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Religious Studies fosters an interdisciplinary approach to religion: theories and methods from the social sciences, literature, cultural analysis, history and philosophy are taught and discussed.
The focus of the Research Master's programme Religious Studies is on religious plurality in the Western world: differences within religions, differences between religions, and new phenomena such as radical individualisation that reshuffle the religious landscape. The programme not only studies official doctrines and established traditions and institutions, but also gives due attention to the whole spectrum of religious experience and practices in Western societies. The programme fosters an interdisciplinary approach to religion: theories and methods from the social sciences, literature, cultural analysis, history and philosophy are taught and discussed. The programme gains coherence through the combination of an empirical focus on religion within Western cultures, a theoretical focus on religious plurality and a methodological focus on interdisciplinary research.
The Research programme in Religious Studies prepares participants for entry into a related PhD programme. The programme strives to integrate seminars, tutorials and research. Courses are related to the teaching staff's research, and students can join in research activities initiated by staff. They can specialise in a social science, literary or historical track and can also choose to focus on a specific religion through electives and tutorials (see the one-year programmes in Religious Studies and Western Esotericism).
The Research programme in Religious Studies yields 120 ECTS credits:
- 36 credits for core courses
- 36 credits for electives
- 18 credits for tutorials
- and 30 credits for a Master's thesis or internship/ research report
The specific number of credits a student is required to obtain through coursework is determined by the admissions committee and is based on the student's previous qualifications. Fulfilment of all the requirements will take at least two years. Students with a related Master's degree should be able to complete the programme in one year (66 ECTS credits: 36 credits for core courses and 30 credits for a Master's thesis).
Students can choose courses from one or more of the programmes within the Master Theology and Religious Studies. Options currently offered in English are Religious Studies (including the specialisations in Biblical Studies and Religious Pluralism in Europe) and Western Esotericism. Additional Dutch-taught programmes are: Islam in de moderne wereld and Religie en identiteit in de moderne wereld. The flexible set-up also accommodates combinations of these options.
Tutorials are given in small groups of up to five students and supervised by specialists. They provide students with the intellectual skills necessary for working in a specialised area within an interdisciplinary context. They also offer an intellectually challenging and stimulating environment in which students can study, discuss and gain specialised insight into topics and projects that are of interest to them.
The tutorials that are offered vary according to the number of students enrolled in the programme and the students individual research interests. In the study plan that students submit with their application they can indicate which topics are of particular interest to them.
The Master's thesis reports on research carried out by the student under the supervision of two academic staff members involved in the programme. The subject of the thesis must be mutually agreed upon by the student and the academic adviser(s).
Students who successfully complete this programme receive a Master's degree in Theology and Religious Studies and the title Master of Arts (MA).
Students who show exceptional promise during a regular or professional Master's programme are encouraged to continue their studies in a Research programme. Once students are admitted to the Research Master's programme, they can transfer credits earned during their previous course of study towards their Research Master's degree. The examination committee determines which courses qualify for transfer.
Scholarships / Grants:
The University of Amsterdam:
The University of Amsterdam provides a limited number of full and partial scholarships for excellent students from outside the European Economic Area. The Amsterdam Merit Scholarships have specifically been designed to offer talented, ambitious and dedicated students the opportunity to pursue a Mast
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Accredited by: NVAO in: The Netherlands