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.
How do gender, race, class, sexuality and age contribute to the formation of social identities? What role do ensuing power differences between these factors play in our globalised and mediatised world? What measures have been taken, in the past and the present, in order to prevent discrimination and exclusion? And how do academic, cultural, artistic, journalistic, and policy-making institutions respond to these societal challenges?
Emancipation, the recognition of differences, and awareness of intersections of gender with other factors of identity making (class, race, age, sexuality, etc.) are crucial tools in analysing social and cultural relations in today’s postcolonial and post-secular societies. Our Master’s programme in Gender Studies provides you with an interdisciplinary understanding of these tools, as well as advanced analytical skills. You will be trained within an internationally diverse cohort of students and academic staff to become a professionally successful 'agent of change'.
Your education in gender studies will combine theoretical knowledge with its practical application in all parts of the programme. You will develop research skills through intensive coursework and participate in an internship that combines your subject matter interests with professional experience. Theory and practice come together in your final thesis project, which serves to synthesise your one-year experience in gender studies at Utrecht University.
After completing this one-year programme, you will be able to develop sustainable perspectives for future research and action, and have the motivation and knowledge to implement these perspectives in emancipation policies, diversity management, social and cultural initiatives, and political activism.
After graduation, you will have advanced knowledge of and insight into the field of women’s and gender studies. You will be an expert on factors of identity making such as gender, class, race, age, and sexuality. You will also have the academic skills to:
In addition, you will be able to reflect on your course work and further develop your professional practices during your internship. You will then employ these practices in a theory based academic thesis.
The insights from gender studies and emancipation research are useful to a growing number of organisations and companies seeking to develop and/or critically reflect upon policies to effectively intervene on behalf of specific target groups and market segments.
How do gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, dis/ability and/or religion contribute to the formation of social identities? What role do ensuing power differences between these vectors play in our globalised and mediatised world? In the two-year Research MA in Gender Studies, you will approach a myriad of questions related to gender and other social categories through an intersectional approach.
The programme combines a thorough grounding in the historiography and contemporary state of Gender Studies as a discipline with intensive training in the critical practice of cultural theories and epistemologies from feminist, postcolonial, critical race, and queer perspectives. In a highly interdisciplinary setting and with academic staff and fellow students representing a range of fields from anthropology to literary studies, you will be trained to apply these theories to the analysis of representations of gender in artistic practices, literary texts, political discourses and (new) media and technology. The international and intellectually challenging setting of this programme offers you the opportunity to broaden your horizon and to build an academic and professional network.
During the courses and seminars, you will approach theories about subjectivity and representation from epistemological, political, and ethical perspectives. How have feminist theorists rethought Freud’s and Lacan’s ideas on (female) subjectivity, for instance? What differences do you see constructed between the East and the West in films, literature, and art works?
You will also investigate the development of feminist theories and the history and current statuses of colonial, post-colonial, and multicultural societies. In addition, you will explore the representation of gender and ethnicity in literature, new media, and new technologies.
Utrecht University’s Research Master in Gender Studies is one of Europe’s most advanced interdisciplinary teaching and research programme in Gender Studies. Our research-focussed programme prepares students for postgraduate or PhD work in Gender Studies and related fields.
You will benefit from engaging in a challenging and international setting that offers multiple avenues of investigation into complex social phenomena. The programme is closely allied with academics and institutions both within and outside Europe and offers an internationally recognised degree.
After successfully completing this programme, you will possess advanced knowledge of and insight into the field of women’s, gender, and postcolonial studies.
You will also have the academic skills to:
After completing the Research Master in Gender Studies you are qualified to apply for a postgraduate or doctoral research programme in the field of women’s, gender, and postcolonial studies. Furthermore, gender experts can also work at governmental organisations, NGO's, national and international women's organisations, and cultural institutions.
Do you want to understand the role of Mexico in the cocaine trade, why a Dutch multinational dumps waste on an African country, or how young Dutch Muslims are recruited for fighting in Syria? Are you curious about phenomena such as Internet fraud, food criminality or mobile banditry? Old and new forms of global crime are rapidly expanding, as are the means to control it. The Netherlands serves both as a major crossroad in the illegal flow of goods, people and services and as a key host for international organisations such as Europol, Greenpeace and the International Criminal Court. Drug trafficking, human trafficking, international terrorism, corruption, environmental harm, financial and corporate crime and conflicts over natural resources all have global dimensions. Tackling these issues requires modern instruments that transcend national boundaries.
You can choose from two distinctive tracks within the Global Criminology programme. Find out more about the following tracks:
There is a growing demand for qualified researchers, legal practitioners and policy makers who can address these and comparable issues. Are you a multidisciplinary expert or criminologist who wants to make a significant contribution to the field? Are you someone who wants to work in the field of law and social reform – or any sector dealing with growing forms of local and global crime control? Do you want to be part of a Master’s programme with students from different continents? Then the MA in Global Criminology at Utrecht University is the right choice for you!
