Admission requirements

Western Esotericism

The Master's programme Western Esotericism is open for application to all students with:

A university Bachelor’s diploma

The Master’s in Western Esotericism is open for application to all students with a Bachelor’s diploma from the UvA, or from another accredited university, in:

  • Religious Studies;
  • Cultural Studies, Art Studies or History;
  • other degrees in the Humanities, Law or Social Sciences.

Hbo-bachelor not eligible

It is not possible to apply to this programme with a degree from a Dutch University of Applied Sciences (hbo). We do not offer a preparatory programme (schakelprogramma) for this MA.

Student profile

You will be considered for admission to the Master’s programme if you have a Bachelor’s degree in one of the aforementioned fields of study and can demonstrate the following knowledge, insight and skills:

  • Basic demonstrable academic knowledge in the study of Religion or in another discipline of the Humanities of Social Sciences with demonstrable relevance to the study of Western Esotericism. If you do not have a substantial amount of credits/academic knowledge related to the field of study you will not be admitted. 
  • Good research skills at Bachelor’s level. You are able to conduct research independently (i.e. collecting material, applying theory, and writing a thesis).
  • A desire to contribute eagerly and critically to the academic and interdisciplinary environment of our Graduate School, demonstrated in a convincing motivation letter in which you explain why you think you can successfully finalise this specific programme. 

Academic orientation

The Master's in Western Esotericism is not based upon any 'spiritual' or 'esoteric' assumptions and agendas but is strictly academic in orientation. The study of Western esoteric currents, beliefs, ideas, practices, and organizations from late antiquity to the present is approached from a critical historical perspective, using standard scholarly methods to investigate its various dimensions (which are not limited to the domain of religion alone, but also include other cultural dimensions, such as visual art, literature, philosophy, and so on).

Grade average

If you wish to successfully complete this Master's programme, we recommend that you have an overall grade point average (GPA) of 

  • B/3.0 (American system)
  • 2.1 (an upper second class degree in the British system)
  • C (ECTS-system), or 
  • 7.0 (Dutch system)

English language requirements

New Master's students should be able to speak, read, write and understand English at advanced academic level. Please carefully check whether you already meet the English language requirements or whether you may need to arrange to take an official English language test.


Published by  Faculty of Humanities

13 February 2018