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.
Artists, designers and performers doing strange things with technology. That is what the MADtech study programme is about. You will be expected to employ and artistically explore hybrid technologies to imagine, interpret and change human interaction with a transforming world. You will apply a trial-and-error and tinker mentality, with play and experimentation forming key aspects in your development and receiving special emphasis in the research you do. This mentality, combined with a critical reflective attitude and conceptual skills, will lead to unexpected perspectives and result in artistic multimedia, performative or design work.
MADtech students come from various professional backgrounds and fields of media, art and design, and all share a fascination with technology. The combination of disciplines gives you an opportunity to develop your artistic vision while deploying a hybrid artistic practice as an autonomous artist, designer or performer. As your work engages with the world, you will grow both as an individual and in your artistic practice, reinforcing the power of your imagination and exploring your own connection to a transforming, technologically charged society.
The MADtech make-and-learn community and professional practice is a hybrid approach and a mixture of art forms, including autonomous, applied and performing arts. Your project and the purpose of your work will define what sets you apart from other professionals working in this domain, while you all share an artistic process and are connected by creative and technological workspaces and experimental collaboration. In this situation, the artistic process gives direction to multiple patterns of research. These patterns of research strengthen the artistic process and enlarge your future field of work. Within the MAdtech programme you can combine or specialise in one or more research areas in the fields of media, art and design, which are linked together by the concept of a technologically charged society, for example Artistic Technology Research, Happiness Design Research and Experimental Performance Research.
Past, present and future
No matter which research track your on, at MADtech we are continually seeking a dialogue between different viewpoints on the past, present and future: between art and science, between theoretical and applied research, stable and unstable media, old and new technologies, and local and global forms of society. This is a group process in which we share our views and ideas, work together and learn from each other. At the same time, you will also embark on your own path, improving your knowledge and skills, and learning to reflect critically on your own position, role and work and on the world around you.
Learning how to make new discoveries that will contribute to a better understanding of the historical and social significance of works of art, artefacts and other cultural products from classical antiquity to the present.
Art is an expression of the human spirit. The study of art deals with cultural, social, religious, political and aesthetic meaning in the time it was created, the present and the eras in between. Think of how the Greek mythology of Narcissus – who has been portrayed in countless sculptures and paintings over the ages – was used by Freud to name a psychological disorder and is today used by politicians to symbolise the flaws of modern society. And think of how the destruction of art, be it by Byzantine iconoclasts, sixteenth-century Dutch protestants, or present-day adherents of IS, teaches us that the emotional and political significance of art goes far beyond the loss of objects.
The research Master’s in Art and Visual Culture studies the relationship between art, the past and the present from various angles, including the interpretation of the cultural contexts of visual expressions and their transformations throughout the ages up to now. This programme is geared towards classical archaeologists, art historians and cultural scholars alike. You’ll gain insight into general humanities methods and theories as well as those specific for those three fields. You can then go to focus on your own topic in the field of Art-Historical, Cultural Studies and Archaeology.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/arts-culture
The programme welcomes students with interest in all forms of art and visual culture. Our own research primarily focuses on Europe and ‘its worlds’, including how European artefacts interact with and differ from the rest of the world. Our research studies artefacts in the broadest sense, ranging from the more traditional forms as sculptures, paintings and architecture to modern ones as film, digital art, the performing arts and even fashion. All our research is performed in collaboration with scientists from other fields within the Institute for Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies (HLCS). We are joined in thirteen themed research groups .
- We teach you to look at the physical, artistic and visual qualities of an artwork or artefact, seen from the perspectives of three different disciplines: Classical Archaeology, Cultural Studies and Art History.
- In your first year, you take several courses with students from the other HLCS research Master’s specialisations in Historical Studies, and in Literary Studies. This unique construction will allow you to view your own field from the perspective of the other humanities.
- A personal tutor will guide you throughout the entire programme. He/she will give you advice on how to tailor our programme to best suit your interests, act as a sounding board for your research ideas, and help you make the right connections in the academic arena.
- You’ll receive thorough preparation for PhD research, including the writing of a publishable scholarly article and a proposal for a PhD project.
