In the second year of the programme, students start working on a thesis, based on independent research.
The Research Seminar History and Philosophy of Science (FI-MHPSSR) is a required course in this part of the programme. It includes participation in regular research seminars on either history of science, philosophy of science, or philosophy of physics.
Part of the requirements for this seminar is the attendance of at least 20 colloquiums in the field. It is strongly advised start doing this during the first year of study.
The second year is devoted to your own research project, resulting in a master’s thesis according to the rules and methods current in the field. The thesis should demonstrate that you are able to produce new scholarly knowledge and insights, and can share the results with fellow researchers in a coherent way. It is based on independent research, refers to relevant literature, assesses earlier work on a chosen topic and contributes to scholarly debate.
You can also choose to do a 15 EC internship or extra courses (subject to approval by the Board of Examiners), in combination with a smaller thesis (37,5 EC).
A full (52.5 EC) HPS master’s thesis will normally consist of around 30.000 words; theses on philosophical topics or foundations of physics can often be shorter.
Examples of research topics:
- Spacelike and Timelike Non-Locality
- Function, Object, System – Kant’s transcendental logic and the foundations of the exact sciences
- Early Dutch Interest in Newtonian Mathematics: Adriaen Verwer (1654-1717) and Newton’s usefulness
- Knowledge, Entertainment, Superstition: Imagining the Arctic in the Netherlands, 1555-1685
- In and Out of Magelang Asylum: A Social History of Colonial Psychiatry in the Netherlands Indies, 1923-1942
- The Reception of the General Theory of Relativity in Belgium
- Sow, don’t tell. The meaning of nature and technology in Dutch seed breeders’ communication strategies
- Profiling in electronic coaching and authenticity and individuality of the user
- The historical relation between knowledge of explosive technology and terrorism