Theology and Religious Studies: Media

Media and religion
Specialization of:Theology & Religious Studies
Title:MA Theology & Religious Studies

The media bombard us with reports on clashes between different religions and faith-based cultures. Across the globe, religion holds sway over the public debate and the worldwide growth of Islam carries huge political significance. But religion is also part of popular culture. New forms of spirituality are finding their way in society alongside age-old religious traditions.

The Master’s specialization in Media enables you to reflect critically on the media’s role in constructing everyday images of social and cultural reality, religion and identity. You will analyse the influence of digital media on established religions, their institutions, communities and individual followers. You will consider the effect on the public debate and government policy. You will also see how religious movements and groups use the media to publicize their vision and bring the sacred to life in images, sound and words. Important ethical questions arise involving our information society and freedom of expression, religion and privacy.

The theoretical basis will be provided by two theoretical modules, Religion in a Media Age and Religion and Popular Culture. These will focus on issues such as religious changes in a media age; journalism/new media, the public debate on religion and the construction of religious others; new media and the rise of digital religion; the connections between religion and popular culture; and the impact of new communication technologies on lived religion, including religious practice, experience, identity, community and authority. You will study and discuss scientific research in the study of religion and media from various disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, religious studies, media studies, historical and literary studies, and theology.

A first compulsory core module, Hermeneutics, treats the skills of interpretation and reflexivity. A second core module, Research Skills, aims to train the student in academic research practices, discussing problem formulation, methodology, and analysis.

The second semester is devoted to internship and thesis work. The module Master seminar, in which students develop and discuss a portfolio of their academic and professional qualities, concludes the second semester.

Your Master’s specialization will equip you with a sound theoretical basis in media and communication in relation to religion and spirituality. You will gain the analytical, communicative and operational skills to become an independent professional in journalism, communication within religious and spiritual organizations and policy that draws on knowledge of communication and information in today’s postsecular, multireligious society.

More information

Theology & Religious Studies: Media courses in study guide.

This programme trains professionals with expertise in (inter)religious communication, (new) media, and religion in a multicultural and multireligious society.

Our graduates fulfill functions in the media and communication sector, both old and new media. Others have a career in religious, cultural, political, administrative or governmental organizations.

The programme also offers a solid basis for a future career as a researcher.

  • Study in the beautiful and multicultural city of Amsterdam.
  • Participate in a diverse, multi-religious community of learners.
  • Enjoy a unique combination of structure and flexibility in your programme.
  • Take advantage from personal interaction with and individual supervision from professors.
  • Benefit from top-level research and high-quality research-based teaching.
  • Profit from the strong bonds between the faculty and various societal organisations and initiatives.
  • In 2018 the Faculty of Religion and Theology was ranked number 5 in the world by the QS World University Rankings.

Dutch students

Students holding a Bachelor’s degree from a Dutch University (WO) are directly eligible for admittance in this Master’s programme.

Students with a suitable HBO degree can apply for a premaster’s programme (this programme is taught in Dutch). Our Admission Board will have to approve your request for admission. 

You need to apply before June 1st in Studielink. The registration has to be completed before August 31.

Students who wish to pursue a second master, can apply for the Ted Neeley Scholarship. This Scolarship is only available for the one year Master Theology and Religious studies: Media. The Ted Neeley Scholarship covers a large part of the tuition fee for a second master.

More information and the application procedure.

Coordinator of the Media master's programme specialization
If you have questions about the programme please contact Miranda Klaver (m.klaver@vu.nl).

Information days
Meet us at the next Master's Event!

VU Public Relations Office
Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday - Friday, 9:00 to 17:00). You may also e-mail us at: study@vu.nl

International students

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, specialization in Media 

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. Students with Bachelor’s degrees in other disciplines are also welcome to apply, provided that the degree obtained is from a research-oriented university. Before the start of the academic year the student needs to have an intake with the coordinator of the specialization. The aim of this intake is to discuss possible deficiency in theological knowledge of the student. 

You must always present official test results proving your proficiency in English. Only students who have completed a full high school or bachelor’s degree in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, or Australia may be exempted. We require a TOEFL score (score 580 paper based, score 237 computer based or score 92 internet based) or an IELTS score of 6.5 overall band score. Cambridge English: Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C, or Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C. 

Please check out the Admission page for the general requirements.

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 relevant documents are required.

Step 1: Meet admission criteria

Step 2: Prepare documents and apply online
Please prepare the following documents. All documents should be provided in English.

  • Copy of your valid passport or ID (ID only for EU residents)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Motivation Letter
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcript of records
  • Thesis (or another sample of academic writing, at least 5 pages plus a list of used literature)
  • A description of the relevant courses followed and literature used during your previous higher education.

After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. After you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via e-mail.

Step 3: Await decision on admission
The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. Normally this takes about four weeks, but it might take longer in busy periods so be sure to apply as soon as possible. If you gain admission, you will receive a letter of conditional admission by email. You can start planning your move to Amsterdam!

Step 4: Finalize your registration and move to Amsterdam!
Make sure to finalize your registration as a student before the start of the programme. Here you will find an explanation what to do after admission. When all conditions are met you will be ready to start your programme at VU Amsterdam!

Further information:
Accommodation
Visa
Tuition fees

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.

Additional Scholarship offered by the faculty: Mijntje Pruissen Scholarship
Mijntje Pruissen Scholarship
is a Merit scholarship programme for strongly motivated international students with excellent study results. Eligible candidates must be able to prove their academic excellence, and they must be admitted to the Master’s programme in Theology and Religious Studies (all specializations, and both the one- and the two-year Master’s programme). This concerns English taught Master’s programmes only.

Students eligible for this scholarship are students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are applying for an English taught Master’s programme in Theology and Religious Studies at the Faculty of Religion and Theology. Students with the Dutch nationality and/or a Dutch degree (if the Dutch degree is used for admission) are not eligible for admission.

The scholarship amounts to €5,000. Application deadline: April 1st.

For more information or questions about the procedure please send an e-mail to: Stipo Jeleč, masters.ft@vu.nl

Scholarships for Second Master-students
Students who wish to pursue a second master, can apply for the Ted Neeley Scholarship. This Scolarship is only available for the one year Master Theology and Religious studies: Media. The Ted Neeley Scholarship covers a large part of the tuition fee for a second master. More information and application procedure.empty

Coordinator of the Media master's programme specialization
If you have questions about the programme please contact Miranda Klaver (m.klaver@vu.nl).

For detailed questions about the Master’s programmes or the application procedure
Contact your International Student Advisor at the International Office:
Stipo Jeleč
T: + 31 (0)20 598 8920
E: masters.ft@vu.nl

Information days
Meet us at the next Master's Event!

VU Public Relations Office
Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday - Friday, 9:00 to 17:00). You may also e-mail us at: study@vu.nl

Overview Theology & Religious Studies: Media

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year (full-time) / 2 years (part-time)

TUITION FEE

APPLICATION DEADLINE

June 1st for Dutch and EU-students. April 1st for non-EU students.

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Part-time, Full-time

SPECIALIZATIONS

specialization of Theology & Religious Studies (1 year)

FIELD OF INTEREST

Religion