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.
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.
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.