Judged best in the field
The highly regarded Keuzegids Master’s Selection Guide 2017 ranked Utrecht University’s Literature programme as the best in the field in the Netherlands.
Do you wonder how a literary work becomes a classic or bestseller in the Digital Age? Would you like to learn about the steps taken between publishing a manuscript and the media reviews, talk shows, or blogs in which the work is discussed? Then this Master's programme might be for you.
Literature today continues to inspire as a laboratory of ideas, dreams, and narratives, even while facing new challenges. Novels, poems, and short stories now reach their audiences through printed books, e-books, and audiobooks, and through the Internet. Literary texts, including the classics, are being adapted to games and TV dramas, yet a growing numbers of visitors to book fairs shows that literature itself remains a powerful medium.
In the Master’s programme Literature Today, you will learn to identify and critically evaluate the most recent national and international developments in literature, and to situate these from a historical perspective. You will be equipped with the tools to identify and explain the quality of literary works in times of increasing commercialisation. You will learn how literature circulates within the market as part of a creative industry sustained by centuries-old tradition, and you will investigate from theoretical and practical angles how to help to spread literature, explain it to a broader public, and translate academic insights for the reading public.
Critical reflection, building up a repertoire, the consolidation of writing skills, and an understanding of how literary institutions operate in an era of globalisation are central to your studies during this programme. You can also complete an internship with publishing houses, media corporations, libraries, literary foundations, or cultural institutions – the job market and professional field for which this Master’s programme prepares you.
You can choose from among the following tracks to tailor the programme to your interests and desired career path:
1. English and Comparative Literature (entirely in English)
2. Dutch Literature (in Dutch and English)
3a. French Literature (Modern Literature in European Languages)
3b. German Literature (Modern Literature in European Languages)
3d. Hispanic Literature (Modern Literature in European Languages)
3d. Italian Literature (Modern Literature in European Languages)
Read more about these tracks.
As a graduate of the Master in Literature Today, you will be trained to critically engage with the challenges that confront literature in our globalised, digitalised, and commercialised world. The programme content approaches these challenges from both a theoretical and practical perspective so that you will be fully prepared for the job market.
During your studies, the programme will:
During your studies, you will become acquainted with different literary institutions that operate in the field of literature and culture. After finishing the programme, you can use the academic and practical skills acquired during your year of study and begin working at one of these institutions. Read more about possible career prospects.
The master's programme in Literary Studies at Leiden University offers you a specialised qualification in one of four languages and cultures or a comparative perspective on literature and culture, with each programme offering considerable scope for individual customisation.
We believe that freedom plays an important role in unlocking potential. The master’s programme in Literary Studies has a high degree of flexibility to enable you to tailor the programme to your particular interests. Your curriculum could include a single or combined major and electives from other specialisations – even other master’s programmes. You are also free to go abroad for a specific university course or an internship in order to deepen or widen your focus.
Academics from the renowned Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS) teach the master’s programme in Literary Studies. This means that every class you attend is taught by scholars of international standing who are true experts in their fields. Small, interactive classes or one-on-one mentoring ensure you get the most from their expert guidance and advice. An important objective is to teach you the value of questioning: you will acquire a broad, investigative and critical approach to problem solving that can be applied to any challenge in any role.
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
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. Read more about possible career prospects.
The research master's programme in Asian Studies gives you access to Leiden University's leading expertise in the countries of Asia from their politics and literature to their languages.
Designed for high-achieving students, Leiden University's Asia Studies (Research) programme offers access to unique resources and expertise. Asian Studies at Leiden University has a reputation for excellence that is unmatched in Europe. You can choose subjects from a curriculum that spans virtually the entire Asian region both in geography and time.
You will be able to focus your studies on a region, such as China, Japan, Korea, South Asia or Southeast Asia, or on a discipline, such as politics, religion, art and material culture, languages and literature, with the option to work with a primary language. A comparative, area studies approach to learning encourages a broader, contextual understanding of the issues at hand. The programme not only encourages intra-Asian comparisons, but cooperates closely with the Middle Eastern Studies (Research) programme. This cooperation is institutionalised, for example, through a common introductory course on Area Studies.
An important focus of this programme is developing your ability to conduct high-quality scientific research. You also have the opportunity to conduct field research in a country of your choice in Asia.
The two-year interdisciplinary research master in Latin American Studies addresses cutting-edge debates on the social and cultural issues in present-day Latin America and the Caribbean region.
