Study programme

The research Master's programme in Religious Studies comprises two years (120 EC). Each year is divided into two semesters, running from September until January and from February until June. A semester is divided into two study periods.


The programme consists of compulsory courses, electives, tutorials, study abroad or a research internship, and a thesis. 

Year 1

Compulsory courses familiarize students with theories and methods in the study of religion. Electives and tutorials help students to specialize and pursue their research interests.

Year 2

The first semester will be devoted to your stay at a university abroad, to a research internship, or to electives/tutorials. The second semester is reserved for writing the Master’s thesis. In this text, you will contribute your own independent research to a debate in the field of religious studies. To help prepare your thesis, you will also participate in a Thesis Lab.

Educational methods

  • lecture (10%)
  • seminar (50%)
  • research colloquia (10%)
  • independent study (30%)
  • research internship/study abroad (optional)


Students are encouraged to apply for internships during the research Master programme in Religious Studies. Professors and the internship coordinator help students find intern opportunities that connect with their degree programme. In recent years students served as interns for different institutions such as the Dutch National Museum of World Cultures and the Research Centre for Material Culture, Expat Centre Leiden, the Meertens Institute, and Museum Catharijne Convent. Other students opted for research internships at Utrecht University and Radboud University Nijmegen.

Internship at Museum Catharijneconvent

RMA student Gert Naberman did an internship at Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht. He organised a workshop day with the Network for Religious Heritage and he worked on the inventory of the Christian collection of the 'Museum van Wereldculturen'. 

Examination methods

  • research papers
  • written assignments
  • oral presentations
  • Master’s thesis

Extra opportunities

For students looking for an extra challenge in addition to their Master's, there are several options. Utrecht University offers several honours programmes for students looking for an extra challenge. Honours education is followed on top of your regular Master's programme and goes beyond the regular curriculum. Honours programmes are available at interdisciplinary level and allow you to work on projects that transcend your own discipline. 

Read more about the honours programmes