Master in Theology & Religious Studies (Research)
The Theology & Religious Studies research master's program offers students the opportunity to study theology, both contextual and classical, at an advanced level. Our dedicated teaching staff consists of leading scholars from within VU University Amsterdam. They participate in national and international networks in their fields and provide state of the art expertise to make sure you are ready to meet the academic challenges ahead.
At VU University Amsterdam you can choose to do theological research in the following disciplines: Biblical Studies, Church History, Dogmatics, Ecumenics, World Religions, Philosophy of Religion, Practical Theology, and the Social- Scientific Study of Religion. The specialization you choose will define the content of your personal Theology & Religious Studies (research) program.
The program in a nutshell
In this master's program, you will follow some general courses in Hermeneutics, Research Skills and some advanced courses in Religious Studies or Theology. You will also take a number of (at least 4) specialization courses in your chosen field of research. The first year of the program is concluded with a research internship. In this internship, you will be part of a department or research group close to your specialization. You will work on a research project of the department in this internship.
In your second year, you will follow 2 obligatory specialization courses in the first semester. At the same time, you can choose 2 courses freely from all the courses at the faculty or follow some courses somewhere else. Your primary focus this second year will be on writing your thesis on a topic that particularly fascinates you. During the whole curriculum, your progression will be followed closely and you will be coached and trained by a supervisor. You will also take part in meetings of a research group or department of our Faculty to present your own research and give feedback to others. In the final course of the program, you will make a portfolio of your progression and achievements.
A gateway to doctorate research
The Theology & Religious Studies (research) master's degree is the gateway to writing a doctoral dissertation at VU University Amsterdam. Students who want to pursue their theological studies at doctorate level are strongly advised to complete this master’s program. If you graduate from this program with consistently outstanding grades (an average of 8 out of 10 or higher), you will be eligible for acceptance into the doctoral program at the university’s Graduate School of Theology.
Admission requirements and application
To be admitted to the research master's program you must hold a bachelor’s degree in theology or religious studies from a Dutch WO university or a comparable degree from a non-Dutch university. Applicants for admission must have an average grade of 7.5 (Dutch system) for their bachelor’s program. Foreign students with a bachelor’s degree will only be admitted when the university has approved their curriculum as minimally equivalent to VU University's own program and when the student’s grade average grade is comparable to 7.5 in the Dutch system. The Admission Board will decide upon the equality of the programs and the admittance.
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