Theology and Religious Studies (MA)

Master

Discover the world at Leiden University


The MA Theology and Religious Studies at Leiden University gives you the opportunity to explore a broad spectrum of religions and their manifestations from a comparative perspective.

A comparative approach

This one-year MA programme offers you the best of Leiden University, from outstanding teachers to world-class resources including its library's famous collections. A comparative approach is taken to the study of theories and concepts, which are applied to real-world empirical findings. Topics are explored from a wide range of disciplines from history to sociology.

Customise your degree

The multidisciplinary programme offers an expansive curriculum through which you can explore religion as well as tailor your degree to reflect your interests. You will be able to choose between two specialisations:

Religion, Culture and Society is unique for its wide spectrum of religions and themes including modernisation and globalisation. The generalist approach towards the study of religion focuses on skills, tools, methods and theories. You will be 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 New Religious movements.

Christianity: the Dynamics of Diversity focuses on the changing role of Christianity and the impact of biblical criticism, modern historical scholarship, science and cultural transfers. What makes this specialisation particularly attractive is its non-confessional and comparative approach to the study of Christianity and its diverse expressions in (early) modern history and present-day society. You will study secularising developments including non-religion, agnosticism, and atheism, and underlines the importance of biblical criticism in the tradition of Erasmus and Spinoza.

An individual approach

At Leiden, you are treated as a valued member of a tight-knit academic community. Small classes create an informal atmosphere and provide the opportunity to interact with lecturers. You will develop advanced critical-thinking and problem-solving skills that can be applied to any societal issue.

Why Leiden University

Leiden University offers ambitious students the latest knowledge and the freedom to develop their own area of expertise.

Choose Theology and Religious Studies at Leiden University

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

A top-ranked university

Leiden University's Faculty of Humanities is consistently ranked among the top 30 Humanities faculties worldwide in the THE World University Ranking. At Leiden University, the oldest university in the Netherlands, you can access resources found nowhere else in the world, such as those of the famous Leiden University Library and its collections of original manuscripts and periodicals.

Flexibility to construct your own programme

Our Theology and Religious Studies programme gives you considerable freedom to tailor your degree to reflect your interests. You can choose from two areas of specialisation, do an internship or an independent project in place of an elective, and pursue specific areas of interest not available elsewhere. All classes are taught by accomplished scholars at Leiden. Small classes ensure that you get the most out of your education.

Benefit from our unique expertise

Leiden University is famous for its wide range of specialisms and outstanding scholarship, providing you with an excellent basis for the study of religion from a comparative perspective. We also have five specialist staff members who support the unique profile in Christianity. Additionally, Leiden University houses a wealth of scholars working in area studies, history and the social sciences, fostering conversations and the exchange of ideas.

An excellent start to your career

Your qualification from Leiden University is respected by organisations worldwide. But that's not the only advantage of studying at Leiden. We challenge you to think harder, analyse more vigorously, consider new perspectives, and apply what you learn to real-world situations. Our students learn how to become critical thinkers – a quality that will ensure they stand out in any future career.

The Leiden Experience

About the Programme

Learn the newest insights from the researchers who uncover them.

The one-year master's programme in Theology and Religious Studies offers two specialisations: Religion, Culture and Society; and Christianity: the Dynamics of Diversity.

What makes Religion, Culture and Society unique is the wide scope of the programme. The generalist approach towards the study of religion focuses on 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 New Religious movements; their expertise is available on site.

This specialisation consists of compulsory courses, electives or an internship or independent study, and an MA thesis based your own original research. Compulsory Courses include: Tools and Theories; Confronting Modernity; and Global Transformations.

About the Compulsory Courses
 

Tools and Theories familiarises you with all the latest theories and methods in the study of religion. You will also put this theoretical information into practice through case studies and hands-on analysis of historical and social-scientific data.

Confronting Modernity examines how religious authority is challenged by societal developments such as individualization and theories of evolution. In particular, a comparison is made of Jewish, Christian and Muslim modernist approaches, as well as more fundamentalist reactions towards modernity.

