Master of Arts (MA) in the Study of Religions

Student testimonial (in French)


General content

The study curriculum combines interdisciplinary training with a comparative perspective and specialisation in the following areas : Social Sciences of Contemporary Religions (migrations, sociology, psychology), Ancient and Modern Christianity, Ancient and Modern Judaism, Religious Plurality, South Asian Religions, Polytheistic Religions of the Ancient Worlds, Socio-Anthropology and History of Islam, Anthropology of Religion, Comparative Sciences of Religions, etc.

You may opt for either a general course or specialisation in a more focused area of study (religious traditions, historical periods, methodological approach, geographical area, etc.). You can also choose between a Master's degree without specialisation (90 ECTS credits) or with specialisation (120 ECTS credits).

You may add one of the two specialisation programmes below to the MA in the Study of Religions degree course. This will allow you to obtain a MA in the Study of Religions with Specialisation degree (120 ECTS credits).

  • "Focus on Interculturality": this specialisation programme includes a practical internship outside of the university context and theoretical courses on the intercultural approach and its practical application in the field.
  • “History of Islam”: this specialisation programme provides an opportunity for detailed study of the social and political history of Muslim worlds from a research perspective but also more generally, that of the working world.
Practical information

Faculty of Theology and Sciences of Religions
Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Social and Political Sciences
Commission for Education of History and Sciences of Religions

Degree awarded
Master of Arts (MA) in the Study of Religions

ECTS credits
90 or 120

3 semesters (max. 5 semesters) for 90 ECTS
4 semesters (max. 6 semesters) for 120 ECTS

Teaching language
French. Research work may be done in English.

Admission requirements
The candidate must be a holder of :

  • a Bachelor of Arts in the Study of Religions
  • a Bachelor of Arts with « History of Religions» as a discipline
  • Fast-track access for people who hold a Bachelor’s in Social Sciences from UNIL, and who have selected courses in the Social Sciences of Religions and Sciences of Religions
  • a Bachelor’s degree awarded by a Swiss university with 60 credits at least in the area of «Study of Religions »,
  • or a title judged to be equivalent.

Enrolment and final dates
It is possible to start the programme of the Master of Arts degree in either the Autumn or the Spring semesters. Note that some courses are only taught in the Autumn semester.
Applications to be submitted before 30 April (autumn semester) or 30 November (spring semester) to the Admissions Office:

Candidates needing a visa to study in Switzerland must apply for enrolment at least two months prior to the deadlines indicated above.

More information
Timetables and course descriptions

Career prospects

The programme provides cross-disciplinary skills : oral and written communication, analytical and summarising skills, research experience, acquisition and transmission of knowledge, autonomy of judgment, critical thinking and a reflective approach. This range of skills, combined with specialist knowledge gained during the course, prepares students for a very varied range of careers and sectors, such as :

  • National and international public administrations
  • Non-governmentalorganisations, particularly intercultural and development related
  • Teaching (secondary and higher education)
  • National and international associative networks
  • Polling and market surveys
  • Journalism, media, public relations, communication, advertising
  • Research and teaching (universities, universities of applied sciences)
  • Other : public and private enterprises, SMEs, etc.

Alumni move into a wide variety of roles, for example as a consultant, military liaison officer, or staff member of a non-governmental organisation.

The skills acquired can be reinforced through :

  • the pre-professional specialisation programme “Focus on Interculturality” or
  • the specialisation programme “History of Islam”

(Master of Arts in the Study of Religions with specialisation - 120 ECTS).

Subject to changes.
The French version prevails. Only the official texts should be considered binding.
Last update: 26 March 2024

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Version March 2024

Presentation of the specialisation programmes (in French)


Commission for Education of History and Sciences of Religions
Quartier UNIL-Chamberonne
Bâtiment Anthropole
1015 Lausanne

Tél. +41 21 692 27 20
Fax  +41 21 692 27 25


Unicentre - CH-1015 Lausanne
Tel. +41 21 692 11 11
Fax +41 21 692 20 15