Our Research Master’s programme in Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies focuses on interdisciplinary study of the material, social, and intellectual developments in Europe (including the Mediterranean region) from Antiquity through the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Within this long period, you can focus on your academic interests by choosing one of the following tracks:
1. Ancient Studies
2. Medieval Studies
3. Medieval Celtic Studies
4. Renaissance Studies.
Within each track, you will work with source materials in their original languages, including in manuscript form. The Ancient Studies track has a keen interest in archaeology. The Medieval Studies and Renaissance Studies tracks go beyond a solely historical approach by including courses in literature, linguistics, art history, musicology, and history. In the Medieval Studies track, you may specialise in either Medieval History, Medieval Art History, Medieval Literature, or Medieval Musicology. Medieval Celtic Studies combines literary studies with historical linguistics.
The programme is enhanced with research conducted by lecturers who are internationally renowned in their fields of expertise. You are encouraged to work alongside these lecturers on research projects, and you can spend a semester abroad at one of the many universities with which we have research links. After graduation, approximately 50% of graduates go on to undertake a PhD, either in the Netherlands or abroad.
For those with ambitions outside research, courses are being developed on ‘Heritage and Cultural Transfer’ (including an internship in material culture, e.g. on written texts as objects), and on the uses of the ancient and medieval languages.
The highly regarded Keuzegids Master’s Selection Guide 2017 ranked Utrecht University’s Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance programme as the best in the field in the Netherlands.
The programme attracts students from the Netherlands and abroad. International students find an internationally unique interdisciplinary approach to the study of pre-modern civilisations. They quickly feel welcome in the community of teachers and students and fully participate in the programme’s scholarly life.
This Research Master’s programme will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to gain admission to PhD programmes in your chosen specialisation; you can also conduct independent research and complete your doctoral dissertation. The programme will give you the skills needed for your future career, including pursuing scholarly research to be published in peer-reviewed journals.
Our programme also prepares you for careers outside academia in management, politics, or the arts. The programme is both academically and socially relevant; by developing your professional skills and your ability to work independently, you will be well prepared for the challenges of the modern employment market.
The Utrecht Master in Applied Ethics is an interdisciplinary and international programme focused on the interaction between moral practice and ethical theory.
The Applied Ethics Master's programme in Utrecht offers you an in-depth focus on the interaction between moral practice and ethical theory, allowing you to explore ethical theories in relation to actual practical dilemmas. At the end of your studies, you'll possess a thorough theoretical background in ethics, including important methods and debates in applied ethics. You will also understand the implications of legal and political frameworks for ethical argumentation.
During your studies in this programme, you’ll develop the necessary skills to analyse important current ethical issues. You’ll learn to critically propose possible solutions as well as to engage professionals and other concerned individuals in reflection on the moral dimensions of their practice.
The Applied Ethics Master’s programme offers you an in-depth focus on the interaction between moral practice and ethical theory, allowing you to explore ethical theories in relation to actual practical dilemmas. At the end of your studies, you’ll possess a thorough theoretical background in ethics, including important methods and debates in applied ethics. You will also understand the implications of legal and political frameworks for ethical argumentation.
Our interdisciplinary approach offers you multiple avenues of investigation into applied ethics. In addition to studying philosophy, you’ll learn about the contexts in which moral problems arise and the different types of analysis that may be needed in various contexts. You’ll also examine how viewpoints from different disciplines can strengthen ethical reflection and argumentation.
This English-taught Master’s programme attracts international and Dutch students with diverse disciplinary backgrounds (for example, philosophy, medicine, law, international studies, economics) as well as people with professional experience (for example, health care professionals, lawyers, veterinarians, management consultants in corporate social responsibility & business ethics, or journalists). This unique student body provides a wide range of cultural viewpoints through which you can explore ethical dilemmas. The programme offers the opportunity to do an internship with a national or international organisation or NGO, and to participate in elective Master-level courses abroad.
The Master’s programme in Applied Ethics is embedded in Utrecht University’s Ethics Institute, a research-driven organisation that focuses on human dignity and human rights, education ethics, animal ethics, sustainability ethics, public health ethics, and bioethics.