Global Transformations is a study of how the course of religion has changed due to increasingly expanding contacts and confrontations between the differing cultures of East and West. What form did Christianity – originating in the Middle East – take after its explosive growth under the Roman Empire? How has globalisation affected Buddhism in both Asia and Western Europe?

What makes Christianity: the Dynamics of Diversity particularly attractive is its non-confessional and comparative approach to the study of Christianity and its diverse expressions in (early) modern history and present-day society. Christianity: the Dynamics of Diversity studies secularising developments including non-religion, agnosticism, and atheism, and underlines the importance of biblical criticism in the tradition of Erasmus and Spinoza.

This specialisation consists of compulsory courses, one elective, and an MA thesis based your own original research. A one-day conference concludes the programme, during which students present their research. Compulsory Courses include: Tools and Theories; Confronting Modernity; The Holy Book: Its Changing Status in the Early Modern and Modern Era; and Global Transformations.

About the Compulsory Courses
 

Tools and Theories familiarizes you with all the latest theories and methods in the study of religion. You will also put this theoretical information to practice through case studies and hands-on analysis of historical and social-scientific data.

Confronting Modernity examines how religious authority is challenged by societal developments such as individualisation and theories of evolution. In particular, a comparison is made of Jewish, Christian and Muslim modernist approaches, as well as more fundamentalist reactions towards modernity.

The Holy Book: Its Changing Status in the Early Modern and Modern Era studies the fierce debates surrounding biblical criticism in the wider context of the relationship between religion and science.

Global Transformations is a study of how the course of religion has changed due to increasingly expanding contacts and confrontations between differing cultures globally. What form did Christianity – originating in the Middle East – take after its explosive growth under the Roman Empire? How has globalization affected Buddhism in both Asia and Western Europe?

Religion, Culture and Society programme structure

  • compulsory courses
  • electives within the programme or, with Board of Examiners consent: internship, independent study
  • a thesis based on your original research work
  • annual conference

Christianity: The Dynamics of Diversity programme structure

  • 4 compulsory courses
  • one elective course
  • a thesis based on your original research work
  • annual conference
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Self-study
  • Internship options
  • Papers
  • Peer feedback and assessment
  • Essays and reports
  • Oral presentations
  • Final Thesis

The aim of the master's in Theology and Religious Studies is to familiarise you with:

  • the most important current debates on method and theory in the academic study of religion – amongst others the literary, historical, cognitive, and social scientific approaches;
  • the repercussions of the Enlightenment and modernity for the religious field, and the subsequent development of new forms of religion;
  • the mutual impact of globalisation and religion, including the revision and transformation of (self-) understandings of religions and their practices, and the development of new religions due to global contacts, colonialism, and secularisation.

The acquisition of advanced academic skills in the interpretation of texts, the analysis and solution of conceptual problems, the ability to conduct scientific research and the effective communication of ideas are other key goals of the programme. Opportunities are provided for students to gain professional experience by participating in an internship at an organisation.

Our emphasis is on preparing you to make a difference in your future career, which is why relevant outside issues are constantly shaping what you are studying. External speakers from all sectors regularly give lectures on topical issues. This strong connection to important events, people, and debates happening around us is what helps our students move seamlessly from their degrees into their careers.

Latest research

Content is regularly updated to reflect contemporary academic debates and the very latest insights – many from the research conducted by lecturers on the programme. The academically-rigorous design of the programme aims to develop in you essential skills in reasoning and critical thinking, as well as advanced abilities in independently conducting high-quality scientific research and developing this data into an academic dissertation.

Detailed programme

For a detailed programme, see the e-Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

Judith Frishman

Professor of Judaism

Judith Frishman

"Many possibilities are open to our graduates, including careers in teaching – understanding religion as part of citizenship is giving our field a significant boost – consulting, HR diversity roles, and even financial and personnel management."