- This programme strongly encourages you to go abroad for at least a semester. Students can use our connections to other universities (IRUN network ) and research institutes to find a place that meet their academic interests.
Any research done by students of the Master’s in Art and Visual Culture will be supervised by a researcher at the Institute for Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies (HLCS) in Nijmegen. HLCS research focuses around the theme Europe and its Worlds and questions whether ‘Europe’ consists of different worlds, how it is addressed, how it differs from the rest of the world, and how it interacts with other worlds. Researchers from a variety of humanities disciplines collaborate in thirteen different thematic groups to explore the spaces, cultural practices, beliefs, texts and ideas related to Europe and its World.
Thematic research groups
There are art and cultural scientists in many of these thematic groups. Although all the groups could be of interest to an art and cultural researcher, our experience is that the following generate a lot of interest among the Art and Visual Culture students:
- Matter And Culture: Analysis, Discourse & Aesthetics of/in Material Culture
The common framework of this group is research into material culture as the bearer of meaning in the broadest sense.
- Creative Industries: Society, Culture and Aesthetics in the 21st century
This group aims to gain a socio-cultural understanding of the creative industries. The group views the creative industries as a dynamic sector of autonomous and applied arts that range from theatre, music, media, literature and museums; to gaming, film, fashion and television, as well as to design, arts education, heritage and festivals.
- Memory, Materiality and Meaning in the Age of Transnationalism
This group studies the material as well as immaterial media and forms of embodiment through which we create memory through meaning-making and performative practices.
Master’s thesis topics in Art and Visual Culture:
For their Master’s thesis research, students can work together with researchers from one of the HLCS research groups or choose a topic in a non-related area. A small sample of thesis topics that you could research in this programme:
- Understanding the Post-Pompeian Era: Wall painting in the Roman Empire (AD 79-395)
- Crime in a Nordic Space: The Production of Space in Forbrydelsen
- William Marlowe in his time: an eighteenth-century view painter rediscovered
- Unravelling the Fabrics of Time: A New Materialist Perspective on Slow Fashion Becomings
- A Pyramidal Structure along the Via Appia. Documentation and reconstruction
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/arts-culture
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.
Our Research Master’s in Musicology will train you in advanced research while giving you academic insight into the theoretical and artistic principles underpinning music across history and cultures. You will also investigate the contextual circumstances influencing the production, distribution, and reception of music.
The Musicology programme at Utrecht University focuses on Western music from the Middle Ages to the present, the impact of media on the reception and conceptualisation of music, and digital musicology. Interdisciplinary work is central to the programme, and there are particularly strong links with Medieval and Renaissance Studies, New Media & Digital Culture, Gender Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Computational Humanities, as well as Game Research, the focus area Cultures, Citizenship and Human Rights, and the strategic theme Institutions. This programme aims to innovate, while at the same time retaining its links to the traditional musicological research fostered at the University over the past 85 years.
Our current research focuses on late medieval music from the 13th to the early 15th centuries, Renaissance Franco-Flemish polyphony, music and migration, Baroque opera, Dutch music since the 17th century, music and its epistemologies from the late 18th century to the present, 20th-and 21st-century art and popular music, the complex relationship between music and politics (in particular, during the 19th, 20th and 21st century), the interaction between music and media (in particular, film and digital media, but also the materiality and semiotics of notations), and the impact of digital research tools on musicology. This research is firmly imbedded within the taught components of this programme, which are further enhanced by guest lectures and master classes led by international experts.
This programme will give you the specialist knowledge, insight and skills necessary to pursue further study at PhD level or a career as a researcher. Many alumni pursue academic careers in international musicological research.
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.
This course enables you to understand a field that is buzzing with creativity: where art meets commerce, and where culture generates innovation and social cohesion.
What do your clothes say about your identity? Can an artist still break out without competing on a talent show? Should a city’s history and heritage be ‘repackaged’ to attract visitors? The creative industries are a fast-changing sector where the focus always seems to be on the tension between creativity and commerce. You may wonder how it could be otherwise, in a world where creativity has become a commodity. At Radboud University we address such questions.
