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MA Theology and Religious Studies

Course Description

The Master’s in Theology and Religious Studies at Leiden University allows you to study a broad spectrum of religions and their manifestations. During the programme, you will be taught theories that you will apply immediately to empirical findings in a comparative approach. Important themes throughout the curriculum are modernisation and globalisation and their impacts on religion and its place in society. Our multi-disciplinary approach provides you with a set of academic skills that will enhance your career opportunities.

Visit the website: http://en.mastersinleiden.nl/programmes/theology-and-religious-studies/en/introduction

Course detail

What makes the Master’s in Theology and Religious Studies unique is the wide scope of the programme. The generalist approach towards the study of religion focuses on of skills, tools, methods and theories. Graduates are equipped with everything needed to analyse situations and tackle problems in society at large. Our staff members are specialised in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Antique and New Religious movements; their expertise is available on site.

Additionally Leiden University houses a wealth of scholars working in area studies, history and the social sciences, fostering conversations and the exchange of ideas. Our generalist toolbox, specialised knowledge and the university’s broader setting offer you a programme that is unlike any other in the Netherlands or beyond.

Why choose Theology and Religious studies at Leiden?

- Leiden University is famous for its wide range of specialisms, providing you with an excellent basis for the study of religion from a comparative perspective.

- Courses consist both of theory and applied practice, offering you hands-on experience with all the research skills and tools made available throughout the programme.

- A variety of alternating electives gives you freedom of choice. You can specialise in one of many religious traditions, or opt for a methodological approach.

- Relative small size of our department allows for an informal atmosphere and approachable staff members. You’ll be provided with individual, personalized guidance.


The master’s degree gives access to opportunities for pursuing a research-oriented career. Graduates often find employment as editors, journalists, policy advisors, counsellors or as teachers of religion or philosophy.

Positions you could hold after your studies:

- Teacher of religious studies
- Member of staff at the Immigration and Naturalisation Service
- PhD candidate at an international university
- Journalist
- Party Officer at a political party
- Consultant at McKinsey

How to apply: http://en.mastersinleiden.nl/arrange/admission


For information regarding funding, please visit the website: http://prospectivestudents.leiden.edu/scholarships

Visit the MA Theology and Religious Studies page on the Leiden University website for more details!

Student Profiles

Leiden Excellence Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

This scholarship is intended for:1. Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in a Leiden University master's degree programme starting February 2017 or September 2017.
All MA, MSc and LLM programmes that are mentioned on the website Master's programmes in Leiden are eligible for LExS, but note that some programmes have a start date in September only.
2. Students of all nationalities enrolling in the Advanced Master programmes in the list below starting February 2017 or September 2017. Note that the programmes listed below have a September start date only, with the exception of Advanced Studies in Air & Space Law:

◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Air & Space Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European & International Business Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Tax Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Public International Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Civil & Commercial Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Law & Digital Technologies
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European Tax Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European & International Human Rights Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Children's Rights
◦MSc in International Relations & DiplomacyAdditional requirements1.In his or her prior academic education abroad, the applicant must have achieved excellent study results which are relevant for the programme for which the student wishes to enrol. As an indication, the student will be among the top 10% for the relevant programme followed abroad. We do not need proof of this, it is just to indicate the competitiveness of the scholarship. 2.The applicant will hold a non-EU/EEA passport and will not be eligible for support under the Dutch system of study grants and loans ("Studiefinanciering"; more information). This requirement does not apply to applicants who apply for a LExS for programmes mentioned under point 2 "For whom". 3.Scholarships will not be awarded to applicants who have already obtained a Leiden University master’s degree with the exception of students applying for a Master programme for which a specified previous Master programme or work experience is mandatory (the LLM advanced masters qualify as such). 4.Students who are granted a LExS must comply with and confirm in writing their agreement with the Rules and Regulations attached to the scholarship prior to the granting of the scholarship

Value of Scholarship(s)



For excellent Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in a Leiden University master's degree programme and for excellent students of all nationalities enrolling in a Master of Law Advanced Programme or MSc in International Relations & Diplomacy.The Leiden University Excellence Scholarship programme has three awards: •€ 10.000 of the tuition fee •€ 15.000 of the tuition fee •Total tuition fee minus the statutory tuition fee The number and type of award of the scholarship depends on the budget available for each Faculty department. The type of award has no reflection on the students' academic level of excellence. Please be aware that the LExS is not a full scholarship.

Application Procedure

1. Fill in your online application for admission to Leiden University. Deadline 1 October 2016 for all programmes starting in February 2017.
Deadline for programmes starting September 2017 •All programmes except law:
1 February 2017 •Law programmes:
1 March 2017
2. Upload all required documents.

3. Indicate clearly that you would like to apply for the LExS scholarship on the scholarship page. Please note that if you apply for more than one master's programme, you have to indicate that you apply for the LExS scholarship for all these programmes seperately. 4. Upload your letter of motivation for the LExS scholarship on the scholarship page.

5. Submit your online application.

6. Pay the application fee of € 100. 7. The selection committee of the relevant faculty will review the applications. Students are selected on the basis of academic merit.

8. All LExS applicants will be informed by the scholarship department of Student Educational Affairs about the outcome of the selection procedure.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A bachelor’s degree from a university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree, or demonstrate to meet the requirements for such a degree. Sufficient command of English (IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)). This language requirement does not apply if you have: completed your education in Canada (except Quebec), USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, or an International Baccalaureate, or a Dutch VWO-diploma.

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