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 in the field of humanities or social sciences, but you do not meet the requirements specified above, you will be expected to fulfil a tailor-made premaster’s programme with a maximum of 30 EC. 

If you have a bachelor’s degree from a research university not in the field of humanities or social sciences you will be expected to fulfil a tailor-made premaster’s programme with a maximum of 60 EC.

After submitting your application in Studielink, the Board of Admissions will decide whether you can be directly admitted to the master’s programme or whether you will first need to complete a pre-master’s programme. It is not possible to apply for a pre-master’s programme directly. Once you have completed 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.

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

In order to successfully participate in this programme, you must be proficient in English. The following requirements apply:

  • IELTS: 7.0 (for the 'writing' and 'reading' components a minimum score of 7.0 is required)
  • TOEFL: 100 (for the 'writing' and 'reading' components a minimum score of 25 is required)
  • Cambridge C1 or C2: 185

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

English tests accepted
Note that English test results may not be more than two years old. The following types of English test are accepted: 

  • IELTS: Academic
    • We do not accept IELTS General Training or IELTS Indicator
  • TOEFL: internet based
    • 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.
    • We can accept the TOEFL IBT Special Home Edition™  and the TOEFL IBT Paper Edition for admission to the academic years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.
  • Cambridge English Exam C2 Proficiency or C1 Advanced, depending on admission criteria

Please note: You do not have to submit proof of proficiency if you have completed your education in the USA, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada) Singapore, South-Africa or Malta, or when you hold an International Baccalaureate, or for Dutch students, if you have completed VWO level English or an English taught bachelor at a Dutch Research University.

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

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