The Master's in Rhetoric, Argumentation Theory and Philosophy (RAP) provides a solid foundation for understanding the diverse ways in which ordinary language is used in various types of discourse.
The programme also provides a solid theoretical and methodological foundation for understanding texts as a means of convincing others of a given viewpoint or idea. Crucial concepts from the rhetorical, dialectical and logical approaches used in argumentative discourse analysis, evaluation and production are examined and discussed in a systematic fashion. Relevant insights from speech act theory, Gricean analysis of rational interaction, discourse analysis, and formal and informal logic provide a framework in this process. All major classical and modern approaches to the reasonableness and rationality of institutionalised and non-institutionalised types of discourse are considered, from juridical and political discourse to spontaneous everyday conversations. Students also become familiar with the methods and techniques of qualitative and quantitative empirical research in the fields of discourse analysis, argumentation theory, formal and informal logic, and rhetoric. This in turn enables them to carry out thorough and theoretically justified analyses, case studies and other types of investigations of real-life discussions and texts.
The programme in Rhetoric, Argumentation Theory and Philosophy (research) is ideal for students who wish to acquire a sound intellectual basis for conducting research in the interrelated fields of rhetoric, argumentation and philosophy. The programme provides students with insight not only into the normative and descriptive study of communication and argumentation, but also into the philosophical conceptions of rationality and reasonableness in which they are grounded.
The programme in Rhetoric, Argumentation Theory and Philosophy (research) yields 120 credits: 30 credits for core courses, 30 credits for specific courses, 30 credits for electives or tutorials and 30 credits for a Master's thesis.
The specific number of credits a student is required to obtain through coursework is determined by the admissions committee and is based on the student's previous qualifications. Fulfilment of all the requirements will take at least two years. Students with a related Master's degree should be able to complete the programme in one year (70 ECTS credits).
Depending on students' individual background and qualifications, the programme director may determine, in consultation with the instructors concerned, that certain courses may be wholly or partially replaced by electives or tutorials.
The electives and tutorials serve two purposes: to prepare students for writing their thesis and to broaden their knowledge of and insight into specific areas of interest.
The programme director may stipulate that certain students take courses in academic writing and presentation skills. Students can also choose to enrol in such courses voluntarily.
Students attend guest lectures given by visiting professors. They also join faculty members in monthly research colloquiums, in which students actively participate by giving and responding to presentations.
The Master's thesis reports on research carried out by the student under the supervision of two academic staff members involved in the programme. The subject of the thesis must be mutually agreed upon by the student and the academic adviser(s). The final draft should be between 25,000 and 35,000 words.
Students who successfully complete this programme receive a Master's degree in Communication and Information Studies and the title Master of Arts (MA).
Students who show exceptional promise during a Regular or Professional Master's programme are encouraged to continue their studies in a Research Master's programme. Once students are admitted to the Research Master's programme, they can transfer credits earned during their previous course of study towards their Research Master's degree. The examination committee determines which courses qualify for transfer.
The University of Amsterdam:
The University of Amsterdam provides a limited number of full and partial scholarships for excellent students from outside the European Economic Area. The Amsterdam Merit Scholarships have specifically been designed to offer talented, ambitious and dedicated students the opportunity to pursue a Mast
For additional information: Website
Accredited by: NVAO in: The Netherlands