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Arts and Culture (MA)

Master

Discover the world at Leiden University

Specializations
Art, Architecture and Interior before 1800 (MA)
Contemporary Art in a Global Perspective
Museums and Collections (MA)

The MA in Arts and Culture at Leiden University is your chance to acquire


a world-class, customised qualification within the field of Arts and Culture.

Apply now

Why study Arts and Culture at Leiden University?

A unique programme in terms of its diverse and interdisciplinary range of subjects, the Arts
and Culture master's programme offers you the choice of three specialisations. Each
explores different themes from a comparative and global perspective and offers a broad
range of electives, allowing you to further customise your degree. We encourage every
student to pursue the academic areas they are passionate about.

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Learn more about the study programme

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 benefit from this
network both in what you learn, and in how, with opportunities for internships, exchange
programmes and regular visiting speakers.

Check the entry requirements

Academic challenge combined with social relevance

The master's 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, all of
whom are seeking an academic programme that promises the best in knowledge, skills, and
career prospects.

Find out more about the career prospects

Small classes and an individual approach

Our approach to learning at Leiden University is focused on the individual and their unique
profile. Teaching takes the form of small-scale lectures, where every student is involved in
class discussions and receives a high level of focused attention from lecturers.

Arts and Culture degree

Arts and Culture at Leiden University is an accredited degree programme. After successful
completion of this programme, you will receive a master’s degree in Arts and Culture and
the title Master of Arts (MA).

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Why Leiden University
Leiden University offers ambitious students a world-class environment in
which to reach their potential.

A top-ranked university

Leiden University's Faculty of Humanities consistently ranks in the top 30 humanities


faculties in the Times Higher Education (THE) world university rankings. At Leiden
University, the oldest university in the Netherlands, learning incorporates the latest research
and resources found nowhere else in the world, such as those of the famous Leiden
University Library and its collections of original manuscripts, periodicals, and photographs.

World-class expertise

The Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS) is a leading European centre
for research and teaching in languages, literature, art and culture. The MA in Art and
Culture makes full use of this centre’s unmatched academic range, global network, and
student-centred focus, with a high-level of individual supervision and the option to
customise programmes to meet personal goals.

An ideal location

Leiden University offers you one of the best locations from which to explore and study the
field of art and culture. Our location close to the major European cities of the Hague,
Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels and London brings you within easy reach of some of Europe’
s most famous museums, galleries and exhibitions.

An outstanding start to your career

Our reputation as a centre of excellence means that your qualification is respected by


organisations worldwide. Our graduates enjoy successful careers thanks to their broad and
global mind-sets, specialised and in-depth knowledge, and strong critical-thinking skills.
The success of our alumni speaks for itself. Our graduates are equipped to solve the
challenges facing society now and in the future.

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About the programme
Learn the newest insights from the researchers who uncover them.

Arts and Culture is an English-language master’s programme available to study full-time or


part-time. Students choose from three specialisations:

Art, Architecture and Interior before 1800


Contemporary Art in a Global Perspective
Museums and Collections

The programme consists of 60 EC, to be completed in one year. Part-time students complete
the programme in 1.5 years, with a course load of 20 EC per semester. Courses are
scheduled during office hours.

The structure of the programme is as follows:

Practices and Debates (5 credits)


Two Research Seminars from Museums and Collections (20 credits)
Free Component (10 credits)
Thesis Seminar (5 credits)
Thesis (20 credits)

Requirements for graduation are:

Successful completion of courses, following the structure of the programme (40 EC)
Successful completion of an MA Thesis (20 EC)

You will need to complete at least 45 EC within your field of specialisation:

2 Research seminars from Museums and Collections (20 credits);


Thesis seminar (5 EC);
Thesis (20 EC).

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Lectures
Seminars
Tutorials
Self-study
Field trips/excursions
Internship options

Thesis
Exams
Peer feedback and assessment
Essays, reports and final thesis
Oral presentations

Throughout the master’s programme in Arts and Culture you will be able to take advantage
of Leiden’s proximity to a network of major museums, collections, libraries and research
schools, accessing a range of unique texts and works of art. These include:

The National Museum for Ethnology


The Museum for the History of Science
The National Museum of Antiquities
The Rijksmuseum
Museum Beelden aan zee in Scheveningen
Leiden University Library with its many special collections of prints, drawings and
photography
Museum Voorlinden

Latest research

All courses are taught by academics who are active researchers. Content is regularly updated
to reflect contemporary academic debates and the very latest insights – in particular from the
research conducted by lecturers on the programme.

