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What will I learn?

Religion and Cultural Heritage is a unique one-year interdisciplinary MA-programme focusing on a major trend at the interface of religion, identity, politics, and material culture: heritage studies. It also addresses a gap in critical heritage studies, studying the shifting place of religion in heritage debates.

Heritage and religion are in the news and on the political agenda both nationally and internationally. In the coming years 30-80% of religious buildings will lose their original function in the Netherlands. National and European budgets are dedicating millions of euros to the development of plans to address vacant religious heritage buildings. Tourism and pilgrimage to religious objects, sites, and festivals are booming, raising questions about sustainability and impact.

At the same time, heritage has become a significant subject in contemporary cultural debate. Large-scale migration and secularization are changing the religious identities of communities and the way they perceive the past. Urgent new questions are arising, like how migrant communities can maintain their religious identities while grappling with the material and intangible heritage of their new homes.

Job prospects

You can advise or write policy documents on heritage subjects, such as the preservation of old churches or the distribution of funding for cultural activities. You could work for cultural organisations, the government, in the tourist business or at an NGO. You may also work in the media or as a teacher of religion in secondary education after completing your Educational Master's programme. If you wish to pursue an academic career, you can follow this track as a specialization within the Research

Job examples

Cultural Education

You can work within organizations that consult upon the content and organization within the field of arts and cultural education. Or you could work at an educational department within institutions such as a cultural centers or museums.

Consulting & Policy

Your knowledge about religious heritage will enable you to advise upon or write policy documents on the conservation of religious heritage. You could find a job with central government but also at organizations and foundations in the cultural sector. This could, for example, be the Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht or the Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken.


Once you have completed this Master's track, you will have sufficient knowledge of the subject to be able to teach Religious Studies or Social Studies in secondary education. Alternatively, you could opt for a position in higher vocational education. As you also need didactic skills as a teacher or lecturer, it is advisable to do a Master's in Education after you have completed your regular Master's programme.

Media & Journalism

A number of publishers have shown renewed interest in religion and society. With your knowledge and skills, you can make an expert contribution to publications in this field. You could also use your expertise as an editor at a broadcasting company, newspaper or current affairs magazine.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies

Study options

Full Time (12 months)

Tuition fees
€13,500.00 (10,90,468) per year
Application deadline

Expected June 2023

More details

Start date

Expected September 2022


University of Groningen

Broerstraat 5,


9712 CP, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have Bachelor's degree. Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180.

For international students

Bachelor's degree in Theology, Religious Studies, Arts, Philosophy, Social Sciences (e.g. Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology) or Spatial Sciences (specialization Cultural Geography). Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature. Students with another bachelor's degree may be admitted via a bridging programme.

TOEFL: 580 paper/237 computer/92 internet; IELTS: 6.5 (6.0 on each part) (not for English native speakers)

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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