Religion in modernity

"Our small-scale MA in Theology and Religious Studies focuses on religion in modernity, including the way religion has been defined – important for the understanding of the West’s attitude to non-Christian religions today – the resistance and acceptance of authority, and changes and transformations due to global encounters. The programme offers a complete concept that includes tools and methods for students to apply to today’s religious phenomena."

Present-day world events

"The inclusion of present day world events in class discussions really engages students and emphasises the relevance of the programme's content. We organize meetings with alumni to help students build networks for future internships or jobs. We invite students to conferences to hear the latest ideas, and challenge them to think about what motivates people and how religion and spirituality play a role in their lives on both personal and societal levels."

Mirjam de Baar

Vice-dean

Mirjam de Baar

“Time has taught us that solutions to social problems do not lie in technology, but in human potential. Technological solutions are essential, but so is the significance people attribute to this information through culture or language. Experience shows us that research within the humanities and social sciences often provides these solutions. This is why the research conducted by our humanities faculty is so highly relevant and important. I am very proud of the fact that Leiden University’s Faculty of Humanities is one of the world’s leading faculties in the field.”

Broad and relevant research:

“One of this faculty’s strengths is how incredibly broad it is. We conduct a wealth of relevant research in so many different fields and disciplines. We have egyptologists working on excavation sites in Saqqara and the Dakhla Oasis. We have linguists who are documenting, for the first time, languages that are spoken by vast numbers of people in the world today; others creating computer simulations of language acquisition by the brain. The extent and variety of the activity going on is tremendous.”

A stimulating environment

“When you join Leiden’s Faculty of Humanities you are joining a community of passionate, stimulated and ambitious students and staff from all over the world. Our academic environment is known for being conducive to interaction between individuals of all standing: at Leiden even the most junior researcher is treated as a valuable member of the community with important opinions to share. You also gain access to truly unique resources found nowhere else in the world, such as our famous collections at the University Library. Our lecturers and support staff are committed to your success, both now and in the future, and offer you the tools needed to develop into a critically-minded professional who can truly make a difference to the world.”

Extra-curricular

Get the most out of your studies at Leiden University by taking part in our extracurricular activities.

Community building

Throughout the year activities including lectures, excursions and social gatherings are organised by the programme, the T.F.L.S. Religious Studies Student Association, and the S.S.S. Leiden Society for Christianity and Culture. There also is an annual excursion to the Teylers Museum in Haarlem and the Catherijne Convent Museum in Utrecht as well as trips to current exhibitions relevant to the programme.

The teaching generally takes the form of small-scale seminars and tutorials, in which lively and engaging discussions are encouraged. The small class sizes give you a high degree of contact with both your lecturers and fellow students.

Leiden Leadership Programme

Are you interested in developing your leadership potential? The Leiden Leadership Programme (LLP) is an Honours Programme specifically developed for ambitious master's students at Leiden University and the Delft University of Technology who recognise the importance of leadership abilities. The LLP offers in-depth training sessions, assessments, seminars, and the creation of a Personal Leadership Roadmap – a five-year plan for reaching and developing your leadership potential.

Study at the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts

The Academy of the Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA) is a research institute and part of the Faculty of Humanities. The ACPA offers education such as electives, and talent programmes such as the Practicum Artium (PA), which gives you the opportunity to study Photography, Graphic Design or Drawing, and the Practicum Musicae at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague, where you can study classical music, singing, early music or jazz. 
Find out more about ACPA.

Career prospects

Create a world of opportunities with a master's degree from Leiden University.

Our graduates have pursued successful careers in research and in the public, private and non-profit sectors as editors, journalists, policy advisors, counsellors or teachers of religion or philosophy.

Positions of our graduates include

Your qualifications

The MA programme in Theology and Religious Studies offers excellent preparation for students seeking a profession that requires advanced analytical skills and specialised knowledge of religion and its cultural, geographic and historic context.

Josine Heijnen

Graduated in MA Theology and Religious Studies

Josine Heijnen

"I'm a Change Manager at Fujitsu, one of the largest IT companies in the world. Fujitsu's scope is very wide: from supercomputers that can predict a tsunami to research into how digitisation and the ‘Internet or things' can spur healthcare innovation."

