Study Curriculum

Information for applicants (admission requirements, how to apply, etc.) is here.


For Students


Study programme: Ethics and Political Philosophy (N0223A100014) 
Language of instruction: English
Mode of study: full-time, Pardubice University Campus
Standard length of study: 2 years (120 ECTS)
Academic title: Mgr. (equivalent to MA)
Programme guarantor: Doc. Ondřej Beran, Ph.D.


 Start of teaching: 13 Febrary, 2023
 Useful links: STAG, Academic year timetable, Library catalogue



Study plan

The study plan is designed to guide through all important areas of moral and political philosophy in order to be accessible even to students with no background in these disciplines. This is the main objective of the first year of study, the core of which consists of two sets of four-hour courses: History of Political philosophy/Ethics in the Winter semester and Contemporary Political philosophy/Ethics in the Summer semester. Parallel to these introductory and overview courses, there are two sets of courses focused on important systematic problems in their respective areas, Problems of Political Philosophy/Ethics I and II.

As a complement to these basic courses, the students attend several courses with a more specific orientation on cultivating academic skills: Academic Writing seminar (followed by Master Thesis seminars in the second year) to develop their philosophical writing skills, Department Research Seminar to take part in a discussion of philosophical arguments with more senior academics, and Reading Seminars to cultivate their philosophical reading skills.

The main emphasis in the second year of study is on the student’s independent research and on her Master’s thesis. She consults her thesis with her supervisor on a regular basis and she gets further feedback during the two Master’s Seminars where she presents draft chapters. To complete her education, two seminars (Advanced Ethics/Political Philosophy I and II) continue in the second year, focussing on more applied topics, and the student choses only one of them in the last semester.

Since the programme itself is already conceived as specialised, elective courses are limited to 3 credits. The student can attend any course taught at the faculty, including a foreign language course.

The study completes with a state final examination that has two parts, 1. Master thesis’ defence and 2. Oral examination in “Ethics and Political philosophy” on the basis of four “Problem analyses” submitted prior to the exam. See here for details.


The student has to obtain 120 ECTS credits in total in the following courses:

 Course Shortcut


(2=90 mins)





 History of Political Philosophy MHIPP  2+2  7  1/WS
 History of Ethics MHIE  2+2  7  1/WS
 Problems of Political Philosophy I MPRP1  2  5  1/WS
 Problems of Ethics I MPRE1  2  5  1/WS
 Academic Writing MAW  2  6  1/WS
 Reading Seminar in Philosophy I MREA1  2  5  1/WS
 Contemporary Political Philosophy MCOPP  2+2  7  1/SS
 Contemporary Ethics MCOE  2+2  7  1/SS
 Problems of Political Philosophy II MPRP2  2  5  1/SS
 Problems of Ethics II MPRE2  2  5  1/SS
 Reading Seminar in Philosophy II MREA2  2  5  1/SS
 Department Research Seminar I MRS1  2  3  1/SS
 Advanced Ethics I MAE1  2  5  2/WS
 Advanced Political Philosophy I MAP1  2  5  2/WS
 Master's Thesis Seminar I MATS1  2  6  2/WS
 Reading Seminar in Philosophy III MREA3  2  5  2/WS
 Department Research Seminar II MRS2  2  3  2/WS
 Advanced Ethics II (either) MAE2  2  5  2/SS
 Advanced Political Philosophy II (or) MAP2  2  5  2/SS
 Master’s Thesis Seminar II MATS2  2  6  2/SS
 Master's Thesis MMAT --  15  2/SS
 Elective course      3  any

*WS – winter semester (approx. 3rd week of September till 3rd week of December)
 SS – summer semester (approx. mid February till mid May)




Master's Thesis


Students chose their topic during the first year of their study. They also chose their thesis supervisors and consult with them the topic and relevant literature. They submit their thesis title (plus short abstract and list of relevant literature) by the 31/03 of their first study year via STAG.

Formal and content requirements
Recommended length is 60 normed pages (1 normed page = 30 x 60 characters) or 108 000 characters (including spaces and footnotes). Apart from the inserted „Zadání DP“, there must also be an abstract in English (1 normed page). Here is the relevant University Directive No. 7/2019 Rules for Submission, Publication and Layout of Theses, and a helpful University Library Webpage. The theses is assessed for its content as well as for its grammar and style quality. It is recommended to use citation style usual in your field of study (or the norm ISO 690 accepted by the University). It is important to follow the rules for quotations, referencing, paraphrasing, but also text structuring usual in philosophy. To help students with that, several courses of academic writing and Master Thesis writing are part of their curriculum. 

Master Thesis Defense
The Master Thesis is defended during the oral State Exams, the defense takes cca 30 minutes. The students summarise the main thesis and mian conclusions of their Theses in the first cca 10 minutes. In the remaining time, they present answers to the questions and criticisms raised in the two reviews (one review from supervisor, one from an opponent) that they have access to at least one weak ahead the State Exam date. During the defense, the students can use their notes. 

Master thesis timeline (in detail here, only in Czech)

Important faculty deadlines:

1st year: by 31/ 3 – student submits signed „Podklad DP“ that has been approved and signed by the supervisor to the Department secretary.

2nd year: Students submit an Application for State Exam to the faculty study office: for the state exam winter term: by 15/11, for the state exam spring term: by 15/3, for the state exam autumn term: by 1/ 6

The deadlines of Thesis submission are as follows:

for the state exam winter term: by 30/11
for the state exam spring term: by 31/3
for the state exam autumn term: by 15/6

  • students submit one copy of their Master Thesis (printed, spiral binding) to the secretary
  • students upload their Master Thesis to STAGu in pdf. (including abstract, key words, etc.)

(see also Schedule for Academic year, Directive No. 7/2019 Rules for Submission, Publication and Layout of Theses, University Library Webpage, Study and Examination Regulations)





State Final Exams

The State Final Examination has these two parts: 1. The defence of the Master thesis. 2. Oral examination in Ethics and Political Philosophy.

Part 2 of the State Final Exam consists of two areas of topics, corresponding to the programme’s subdivision into ethics and political philosophy. In this part, the student presents and discusses the so called “Problem Analyses”. As materials for the exam, the student submits in advance four discussion analyses of ethical and politico-philosophical problems, respectively (two falling into the topic area Ethics, two into the topic area Political Philosophy). These discussion overviews are based on the student’s previous study in the programme’s core courses, and their purpose is to prove her acquaintance with the areas covered by these courses. The contents of the Problem Analyses should not overlap with the topic of the student’s Master theses or with each other. The problems presented should be clearly defined and adequately discussed, using both primary and secondary reading sources. The Problem Analyses, each of 700-1000 words, should contain a precise title, structured discussion of the topic and bibliography of the sources used by the student (the bibliography is not included in the word count). Students submit these materials through the Department’s secretary in 2 weeks advance before the date of the exam.

At the exam, the committee selects two of the four submitted topics and the student gives a 10-minutes presentation of each. Then a discussion follows in which the student answers the questions asked by the committee about the presented topic, or the source texts used for its presentation. If needed, the committee may decide to discuss one more of the submitted problem analyses.





Department of Philosophy and Religious studies

Faculty Study Department

  • officer for MA "Ethics and Political Philosophy": Michaela Fišerová
  • inquiries related to study, application forms, enrolment and necessary documents, diploma nostrification, credits, etc.

University International Department

  • officer for international MA students and employees: Martina Votoupalová
  • inquiries related to visas, nostrifications, health insurance, moving to the Czech Republic

Department assistant for international students: Mgr. Diana Kalášková

  • assistence with arriving to Pardubice, getting around the campus, arranging accomodation, etc.