nl en


Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First Semester

Tools and Theories in the Study of Religion: Historical, Cognitive, and Social-Scientific Approaches 10
Confronting modernity 10

Electives, choose 2 out of 4:

The Holy Book: its changing status in the early modern and modern era 5
Sharia in the West 5
Sacred Journeys: Pilgrimage and Holy Places 5
Rethinking Secularism in International Relations 10

Second Semester

Global Transformations: Religions on the Move in Historical and Contemporary Perspective 10
Thesis Seminar (Religious Studies) 0
MA Thesis Religious studies 20

More info


The aim of the master's in Religious Studies is to familiarise you with:

  • the most important current debates on method and theory in the academic study of religion – amongst others the literary, historical, cognitive, and social scientific approache

  • the repercussions of the Enlightenment and modernity for the religious field, and the subsequent development of new forms of religion;

  • the mutual impact of globalisation and religion, including the revision and transformation of (self-) understandings of religions and their practices, and the development of new religions due to global contacts, colonialism, and secularisation.

The acquisition of advanced academic skills in the interpretation of texts, the analysis and solution of conceptual problems, the ability to conduct scientific research and the effective communication of ideas are other key goals of the programme. Opportunities are provided for students to gain professional experience by participating in an internship at an organisation.

For a more detailed overview of the programme's objectives see the Course and Exam Regulations of the Programme

The objectives regarding general academic skills can be found in the Course and Exam Regulations of the Faculty


The master’s programme in Religious Studies consists of two semesters, each consisting of 30 EC. In the first semester students follow two obligatory courses of 10 EC each. Next two the obligatory courses you can choose 2 out of 4 electives of 5 EC each, or, with Board of Examiners consent: internship, independent study.

In the second semester students take one more obligatory 10 EC course and write their MA-Thesis (20 EC).

Mode of Study
Full-time and part-time

Master thesis and requirements for graduation
In order to graduate, students must successfully complete the 60 EC programme including their MA-Thesis as a component of that programme. The thesis carries 20 EC, and as a rule should not exceed a maximum of 20,000 words including notes, bibliography and appendices. More details on the procedures regarding the MA-Thesis can be found in the course description.