Then the masters in Theology & Religious Studies: Research is the programme for you!
Turning your most deeply held beliefs into academic research
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)
Students holding a Bachelor's degree in Theology or Religious studies, Philosophy or Humanistic Studies from a Dutch University are directly eligible for admittance in this Research Master's programme, if they can show
- an average of 7.5 in their Bachelor's degree programme;
- or an average of 7 in the Bachelor’s degree programme, combined with at least an 8 for the Bachelor’s thesis or an accepted academic article in the field of study
- or an average of 7 in the Bachelor’s degree programme, combined with a Bachelor’s degree in another discipline
- a letter in which the applicant explains which religious subdiscipline they want to study in their programme, and how this topic relates to the research conducted at the faculty
Admission to the programme on the basis of another Bachelor’s degree will be assessed by the Admissions Board.
If you have lower grades, apply for admission in the one-year master Theology and Religion and if your average grades are 7.5 or higher in the first semester, you can request a switch from the one-year master to the Research Master by the first of February. The Examination Board has the final say regarding the switch.
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
The TOEFL ITP will not be accepted
- 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)
A pre-master's programme is not available since applicants must have a university degree to apply for admission to the Master of Arts in Religion and Theology (research).
However, if you do the general pre-master's, apply for admission in the one-year master Theology and Religion and your average grades are 7.5 or higher in the first semester (four courses, together 24 EC), you can request a switch from the one-year master to the Research Master by the first of February. The Examination Board has the final say regarding the switch.
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: Research via Studielink. The application deadline is: 1 June.
If you have a Dutch diploma, follow this application procedure.
I have an international degree
Admission is based on a strict selection procedure. 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.
Specific admission requirements for the Master’s Programme Theology and Religious Studies
- 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. Your grade average needs to be equivalent to (or higher than) a 7.5 in the Dutch grading system.
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.
On this page you can find all information about tuition fees at VU Amsterdam.
Want to know more?
Don't hesitate to contact us!
International diploma applicants