Faculty of PhilosophyReligious Studies – Master

Students of religious studies analyse religious ideas, practices and materialities from an empirical-cultural perspective and attempt to understand them in their respective historical, cultural and societal contexts. 

Facts & Formalities

DegreeMaster of Arts
Type of programmeConsecutive
Start of programmeWinter and summer semester
Standard period of study4 semesters
Language(s) of instructionGerman and English
Fees and contributions169.25 € / Semester
Application procedureConsecutive master’s programmes with access restriction
Application deadlinesInformation about deadlines can be obtained after you have put together a degree program.
Part-time optionYes
May be studied as a minor subjectYes

Course Content

The focus of the consecutive Master’s degree programme in religious studies at Heidelberg University is an in-depth analysis of various religions in the past and the present. In addition to the so-called major religious traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam etc.), regional historical developments such as Zen-Buddhism in Europe or ancient Iranian religious history and current contemporary religious forms such as Evangelical Christianity or religions in digital media are also covered. Students gain deeper insights into theories and methods from the broad spectrum of cultural and social sciences and independently apply these to religious-historical and current case studies and scenarios. Empirico-cultural religious studies in Heidelberg are characterised by a high degree of interdisciplinarity. In addition to research-oriented know-how, students are also introduced to professional life through e.g., the department’s own mentoring programme, internships or the practice-oriented specialisation module. Thanks to the degree programme’s empirico-cultural and interdisciplinary orientation, students are given the opportunity to develop and apply analytical skills related to current sociopolitical questions. These include, e.g., violence and religion, religion in the context of migration and integration, the consequences of digitalisation for religions and religion in the context of gender and diversity. 

Course Structure

The Master’s degree programme in religious studies consists of a theoretical-methodological component that focusses on either religious history or current religious developments as well as a research- and practice-oriented compulsory elective module. The partially variable structure of the degree programme enables students to consolidate their specialisations from the Bachelor’s programme, and to therefore develop their skills profile in accordance with their respective career goals. Students must write a research-oriented Master's thesis in the fourth semester. The Master’s programme culminates in the final oral examination. Religious studies can be studied as a one-subject Master’s degree programme (100%), in combination with a minor subject (50%), or as a minor subject in combination with a major subject (25%). Some modules are not taken by students in the 50% or 25%-options.

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