Thinking with the client

"I'm on the business side myself: big companies and government agencies outsource everything IT-related to us. I work for a single client, the province of North Holland. We have developed special tablets for them that allow foresters and road inspectors to work from anywhere. As a Change Manager, I am the commercial face to the client. I think about what clients need and what we at Fujitsu can offer."

International experience

"Because Fujitsu is an international company, many departments are internationally structured. That means I have many international colleagues. I had already gained international experience in my master’s. Another aspect that I’m happy about is how I learned to quickly see connections, distinguish between good and bad arguments and delve into something at a deeper level."

Valuable combination

"I chose my MA because I found the subject fascinating and knew that it was taught by great lecturers from whom I could learn a lot. I would make the same choice again: I had a fantastic time! In addition to my studies, I was active in many extra activities, from a student society to freelance journalism. The combination was very valuable: not only did it help me combine practical things with brainwork, but I learned to multitask and keep my cool. The work I do is very versatile and I have to be ready for anything. You have to be stress-proof: also something I learned."

A Leiden University degree

Leiden University master's graduates are sought-after employees at (inter)national organisations. Our graduates are known for their combination of robust academic training, in-depth and relevant knowledge, and critical, multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving.

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the MA in Theology and Religious Studies.

In which sector do students find jobs?

How successful are they in finding a job?

Career preparation

Our goal is to prepare you to make a difference in your future career.

Knowledge and skills

The master in Theology and Religious Studies will equip you with a range of important skills and knowledge that will help you stand out in any future career. Our students' specialised knowledge is complemented by a broad and contextual understanding as well as critical-thinking skills that can be applied to the most complex conceptual problem.

Internships

Many of our students choose to do an internship during their study. Internships are a great way to gain indispensable firsthand experience in your area of interest before you decide on making it a career. In recent years students from the Religious Studies and Theology programme have been doing internships at the following organisations:

Humanities Career Service

Our staff can help you identify both the career that is right for you, and the necessary steps to get you there. Our team at Humanities Career Service provide all Leiden University humanities students with professional advice and guidance on everything from internships and career planning to job applications. Humanities Career Service also organises regular workshops on topics such as effective interview skills and creating a successful CV.

Humanities Career Event

Each year, the Faculty of Humanities organises a Humanities Careers Event. This all-day event is your chance to learn everything you can about how to find the job you want and successfully attain it. The event includes workshops on a wide range of topics as well as opportunities to network with alumni and potential employers and attain tips, information and potential job leads.

Check out the video of the Humanities Career Event 2017!

Admission and Application

Do you want to apply for this master’s programme at Leiden University? Please check our admission and application information.

Admission requirements

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

Diploma requirements

You will need a bachelor’s degree from a university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree.

Knowledge, understanding and skills comparable to those acquired upon completion of the bachelor’s programmes in Theology, Religious Studies, World Religions, Islamic Studies, or Islamic Theology from Leiden University, specifically:

  • Knowledge in the field of theology, religious studies and history.
  • Knowledge of the study of Christianity, Islam and/or Judaism.
  • Knowledge of methodologies of either social sciences or history and/or philology.
  • The ability to reflect on current debates and developments regarding religion.
  • The ability to formulate problems and the skill to select the correct methodological approach as well as literature/data to analyse these problems.
  • Students who have a Bachelor’s degree in Theology, Religious Studies, World Religions, Islamic Studies, or Islamic Theology from Leiden University are always eligible for admission and need to apply through Studielink only.
  • Applicants with an academic Bachelor Degree in Humanities or Social Sciences, who successfully finished the minor ‘Religion in a changing World’, will be admitted. They do however need to submit an online application

Applicants with a relevant degree from a Dutch University of Applied Sciences (HBO) may be eligible for an individual bridging programme. Contact the coordinator of studies for more information.

Language requirements

Sufficient command of English (IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)). For a list of exceptions, see the website on language requirements.

