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Cultural Studies

Course Description

The Master of Arts in Cultural Studies programme investigates the relationship between art, society and all facets of media as well as the techniques that shape both art and society. Inevitably and deliberately, its approach is interdisciplinary. The programme attracts students of cultural studies from various backgrounds, all of whom are interested in examining the relations between society and various media in greater depth and detail. Rather than pursuing a clearly demarcated object of study, the programme applies a practice-driven approach to both contemporary and historical phenomena.

This vision of culture and cultural analysis informs the main areas of study, which include:

- the interaction between theory and practice;.
- a broad interpretation of culture (vs. culture as art);.
- an interest in the social and political stakes of culture;.
- an emphasis on contemporary culture;.
- a focus on the interdisciplinary nature of our objects and methodologies (a combination of traditional artistic readings and insights borrowed from the social sciences);.
- the project-based aspect of creative endeavours.

With your interdisciplinary leanings and interest in cultural science, you are well placed to study the relationship between society and media. The MA in Cultural Studies is both hands-on and theoretically oriented and prepares you for a career in public service, cultural policy and the various creative industries in general. The programme aims to develop your passion, enthusiasm, creativity, flexibility, team work, and direct them to help you achieve your career goals.

This is an initial master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.


The Master of Cultural Studies is an interdisciplinary programme that aims at preparing the student for a wide range of executive functions in the cultural field (cultural mediation, criticism, media, heritage). In order to achieve this goal, the programme offers a combination of theoretical and practical modules.

At the end of the programme, graduates:
- have an in-depth knowledge of the structure of the cultural field and the aims and functions of cultural policy in Flanders (to a lesser extent) and Belgium/Europe (to a larger extent);
- are fit for employment in a cultural institution or organisation;
- are aware of the current definitions of culture and the theoretical debates on these definitions;
- are capable of writing an individual research report;
- have developed a solid scientific attitude towards the major methodological aspects and issues in the field of cultural studies.

[[Career paths]]
As both a hands-on and theoretically oriented programme, the Master of Arts in Cultural Studies prepares students for careers in a wide range of fields. On the one hand, many graduates become public servants and cultural policy officers at all levels of government (local, regional, national, international). On the other, many graduates enter the large field of creative industries (music, television, print and online media). The programme's regularly updated internship database provides a good overview of the possibilities open to students of cultural studies.

A fair number of students combine their studies (in 2 years) with a teachers' training programme, which prepares them for a teaching career. Students eager to find their way in the cultural sector should realise, however, that working in culture rarely entails a nine-to-five job. Special qualities such as passion, enthusiasm, creativity, flexibility, teamwork and good verbal and communicative skills are crucial. This programme in aims to hone those qualities.

Entry Requirements

Direct admission: Bachelor of Cultural Studies. Admission based on evaluation of a complete application file:Students with an academic BA in one of the following fields: arts, literature, history. Admission decisions will be based on the applicant's undergraduate diploma and on the required documents. A thorough knowledge of various sectors of contemporary Western culture (literature, cultural theory and art history), as demonstrated by the bachelor curriculum, is required. More information: www.kuleuven.be/admissions

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