Leiden University's Latin American Studies (research) programme is your opportunity to explore the social, cultural, and historical narratives shaping present-day Latin America. Taught by international researchers, this interdisciplinary programme centers around the theme Latin American Modernities: Resistance, Revival and Change.
Explore the different forms of modernity in Latin America within one of three areas: culture and identity, state-society relations, and literature, arts and media. A comparative, area studies approach to research provides a broader, global context to current issues in Latin America.
This programme attracts talented students and staff from around the world. Small classes ensure you get the most from in-class discussions and direct contact with your international peers and lecturers. An important focus of this programme is developing your ability to conduct high-quality scientific research, including field research in a Latin American country. A substantial part of the programme is taught in Spanish or Portuguese, developing your proficiency in one of these languages.
Are you a socially conscious, critical thinker? Are you interested in politics and technology? And does the connection between innovation and society intrigue you? Then the master’s European Studies on Society, Sciences and Technology (ESST) might be what you are looking for. As an ESST student, you will investigate the relationship between science, technology, and society, from a cultural, political, economic, and historical point of view.
This programme is offered together with 15 partner universities across Europe. You will spend your first semester taking courses at Maastricht University. During the second semester, you will select a specialisation and write your thesis either at Maastricht University or at one of the programme’s partner universities abroad.
Why this programme?
The emergence of new technology - such as smart phones, social networking, nanotechnology, robotics, sustainable energy, and disability and technology - opens up both opportunities and threats to modern societies and economies. Citizens, governments, businesses and universities face great challenges when trying to take advantage of the seemingly infinite opportunities of scientific and technological innovations, not least because of the unintended consequences that may accompany them.
Convinced that 'innovation' cannot be captured by economics alone and that a purely technical approach is not enough to understand today’s knowledge society, ESST focuses on governance, sustainability and cultures of innovation from a multidisciplinary approach. The ESST programme explores the interrelated worlds of the scientist, engineer, politician, and citizen by examining the values, language, history, politics, and economics of our modern cultures of innovation. Furthermore, the global, multicultural, and environmentally conscious perspective of the programme develops ethical awareness and public responsibility.
At first sight, the arts and sciences appear to be worlds apart. While sciences draw on strict procedures, the arts seem to be exempted from such rules. Yet both practices are governed by conventions - such as a consistent focus on innovation - that help to explain their cultural impact.
Moreover, the arts, science and technology mix and mingle in interesting ways. The arts provide scientists with metaphors to describe their work. The sciences are objects of cultural critique in the arts. The arts continuously incorporate new technologies. And both the arts and sciences “imagine” our culture’s future. That is why it is so important to study the contributions of the arts, science and technology to modern culture. And it is why we study all of these in one programme. CAST has roots in the internationally known field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and is at the same time uniquely embedded in empirical cultural research.
The Research Master in Cultures of Arts, Science and Technology is an intense and highly reputed programme. The programme is designed to give you the best possible preparation for a professional research position. During your master’s, you will therefore not only study theories from history, sociology, philosophy, the arts and the qualitative social sciences, but you will also follow a number of courses that specifically focus on research methods such as qualitative interviewing, conceptual analysis, archival research, ethnographic observations and rhetorical, narrative and discourse analysis. Most importantly, you will actually learn to work with these methods by writing review papers, research papers and proposals. You will work closely with faculty research staff on their projects and gain a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at how academic research is actually done.
How can we understand the EU’s response to the financial crisis or to the confrontation between Ukraine and Russia? How do we account for the EU’s reaction to the refugee crisis provoked by conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa? What is Europe’s peacekeeping role and capacity? The master's programme in European Studies trains you to answer these complex questions. Because you cannot study Europe from just one angle, the programme examines global developments and multi-level governance in a broader context, combining political science, history, international relations, economics and cultural studies. This student-centred, interdisciplinary programme is among the largest, and certainly the most international, in Europe and has an excellent reputation. You will study the internal and external dimensions of European policy, governance and administration. The focus is on the underlying issues of power and influence, governance and culture within the European milieu and between Europe and the wider world.
Why this programme?
The Master of Arts in European Studies focuses on the international dimensions of policy, governance and administration. The programme looks beyond the institutions of the European Union and the mechanics of European integration to examine global developments and multi-level governance in a broader context. The programme employs an interdisciplinary approach, combining political science, history, international relations, economics and cultural studies. The focus is on the underlying issues of power and influence, governance and culture.
The programme offers three specialisations:
The master's programme in European Public Affairs is designed to meet the growing need for professionals who have a solid understanding of the multifaceted dimensions of policy-making in Europe. As policy problems transcend national borders and national problem-solving capacities, there is a need for individuals who are familiar with the complexities of Europe and the European Union, and who can reformulate intricate problems in manageable and achievable terms.
