Bachelor’s Programme Philosophy at Faculties of Catholic Theology

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The Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Philosophy at Faculties of Catholic Theology provides basic education in philosophy, including classic and scholastic traditions as well as contemporary philosophies, focusing on fundamental questions of religion facing humanity.

Students learn through open philosophical investigation of current important issues . The focus is on the topics of human philosophical attitudes and the possibilities and limits of philosophical knowledge of God.

Please note: the language of instruction for this programme is German.


Study Code
C 033 194

Supplemental Examination
Supplemental examination in Latin is required before completion of the bachelor's degree programme if this subject was not completed satisfactorily with at least 10 credit hours at a higher-level secondary school.

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In addition to a sound knowledge of the history of philosophy and its systematic main disciplines today, the study programme particularly imparts the ability to think analytically and to read texts from different epochs carefully, to recognise and analyse structures of reasoning critically, to develop own arguments creatively, to study new topics based on pertinent specialist literature independently, to present complex topics in an understandable way, to continue questioning and not simply being satisfied with the solutions presented.

First and foremost, philosophy is about curiosity, with a desire to understand. Pursued as an academic study programme, it helps to provide answers to basic questions about human life that people have asked themselves for thousands of years. A philosophy study programme promotes independent and critical thinking and encourages not to be satisfied with the first solution that comes up or with the one that is perhaps currently mainstream.

Philosophy also provides fundamental knowledge for other sciences, insofar as it deals with the requirements of our awareness, thinking and acting. By committing to the precise use of terms and logically stringent reasoning, it helps to bring linguistic misunderstandings and errors of thought to light. Examples of philosophical questions are:

  • Which abilities distinguish people from other living beings?
  • How are mind and body related?
  • What is a good society and how does the individual’s well-being relate to the common welfare?
  • What are the arguments for and against free will?
  • Can we acquire certain knowledge, in the individual sciences and otherwise? What are the limits of our knowledge?
  • What role do emotions play in our decisions?
  • Are there general criteria for evaluating actions as good or bad?
  • How should we behave with regard to the environment and to animals?
  • Is it rational to be religious?

Philosophy provides possible answers and helpful concepts from more than two and half millennia to these and other questions, but they should not be repeated without criticism – if only because they often contradict each other. But they are useful for independently developing philosophical statements that are as well-founded as possible.

The Bachelor’s Programme in Philosophy at the Faculty of Catholic Theology imparts the ability and the basic methodological tools to do this.

The professional profile of graduates of philosophy programmes is less clearly defined as the one for graduates of e.g. engineering sciences, medicine or pharmacy. However, they have a variety of professional opportunities, including in the following areas: universities, journalism, media and publishing, education and advice (adult education, specialist consultants in educational institutions etc.), society, libraries, (in the South Tyrol) also as ethics and philosophy teachers at schools.

Employers generally value the philosophers’ broad general education, their analytical way of thinking and their ability to take a complex approach. It is therefore advisable to complete internships and additional training already during the study programme, e.g. in living languages, IT etc. This way more possible professional fields open up.

In addition to the independent individual study programme, philosophy is particularly recommended as supplementary study programme: We regularly have students of e.g. law, economy, medicine, theology, but also German, history, sociology and other disciplines among our graduates.

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From the field

„DIE Men­schen­rechte gibt es nicht“

Marie-Luisa Frick ist Professorin für Philosophie. Neben der Philosophie hat die gebürtige Lienzerin auch Rechtswissenschaften studiert. Da liegt es nahe, dass die Rechtsphilosophie zu ihren Forschungsfeldern zählt. Im Interview zum Internationalen Tag der Menschenrechte spricht Frick über Menschenrechte, ihre gesellschaftliche Bedeutung und warum es sie zu wahren gilt.

Zen­trale Stu­dien­be­ra­tung

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