Exams accepted

Cambridge English Exam equivalences

  • Programme requiring IELTS 6.5 = Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE), with a minimum grade of C
  • Programme requiring IELTS 7.0 or higher = Cambridge Proficiency (CPE)

 

Other exam criteria

  • Exam results may not be more than two years old.
  • Institutional exams, such as ITP-TOEFL, cannot be accepted.
  • Chinese students who need a Nuffic certificate should take either an IELTS or a TOEFL IBT exam.

Exemptions

You may be considered exempt from submitting one of the above-mentioned English exam results if:

  • You have an (English-taught) International Baccalaureate.
  • You completed your secondary or higher education in the USA, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia or Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada).
  • At the discretion of the Board of Admissions, you are a Dutch student with pre-university education (VWO) level English.

In exceptional cases, students who otherwise qualify for an exemption but whose application documents cast doubt on their English proficiency may be asked to sit an English exam.

Submitting your exam results

All English exam results must be uploaded to the online application system.

Your English exam results must be checked for authenticity by the Admissions Office before the deadline for applying for a visa/residence permit (if applicable), or before the start date of your programme. To make this possible, please do the following:

  • TOEFL exam: tell ETS to send your original results report to Leiden University Admissions Office – institution code 0504.
  • Cambridge certificate: send your ID number and your “secret number” (check the Candidate Results Online service) to the Leiden University Admissions Office.
  • IELTS: a scanned exam result is sufficient - no further steps will be required.

Required documents

Along with your application, you will need to submit the documents below.

Required application documents 

Please upload a copy of the passport page(s) with your personal details and photograph. If you come from the EU/EER, you may also send a copy of your identity card.

If you are already staying in the Netherlands with a Dutch residence permit for study or for another purpose, please upload a copy of both sides of your Dutch residence permit.

Your CV must be written in English. Other than this, no standardised format or template is required. Your CV should clearly outline your educational and professional history up until the present date, as well as basic personal facts.

A personal statement must be submitted explaining why you want to follow the programme, why you have chosen to do so at Leiden University, and what makes you think you are a good candidate. The statement should be between 700 and 1,500 words. 

  • Digital copies are required initially. Once you have been admitted, we will tell you how to submit certified copies to the Admissions Office. 
  • Documents must be in the original language and accompanied by official translations if they are not in English, Dutch, German or French. If you have not yet completed your study programme, state your expected graduation date and submit copies of all transcripts obtained to date.
  • If you are applying for an LLM Advanced Studies programme: all documents must be available in English (or translated into English).

You can apply to a programme before you obtain the results of your language exam (if you already have your results you can upload them directly in our online portal). If you are admitted, it will be on the condition that these results will meet the required levels specified.

Always check first if your programme requires you to send in letters of recommendation. If you need to submit more than one letter, at least one letter must be from an academic staff member.

  • The letter must be printed on letterhead paper, signed and bearing the full contact details of the referee (for verification purposes).
  • Your referee should describe your skills, qualities and competencies. 

Recommendation letters - submission information
Letters of recommendation can be scanned and uploaded as part of your online application. Alternatively, your referee can send them directly to us, making sure your name and application number are clearly indicated. 

  • By post: 
    Leiden University Admissions Office
    “Gravensteen” Pieterskerkhof 6
    2311 SR Leiden
    The Netherlands

     
  • Digitally via our contact form

Additionally please complete the attached format and upload this in your application.

Questions?

If you have any further questions, you can look them up at the Student FAQ page.

Application and deadlines

If you would like to apply for this programme, please check the guidelines below.

If your Leiden University bachelor’s degree grants you automatic admission you can register directly in Studielink

Studielink will be open for applications from 1 October.

Learn more about registering in Studielink.

If your diploma doesn’t grant you automatic admission to the programme, you will need to submit an online application. 

Please check the application prodecure for more information.

Application deadlines

Starting in September

If you need a visa, residence permit or accommodation via Leiden University Housing Office, the deadline is 1 April 2018.

If you do not need a visa, residence permit or accommodation via Leiden University Housing Office, the deadline is 15 June 2018.

