Are you fascinated by history and culture? Want to help shape today's cultural landscape? Find out what defines “heritage”? Learn how museums plan exhibitions or how heritage policies are created?

Memory produces identity. That is why heritage is crucial for our sense of continuity in rapidly changing societies. Governments, national and international organizations need to make sense of the past as they make policies for and invest in heritage. The aim of this master's degree is to give you the theoretical and practical education necessary to take an active role in this exciting and growing field.

Why study heritage at a faculty of Theology and Religious Studies? Because most of the heritage around us stems, one way or another, from religious practices and ideas. If you want to understand heritage in all its facets, you want to study with experts who know the full story behind material and intangible heritages both locally and abroad.

The track Religion and Cultural Heritage in the Master's Programme in Theology and Religious Studies combines broad cultural competence with a high-level academic research training and the practical skills relevant for today's job market. Through concrete projects and internships, you can gain hands-on experience in the field.


Religion and Cultural Heritage consists of three core modules (15 ECTS), a thesis (20 ECTS) and a practical placement (10 ECTS). You can choose three out of four electives (5 ECTS each). 'Material Religion: Things, Places, Performances, and Belief', 'Theological Heritages in a (Post) Modern Context', 'Going Retro: Ancient and Medieval Modernities', and 'Heritage of Death'.

In the compulsory course 'Introduction to Religious Heritage,' you will be introduced to the practice and theory of religious and cultural heritage. You will a.o. engage in a virtual archaeological “dig” of a sector of the city of Groningen and uncover the various types of religious heritage present in specific locations.

The core module 'The Politics of Heritage' explores the complex relationship that exists between categories of 'heritage', 'identity' and 'memory' across various levels of politics and society. You will learn how the contestations over what is heritage, what is sacred, what is religious and what is cultural – and for whom – have very real impacts on law, policy and peoples' daily lives.

The module 'Research Methods in Heritage and Historical Studies' brings together more practical skills (economic, organizational and managerial aspects) and the necessary research skills you need for your project in the second semester.

As elective, you may also choose 'Reception and Re-Use of Authoritative Texts' from the Master's Track Religion and Pluralism, Ancient & Modern.

Programme options

Master's Honours Programme (honors program)

The Master's Honours Programme was developed especially for students who want to get more from their studies. The programme of 15 ECTS is followed in addition to your regular Master's programme.

It is a one-year interdisciplinary programme that is designed to introduce students to various aspects of leadership.The theme of leadership is explored from various angles in the Masterclasses. Leadership skills are the focus in the Leadership Labs and Workshops. The Master's Honours Programme concludes with a Master Work – a project of your choosing that you design and implement.

Job prospects

You can advise or write policy documents on heritage subjects, such as the preservation of old churches or the distribution of funding for cultural activities. You could work for cultural organizations, the government, in the tourist business or at an NGO. You may also work in the media or as a teacher of religion in secondary education after completing your Educational Master's programme.

If you want to pursue an academic career, you can follow this track as a specialization within the Research Master's programme.

Job examples

  • Cultural Education

    You can work within organizations that consult upon the content and organization within the field of arts and cultural education. Or you could work at an educational department within institutions such as cultural centers or museums.

  • Consulting & Policy

    Your knowledge about religious heritage will enable you to advise upon or write policy documents on the conservation of religious heritage. You could find a job with the central government but also at organizations and foundations in the cultural sector. This could, for example, be the Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht or the Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken.

  • Education

    Once you have completed this Master's track, you will have sufficient knowledge of the subject to be able to teach Religious Studies or Social Studies in secondary education. Alternatively, you could opt for a position in higher vocational education. As you also need didactic skills as a teacher or lecturer, it is advisable to do a Master's in Education after you have completed your regular Master's programme.

  • Media & Journalism

    A number of publishers have shown renewed interest in religion and society. With your knowledge and skills, you can make an expert contribution to publications in this field. You could also use your expertise as an editor at a broadcasting company, newspaper or current affairs magazine.

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This course is Campus based
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12 months
2,060 EUR
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