If so, the Master’s Theology and Religious Studies at VU Amsterdam is for you.
Exploring a Discipline
Check whether you meet the programme requirements and apply
I have a Dutch university level (WO) Bachelor’s degree (VU Bachelor’s degree, VU pre-master's or Bachelor’s degree at another university)
To be accepted for one of our Master’s tracks, you need to have at least the following two qualifications:
- a Bachelor’s degree in Theology, Religious Studies, Social Studies or related studies, Humanities, Psychology or Law; this will need to have been obtained from an accredited research university. You must have at least three full years of academic study, amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent. You may also apply if you have a Bachelor’s degree in a different discipline provided it is from a research-oriented university; in this case you will need to do a pre-master’s programme (in Dutch) in Theology and/or Religious Studies.
- an introduction to World Religions, non-Christian Religions or Religious Literacy. This could be part of your Bachelor’s degree, a separate course or the do-it-yourself course Religious Literacy on https://online-learning.harvard.edu/course/religious-literacy-traditions-and-scriptures. If you do the Harvard mooc, make sure that you do the test and receive a certificate in time.
You are directly admissible if you have a:
- a Bachelor’s degree in Theology at the Christelijke Hogeschool Ede (CHE) with an integrated academic minor (academische opstapminor)
- a HBO degree from the Reinwardt Academie with the minor Religieus Erfgoed in Amsterdam
English Language Requirements
You must always present official test results proving your proficiency in English. You can apply online without having the test results, but in case you haven’t taken a test yet we advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. The qualification or test result must have been awarded no more than two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the English taught programmes at the Faculty of Religion and Theology.
Applicants should demonstrate that they have sufficient level of proficiency in English by meeting at least one of the following standards, no more than two (2) years before the start of the programme at VU:
- (academic) IELTS: 6.5
- TOEFL paper based test: 580
- TOEFL internet based test 92
- completed an English-taught secondary or higher education degree in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia or
- have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in an English-taught programme accredited by NVAO in the Netherlands, or
- have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in an accredited English-taught programme in another member state of the European Union
- have obtained a Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) or a Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) with at least a score of A, B or C, or
- have a Dutch vwo diploma
are exempted from the above requirements.
I have a Dutch higher vocational education (HBO) Bachelor’s degree (pre-master's)
Dutch students with an appropriate HBO degree (and international students with the equivalent) can apply for a pre-master’s programme in Theology & Religious Studies. Our Admission Board will have to approve your application.
Registration via Studielink for the pre-master's Theology & Religious Studies is possible until 1 June at the latest. First select 'Bachelor's or other non-master's programs' in Studielink and then the pre-master's.
Dutch students with a Bachelor’s degree in Theology at the Christelijke Hogeschool Ede (CHE) with an integrated academic minor (academische opstapminor) can be accepted into the MA programme.
Dutch students with a HBO degree from the Reinwardt Academie with a completed minor Religieus Erfgoed in Amsterdam can be accepted to the MA programme; track Exploring a Discipline.
After registering in Studielink, you will receive an email with your login codes for your personal Dashboard on VU.nl within two days. Complete your registration in your personal dashboard, and enter your specialization.
English Language Requirements
Prospective students of the pre-master’s programme Theology and Religious Studies (with the exception of students who would like to do the track Spiritual Care in the Master’s programme Theology and Religious Studies (1 year)) will need to prove their English is sufficient by satisfying at least one of the following criteria, no more than two years before the start of the pre-master’s programme:
- (academic) IELTS: 6.5
- TOEFL paper-based test: 580
- TOEFL internet-based test: 92
Prospective students will be exempted from the above requirements if:
- they have completed their secondary or tertiary education in English in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia.
- they hold an English-language degree from a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme in the Netherlands that has been accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO).
- they hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from an accredited English-language degree programme in an EU country.
- they have passed the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) or the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) and have achieved a score of A, B or C.
Application with a Dutch degree
If you want to apply for and enrol in a master's programme at VU Amsterdam, the procedure you need to follow depends on your prior education and whether you obtained your diploma in the Netherlands or abroad.
Please first check whether or not you are eligible for this programme and then apply.
You can apply for the Master's programme Theology & Religious Studies via Studielink. The application deadline is: 15 of July.
If you have a Dutch diploma, follow this application procedure.
I have an international degree
The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application.
In order to gain admission to one of our Master’s programmes, you will need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent.
Students with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology or Religious Studies from a university abroad will only be admitted following an assessment of their degree by the admissions board.
Students with Bachelor’s degrees in other disciplines are also welcome to apply, provided that the degree obtained is from a research-oriented university. Before the start of the academic year the student needs to have an intake with the coordinator of the specialization. The aim of this intake is to discuss possible deficiencies in theological knowledge of the student.
Proof of sufficient proficiency in English
If you are applying for one of our English-taught Master's degree programmes you will have to demonstrate sufficient English language proficiency by submitting English test results.
Although complete applications are preferred, you can begin your application before you have completed the test and then submit your passing score once you have been conditionally admitted.
You can find an overview of all accepted tests and scores that can be used to demonstrate your English language proficiency on the language requirement page.
Application with an international degree
To apply you are required to provide the following documents:
- Scan of your passport or national ID card (ID for EEA students only) valid at the start date of the programme
- Master Application File please download the correct file from this page. In this file you can see which documents are required to apply for your programme.
- Proof of English language proficiency (if already obtained): upload your proof of English language proficiency or English language test results. Please find the English language requirements here.
After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure.
Application fee & deadlines
All students seeking admission to an international Master’s programme with an international degree are required to pay a non-refundable €100 application fee. Only after you have paid this fee will we be able to start the evaluation of your application file. If you are applying for more than one programme, you will only need to pay the application fee once. Your application fee payment is valid for two years.
Information on how to apply with an international university degree and deadlines can be found here.
Grants and scholarships
As an international student planning to study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, you can apply for a variety of grants and bursaries. Detailed information about scholarships and deadlines can be found on www.vu.nl/scholarships or www.grantfinder.nl.
International Student and Alumni Ambassadors
Our International Student and Alumni Ambassadors are happy to tell you all about their experiences with studying at VU Amsterdam and living in Amsterdam.
- Our Student Ambassadors are current students at VU Amsterdam that represent a wide variety of programmes and countries.
- Our International Alumni Ambassadors are VU Amsterdam graduates who are currently either working in the Netherlands or abroad, or doing a PhD or (second) Master's.
You will find the full overview of our Ambassadors here: vu.nl/ambassadors. There you can chat with them directly.
Want to know more?
Don't hesitate to contact us!
International diploma applicants