In the Master’s specialisation in Creative Industries, we focus on the artistic product. We look at, for example, the wonderful world where high fashion interacts with technological gadgets. Where tourists can discover a town’s cultural highlights with an app for a guide. Where television series are gaining ground on cinema. You will study our (post-)industrial society as a cultural phenomenon.
If you want to contribute to the development of a young, dynamic and steadily expanding creative sector, then this Master’s specialisation is for you.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/creativeindustries
- We approach the creative industries with a strong focus on culture as we put the creative object, product or process itself at the centre of the study. This emphasis makes our approach unique in the Netherlands.
- We look at diverse areas of the creative industry: including fashion, music, film and television, (social) media, tourism and education.
- We take a practical approach to this field by not only studying the big players, like global conglomerates but also studying small and medium enterprises.
- Our programme is hands-on, with assignments on a weekly basis challenging you to develop the ‘soft skills’ necessary to be successful in the labour market.
- We have close contacts with art and cultural organisations in and around Nijmegen. You can use these contacts to get a real taste of the industries you’re going to be working in.
The creative industries is a dynamic and complex field that changes rapidly due to globalisation and the continuous development of new and exciting technologies. At Radboud University we look at many areas of the creative industry, such as:
- Fashion: Fashion is a commercial, creative and cultural industry producing material objects like textile and garments, but also more conceptual products like trends, and beauty ideals. The glamour of fashion may lure us, but it is one of the most polluting industries. Currently, the field is characterized by incredible speed, rapid turnover, and high waste. In the future, can the fashion industry retain its glamour while becoming more sustainable?
- Media: The contemporary mediascape is dominated by global conglomerates with companies in various industries, such as film studios, sports and news channels, and game developers, to name a few. As a result, the industry has transformed into a cultural economy where only six ‘media giants', including Disney and Time Warner, control 90% of everything we read, watch and listen to. We will look at how the industry shapes both the form and the content of contemporary media productions.
- Tourism: The rise of mass tourism in the second part of the nineteenth century has been called the most important migratory movement in the history of mankind. We will study how art and culture are used to stimulate the tourist industry, and discuss the role of artists in the phenomenon. We examine renowned artists, as well as behind-the-scenes designers of sites, and tourists themselves.
- Education: Creativity and the so-called ‘21st Century Skills' in education are critical for contemporary post-industrial societies. Individuals are also becoming more driven to expand their cultural intellect; a factor that is sometimes used to promote educational goods and services. For examples, museums are becoming more interactive to help visitors understand the content better.
If you want to make a career in the intersection of art and commerce, then the Master’s specialisation in Creative Industries is the right choice for you.
This Master’s will help you develop the reflective, inquisitive and critical attitude you need to succeed in this field, while closely looking at research methods and engaging in discussions currently surrounding these topics. You will familiarise yourself with policy papers, business plans, and gain advanced knowledge of the industries based on the creative product. You will also be able to assess future trends, especially where the industry is concerned. In short, you will have the skills you need to contribute to the development of the young and dynamic creative sector.
The jobs you might find yourself doing have graduating from this programme are extremely varied. The terrain of creative industries is as diverse as it is large and it is constantly expanding. We therefore expect that there will be and more and more demand for people with expertise in the creative industries.
To give you an idea of possible jobs, here is a sample of jobs our graduates hold:
- Trend watcher for companies
- Consultant in art education for an educational organisation
- Consultant in ‘quality television’ for a national commercial television station
- Cultural policy-maker for the government
- Festival organiser
- Webmaster at a museum
- Programme organiser at a film festival
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/creativeindustries
You are keen to gain more insight into the innovative potential of painting in a rapidly changing world. You are aware of the forces of physicality and materiality in art work, and you take a painterly approach to conducting your experimental research into the functioning of perception psychology, cognition and imagination. A painting both reveals how ideas are imagined and shows how material is edited and used. Taking a painterly and critical approach means harnessing materiality to create new links and associations. By combining ideation and materiality, transforming your ideas into unexpected, meaningful and powerful images, you determine the meaning and significance of your work in contemporary society.