From the perspectives of political science, law, economics, cultural science and public administration, the programme delves into contemporary policy problems. You will be encouraged to become familiar with national and regional differences within the European territory, and to search out commonalities and paths for integration.
The programme is organised in close cooperation with the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA). EIPA is a professional organisation that provides training, research and consultancy within the field of European affairs. The many lectures and workshops by EIPA professionals underline the practice-oriented approach of the programme and allow you to become familiar with the complexities of transnational policy-making. You will be equipped not only with academic skills, but also the tools that you will need in professional practice.
Why this programme?
The master's programme in European Public Affairs (EPA) provides advanced professional training in both the theoretical and practical aspects of European policy-making. The policy context in the European Union is complex, and contemporary policy problems transcend national and disciplinary borders. You will therefore learn various academic concepts, theories and research methods from disciplines such as political science, law, economics, cultural science and public administration. You will use this knowledge to research, analyse and critically evaluate EU policy problems. You will also be encouraged to become familiar with national and regional differences within the European territory, and to search out commonalities and paths for integration. You will put this knowledge and these skills to work by teaming up with your fellow students to develop concrete solutions to real policy problems.
What critical role do artists, philosophers, writers and poets play in today’s society? What is the point of art in public spaces? What can your role as a future student of culture mean to society? If you are passionate about such issues, the master’s programme in Art, Literature and Society could be the programme for you. The programme is aimed at critical and creative thinkers who have a large array of interests. As a graduate of this programme, you will have broad insights into modern day questions of national and international importance. You will also have experience conducting incisive debates and will be able to contribute to contemporary discussions surrounding art and literature.
You can choose to follow this programme completely in English or completely in Dutch.You will get an MA in Arts and Culture with a specialisation in Art, Literature and Society.
Why this programme?
The master Art, Literature and Society addresses contemporary debates in literature, art, religion, philosophy and culture. The key term here is interdisciplinarity: you learn to approach debates not as a philosopher, student of literature, sociologist or art historian, but rather as a student of culture who can combine different approaches from all of these various disciplines.
You will use interdisciplinary insights to debate issues such as:
The debates and discussions you will have during the programme, as well as the lectures and skills trainings, will help you:
Do you want to broaden your knowledge of European politics and policies in a programme that combines the study of political science with international relations, history and sociology? Are you ambitious, with a keen motivation to pursue a career that requires strong research competences, such as in a think tank or in academia, or jobs in politics and journalism? And are you interested in being part of a small, close-knit community of students and researchers? If so, the two-year interdisciplinary European Studies programme is the right choice for you.
Why this programme?
The research-intensive master’s in European Studies is an interdisciplinary programme that combines political science and international relations with history and sociology. Research plays a primary role from the outset, with research projects integrated into each core module. You will gain in-depth training in methods such as quantitative and qualitative techniques, comparative methods and discourse analysis. You will also develop skills in designing research, writing research proposals, publishing your work and applying for funding and research positions. For the elective component, you can choose to take specialised courses, complete a research internship or do an exchange abroad. The master’s programme culminates with a thesis and the development of a PhD research proposal.
In this programme, you will:
The world loves American culture, but is deeply distrustful of American power and politics. At Radboud University, we offer critical insights into what America means. Our Master's program gives students the opportunity to become experts in the concept of ‘America' in a variety of fields: US history, literature, culture (including popular culture, film, theatre, political history, foreign policy, constitutional law, religion and social science. Radboud University's programme distinguishes itself from other's by emphasizing the cultural and political relations between the United States, its neighbours and Europe.
The open classroom experience is what teachers and researches of the Master`s program “North American Studies” want to create for their students. For an example of the experience, in the project “Politics & Culture of Liberation” students and teachers worked closely with the National Liberation Museum in Groesbeek, the Regional Archive in Nijmegen and the National Archives in Washington, D.C. The project resulted in an exhibition on the impact of American culture on Europe and the Transatlantic World. This is only one example of the many creative seminar projects that students realize in the Master`s program.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/americanstudies
Specialisations in the Master's in North American Studies. The Master's programme in North American Studies offers two specialisations:
1. Literatures and Cultures of North America in International Perspective
2. Transnational America: Politics, Culture and Society
America's cultural icons are the world's cultural icons. From Walt Disney to the Statue of Liberty, from Hollywood to Time magazine, and from Jack Kerouac to Philip Roth, the influence of American culture and literature around the world is huge. Our program allows students to critically explore the significance of American culture in countries around the globe. Aside from studying the variety of meanings assigned to American cultural products abroad, students will explore the diversity of the American cultural expressions themselves.
