Talent Policy

The Faculty of Religion and Theology is very keen to support talented students. We are developing a talent programme which guides students from the very first day in their Bachelors to the Masters and to PhD. Here you can find the information about what we facilitate as well as the relevant links etc.

The Honours Programme is an additional block of academics on top of your own Bachelor’s programme that is designed to broaden and deepen your knowledge. The Honours Programme consists of 30 ECTS that you can earn in addition to the 180 ECTS for the standard Bachelor’s programme without paying any additional tuition fees.

The Honours Programme consists of two components:

  1. Interdepartmental component
    You will earn 18 ECTS by taking courses at VU Amsterdam, UvA or AUC. The interdepartmental courses are taught mainly in the evening by the finest lecturers from all three universities, as well as by guest lecturers from the Netherlands and abroad. The classes are small and you will be expected to give presentations, write papers and actively participate in discussions.

  2. Departmental component
    You will earn 12 ECTS for this component. The departmental component of the programme gives you more in-depth perspective on your own field of studies. This component is under construction: we are discussing the possibilities for you to take extra courses. In any case, you can write a lengthier Bachelor’s thesis or conduct a research project. The faculty’s honours coordinator can inform you about the faculty programme:

    Dr Katya Tolstaya
    E: e.v.tolstoj@vu.nl

Who can apply?
The Honours Programme is designed for students who have passed all of their first-year Bachelor’s subjects by the end of that year, who have achieved a GPA of at least 7.5 and who have the motivation to take extra subjects in the second and third year of their programme.

If you wish to start with the Honours Programme during your first Bachelor's year, you must have passed all the exams of the 1st and 2nd period, with an average grade of at least 7.5. Then, you may take an Honours course during the 2nd semester of your first year (limited places available).

More information on application.

Maaike de Reuver, Theology

maaike_de_reuver"The VU Honours Programme offers me a challenging opportunity to intensify my studies. The interdepartmental part of the programme provides me to interact with motivated students from different faculties and different universities, which is very enriching. Especially the UvA course `The Learning Lab` taught me a lot about leadership, pioneering, life opportunities; and most of all about myself. For the departmental part of the programme I am working on a research project for a company located in Geneva. Therefore I have been to Geneva, and at the time of writing, I am joining an international congress in Chicago to do research for this project.Without any doubt: The VU Honours Programme is the best addition to my studies I could have ever had!"

The Netherlands School for Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion (NOSTER) is the main platform for research and training in the fields of theology and religious studies in the Netherlands and Flanders. Thirteen research institutes in these fields have joined forces, providing a stimulating environment for about 175 senior researchers, 90 PhD candidates and 25 Research Master's students.

NOSTER’s Mission
NOSTER offers a cutting-edge and challenging curriculum in theology and religious studies for junior researchers (Research Master's students and PhD candidates) of the participating institutions in the field of theology and religious studies.

Research seminars
These research seminars are the core of the NOSTER curriculum and are arranged by theme or methodology:

  • Empirical Research in Religion (2.5 ECTS)
  • Biblical / Historical Studies (2.5 ECTS)
  • Dogmatics, Ethics and Philosophy of Religion (2.5 ECTS)
  • Religious Studies (2.5 ECTS)
  • Multidisciplinary Research Seminar in Religion, Theology and Gender (2.5 ECTS)
  • Intensive Text Reading Seminar ‘The Challenge of Difference’ (5 ECTS)

Student Prizes

Each year the Faculty of Religion and Theology awards its talented students. Also, VU Amsterdam has the annual StudentTalent and Thesis Prizes for the best Bachelor's and (Research) Master's thesis.

NWO PhD’s in Humanities class

Annually, the Faculty of Religion and Theology prepares their talented students for applications within NWO PhD’s in Humanities grant. We offer a personal training and writing programme.


All the Research Master's and PhD students of the Faculty of Religion and Theology are invited to gatherings of the two Faculty Departments and Research Groups. Additionally, the faculty's Honours students gather two times a year, to exchange experiences. The faculty is in the process of making a social space available.

The Honours Programme has its own study association, Extensus, and an Honours Student Council (HSC).


For all your questions about the subjects mentioned above, please contact the faculty's Honours Programme and Research Master's coordinator:

Dr Katya Tolstaya
E: e.v.tolstoj@vu.nl