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 Leuven, University of Ghent, Paris Sorbonne University, LMU Munich, Goethe University Frankfurt, Utrecht University, University of Amsterdam, and a number of universities in the United States, including Princeton University, Harvard 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 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. Read more about possible career prospects.
What is the societal and academic significance of 'art', 'heritage' and 'culture'? Why do we value certain works of art, heritage or cultural practices and not others? How do different ways of interpreting and presenting the arts and cultural heritage affect our ideas about the past, present and future? If you are interested in finding the answers to questions like these, and you have a passion for art and cultural heritage, the master’s programme Arts and Heritage: Policy, Management and Education might be the right choice for you.
In this programme, which you can choose to follow in English or Dutch, you will develop the academic and professional knowledge and skills you will need to become a policy maker, art manager, museum curator or educator. This internationally-oriented programme approaches art and cultural heritage from different perspectives. You will also have plenty of opportunities to concentrate on your specific areas of interest.
Why this programme?
The master’s programme in Arts and Heritage: Policy, Management and Education examines the concepts of ‘heritage’ and ‘art’ as expressions of both past and present culture. You will develop insights into these key concepts and how their meaning has changed throughout history. You will evaluate and debate issues related to appreciation, interpretation, use, management and policy. The programme will also teach you academic skills and professional skills in the practical organisation and development of artistic projects in the context of cultural management.