The MA in Global Criminology is a one-year Master’s programme that equips students with the knowledge, skills, and understanding required to work with local and global crime issues, crime policies and crime control strategies.
The programme offers a multidisciplinary, critical and comparative perspective in criminology, open for students with a BA degree in law, criminology, social sciences, or any other related social discipline such as economy, history or media studies, to name a few.
During this programme, you’ll study key issues such as organised and corporate crime, prison systems, security policies or the relation between ethnicity and crime. You will also develop essential skills that will benefit you in both your professional and personal life. You will be able, among other things, to:
The History Master’s programme offers you research-based training in history as an academic discipline. We teach you how to perform research, and we challenge you to develop your own ideas on topics of your choice. Our History Department offers a broad range of historical expertise in four scholarly fields, all focused on (early) modern history:
The programme’s courses are taught in small groups by first-rate instructors. You will learn advanced research skills whilst developing historical expertise in your specific areas of interest. We will also challenge you to connect your work to ongoing scholarly debates and to reflect on current affairs.
To develop your skills as an independent researcher, you will have the opportunity to pursue a research internship with a variety of professional organisations. You can also choose to spend one semester abroad at a major research university. After successful completion of the programme, you will be fully qualified to work as a researcher for public and private organisations or to apply for PhD positions in your field of interest.
The highly regarded Keuzegids Master’s Selection Guide 2017 ranked Utrecht University’s History programme as the best in the field in the Netherlands.
The Research Master in History is designed to train you to become an independent researcher in a specialty of your choice. We will help you develop your creative and independent-thinking skills, but we will also teach you the tricks of the trade: how to ask the right questions, develop a theoretical framework, design empirical strategies, and report your findings. Our interdisciplinary staff will encourage you to participate in collaborative work – both within history and beyond.
After successful completion of the programme, you will be fully qualified to apply for PhD positions. Most of our students aspire to become academic researchers, but you will discover that there is a much broader demand for excellent research skills from non-academic public and private organisations. We encourage our students to explore these job opportunities outside academia.
The Master’s programme History of Politics and Society provides you with a thorough understanding of the historical roots of the most important political and societal issues that politicians, journalists and policy makers are concerned with today. You will study the historical development of democracy, civil society, citizenship, and economic inequality in an international comparative perspective. The programme focuses largely on the 19th and 20th centuries and has an interdisciplinary approach: you will combine historical research with concepts and explanations derived from the social sciences.
As a student you will develop new academic skills and perspectives: you will learn how to use comparative research methods and how to analyze long-term developments. Through internships, trainings and engaged supervision, the Master’s programme also offers a good preparation for the labor market. In this way we train you as a historian able to use knowledge of the past to help explain and solve current-day issues.
After completing their studies, many graduates pursue careers engaged with current-day political and societal issues, for instance as researchers or policy makers in public or semi-public organisations, at NGOs, in the business world, or in media. There are several job market segments where there is a need for people who can tie together the past, present, and future: employees who help shape the future by providing insight into the origins of contemporary society.
The world is becoming an ever ‘smaller place’. We are increasingly brought into contact with different languages and cultures. Through multicultural societies, international organisations and online connections. Communication has become an international – and therefore an intercultural – matter. The importance of understanding cultural parameters and mutual perceptions is rapidly increasing in fields such as business, education, conflict resolution, and more.
The Intercultural Communication Master’s programme teaches you how to approach and promote linguistic and cultural diversity in various international contexts.The interdisciplinary and multilingual programme will equip you with the tools to apply theory to international practice. After graduation, your skills as a multilingual and intercultural expert will contribute to mutual understanding within Europe or abroad and to the strong worldwide relationships that are so important in our era of globalisation.
Over the course of one year, this Master’s programme will prepare you for an international career. You will learn to analyse communication products and processes in the multilingual contexts of international organisations. Through rigorous interdisciplinary methods, you will gain experience in communication from linguistic, communicative, cultural, anthropological and management perspectives.
The Master’s programme in Intercultural Communication is a joint programme that incorporates expertise from German, English, French, Italian, Dutch and Spanish researchers and lecturers. You can choose your own study path in the form of a language-specific programme that includes a high level of second/international language training in one of the language mentioned above. Alternatively, you can pursue a non-language-specific multilingual programme, in which you analyse communication processes within different languages and cultures. All tracks are open to international students who want to increase their intercultural and multilingual competencies in an international context.
Communications professionals can improve their career options and promotion opportunities by following the Master’s programme in Intercultural Communication. Whether you plan to take a sabbatical from work or are an independent professional seeking to broaden your opportunities in internationalisation, this Master offers you a number of possibilities. This programme will increase your employability and enrich your CV. You can also enrol in individual courses as time permits.
After graduation from the Master’s programme in Intercultural Communication you will:
After successfully completing your studies, you will be ready for various positions where intercultural communication processes in organisational and cultural contexts are vital. You will also be able to design and implement practice-oriented language and communication research. For example, you may advise companies and organisations on communication processes for migrants and expats (communicative auditing).