Ethics and Technology

The four-year structured PhD programme in Ethics and Technology is an internationally oriented programme. A PhD programme at the University of Twente can be started throughout the year. Read more about the related Master's programmes in Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society if you have yet to start a Master of Science programme. Read about the programme from a student's perspective in the testimonial

Programme overview

Prof. dr. Philip Brey
2 years
4 years

Joint graduate programme

Ethics and Technology is a joint graduate programme of the University of Twente (UT), Delft University of Technology (TUD), and Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). At the University of Twente, the philosophy department in involved in the Ethics of Technology programme.

Programme content

The programme focusses on the area of ethics of technology, which links ethics (a humanities subject) with technology (a subject of the engineering sciences). The aim of the research is to study ethical issues in the development, use and regulation of technology, in close collaboration with the engineering sciences, and to a lesser extent the social sciences. The programme is predicated on an increasing need for responsible innovation in society, and a growing demand for graduates in ethics of technology.

Research focus

Some of the central research questions in the programme are: How can we see to it that newly emerging and converging technologies and infrastructures express our considered moral judgments and widely endorsed public values? How can we assess our technology in the light of public moral values like sustainability, user autonomy, safety, privacy, accountability, democracy and quality of life? What role should public actors play in decision making about technological risks in design? And how are our norms and values affected themselves by technological developments?

Research themes include the requirements for responsible innovation, the possibility of value-sensitive design, ethical parallel research (ethical investigations in close collaboration with programs of technological development), ethical technology assessment, the ethics of technological risks, the anthropology and ethics of human-technology relations, and many others. Technologies covered include information and communication technology, biomedical technology, nanotechnology, industrial design, environmental technology, architecture and urban planning, neuro- and cognitive technology, military technology, and others.


The programme is delivered in cooperation with the 3TU.Centre of Excellence for Ethics and Technology (“3TU.Ethics”), a research centre of the philosophy departments of the University of Twente, Delft University of Technology and Eindhoven University of Technology. The programme is also supported by ethics research groups at four affiliate institutions: Oxford University; the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Practical Ethics, Australia; the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden; and Yale University.