• Application Deadline
  • 24 months
    Duration

About

The two-year Research Master equips students to function as experts in Church and society and prepares them for further research specifically oriented towards the Doctoral Programme in Theology.

The Research Master: Master of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion offers you a broad perspective on what theology and religious studies are all about. After graduation, you will have obtained a broad yet profound theoretical foundation in the great European traditions of thought and you will be able to move with ease as a dialogue partner in a diverse range of theological fields.

Guided by the Faculty's world-renowned Faculty members, whose individual areas of expertise span the breadth and depth of theology, you will learn to give shape to your own independence, and transform it into a project with the potential to lead into doctoral studies. And rest assured: research at Leuven is second to none. Just ask Jansenius, Erasmus, or Louis Janssens – names from Leuven’s rich and ongoing history that spring to life in the Faculty’s peerless library, containing countless priceless volumes and ancient manuscripts. 

The Faculty confers on qualified students the degrees of Sacrae Theologiae Baccalaureus (S.T.B.) and Licentiatus (S.T.L.) in combination with the Research Master.

This is an advanced Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Programme outline

The Theology and Religious Studies curriculum is aimed at the interdisciplinary and scientific study of the Catholic faith tradition in the context of a multicultural and multi-religious society and world. The full curriculum (comprising a Bachelor, a Master, a Master of Advanced Studies programme and a Doctoral programme) aims at promoting academic excellence leading up to an increasing personal academic contribution and to a growing commitment with regard to theology and religion in society.

International

The research master’s programme attracts students from all over the world, which adds a valuable intercultural element to your experience. All of the Faculty’s programmes are taught in both Dutch and English and are open to students of every nationality. The Faculty currently has students from more than sixty countries and thus from virtually every part of the globe. We also encourage students to participate in exchange programmes that allow them to spend a semester abroad. The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies has 89 agreements in 26 different countries.

Tradition, Research and Excellence

The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies has built a rich history and tradition for excellence ever since its founding in 1432. The Faculty focuses on training students and researchers in scientifically-based, and methodological reflection and application, where theology and religious studies mutually enrich one another. The Faculty’s research news website (Theology Research News or TRN for short) imparts the Faculty’s unique and distinguishing profile, with its multicultural, international, and (inter)disciplinary character to a worldwide audience. 

Career perspectives

Degrees in theology and religious studies prepare students for a variety of careers, including secondary and higher education, publishing, the media, academic research and the various domains of pastoral care.

Questions about student life in Belgium, life at KU Leuven or more information about a specific course? Chat with our students: www.kuleuven/be/chatwithourstudents.

Programme Structure

Truncus Communis

  • Contextual Hermeneutical Approaches to the Bible
  • Christianity & Contemporary Culture
  • Developments in Theological Ethics
  • Spirituality and Mysticism in the History of Western Christianity
  • Catechesis and Pastoral Care in Various Stages of Life
  • The Study of Lived Religion

Major Courses

  • Major Biblical Studies
  • Major Systematic Theology
  • Major Theological Ethics
  • Major History of Church and Theology
  • Major Pastoral Theology
  • Major Religious Studies

Interdisciplinary Courses

  • Feminist Theologies
  • The Crisis of Religion and the Problem of Roman Catholic Self-Definition
  • Public Theology
  • Scripture and Theology

Disciplinary Broadening

  • Students take three courses from three different majors outside the major in which they specialise.

Research Master Thesis and Research Skills

  • Practical and Empirical Methods
  • Systematic and Hermeneutical Methods
  • Literary, Textual and Historical Methods
  • Research Master Thesis: Stage 1 & 2
  • Practical Research Skills

Electives

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:

    6.5

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS
  • Minimum required score:

    79

    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®

Academic Requirements

  • This programme does not recognise GRE® scores.

    The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. The GRE® General Test contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments.

General Requirements

  • Admission decisions for students who did not obtain a bachelor of theology and religious studies at the KU Leuven, are based upon evaluation of a complete application file
  • Applicants who obtained an English bachelor's degree at the faculty or who are citizens of Australia, English-speaking Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK or the US of America are not required to submit a certificate demonstrating their English knowledge.
  • All prospective students (regardless of their background) are allowed to submit an application file without including a TOEFL/IELTS test. However, they must submit an English motivation letter, CV and written assignment.
For more information, please visit the homepage of the programme.

Technological Requirements

The faculty admissions committee will assess the application file without TOEFL/IELTS test and decide whether the student will be admitted or whether the student has to present a TOEFL/IELTS certificate after all.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    938 EUR/module
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 938 EUR per module and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA

    938 EUR/module
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 938 EUR per module and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Leuven

  • 810 - 1280 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.

Funding

Check the programme website for information about funding options.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion
Visit programme website

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

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