M.A. Concealed Knowledge : Gnosticism, Mysticism & Esoterism

University of Groningen

Application deadline: Dutch students(May 15; November 01); EU/EEA students(May 15; November 01); non-EU/EEA students(March 01; November 01)
Tuition fee:
  • € 1,835 / Year (EEA)
  • € 10,500 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2014, February  2015
Credits: 60 ECTS
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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Are you interested in the history of 'alternative Christianities'? Ever wondered how occultism and magic shaped modern science and psychology? Then this is the programme for you.

Recently, there has been a rising interest in topics related to Gnosticism, esotericism and mysticism, both inside and outside the academic world. Recognising the relevance of mystical and esoteric currents in the history of religion in Europe, as well as the impact of Hermetic and Gnostic spirituality, challenges monolithic narratives of European religious and cultural identities. The Master's degree programme Concealed Knowledge meets this challenge and offers a deeper analysis of the processes involved.

The courses offered in this multidisciplinary programme will introduce you to the most important discussions and historical developments related to Gnosticism, esotericism and mysticism. After a solid introduction to ancient esoteric and Gnostic discourse, you will learn about mystical traditions and the influence of Kabbalistic esotericism in Western culture from late antiquity through today. You will also study the processes of exchange between East and West that have shaped contemporary religious landscapes.


The MA programme in Concealed Knowledge consists of three thematic course units (30 ECTS) and a thesis (20 ECTS). 10 ECTS are reserved for a practical placement.

Programme schedule

* Knowledge, secrecy and Revelation in Antiquity (10 EC)

* Medieval Mysticism, Kabbalah and Contemporary Culture (10 EC)

* Master Thesis (20 EC)

* Modern Esotericism between East and West (10 EC)

* Placement (10 EC)

Why Groningen?
* New vistas to understand complexities of European religion and culture
* Function of esotericism, mysticism and gnosticism in the entangled histories of religion, philosophy and science are explored in an interdisciplinary way
* Taught by leading experts with a world-class reputation
* A highly stimulating learning environment
* You can follow your own research interests

Specialisations / Tracks
* Master's Honours Programme: "Leadership: making the difference" ( honours program ) Honours programme of the University (15 EC).

For students who have a Bachelor Honours degree, who have attended a University College or were actively involved in (student)organizations beside the regular master programme.

Study abroad
* Study abroad is optional
* For an average of 20 weeks
* Maximum of 30 EC

The master programme Concealed Knowlegde: Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism has various exchange possibilities for students with other universities within the European Union, but also at non-European university to take part of the study programme at the university abroad.Another option is to take an internship or to do part of the research work abroad. More information at the webpage:


Dutch students
Een overzicht van behaalde resultaten in de gevolgde bacheloropleiding met een toelichting op de gevolgde vakken

Een (Engelse) taaltoets is alleen van belang indien je geen VWO-diploma hebt. Als minimumeisen gelden TOEFL 580 paper/237 computer/92 internet of IELTS: 6.5

WO-bachelor Theologie, Religiestudies, Letteren, Wijsbegeerte of Sociale Wetenschappen geeft toegang tot dit masterprogramma. Andere bacheloropleidingen geven toegang via een schakelprogramma.

Een brief met motivatie voor toelating tot dit programma, evenals een curriculum vitae maakt deel uit van de toelatingsprocedure.

Nederlandse studenten sturen de gevraagde documentatie per mail naar onderwijs.ggw@rug.nl, ook als een drempelloze toegang van toepassing is.

International students
TOEFL: 580 paper/237 computer/92 internet; IELTS: 6.5(not for native speakers)

Bachelor degree in Theology, Religious Studies, Arts, Philosophy or Social Sciences.Students with another bachelor degree may be admitted via a bridging programme

A letter of motivation to the admissions committee explaining the choice for this study programme (max. 1 page) is required, just as an overview of your bachelor programme and a Curriculum Vitae in OAS (Online Application System)

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
TOEFL paper-based test score : 580
TOEFL iBT® test: 92


Funding opportunities
Several scholarships are available for international students who are motivated to study Bachelors, Masters and PhD programmes, as well as for exchanges, short courses and research stays at our university.



NVAO (nl) until December 31, 2013

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