Starting in February

If you need a visa, residence permit or accommodation via Leiden University Housing Office, the deadline is 15 October 2017.

If you do not need a visa, residence permit or accommodation via Leiden University Housing Office, the deadline is 1 December 2017.

Apply early!

Just in case you might have to take an additional entrance exam or submit additional documentation, you should always apply as early as possible. If you apply at the last minute, you risk missing deadlines, such as those for accommodation or visa applications. Late applications will only be considered in exceptional cases, and at the discretion of the faculty Board of Admissions.

Tuition fees

The tuition fee for a programme depends on a number of factors. Your nationality, study programme and previous Dutch higher education qualifications determine the tuition fees you are required to pay.

The tuition fees for the academic year 2017-2018 are:

More information about tuition fees

The tuition fee for this programme is €2,006 for the academic year 2017-2018 (statutory fee).

This tuition fee applies if this is not your second master’s programme and you are a national of the Netherlands, or one of the following countries:

Austria

Latvia

Belgium

Liechtenstein

Bulgaria

Lithuania

Croatia

Luxembourg

Cyprus

Malta

Czech Republic

Norway

Denmark

Poland

Estonia

Portugal

Finland

Romania

France

Slovakia

Germany

Slovenia

Greece

Spain

Hungary

Suriname

Iceland

Sweden

Ireland

Switzerland

Italy

United Kingdom 


The fee applies for both full-time and part-time study.

The tuition fee for this programme is €16,600 for the academic year 2017-2018 (institutional tuition fee).

If you are not a national of an EEA country, Suriname or Switzerland you must generally pay an institutional tuition fee. However if, on the basis of your Dutch residence permit, you are eligible for student finance from the Dutch education agency (DUO), you are entitled to pay a statutory tuition fee. Information on qualifying residence permits can be found in the DUO nationality chart.

This fee applies for both full and part-time study. 

Please note: If you study at Leiden University via a cooperation agreement the fees stated in the agreement apply.

The tuition fee for this programme is €14,900 for the academic year 2017-2018 (institutional tuition fee).

If you would like to enroll in a second Dutch master’s programme, you will generally have to pay an institutional tuition fee.

This tuition fee also applies if you obtained a Dutch Bachelor’s, doctoraal, ingenieurs or HBO (Bachelor’s in professional education) diploma after 1991, and you are a national of the Netherlands or another EEA country:

Austria

Latvia

Belgium

Liechtenstein

Bulgaria

Lithuania

Croatia

Luxembourg

Cyprus

Malta

Czech Republic

Norway

Denmark

Poland

Estonia

Portugal

Finland

Romania

France

Slovakia

Germany

Slovenia

Greece

Spain

Hungary

Suriname

Iceland

Sweden

Ireland

Switzerland

Italy

United Kingdom 

Exceptions

Did you commence a bachelor’s programme at Leiden University before 2010, and will you continue directly onto a second master’s programme in the year you complete your bachelor’s programme, or during the following year? If so, you are entitled to pay the statutory tuition fee in accordance with a transitional ruling (also see ‘Exceptions’). 

Please note! Other fees apply for students who are not nationals of an EEA country, Suriname or Switzerland. Please refer to the information in the section ‘Non-EU/EEA nationals’.

Are you unsure whether you have to pay a statutory tuition fee or an institutional fee? Consult our tuition fee flowchart for second master’s programmes.

EEA countries, Suriname or Switzerland

In some cases, nationals of EEA countries, Suriname or Switzerland may be permitted to pay tuition fees set at the same amount as the statutory tuition fee for their second degree programme.

  • If your second degree programme is in the field of healthcare or teacher training you are entitled to pay tuition fees set at the same amount as the statutory tuition fee.
  • If you begin your second bachelor’s or master’s programme whilst you are still studying your first bachelor's or master’s programme you may pay tuition fees set at the same amount as the statutory tuition fee for your second degree programme – on condition that you remain continuously registered as a student.
  • If you start a second bachelor’s or master's programme at Leiden University in the academic year directly following the year in which you obtained your first bachelor’s or master's degree at Leiden University you may pay institutional tuition fees set at the same amount as the statutory tuition fee.

