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Course content


Our two-year Research Master's programme focuses on the art and architecture of the Low Countries (present-day Netherlands and Belgium), and spans the period from the late Middle Ages to the present day. You will study Netherlandish art and architecture, taking into account their international context. We invite you to critically reflect on the production of art and architecture, and the role of patronage; investigate the reasons why so many artist went abroad and how they became agents in the international diffusion of styles and themes; and explore how artworks testify to the Dutch encounter with the wider world from the Golden Age to the present day. Furthermore, the programme will acquaint you with the innovative approaches of global, technical, and digital art history. In the end, we hope you will imagine new possibilities for the field of art history of the Low Countries.

You will also have the opportunity to study other specific subjects that align with your own personal interests. Our close ties with major art museums and other cultural organisations both in the Netherlands and abroad mean that the academic and practical work are closely linked.


Dutch students will spend a semester in a major art museum abroad while students from other countries intern at a major Dutch or Flemish art museum. You may also wish to study at another university for one semester. To date, our students have undertaken placements at approximately twenty institutions in eight different countries. Whatever your choice, your internship or study abroad will be tailored to your own individual interests.


The Research Master's programme in Art History of the Low Countries will prepare you for further research by specialising in the art and architecture of the Low Countries. Many graduates have gone on to undertake PhD programmes in the Netherlands or abroad. To name just a few examples, alumni are currently doctoral candidates at KU LeuvenUniversity of GhentParis Sorbonne UniversityLMU MunichGoethe University FrankfurtUtrecht UniversityUniversity of Amsterdam, and a number of universities in the United States, including Princeton UniversityHarvard University, and Columbia University.

Graduates can also apply for curatorial positions requiring specialist skills in art history at museums and research institutes. A number of our graduates are currently employed in the Rijksmuseum in AmsterdamRijksmuseum Twenthe in Enschede, the Municipal Museum of The Hague, the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, the Printroom of the Royal Library in Brussels, the Groeningemuseum in Bruges, and in the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) in The Hague. Read more about possible career prospects.

Visit the Art History of the Low Countries - MA page on the Utrecht University website for more details!





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