During your studies in this programme, you’ll develop the necessary skills to analyse important current ethical issues. You’ll learn to critically propose possible solutions as well as to engage professionals and other concerned individuals in reflection on the moral dimensions of their practice. After completing the programme, you’ll have the skills to:
There are various career opportunities after graduating with a degree in Applied Ethics. A recent survey shows that around 30% of our graduates work at a university today, either as teachers or as PhD students. After finishing the programme, you are also able to teach ethics to professionals or to work as a consultant in governmental and diplomatic services. Some of our alumni work in journalism or in various NGOs or banks.
Through its focus on musical infrastructure, Utrecht University's Master's programme Applied Musicology will equip you with the specific knowledge and skills required to operate as a musicologist within the international musical industry. The programme utilizes reflective training in both current and innovative approaches in musicology, through which you will learn to apply academic musicological skills to the day-to-day challenges in a musical life.
Our Master's programme in Applied Musicology was designed in direct dialogue with top institutions within the musical infrastructure in the Netherlands and beyond; it does not discriminate between classical and popular music. The curriculum builds on knowledge and skills gained through Bachelor's programme in Musicology, with emphasis on both historical musicology and the relation of music with other media.
As a student, you will receive intensive mentoring while developing research and reflective skills relevant to questions in contemporary music production, programming, financing and participation. You will acquire additional relevant skills (for example journalistic writing skills) through classroom labs as well as coaching by professors and professionals in the field.
This Master's programme prepares you for the cultural professional field. You will have developed skills which are required in your future career. It gives you opportunities in both the cultural field and in careers that require an expertise in the field of applied musicology.
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.
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 semester 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.
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 Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum 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.
The cultural world is in a state of rapid transformation due to technological innovation, urbanisation, economic globalisation, and an increasingly unpredictable sociopolitical landscape. All facets of the arts – practice, organisation, leadership, societal relevance, and internationalisation (in Europe and beyond) – are affected by this transformation. Utrecht’s Master of Arts and Society will prepare you to operate as a leading figure in the global arts, media, and cultural sectors of the future.
Our Master’s programme is designed to meet the urgent need for arts professionals who possess rigorous theoretical and research skills coupled with practical abilities and an acute awareness of the current state of the sector at the local and global levels. As a student in this programme you will explore, for example, the dynamics and dilemmas within existing mainstream culture and its relationship with a growing number of “alternative” cultural practices, new models of creative production and industry, and the ever-increasing role of the arts in social justice.
Our Master’s programme is unique in many ways:
With a Master in Arts and Society you will:
Our Master’s programme prepares a new generation of creative critical thinkers and doers for the global cultural sector: cross-sector cultural partnerships (i.e. between arts and healthcare or arts and development), transitional processes of conventional cultural institutions looking for new audiences, research into the social and intrinsic value of art, and intercultural and international collaborations.
Comparative Literary Studies involves the transnational study of literature from a theoretically informed perspective. The Utrecht programme is distinguished by its comparative approach and its concern with the relations between literature and other forms of culture. The main focus is on literature written in West-European languages in the modern period, but attention is also paid to world literature in translation.
This Research Master’s programme offers you an excellent balance between linguistic variety and general theoretical perspectives on the nature of literature, its past and its future. As a student in this programme, you will learn to analyse the ways in which literature interacts with (and reflects on) its cultural and social environment against the background of globalisation and new media technologies.
The ‘comparative’ approach characteristic for Utrecht is understood to involve comparison between literary phenomena along three principal axes:
As a graduate of this programme, you will have:
After successfully completing the Research Master’s programme in Comparative Literary Studies, you will be able to formulate a research proposal for a PhD project in your specialism within the field of literary studies.
Why has ’nationalist’ violence erupted in Ukraine? Will cities become the war zones of the future? How is the term ‘human rights’ used and abused in times of violent conflict? What role did social media play in the rise and subsequent collapse of the Arab Spring? What are the ethical and political issues associated with the use of drones in zones of conflict - and what impact does this have on the subjects of surveillance? Who defines ‘evil’ and what does ‘doing good’ mean? How do ‘humanitarian wars’ affect the everyday lives of the ‘victims’ they protect?
These are just some of the pressing questions arising from the complex interconnectedness of today’s world. A solution to these questions can only be found through systematic analysis of processes of inclusion and exclusion, mobilisation, and collective violence. Addressing these topics properly demands critical reflection on the national and international policies developed to contain, manage, resolve, or transform violent conflict.
