HomeEducationMasterAll master's programmesPhilosophy of Science Technology & Society

Master Philosophy of Science, Technology & Society

Get in touch with a student of this Master's

Become a tech thinker equipped to guide society into the future.

Are you fascinated by the role of science and technology in society? Are you eager to tackle complex, tech-related issues, such as privacy concerns surrounding coronavirus apps, or the use of artificial intelligence for identifying future criminals? Are you itching to explore – Black Mirror-like – the implications and ethics of tomorrow’s technologies? And would you like to do that in an international academic programme that brings together philosophers, engineers and social scientists? Do you see yourself becoming a high-level tech thinker and navigator, capable of guiding people, businesses, policymakers and researchers by asking the right questions at the right time, and exploring the best way forward? Then our two-year, English-taught Master’s in Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society (PSTS) is the right choice for you.

Understand and improve how technology and society interact, regardless of your BSc degree

How do neurotechnologies affect our view of human identity and free will? How far can we go with climate engineering, and who should decide? How are algorithms shaping the choices we make every day, and is that what we want? The PSTS Master’s at the University of Twente is all about tackling tough questions like these. An academic programme unlike any other in the world, this degree is open to students with a background in engineering as well as in philosophy or social sciences: whatever your Bachelor’s, PSTS will equip you with the competencies to examine, evaluate and improve the interactions between technology and society.

Read more about the study programme, the admission requirements, the PSTS double degree options, and the career prospects for this English-taught programme.

Why study Philosophy of Science, technology & society at University of Twente?

There are many reasons to sign up for this Master’s at UT. Read about six of the most notable ones!


    Science and technology are interwoven with everything we do nowadays: from work, learning, communication and leisure to government, healthcare, defence, education, religion and law. Many of the most disruptive changes societies around the world are grappling with are tech-driven. In this highly technologised and often perplexing world, there is an urgent, global need for people who can fundamentally understand and assess science and technology’s role, and help businesses, governments, researchers and society as a whole to navigate these deep waters. The PSTS programme will equip you for that role. 


    PSTS is a unique, two-year, English-taught Master’s programme in the philosophy of technology. While many programmes study the role of science and technology in society, PSTS takes a distinctively philosophical approach. Beyond studying how different tech-related stakeholders and trends in society interact, you will learn to explore and analyse the questions behind the questions. How does our society validate knowledge, or decide for or against certain technological innovations? What assumptions underlie this validation and decision-making? Who gets to make choices in the process, and why? This programme will help you become a serious tech thinker and navigator. You will be able to quickly grasp complex, socio-technical challenges, bring together different stakeholders and their perspectives, put the finger on and sort out key controversies, and point a reasonable way forward.


    In order to study PSTS, you don’t have to know the nuts and bolts of every new tech solution, although you should be eager and willing to delve into the underlying research & design: this will help you to identify and engage with the challenges and opportunities a technology poses. The PSTS programme enjoys an outstanding international reputation. On top of its strong contents, students value our rich mixture of educational and cultural backgrounds. We attract entrants with Bachelor’s degrees in technology and engineering, philosophy, as well as the social sciences. Working with staff and students from diverse backgrounds is demanding and fun. It will sharpen your intellect, boost your cross-disciplinary skills, and enrich your life. Our international profile will add to the richness of your experience here, as you develop a broad perspective, strong cross-cultural skills and a strong global network.


    PSTS is offered jointly by the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Science, Technology, and Policy Studies (STePS). The research of these groups is the best in the Netherlands, according to QANU quality assurance agency. As a PSTS student, you will engage with some of the world’s leading researchers in the field.  Their work focuses, for example, on how new technologies, such as augmented reality glasses or facial recognition systems, mediate human experience and behaviour, developing a theory of technological mediation. They also investigate which concept of ‘learning’ is embedded in machine learning technologies, which may help decide when to delegate decisions to machines rather than to humans – and when not to. Other projects centre on studying how to govern the discontinuation of technologies, like nuclear energy. Our researchers also tackle normative questions, for example: under which conditions would early diagnostics for Alzheimer’s disease, or technologies allowing companies to monitor their employees’ performance, be ethically acceptable? Both departments involved in PSTS advise technology developers and policy-makers on how to make technologies more robust by involving stakeholders and embedding ethical standards. As a ‘people-first’ university of technology, UT offers the perfect facilities and mind-set for exploring these questions at the interface of science, technology and society.


    PSTS is an excellent way to both build on and broaden the knowledge and expertise you gained in your Bachelor’s programme. While doing so, you can pursue your own interests. While the core courses in the first year are the same for all students, we offer a lot of room for personal choice in electives, projects and thesis topics during the second year. If you want to, you can dig deeper into specific questions, theories and approaches within the philosophy of technology, or in science and technology studies. You can also devote multiple essays and papers to a tech-related societal challenge that has your particular interest, or to a domain in which you want to pursue a career. If you have a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Public Administration, or Communication Sciences, you can also consider our double degree programmes or PSTS Link Trajectories, each of which combines PSTS with one of those three disciplines. Another option is to apply for our special Ethics and Technology track, in which we join forces with the 4TU Centre for Ethics and Technology. This track will prepare you for a PhD position in the field of Ethics and Technology.


    At UT, we believe contact-intensive instruction in small groups is vital to your professional, academic and personal growth. In addition to traditional lectures and close supervision from our excellent research staff, you will receive instruction in small groups, tutorials and labs. You will carry out assignments in small groups, learn how to work in teams, and become adept at recognising and fulfilling your specific role in a group project. During the programme you will regularly reflect, together with a mentor, on how to further develop your academic, professional and personal skills. On top of that, you will have an unforgettable student experience thanks to our wonderful, green campus, and the vibrant student city of Enschede, a city full of knowledge, innovation and fun!

Want to discover more about Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society? Visit an (Online) Open Day, visit us at a study fair in your part of the world, sign up for our Student for a Day programme, Skype with current PSTS students, or contact our Student Information Centre.

Chat offline (info)
To use this functionality you first need to:
Accept cookies