Universiteit Leiden

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Religious Studies (MA)

Admission requirements

On this page you will find the admission requirements for this programme.

Diploma requirements

You are eligible to apply for the MA Religious Studies if you have:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university (in the specialisation): Bachelor programme Religious Studies; or
  • a bachelor’s degree from a Dutch or foreign research university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree, in the field of humanities or social sciences; and
  • completed at least 30 EC (or equivalent) of relevant courses, demonstrating the following knowledge, understanding and skills:
    • knowledge of topics, theories and methods relevant to the study of religion from an academic perspective; and
    • knowledge of the academic study of one or more religious traditions (e.g., Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, ancient religions, new religions).

The Board of Admissions will assess whether your degree and background are sufficiently related to the level and content of a bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university in Religious Studies on the basis of the requirements specified above.

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university in Humanities or Social Sciences, and have successfully completed the minor ‘Religion in a changing World’, you are considered to have fulfilled these requirements.

Students with a Bachelor in Religious Studies from Leiden University are directly eligible for admission. Students can apply in Studielink. There is no need to submit an application for admission using the online application portal.

If you have a bachelor’s degree from a research university that does not meet the requirements specified above, you may be eligible for a pre-master’s programme tailored to your individual background. After submitting your application in Studielink, the Board of Admissions will decide whether you can be directly admitted to the master’s programme, whether you will first need to complete a pre-master’s programme, or whether your deficiencies are considered too extensive and you can therefore not be admitted at all. It is not possible to directly apply for a pre-master’s programme. 

The language requirements for a pre-master's programme are identical to the language requirements for the master's programme for which admission has been requested. These requirements must be met before the start of the premaster.

Once you have completed the imposed pre-master’s programme, you will be admitted to the master’s programme. For more information about the individual pre-master’s programme, please contact the Coordinator of Studies.

If you have a bachelor’s degree Docent Godsdienst/Levensbeschouwing from a university of applied sciences (HBO), you will be expected to fulfil a tailor-made premaster’s programme consisting of a maximum of 60 EC.

After completion of the imposed pre-master programme, you will be admitted to the Master’s programme. For questions about the pre-master’s programme you can contact the Coordinator of Studies.

Language requirements

The following requirements apply: 

  • IELTS Academic modules only, on paper or on computer: 6.5 overall, with at least 6.0 for each separate component score.
    • We do not accept IELTS Academic online.
    • We do not accept IELTS General Training or IELTS Indicator.
  • TOEFL internet based: 90 overall, with at least 20 for each separate component.
    • We are not able to accept The TOEFL IBT Home Edition™, except in the following situations only:
      You took the test before 1 Sept 2022 (and it is not more than 2 years old), or you are unable to take an in-person test on location because test centres are inaccessible or closed due to unsafe conditions in a country.
    • We do not accept the following types of test: TOEFL My Best™ scores (multiple test scores combined), TOEFL Essentials™  or institutional tests such as ITP.
  • Cambridge English Exam C2 Proficiency, or C1 Advanced (180), with a minimum score of 169 for each separate component.

Note that English test results may not be more than two years old.

You do not have to submit an English proficiency test if you have completed your education in the USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada) Singapore, South-Africa or Malta; or if you have obtained an English-taught International Baccalaureate™; or if you have completed a Dutch VWO diploma or an English-taught bachelor at a Dutch research university.

For detailed information, including exemption criteria and methods of submission, refer to 
English language proficiency

>> Go to the next step: Step 2: Check the application deadlines

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