Our Master's programme in Conflict Studies and Human Rights is a selective, international graduate programme combining the study of theory with in-depth case study analysis.
The programme focuses on both the dynamics of violent conflicts and the problems associated with national and international military or humanitarian intervention by agencies such as the UN, NATO, or non-governmental organisations.
The Master's programme in Conflict Studies and Human Rights will equip you with the necessary analytical and theoretical skills to engage with global and local challenges in insightful and innovative ways. You will acquire solid theoretical, analytical, and methodological expertise in Conflict Studies and Human Rights, as well as field experience in conflict and post-conflict regions.
You will learn about and develop mastery in three key areas:
You will gain in-depth knowledge of theoretical approaches to understanding and explaining contemporary conflict and human rights. You will also obtain a general understanding of international policy approaches to contemporary conflict and human rights, as well as an understanding of the political contexts in which they are used.
Evidence-based social research
You will learn to undertake research that consists of systematic analysis and synthesis and is based on a dialogue between ideas and evidence. In the course of this dialogue, you will be able to identify “sensitising concepts” from theory to facilitate your data collection. You will also use theory to gain an understanding of the evidence you gather and to explain your findings.
Critical attitude towards received wisdom
You will have the conceptual and analytical skills necessary to question conventional ideas and accepted courses of action while defining your own viewpoint. You will also be able to assess the problem of violent conflict and human rights by considering interrelated issues of identity, perception, discourse, and practice.
The Master’s programme in Conflict Studies and Human Rights offers good preparation for careers in any sector involving conflict analysis, including the public sector, business, non-governmental and international organisations. Read more about possible career prospects.
The highly regarded Keuzegids Master’s Selection Guide 2017 ranked Utrecht University’s Conflict Studies and Human Rights programme as the best in the field in the Netherlands.
In this year's Elsevier Best Studies Survey, students have also rated Conflict Studies as the best programme.
In this programme you will learn how to investigate and reflect on the dynamic ways in which theatrical and choreographic practices respond to a society in transition. This programme welcomes both Dutch and international students who are interested in dramaturgy, programming and curating, critical writing and art criticism, as well as arts professionals who wish to enrich their practice through academic research.
Contemporary performance practices are increasingly hybrid projects that approach and transcend the borders of theatre, dance, visual arts, music, media and daily life. Theatre and dance are inextricably linked with other media that shape our reality; they extend beyond the theatre’s walls and inject themselves into our daily lives. Theories and concepts derived from the performing arts are progressively deployed in cultural theory and (social) science. Such a field in transition demands an approach that studies theatre and dance as intermedial and interdisciplinary phenomena, and addresses the interrelationships of these phenomena, the audience and the socio-cultural context.
This dynamic is the focus of our Contemporary Theatre, Dance and Dramaturgy programme.
Our research focus areas include:
Fully taught in English, this Master’s programme takes an academic approach to contemporary performance. We closely collaborate with the field of theatre and dance in the Netherlands and Flanders, internationally regarded as the forerunners of the exciting new trends that emerge on the European stage. You will get acquainted with state-of-the-art theory yet we are also actively oriented towards the practice of theatre and dance. This is exemplified by the focus on dramaturgy, an internship in the second semester, and the many opportunities to meet with practitioners, build-in components within the programme and closely related to the staff’s expansive network.
Since the workfield is multifaceted and comprises both larger and smaller companies as well as public and private initiatives, many alumni combine various jobs - for instance, dramaturge and writer or programmer and artistic advisor.
In the Master’s programme in Cultural History of Modern Europe, you will study Europe’s position in the world from a cultural-historical perspective, with an emphasis on modern history. Our programme offers you profound insight into the history of ideas and practices that form the identities of individuals, groups, and societies, including heritage and public history in international frameworks.
The programme content focuses on theories of modern cultural history, global perspectives on European civilisation, the politics of heritage and cultural memory, aspects of transnational history and postcolonial culture, global practices of citizenship, and the development of career-oriented academic competencies. We begin by looking at contemporary problems and discussions.
This programme offers an English track and a Dutch track. The modules offered in these tracks are the same – only the language of instruction differs.
After graduating from the Master’s programme in Cultural History of Modern Europe, you will:
Graduates from our programme have found jobs in museums and heritage organisations, as well as in the field of (secondary) education.