Learning outcomes

The UCLouvain School of Philosophy is mindful of providing its students with a solid and coherent programme which will enable them, when it is finished, to take up the challenge of being a responsible citizen and actor in their own right within today’s society.

In order to achieve that aim, the students will have the following main virtues:

  • the ability to examine transforming movements in modern society by applying critical thought to the phenomena embodying them; 
  • the ability to employ the history of thought in the area to better integrate the pioneers of contemporary society into the continuity of human experience; 
  • the ability to assist social actors by calling for responsibility as regards the long term issues arising from these movements; 
  • demonstration of the ability to adapt as well as a plan for continuing development through their capacity to cast a critical and constructive eye over their own actions.

Generally, at the end of the master, students will have developed a cultivated, critical mind-set, and the ability to perform objective analyses and synopses which put the factors which must be considered when approaching a question into perspective. These qualities will be cultivated through exercises in critical thinking and the reading of philosophical texts, and the disciplinary diversity of the subjects taught will engender the “analytical distance” which is typical of philosophy students and very much valued in the job market by different professions (diplomacy, journalism, human resource management, education, etc.).

Holders of a Master [120] in Philosophy will be able to function as responsible, professional actors within society who are both collaborative and creative thanks to a spirit of tolerance, dialogue and the capacity to see the big picture, open-mindedness and sensitivity to various disciplines which characterise their training.

On successful completion of this programme, each student is able to :

1. Demonstrate an expert and critical understanding of theories, concepts and methods in the domain of philosophical ethics and how they are connected to other fields of philosophy and scientific disciplines.

1.1. Appropriate a range of theories, concepts and methods.
1.2. Make theoretical and methodological choices in view of their relevance in dealing with ethical questions and be able to explain their founding principles and limitations.
1.3. Compare the contributions of philosophical ethics to those of the humanities.

2. Understand and deal with philosophical questions.

2.1. Analyse and determine the aspects of and issues present in the questions being dealt with.
2.2. Formulate a question in such a way that it can be answered rationally.
2.3. Identify and assess the available responses.
2.4. Take an educated and critical position in relation to the question.

3. Create and realize individual research (dissertation) implementing a rigorously scientific, methodological and critical approach in order to go deeper into a philosophical research question.

3.1. Formulate the question which will be the topic of the dissertation.
3.2. Carry out a critical review of the literature on this question, making effective, critical and appropriate use of IT and primary and secondary philosophical sources.
3.3. Implement a rigorous methodological analysis approach relevant to the question.
3.4. Challenge and defend the philosophical theories which arise from that question.
3.5. Demonstrate an objective analysis and ability to summarize which allow the factors at play to be put into perspective and appropriate conclusions to be drawn.

4. Understand, analyse and discuss questions which are subject to public debate in accordance with a philosophical approach, asserting the relevance of and contributing to the development of responses which are relevant and based upon the point of view of a citizen.

4.1. Detect and determine the philosophical issues arising from societal questions and their assumptions.
4.2. Use their philosophical knowledge to analyse and discuss these societal questions and construct a point of view based upon a philosophical approach.
4.3. In so doing, be mindful of the consistency of the problematizations and resulting responses in view of the angle from which the question is analysed.
4.4. Assert the relevance of their philosophy-based point of view and contribute to the development of responses which are relevant and based upon the point of view of a citizen.

5. Communicate, discuss and hold constructive debates, orally and in writing, with different actors (specialists and non-specialists) involved in a given situation (of philosophical research or public debate).

5.1. Communicate, orally and in writing, on complex subjects (data, points of view and conclusions as well as the underlying knowledge and principles) in a clear, structured fashion, reasoned in accordance with the specific standards of communication relevant to the context and by adapting their presentation to the target audience and aims being pursued.
5.2. Communicate, orally and in writing, original scientific results to specialists in the field of research concerned and discuss them critically.
5.3. Converse respectfully and constructively with various counterparts, demonstrating an ability to listen, open-mindedness and tolerance.
5.4. Contribute constructively to public debate (for example, in the media): recognise and take into consideration different points of view and ways of thinking, bring their own philosophy-based point of view to the debate and participate constructively in order to develop solutions from the citizen’s point of view.

6. Act as academics and critical and responsible actors demonstrating “analytical distance” based upon a philosophical approach, and their continuing development.

6.1. Progress in a professional project in accordance with a grounded academic approach (from a theoretical and methodological point of view) and characterised by “analytical distance” based upon a philosophical approach.
6.2. Independently and responsibly, within a framework, engage in and decide upon the context of the work and others.
6.3. Cast a critical eye over their own knowledge and competencies and independently put in place methods and opportunities to improve them as part of system of continuing development which is indispensable in order to progress in a positive way in their social and professional environment.

7. If the Research Focus is chosen: begin a piece of research thanks to a deeper knowledge of philosophy and its questioning, in relation with other disciplines depending upon the option chosen; this knowledge aims to enable the students to interact with other researchers within the framework of doctorate-level research. (Four possible options: “fundamentals”, “aesthetics and philosophy of art”, “sciences, technologies, societies”, “philosophy of science”).


8. If the Teaching Focus is chosen: call upon the competencies necessary to begin teaching effectively in upper secondary education, in philosophy, and be able to progress there.

8.1. To take part in education, in partnership with different parties.
8.2. Teach in authentic and varied situations.
8.3. Reflect upon and progress through the usual stages of continuing development.

9. If the Professional Focus is chosen: demonstrate expert specialised mastery of and expertise in the fields of German and French philosophy and their interaction in the European intellectual and cultural arena (Erasmus Mundus Programme).