Are you interested in the vibrant world of religions? Do you want to understand why religious images, buildings, and clothes often provoke fierce debates or even violent conflicts? Do you want to be able to contribute to analyses of the interplay between religion and politics in the context of globalisation and migration? Would you like to learn more about the relation between religious texts and practices?

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research internship or study abroad option
during 2nd year of the RMA programme
Our students share their experiences with the RMA programme

The research Master's programme in Religious Studies is a challenging, research-oriented programme that prepares you for participation in current debates in the international community of scholars of religion and to make your own contributions to the field.

Key research areas

The programme combines an advanced grounding in the central themes and theories of the study of religion, with ample opportunity for specialisation. You can choose and develop your specific expertise in relation to one of the key research areas of our institute such as:

  • Materiality of lived religion: This research area focuses on the use of the human body and objects in religious practices. Topics include practices such as praying, dancing, fighting, and fasting, and the function of objects within the context of religion, such as images, buildings, food, clothing, money, weapons, and digital media. 
  • Religious diversity in contexts of globalisation and migration: This research area focuses on the role of religion in public controversies and political developments. Topics include debates about religion in relation to diverse societies, calls for gender equality, or the study of conflicts
  • Religious texts and practices: This research area focuses on the study of religious traditions from the perspective of authoritative texts and religious practices associated with them. Topics include hermeneutics, rituals, and the diverse uses of texts.

Partner programme

In this research Master’s programme, we collaborate closely with our partner programme at the University of Amsterdam. You will take core courses at both universities, and through electives and specialised tutorials you will have the opportunity to choose and develop your specific expertise. 

Study programme

Active involvement in research

As a student of this programme, you will become part of an international community of students, PhD researchers, postdocs, and senior scholars working together at a leading research institute. You will attend small-scale seminars and learn from renowned scholars, who will actively involve you in their own research. 

Meet our core staff

Multidisciplinary programme with emphasis on methodology

This programme has a strong emphasis on transnational approaches and the multidisciplinary use of methodology - you will learn to work with theories and methods from Anthropology, History, Philosophy, Comparative Literature, and Media Studies.

Integrating different approaches

The Religious Studies programme focuses on Christianity and Islam, but also addresses Jewish and Buddhist traditions, local traditions (e.g. in Africa), and hybrid religious phenomena in contexts of diversity and in popular culture. A salient characteristic of this programme is that it offers you the possibility to systematically integrate approaches from Religious and Islamic Studies. 

After graduation

After successful completion of the programme, you are fully equipped for further advanced research, such a PhD in Religious Studies, Islamic Studies, or cognate disciplines such as Anthropology. Your training also equips you to pursue non-academic career paths requiring advanced research skills. 

Career Prospects

Admission

Religious Studies is a selective research Master’s programme. Do you want to know if you are eligible for this Master? 

Check the entry requirements
Uitreiking scriptieprijs aan Veerle Dijkstra. Foto: Vanessa Los-Van Oostrum
Veerle Dijkstra receives the prize for the best research master’s thesis. Photo: Vanessa Los-Van Oostrum

Thesis awards

Students who pursue a degree in Religious Studies are intrinsically motivated and this shows in their study results. Our graduates are regularly awarded prizes for writing excellent theses. 

Read more about Thesis Awards

Key facts

Degree: 
Arts & Culture (research)
Language of instruction: 
English
Mode of study: 
Full-time
Study duration: 
2 years
Start: 
September
Tuition fees: 
Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee, full-time) 2023-2024: € 2,314

Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee) 2023-2024: € 18,332

More information about fees
Croho code: 
60829
Faculty: 
Humanities
Graduate school: 
Humanities