Less than 45 EC

If you plan to study a pre-master or conversion programme after completing a bachelor’s programme, you must pay €33,- per study credit (EC) if the programme is less than 45 ECs.

45 EC or more

For programmes of more than 45 ECs you must pay the statutory tuition fee. If the pre-master or conversion programme is more than 60 ECs – and therefore longer than one year – or if you will study courses that are not part of your conversion programme, you must pay the institutional tuition fee for the programme in question (see ‘Second Dutch master’s programme’). These fees apply to students of all nationalities. 

Scholarships, grants and loans

Do you want to apply for a scholarship, grant or loan? Please note, these have different application deadline.
Read more

Student life

Your time at Leiden is about more than just studying. Some of your best experiences will stem from being a part of our lively and diverse student community, as well as from life in the beautiful city of Leiden.

Life in Leiden

Picturesque and the perfect size, Leiden is the ideal place to spend your university days. The Faculty of Humanities is located within the heart of the city, where dozens of cafes, shops and bars line its historic laneways and leafy canals. Small enough to run into familiar faces, but big enough to keep offering surprises – you will treasure your time at Leiden. And for adventures further afield, the major cities of The Hague and Amsterdam are a short train ride away, along with Schiphol Airport, which is just half an hour away by train.

Our study and student associations organise a huge variety of social, cultural, and study events to keep you busy all year round. You can also join the University Sports Centre, which offers scheduled group sports and fitness classes, amongst other activities.

Welcome and orientation programme

In August and February each year, Leiden University hosts the English-language Orientation Week Leiden (OWL), which welcomes both international and Dutch students. The OWL is an excellent way to get to know Leiden University, the city, and other students.

Study associations

Leiden University’s Faculty of Humanities has a number of study associations run by students and related to a particular department or programme. Study associations organise social activities such as informal gatherings, sports events, and parties, as well as study-related activities such as excursions and study trips.

The study association related to Theology and Religious Studies is TFLS. You may contact the study association via tfls@tfls.nl.

International Student Associations

Leiden has several student organisations that specifically cater for international students. These associations organise regular social events and activities that help create the strong sense of community that exists within our international student body. The main two organisations are:

International Student Network (ISN)
ISN Leiden is an international student organisation which hosts a range of activities and programmes. They also have a buddy programme which provides new students with the right support to assimilate into Leiden and the university.

AEGEE Leiden
AEGEE is a leading European student association with sister organisations in over 40 countries across Europe. AEGEE organises many activities in Leiden, from dinners and pool nights to boat trips and guest lectures. 

For an overview of all of our student associations, please visit our Student assocations page.

Humanities Master’s Buddy Programme

The Humanities Master’s Buddy Programme has been set up by the Faculty of Humanities to help all students who are new to the university to integrate quickly and easily into university life. Through the programme you will learn everything you need to know about the university, the student community, and the practical side of life in Leiden.

Information activities

Come and meet us at the Leiden University Master’s Open Day!

About our Master’s Open Day

Are you thinking about joining a master’s programme at Leiden University? Come and visit our Master’s Open Day! This event is your opportunity to learn everything you need to know about our master’s programmes and how they can help you reach your goals. Attend presentations, meet our lecturers, learn about the careers of our alumni and hear first-hand the experiences of students and graduates on life at Leiden University.

Contact

If you have a question, there are various ways to get in touch with us.

The website and our Frequently Asked Questions are the quickest ways to find an answer to your questions.

Questions about the Programme

Coordinator of studies
Ms. Noortje van Swieten
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 20 74
Email: l.e.van.swieten@hum.leidenuniv.nl

Questions about the application procedure

Student Affairs Front Office
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 80 11
Email: Contact form
Or visit their website

Visiting address
Leiden: Plexus Student Centre
Kaiserstraat 25, ground floor
2311 GN Leiden
Monday till Friday between 11.00 and  16.00, Tuesday 11.00 to 21.00.