With the so-called ‘transnational turn', American Studies increasingly looks beyond national borders. In this program you will explore the politics, culture and society of the United States within, outside and at its borders. Central themes are the exchange of cultural and political ideas between North America and Europe, and related issues in the field of Americanisation, globalisation, cultural mobility and political and cultural imperialism.
True to the tradition of American Studies, our program teaches students to approach issues from different angles and to think in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary ways. We also offer excellent internships, thanks to our global network. Furthermore, we are the only university in the Netherlands to teach oral communication skills in the American language throughout our Bachelor's program, so that students who go on to study for a Master's degree have near-native language abilities.
In Nijmegen, you will find yourself in a dynamic learning environment where the level of scholarship and communication in (American) English is extremely high. This is one of the reasons why our program is so popular. Another reason is the choice the University offers between two fascinating fields within which you can create your own custom-made program: ‘Literatures and Cultures of North America in International Perspective' and ‘Transnational America: Politics, Culture and Society.'
Within the program in North America Studies, you can choose from the following two specialisations. Each specialisation comprises of a one-year, 60 EC program including a 20 EC Master's thesis project. For more information about program outline, structure, and courses, please click on the links below.
Literature and Cultures of North America in International Perspective
All students enrolled in this Master's specialisation take compulsory foundational courses. In addition, students take a compulsory Master's Thesis Colloquium and participate in Master's Thesis Workshops to help them structure their Master's Thesis research and support their writing process. There is an elective space in the specialisation to allow students to engage in an internship or engage in further courses. Options for elective courses include courses on Native Americans, African-American literature and the American borderlands.
Transnational America: Politics, Culture and Society
If you follow this specialisation, you will take several obligatory foundation courses. In addition, students take a compulsory Master's Thesis Colloquium and participate in Master's Thesis Workshops to help them structure their Master's Thesis research and support their writing process. There is a small elective space in the specialisation to allow students to engage in an internship or engage in further courses. Options for elective courses include a special course on the Beat Generation, one of America's most influential avant-garde movements; Native Americans; African-American Literature and Culture; American Borders: Contact Conflict and Exchange; or American Constitutional Law (taught in Dutch).
There is a wide range of opportunities for graduates from the Master's program in North American Studies. Your broad interdisciplinary education and excellent command of English will help you find a job in an international setting. You could work in school or university education, in research, in journalism or other media, in publishing, museums, international finance, government, business, international affairs or as a diplomat.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/americanstudies
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.
The part-time option allows you to complete the full-time programme over two years instead of one.
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. Read more about possible career prospects.
New media produced by vast and rapidly expanding creative and commercial industries have become an important part of many everyday activities. Would you like to explore how they are changing our daily practices and cultures?
During the one-year Master’s programme in New Media & Digital Culture, you will delve into the many aspects of what it means to live in an age of new media. Guided by an international team of experienced scholars, you will assist with current research projects and learn to reflect critically on how present-day cultures are shaped by social media, data, games, internet activism, apps, data visualisations, mobile devices, algorithms, and participatory platforms.
The programme pivots around three major contemporary features of new media technologies and its relationship to culture and society, namely: the mobile/urbanaspect, the ludic/games aspect, and the software/data aspect. While the programme highlights the overlaps and synergies between these three aspects we also offer students the opportunity to specialise in a MA profile which relates to these three aspects. Engaging with such a profile means following a set trajectory of courses and a profile-related internship and thesis. An example of such a profile is Media, Data and Society (more information here), a co-partnership with the Utrecht Data School.
Both our general programme and its more specific profile trajectories cater to a job market and an industry interested in graduates who are capable of critical engagement with the cultural implications of the complex media culture we live in. To facilitate both in-depth knowledge about new media and digital culture with more practical hands-on experience, you will also complete a research internship towards starting a promising career.
Moderately sized groups of students, individual tutoring, and the chance to participate in international research projects provide you with multiple ways to develop your skills, explore your interests, and achieve valuable academic and personal results. Our dynamic and active community of students, alumni, and scholars provides a wide array of extracurricular activities and access to a large network of practitioners, media artists, policy makers, entrepreneurs, and activists from the most diverse strands of digital culture.
As a graduate of NMDC you are well equipped to fill a position in educational and cultural institutions, governmental institutions or in Media & ICT industries.Read more about possible career prospects.