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Kromme Nieuwegracht 29
3512 HD Utrecht, the Netherlands

T +31 (0)30 239 01 00,

University of Humanistic Studies Studying About Humanistic Studies

About Humanistic Studies

Humanistic Studies is a multidisciplinary science focusing on issues relating to worldviews, meanings of life, and the pursuit of a humane society. It draws on philosophy, psychology, pedagogics, sociology and religious studies. Humanist traditions and values are an important source of inspiration.

Humanistic Studies centres on two principal concepts: humanisation and meaning of life.

Meaning of life

We study how people relate to life and to their surroundings. What do people perceive as a good and meaningful life, and how do they try to pursue that life in their own situation? To what extent does life simply happen to us, and to what extent can we shape and steer the course of our life? How do worldviews influence one’s experience of meaning of life? 


The theme of humanisation addresses the social, political and moral issues of our time. How can we promote humane societal structures, with a view to the rights and interests of every individual? How can we safeguard human rights? How can we create a sustainable society?

Humanisation and meanings of life are inherently related. Life’s questions are formulated against the backdrop of political, economic, social and cultural structures. The extent to which people can influence their life course also depends on the opportunities they are offered. No one can pursue a meaningful life on his or her own; people are responsible for each other. In Humanistic Studies, the two principal themes are therefore examined in their interrelationship.

Bachelor's and Master's degree

This university offers a bachelor's and master's degree in Humanistic Studies. As from September 2013, the university also offers a master's degree in Care Ethics and Policy. These programmes are (so far) largely offered in Dutch. In Programmes and courses you will find more information on the curricula.

The curricula require of students an open mind, a broad range of knowledge and sharp analytical skills. Students must be able to develop their own point of view and to evaluate this critically throughout the course of study. The curricula combine a broad range of academic subjects with the development of professional skills. Graduate humanists therefore can be found in a broad range of professions.



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