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Explore religion and its interconnections with society and culture
Are you interested in the vibrant world of religions? Do you want to study how sacred texts such as the Bible or the Quran have been formed and interpreted throughout the ages? Do you want to understand why religious images, buildings, clothes, and everyday practices often provoke fierce debates or even violent conflicts?
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.
- Religious texts and interpretative practices: This research area focuses on the study of religious traditions from the perspective of sacred texts: their interpretation and the religious rituals and practices associated with them, and discussions on the authority of religious texts.
- Materiality and physicality of lived religion: This area focuses on the study of the use of the body and the senses in religious practices, such as praying, dancing, fighting, and fasting; the function of objects withing the context of religious practices, such as images, buildings, food, clothing, and money; and public controversies.
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. Read more about our teaching and research environment, including our teaching staff.
During this Research Master’s programme, you will develop the knowledge and skills to independently develop and carry out high-quality research in various branches of Religious Studies. As a graduate of this programme, you will have:
- A broad understanding of the entire field of Religious Studies.
- Thorough knowledge and methodological skills in a specific subfield.
- The knowledge and skills to present research results both orally and in writing.
- An international network of junior and senior scholars in the field of Religious Studies.
The programme also equips you for further advanced research, such as a PhD in Religious Studies or related disciplines (such as Islamic Studies or Anthropology), or for a career in one of the many fields that require advanced research skills.
After successful completion of the programme, you are fully prepared to compete successfully for PhD positions 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. Read more about career development and possible career prospects.
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.
Are you currently a Bachelor’s student enrolled in a different university or a different programme, and would you like to get a feeling for what Religious Studies in Utrecht is about? Join our Utrecht Summer School in Religion! Students starting and finishing our Master’s programme in Religious Studies will be exempted from our Summer School tuition fee. Please contact the Religious Studies Coordinator if you are interested in taking our Summer School course.
- Degree: This Master's programme is officially registered under its name in the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes
- Title: MA
- Master's degree in: Arts & Culture (Research)
- Programme: Religious Studies
- Croho code:
- Language of instruction:
- Part- or full-time status:
- 2 years
- Credits: 60 credits equals one year full-time study load (European Credit Transfer System, ECTS)
- Start of studies:
- Application deadline:
- Dutch & EU/EER students: 1 June 2019
- Non-EU/EEA students: 1 April 2019
- Tuition fees:
- Graduate school: