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Master in Study of Religions and Secular Thought

Master in Study of Religions and Secular Thought

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  • Programme title
    Master in Study of Religions and Secular Thought
  • Programme mnemonic
  • Programme organised by
    • Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences
  • Degree type
    Master 120 credits
  • Tier
    2nd cycle
  • Field and branch of study
    Human and social sciences/Philosophy
  • Schedule type
  • Languages of instruction
  • Theoretical programme duration
    2 years
  • Campus
  • Category / Topic
    Human and social sciences - History, history of art, and archaeology/Human and social sciences - Philosophy
  • Jury President
    Thomas BERNS (Moral secular support), (Diachronia of religion)
  • Jury Secretary
    Jean-Philippe SCHREIBER (Moral secular support), (Diachronia of religion)


General information

Degree type

Master 120 credits

Theoretical programme duration

2 years

Learning language(s)


Schedule type




Category(ies) - Topic(s)

Human and social sciences - History, history of art, and archaeology/Human and social sciences - Philosophy

Organising faculty(s) and university(ies)

Succeed in your studies

ULB offers a number of activities and resources that can help you develop a successful strategy before or during your studies.

You can make the transition to higher education easier by attending preparatory courses, summer classes, and information and orientation sessions, even before you start your studies at ULB.

During your studies, many people at ULB are there specifically to help you succeed: support staff in each faculty, (inter-)faculty guidance counsellors, tutors, and experts in academic methodology.


Through a systematic comparative study of religion as a phenomenon, this Master programme provides participants with academic training in the study of religion using the tools of human sciences. The programme is based on the concepts of free thought and critical analysis. Students learn about the religions of the world and humanism, and have the opportunity to specialise in key disciplines in this field.


Classes are held at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Religious and Secular Studies (CIERL), which is home to over 50 academics specialised in religious and secular issues. It is located in a Brussels town house near the Bois de la Cambre park. The main lecture classes are given in the Centre's specialised library, which allows immediate access to literature and research tools. This Master programme, which favours a neutral and scientific approach of the topics covered, is therefore at the cutting edge of contemporary analytical research. It is born out of a tradition that has been an integral part of ULB since its early days.

Access conditions


The programme covers two academic years (120 credits). It includes a common core of courses (30 credits), one of two optional modules—‘Diachronic religious studies’ or ‘Contemporary religious studies’—(30 credits), one of two focuses—‘Analysis of religious issues’ or ‘Secular moral support’—(30 credits), and a dissertation (30 credits).

In practice, courses are distributed as follows:

Religious and secular studies – theoretical lecture classes 40%

Religious and secular studies – seminars 25%

Dissertation 25%

Work placement 10%

What's next ?


Graduates of the Master in Religious and Secular Studies can find work in research, but they can also pursue a career in other sectors, such as information, diplomacy, or cultural affairs. A Master's degree in Religious and Secular Studies is a valuable asset for any job that involves intercultural aspects: research; analysis of religious topics (press, media, political cabinets, law enforcement, municipal administrations, etc.); delegate or advisor for official associations active in secular moral support (in cities, hospitals, prisons, or the armed forces); etc.