The design of the programme aims to develop essential skills in reasoning and critical
thinking, as well as advanced abilities in independently conducting high-quality scientific
research and developing this data into an academic dissertation.

Detailed programme

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For a detailed programme, see the e-Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the
current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

Elizabeth den Hartog


Researcher and University Lecturer

"The MA in Arts and Culture curriculum offers students a series


of very varied courses that explore subject areas including the
theoretical aspects of art, how art has functioned and functions
in society, how art, art works, artists and architects travelled, the
interaction between the arts and literature, and the materiality of
art. Our location in the Netherlands is ideal for a master's in Arts and Culture
because we are surrounded by world-renowned historic and contemporary
art, which enables us to offer a truly hands-on approach to learning."

Developing critical-thinking skills


"We turn our students into critical thinkers by giving them autonomous
research assignments on self-chosen subjects about which they must reflect,
form ideas, and debate with fellow students and peers. Our students are
encouraged to question assumptions, which helps them develop critical-
thinking skills."

Deciphering iconography
"My specific field of interest is the interaction between architecture, art and the
viewer in the medieval and early modern period. I love going into a medieval
church with my students, deciphering the iconography and working out how
the church would have looked in the medieval period, looking for traces of
removed art works, altars and the like."
“Time has taught us that solutions to social problems do not lie in technology,
but in human potential. Technological solutions are essential, but so is the
significance people attribute to this information through culture or language.
Experience shows us that research within the humanities and social sciences
often provides these solutions. This is why the research conducted by our
humanities faculty is so highly relevant and important. I am very proud of the
fact that Leiden University’s Faculty of Humanities is one of the world’s
leading faculties in the field.”

Broad and relevant research:

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“One of this faculty’s strengths is how incredibly broad it is. We conduct a
wealth of relevant research in so many different fields and disciplines. We
have egyptologists working on excavation sites in Saqqara and the Dakhla
Oasis. We have linguists who are documenting, for the first time, languages
that are spoken by vast numbers of people in the world today; others creating
computer simulations of language acquisition by the brain. The extent and
variety of the activity going on is tremendous.”

A stimulating environment
“When you join Leiden’s Faculty of Humanities you are joining a community of
passionate, stimulated and ambitious students and staff from all over the
world. Our academic environment is known for being conducive to interaction
between individuals of all standing: at Leiden even the most junior researcher
is treated as a valuable member of the community with important opinions to
share. You also gain access to truly unique resources found nowhere else in
the world, such as our famous collections at the University Library. Our
lecturers and support staff are committed to your success, both now and in
the future, and offer you the tools needed to develop into a critically-minded
professional who can truly make a difference to the world.”

Mirjam de Baar
Vice-dean

“Time has taught us that solutions to social problems do not lie


in technology, but in human potential. Technological solutions
are essential, but so is the significance people attribute to this
information through culture or language. Experience shows us
that research within the humanities and social sciences often
provides these solutions. This is why the research conducted by our
humanities faculty is so highly relevant and important. I am very proud of the
fact that Leiden University’s Faculty of Humanities is one of the world’s
leading faculties in the field.”

Broad and relevant research:


“One of this faculty’s strengths is how incredibly broad it is. We conduct a
wealth of relevant research in so many different fields and disciplines. We
have egyptologists working on excavation sites in Saqqara and the Dakhla

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Oasis. We have linguists who are documenting, for the first time, languages
that are spoken by vast numbers of people in the world today; others creating
computer simulations of language acquisition by the brain. The extent and
variety of the activity going on is tremendous.”

