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About the programme
Language: English  (See language requirements)  | Place of study: Aarhus  |  Commencement: August / September (no winter intake)


Please note: The last admission to this Master's degree programme is in 2019. 

How were Judaism, Christianity and Islam formed? How did these three religions and their interaction shape the emerging European culture and society? These are pivotal questions addressed in the MA programme Religious Roots of Europe.  

Comparative perspective

Christianity, Judaism and Islam interacting with each other have had a profound influence on the development of European culture and society. For centuries Christianity has been the dominant majority religion; as minority religions, Judaism and Islam have been seen as the ‘other’ against which Christian European identity has been shaped.

The three religions have traditionally been studied more or less separately. The aspiration of  Religious Roots of Europe (RRE) is to study the three religions together in their formative periods from a comparative perspective and using a variety of approaches including historical, philological, social scientific and literary. 

A collaborative and international programme

The MA Programme is offered in collaboration with the four Nordic universities of Aarhus (coordinating institution), Copenhagen, Lund and Oslo. Compact seminars are organised at each of these institutions as well as in Nordic institutes in the Mediterranean area. RRE offers a truly international education with perspectives for a subsequent career in research and education as well as in governmental and private institutions, where the need for knowledge on religion and culture is increasingly recognised. 

Read, print and be inspired

Download and print a short presentation of the MA in Religious Roots of Europe programme 2019.

For questions about the programme contact the programme coordinator, Associate Professor Jakob Engberg, je@cas.au.dk

Admission requirements

Admission to the Master’s Programme in European studies at Aarhus University requires successful completion of a relevant BA degree with a major in theology, the study of religion, classical philology, classical archaeology, history or the equivalent.

Since the study programme presupposes an ability to and further trains students in reading ancient religious text in the original languages, and since not all the mentioned bachelor’s degrees in all the Nordic countries or internationally include compulsory classical language training, it is specified as a prerequisite for admittance to the programme that the applicant can document a proficiency in at least one ‘classical’ language, i.e. Greek, Latin, Hebrew or Arabic, which equals the proficiency achieved by studying such a language in a module allotted 15 ECTS credits.

Alternatively, a student can be admitted if she or he can document a proficiency in two of these ancient languages which equals the proficiency achieved by studying each of these languages in modules which are allotted 15 ECTS credits in total.

Application procedure

The Religious Roots of Europe is a joint programme offered in collaboration between four different Nordic universities (see the programme website), these universities are here called the Host Institutions. Applications for admittance is directed to and processed by one of the four Host Institutions, in accordance with the rules and regulations obtaining at this Host Institution. The following is a description of these rules and regulations at the University of Aarhus.

Applicants for one of the study places at Aarhus University must document (by submitting a certified transcript or bachelor certificate stating the subjects studied and the grades obtained) that they have completed or are completing a relevant bachelor degree (below) and that they have obtained a sufficient proficiency in ‘classical’ languages as well as in English (below).

Selection criteria

The Master's programme in the Religious Roots of Europe can only admit a limited number of students each year, so fulfilling the requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme.

If there are fewer qualified applicants at Aarhus University than places at this Host Institution, all qualified applicants are admitted.

If there are more qualified applicants for the programme at Aarhus University than places available, Aarhus University consults the Programme Committee (a joint body overseeing the running of the Programme). The decision, however, rests with Aarhus University and any appeals should be made to Aarhus University.

The number of ECTS credits obtained during bachelor studies in the relevant fields of religion and theology and ancient history, culture and languages. This will be evaluated on the basis of the bachelor certificate or certified transcript.
If more applicants have obtained the same number of ECTS credits in these fields then the applicant or applicants with the highest average of grades obtained during bachelor studies is or are admitted. These will be evaluated on the basis of bachelor certificate or certified transcript.
In selecting between the qualified applicants the Programme Committee and Aarhus University therefore focuses on the relevance of your previous studies and on the results achieved.


[1] I Danmark kan de klassiske sprogkrav indfries med et gymnasialt A-niveau i ét af de nævnte sprog, gennem propædeutik eller tilsvarende. Det vil sige, at bacheloruddannelserne i teologi, klassisk filologi og klassisk arkæologi er direkte adgangsgivende, mens en bachelorgrad i ét af de andre nævnte fag kun er adgangsgivende, hvis den studerende også kan dokumentere, at det klassiske sprogkrav er indfriet.

Language requirements

Please see the page on language requirements.


See the general documentation requirements.

Please note that applicants are NOT required to upload course descriptions.

Programme structure

Academic regulations

As a student it is important to know the regulations for your the chosen subject: what is the content, how is it structured and what does it require from you. You can find this information in the academic regulations

Student life

A hive of activity

The REE programme is based at the Department of Theology which is a hive of activity throughout the day. Lectures are held and keen discussions take place in the reading groups that meet in the lounge area or the many workplaces in the library. New ideas are discussed over lunch in the canteen, which is also the venue for the Department of Theology’s annual celebration and the Christmas revue.

In addition to its large collection of literature, parts of the library – which is open around the clock – also function as an open student environment with group work areas, IT workstations and a classroom. The library is a meeting point for the students and a lively workplace.


Student-to-student is your opportunity to ask about being a student at the Faculty of Arts and about Aarhus and Denmark in general to another international student who has already taken the leap and now lives in Denmark and studies for his/her Master's degree at the Faculty of Arts.

You can read more about the student-to-student service and find the list of AU international student ambassadors at Arts here

The University Park campus – a unique place

The main Aarhus University campus is unique, with buildings closely grouped together and surrounded by nature. The campus is conveniently situated close to the city centre, and student accommodation is readily available as long as you apply on time. There are a range of activities, ranging from running to regatta on the lake, as well as guest lectures, film screenings, and university events taking place throughout the year. To ensure student well-being, counselling services are available for students, to offer support and guidance during their time at Aarhus.

Aarhus as a city

As the second-largest city in Denmark, Aarhus is a young and dynamic place with plenty of opportunities. The 40,000 students at the university make up 17.5% of the city’s population, which leaves its mark on city life. An attractive feature of Aarhus is that there are beaches and woods a short bike-ride away, as well as cultural events taking place throughout the year, including the Aarhus Festival in September. The theatres in the city and the ARoS international art museum offer many events that enable you to experience the Danish culture.

Why choose Aarhus? See studyguide.au.dk and get all practical information about being an international student.  

Follow the student life at Aarhus University

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With thousands of pictures #yourniversity gives insight into the everyday life as a student at AU; the parties, procrastination, exams and all the other ways you’ll spend your time at university.


The photos belong to the users, shared with #Yourniversity, #AarhusUni and course-specific AU-hashtags.


Competency profile

RRE will equip you with the following competencies:

  • Carry out professional scholarly work at an independent level.
  • Independently initiate and plan projects that explore hitherto neglected aspects of interaction between Jews, Christians, and Muslims in various social settings.
  • Develop their own scholarly specialisation and to navigate with confidence in interdisciplinary, complex and unpredictable academic processes in professional and academic settings.

Job opportunities

As a graduate of this programme, you will be able to enter into specialised occupations in government institutions or organisations dealing with culture, integration, diplomacy etc. and in private firms with business relations with the Middle East, for example. You will also qualify for innovative scholarly work and for further education, e.g. in PhD programmes, as well as for teaching on religion and intercultural relations.    

Career guidance

Please contact the Student Counselling Office for advice about employment opportunities and the subject profile options of your degree programme.

You can read more about the career services that are available from Arts Karriere who provide information about employment opportunities as well as arranging various events and workshops.