Past, present and future
All over the world, painting has been reinvented as a result of political changes, the digitisation of society, demand for a postcolonial perspective and the current runaway art market. Alongside its emphasis on materiality and ideation, the Painting programme responds to these developments by continually seeking a dialogue between different viewpoints on the past, present and future: between perception and cognition, image and language, stable and unstable media, old and new technologies and, in a broader sense, between art and science and both local and global forms of society. This allows us to collectively explore charted and uncharted territories whilst sharing our views and ideas, working in groups and learning from each other. At the same time, you will also embark on your own path, improving your knowledge and skills, and learning to reflect critically on your own position, role and work and on the world around you.
Students come to the Painting programme from a range of different areas, including art and design, but all share a fascination for painting. The mix of disciplines enables you to hone your artistic vision, working in a hybrid practice as a critical and engaged artist. As your art increasingly engages with the world, you will grow both as an individual and in your artistic practice, reinforcing the power of your imagination and exploring your own relationship to a transforming, technologically charged society.
Software systems enable us to do things that would otherwise be difficult, time-consuming, or even impossible. In the Master’s programme Computing Science, you will learn the advanced concepts, software design methods, problem-solving techniques, and analytic skills necessary to create information-driven systems and applications for our diverse society.
Within the programme, you can select one of four tracks:
The programme is research oriented. You will explore theories and techniques in computing science and software design as well as participate in the research done to advance the field.
To successfully design software, you first need to describe and analyse the relevant domain and its properties using language, modeling, or data. You then need to develop suitable software technologies and algorithms to derive the outcomes you want to achieve. Finally, you need an easy and efficient way to implement these components and turn them into an actual application.
You will learn to analyse and develop the concepts, design methods, and techniques underlying all of these steps.
Bio inspired design and science are used for innovations that support a transition to a sustainable, circular economy. The Master’s programme Bio Inspired Innovation (BII) offers a unique blend of knowledge and skill training that will support the search for and development of circular business-models and bio inspired research & innovations.
Nature evolves solutions for the societal challenges we face today. Many birds and butterfly species for example, like peacocks, use light-interacting structures to produce colours and patterns. With the discovery of this biotechnology, scientists and engineers have been able to produce colour through structure. BII is aimed at students with a Bachelor’s degree in Science who want to innovate services, products and production systems, and are interested in using bio inspired design and science. You can become the biologist at the design table and facilitate innovations that take their lessons from nature. You will become a professional that contributes to the transition to a circular economy with Bio Inspired Innovations.
This Master’s programme builds on the excellent research at the Faculty of Science and links research findings to solve societal and business challenges.
The first year is research based, while the second year focuses on the use of research knowledge in innovation. In the first year you will be part of an advanced research environment linking to your area of expertise (major research project). You learn to set up and execute research and discuss and report its outcomes. Moreover you will start to explore and learn about multi-disciplinary innovation, collaborative business modelling and design. You will attend seminars and workshops, some of which you will organise yourself, that allow you to prepare yourself for the second year.
In the second year you will get in depth knowledge of Biomimicry and other design and innovation methods through courses and an internship.
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.
The master in Arts and Culture at Leiden University is your chance to acquire a world-class, customised qualification within the field of Arts and Culture.
A unique programme in terms of its diverse and interdisciplinary range of subjects, the master in Arts and Culture offers you the choice of three specialisations. Each explores different themes from a comparative and global perspective. A broad range of electives allows you to further customise your degree. We encourage every student to pursue the academic areas they are passionate about.
Learn from the leading minds in the field
At Leiden University, you are joining one of the world's leading universities. In the MA in Arts and Culture, you learn from internationally-respected researchers at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS) as well as eminent scholars and practitioners from our network of academic and cultural institutions. You will benefit from this network both in what you learn, and in how, with opportunities for internships, exchange programmes and a line-up of regular visiting speakers.
The master in Arts and Culture is an academically challenging programme, with an emphasis on training students to be excellent researchers and stand-out critical thinkers. Relevance is of key importance, with current issues integrated into everything you learn. Because of this, our programme attracts motivated students from all around the world seeking an academic programme that promises the best in knowledge, skills, and career prospects.
Our approach to learning at Leiden University is focused on the individual and their unique profile. Teaching takes the form of small-scale seminars, where every student is involved in class discussions and receives a high-level of focused attention from lecturers.