and-coming philosophers from near and far.
  • It has Erasmus+ exchange agreements with more than 40 European universities, including universities in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Madrid, and Siena. and Istanbul. Bachelor-level students have the opportunity to study at a foreign partner university for one semester, in either the second or the third stage of the 180 ECTS BA program.
  • It has one of the finest philosophical libraries in the world. The library contains more than 90,000 volumes and maintains subscriptions to more than 300 journals.
  • In 2018 the Institute of Philosophy was ranked 31st in the world among philosophy programs (QS World University Rankings).

Is this the right program for me?

Applicants for the BA program should possess intellectual curiosity, a strong interest in questions of meaning, a capacity for abstract and conceptual thinking as well as a critical capacity to examine one’s own presuppositions and views.

  • Students holding a high school diploma that gives access to university-level education in their home country may be admitted by the Board of Admissions upon consideration of their complete application file. Decisions on admission are based on the candidate's letter of motivation and academic potential. Applicants are required to complete and submit the Institute of Philosophy's reading and writing assignment as a part of their application file.
  • The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy is a three-year program (180 ECTS credits) but students with some university-level education may be eligible to apply for admission with advanced placement. Students with a BA degree in a field other than philosophy and no academic background in philosophy are recommended to apply to the one-year Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy abridged program (60 ECTS credits).

Career paths

Graduates in philosophy go on to careers in many different sectors, including:

  • business
  • civil service
  • politics
  • education
  • publishing
  • media
  • the socio-cultural sector
  • journalism
  • academia

Career perspectives

Graduates in philosophy go on to careers in many different sectors, including business, civil service, politics, education, publishing, media, the socio-cultural sector, journalism, academia ...

Many employers seek candidates who are not only well-grounded in a specific field but are also able to handle the diverse challenges arising in a fast-paced workplace. Graduates in philosophy are well-positioned to think clearly and respond effectively to the evolving challenges of contemporary employment.

Start your career, during your studies

During your bachelor's and master's program you can already shape your own profile by choosing a certain specialization, studying abroad (Erasmus), doing a work placement, or starting your own business.

The Student Career Center is happy to put you on the right track towards your first work experience. The center also coaches you in the search for an interesting job and helps you with job interviews. For students wanting to start their own business KU Leuven also has Lcie, the KU Leuven community that encourages students with innovative and entrepreneurial ideas.

Don’t know where to start? The Student Career Center's databases contain offers for jobs, volunteer work, innovation projects, and student jobs. You can also visit one of the events organized by the Career Center.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked ... Read More

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked among the top 100 in the world. Read less
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