Universitat de Barcelona

Contemporary Thought and Classical Tradition


The master's degree in Contemporary Thought and Classical Tradition provides an overview of the most important writers and issues in contemporary thought, encouraging students to consider how contemporary issues acquire more profound significance when viewed from a historical perspective. The course examines contemporary schools of thought such as hermeneutics, post-structuralism and philosophies of difference while also requiring students to consider the contemporary and classical roots of philosophy.
The master's degree Contemporary Thought and Classical Tradition reflects the interest among students of philosophy and related disciplines ' as well as students outside the arts and humanities ' in the history of thought and its role in shaping contemporary culture. The program responds to this interest by critically examining texts written by the great thinkers of our cultural tradition, not only from a retrospective perspective but also from a prospective one, enabling students to bring well-founded considerations to bear in the debate on the nature of socio-cultural problems in today's society.

The program is structured into three specializations with a common foundation of five core subjects, addressing issues and trends which have influenced and continue to influence the shaping of our culture and world view through the use of methodological tools for research in philosophy and related disciplines.

Learning objectives

The goal of this program is to provide advanced education in the history of thought and its different facets (philosophical, linguistic and social) from the inception of rational thought in ancient Greece to the present day. Students will acquire the tools to access and critically examine key texts by authors who have contributed decisively to shaping how we think and live in society. The texts will be studied in their original language whenever possible.

This general focus will be articulate through a multidisciplinary approach, in line with the nature of the subject matter, although the backbone of course will consist of historical and systematic study of the central themes that have been and continue to be of key importance in the sphere of philosophy.

The program will be research-orientated, although other competences will be indirectly acquired, many of which are applicable in a range of professional settings, particularly in the field of education.

Basic Information

Number of ECTS credits awarded:
Language(s) of instruction:
 Catalan and Spanish (according to subject)
Number of places available:
Approximate price:
 27,67 euros per credit ( 82 euros for students who are not EU nationals and do not currently reside in Spain). Fees for the academic year 2021-2022
Faculty or school:
  Faculty of Philosophy
Master's degree course homepage:
  Master's degree course homepage

Recommended applicant profile

Regardless of previous qualifications, all students must possess the general academic maturity to work with highly abstract concepts. In accordance with the requirements of each specialization, students must possess or commit to acquiring certain basic skills in some of the languages of the dominant cultures in the historical period of their chosen specialization.

Admission requirements

In accordance with Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/29 October 2007, students must hold one of the following qualifications to access university master's degree courses:
  • An official Spanish degree.
  • A degree issued by a higher education institution within the European Higher Education Area framework that authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue.
  • A qualification from outside the framework of the European Higher Education Area. In this case, the qualification should be recognized as equivalent to an official Spanish degree. If it is not recognized, the University of Barcelona shall verify that it corresponds to a level of education that is equivalent to official Spanish degrees and that it authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue. Admission shall not, in any case, imply that prior qualifications have been recognized as equivalent to a Spanish master's degree and does not confer recognition for any purposes other than that of admission to the master's degree course.

Specific requirements

Candidates holding llicenciatura or EHEA bachelor's degrees, or recognized national equivalents, in one of the following subjects or a closely related discipline will have priority for acceptance on this master's degree course:

  • Philosophy
  • Philology
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Education Sciences
  • History of Art
  • Fine Arts

Based on the formation submitted with the candidate's application, the Coordination Committee may also grant admission to students who are considered to have an appropriate academic background.

Skills and competences

In addition to the basic and general competences that university studies aim to promote, particularly those with greater relevance in philosophy, this master's degree also aims to provide students with the following specific competences (SC):

  • SC1. Ability to comprehend philosophical texts in their original language, at least when written in one of the great languages of culture.
  • SC2. Capacity to distinguish between the concepts underlying the formulation of seemingly identical or very similar philosophical ideas.
  • SC3. Ability to identify conceptual coincidences and similarities between different formulations of philosophical ideas.
  • SC4. Capacity to understand the inter-dependency of different theoretical and practical concepts.
  • SC5. Ability to organize different philosophical concepts into coherent frameworks (concept maps).
  • SC6. Capacity to recognize the influences of particular cultural trends on other areas of culture.
  • SC7. Capacity to interpret philosophical texts from other eras without anachronism.
  • SC8. Capacity to put the various components of a particular philosophical doctrine in hierarchical order, distinguishing between fundamental aspects and secondary themes.
  • SC9. Ability to distinguish which of the ideas expressed by the author of a philosophical text are truly original and which are not.
  • SC10. Capacity to locate the most up-to-date and relevant literature for each topic, in particular general bibliography and critical editions.

IMPORTANT: Since this master's degree is structured into several specializations, some specific competences correspond to certain specializations and not others (i.e. some may be restricted to the compulsory subjects within each specialization):

  • Specialization A: SC1, SC7
  • Specialization B: SC2, SC4
  • Specialization C: SC3, SC6

All other competences will de developed across all three specializations.

Pre-enrolment calendar

8 February - 29 July 2022.

Students with a foreign degree outside the European High Education Area: Those students whose undergraduate degrees are from outside the European High Education Area will need to apply for an equivalence of study before they can officially enrol. So students in this situation, must submit their pre-registration before 5 July, and when admitted, submit their application and required documents for equivalence of study before 30 July, in order to be able to study the equivalence  within the deadlines. Pre-registrations with a later date are not guaranteed to be  studied in time for registration.

  • Pre-enrolment fee: A pre-enrolment fee of 30,21 euros is charged. Students who apply to more than one master's degree must pay the fee for each pre-enrolment request. Pre-enrolment requests cannot be processed until this fee has been paid.Fees will only be refunded if the master's degree in question is suspended.
  • Reserved places: A maximum of 5% of the new places of the master's degree are reserved for students who meet the general and specific access requirements and accredit the recognition of a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%.

Open Pre-enrolment


Required documentation

  • Pre-enrolment application
  • Photocopy of degree certificate or equivalent qualification. In case of admission, foreign degrees that require so should be translated and authenticated through diplomatic channels before completing the enrolment.
  • Other specific documentation related to the selection criteria

Selection criteria

If demand exceeds the number of places offered, the Admission Committee will select candidates on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Academic transcript (maximum 5 points).

  • Previous training in philosophy, philology, history, humanities, education sciences, art history or fine arts (maximum 2 points).

  • The candidate's reasons for applying (assessed in an interview with the Coordinator; maximum 2 points).

  • References provided by previous teachers (maximum 1 point).


The Coordination Committee is responsible for evaluating applications and selecting candidates. Successful students will receive notification via email; the full admission list is then published by the Coordination Committee.

Those candidates who do not agree with the selection may choose to lodge an appeal with the Academic Committee, which will review the application and issue a definitive decision.



Closed Enrolment