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

  • A bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university (in the specialisation): Bachelor programme Religious Studies
  • A bachelor’s degree in the field of the specialisation of the relevant programme(s)Theology or Islamic Studies provided the student has at least 30 EC from the relevant field, distributed over the field or knowledge of the discipline Religious Studies .  
  • Completed the pre-Master's / bridging programme. Contact the coordinator of studies.


The Faculty Board may, on request, grant admission to applicants who can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Faculty Board that they possess a level of knowledge, understanding and skills equal to that of holders of a bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university in Religious Studies. 

The bachelor’s degree should be in the field of humanities or social sciences.

You should have:

  • knowledge in the field of religious studies and history; and
  • knowledge of the study of Christianity, Islam and/or Judaism; and
  • knowledge of methodologies of either social sciences or history; and
  • the ability to reflect on current debates and developments regarding religion; and
  • the ability to formulate problems and the skill to select the correct methodological approach as well as literature/data to analyse these problems.

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.

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
Results may not be more than two years old! 

  • IELTS: academic modules only 
  • TOEFL: internet based
    • We do not accept TOEFL My Best ™ scores (multiple test scores combined). The sufficient score must be obtained in one individual test. Also not accepted are institutional tests such as ITP.
    • We are able to accept the TOEFL Special Home Edition™  for admission to the academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.
  • 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 Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada), USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, 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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