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Turning your most deeply held beliefs into academic research

Theology and Religious Studies: 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 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

    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 switch from the one-year master to the Research Master by the first of February.

    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

    Applicants who:

    • 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 switch from the one-year master to the Research Master by the first of February.

  • 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.

    English language requirements

    VU Amsterdam requires all applicants to take an English test. You can, however, begin your application without having the test results. Exceptions are made for students who have completed a bachelor or master in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia.

    The minimum English language proficiency requirements for admission to this master programme are:

    IELTS: 6.5 overall
    TOEFL Internet-based test: 92 overall
    Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): A, B, C
    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B, C

    Please note that students who need a study visa must submit their English test results before 1 June. All other students have to submit the test certificate before 31 August (preferably sooner).

    TOEFL and IELTS tests must have been completed no more than two years before 1 September of the year in which your course starts. Note that TOEFL MyBestScore is not accepted. Our institution code is 7947.

    A PDF copy of your English language test results can be sent to the following email (for non-Dutch degree holders):
    The general requirements regarding language proficiency can be found here.

  • Application with an international degree

    Required format and required documents
    Please note: you will need to upload all required documents in one PDF file, using this template

    If you have read the admission criteria and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your original documents are required.

    Step 1: Review the admission criteria

    Step 2: Prepare your documents and apply online 

    Please prepare the required documents and arrange the payment of the application fee, a non-refundable €100 application fee applies. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English.

    Step 3: Await the decision on admission

    The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. Normally this takes about three weeks, but it might take longer in busy periods so be sure to apply as soon as possible. If you are admitted to the programme, you will receive a letter of conditional admission by email. 

    Step 4: Finalise your registration!

    Make sure to finalise your registration as a student before the start of the programme. Here you will find an explanation on what to do after you are admitted. When all of the conditions are met, you will be ready to start your programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam! 

    Application fee & deadlines

    All students seeking admission to an international Bachelor’s or 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.
    For more information, international students may also contact the International Student Advisor:

    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 or

    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: There you can chat with them directly.

  • Tuition fees

    On this page you can find all information about tuition fees at VU Amsterdam.

Want to know more?

Don't hesitate to contact us!

For questions about the programme contact the coordinator of the Master of Theology and Religious Studies (research): Coordinator dr. L. (Lourens) Minnema,

If you have questions about the tuition fee, Studielink or your personal dashboard on, please contact the Student Desk:

Call us on +31 20 5985000 (on working days from 10.00 till 16.00)

International diploma applicants

International diploma applicants are welcome to send an e-mail to or book a phone appointment to get in touch with the International Student Advisor of this programme.

If you have questions about the tuition fee, Studielink or your personal dashboard on, please contact the Student Desk:


  • Alexander Lindemans
  • International Student Advisor
  • Faculty of Religion and Theology