A stimulating environment
“When you join Leiden’s Faculty of Humanities you are joining a community of
passionate, stimulated and ambitious students and staff from all over the
world. Our academic environment is known for being conducive to interaction
between individuals of all standing: at Leiden even the most junior researcher
is treated as a valuable member of the community with important opinions to
share. You also gain access to truly unique resources found nowhere else in
the world, such as our famous collections at the University Library. Our
lecturers and support staff are committed to your success, both now and in
the future, and offer you the tools needed to develop into a critically-minded
professional who can truly make a difference to the world.”

Extracurricular
Get the most out of your studies at Leiden University by taking part in our
extracurricular activities.

Community

Throughout the year, activities are organised by students and staff at the Arts and Culture
programme as well as the Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS) to encourage community
building. Examples include:

Field trips related to research seminars


Guest lectures by leading experts
Leiden Global lectures

Teaching generally takes the form of small-scale seminars and tutorials, in which lively and
engaging discussions are encouraged. The small size of classes allows for a high level of
quality contact and interaction between you, your lecturers and your fellow students. You
will also be assigned a personal mentor, who provides support and advice throughout your
studies.

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Study abroad

You can choose to study part of your Arts and Culture degree abroad. The International
Office of the Faculty of Humanities can help you make the right decision as to which
university abroad would be the best place for you to spend a semester.

Leiden Leadership Programme

Are you interested in developing your leadership potential? The Leiden Leadership
Programme (LLP) is an Honours Programme specifically developed for ambitious master's
students at Leiden University and the Delft University of Technology who recognise the
importance of leadership abilities. The LLP offers in-depth training sessions, assessments,
seminars, and the creation of a Personal Leadership Roadmap – a five-year plan for reaching
and developing your leadership potential.

Study at the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts

The Academy of the Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA) is a research institute and part
of the Faculty of Humanities. The ACPA offers education such as electives, and talent
programmes such as the Practicum Artium (PA), which gives you the opportunity to study
photography, graphic design or drawing, and the Practicum Musicae at the Royal
Conservatoire The Hague, where you can study classical music, singing, early music or jazz.
Find out more about ACPA.

Follow Ancient History Leiden on

Facebook (Dutch)
Instagram (English)

Career prospects
Create a world of opportunities with a master's degree from Leiden
University.

What our graduates do

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Your MA in Arts and Culture degree will qualify you for a wide range of professions in the
public, private and non-profit sectors, including cultural institutions, publishing, media, and
public relations, depending on the specialisation you have chosen. You will also be qualified
to pursue a PhD and a career in academia.

Our Arts and Culture graduates are currently working with companies including Hoogsteder
& Hoogsteder, Sdu Publishers, Valiz publishers, Primavera Press, the Repeat Group,
Gavelers Auctioneers and Lyppens, and at art venues such as BAK Utrecht and museums
including the Haags Gemeentemuseum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the Museum
De Lakenhal in Leiden.

Examples of the diverse roles of our graduates include:

Curator at a museum
Collections manager at a natural history museum
Project officer for heritage at a government agency
Art teacher at a secondary school
Auctioneer at an online auction house
Research consultant at a recruitment company
Teacher of art and theory at an art school
Freelance artist and illustrator
Newspaper critic
Director of a publishing company
PhD candidate

A Leiden University degree

Leiden University master's graduates are sought-after employees at (inter)national


organisations. Our graduates are known for their combination of robust academic training,
in-depth and relevant knowledge, and critical, multidisciplinary approach to problem-
solving.

Brantly Hancock Moore


Graduated in Museums and Collections (MA Arts and Culture)

"In August of 2017, I joined the PhD program in Art History at the University of
North Carolina-Chapel Hill, focusing on medieval and early modern northern
European collections and collecting theory. Leiden University exposed me to

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new perspectives and subject matter and, importantly in today’s
political climate, the value of being a part of an international
community of art historians that knows no borders. As Editorial
Research Assistant for my advisor, I was able to work on a
forthcoming edited volume of international scholarship, and in July of 2018, I
will return to the Netherlands for a summer intensive course on material
culture at the Rijksmuseum. Completing my MA in Leiden made me realize
that the world can truly be my classroom."

Necessary skills
"I am certain that the critical thinking, organisational and communication skills
cultivated during my MA programme were essential to my later success. The
practical and social challenges of living abroad also equipped me with
necessary skills in diplomacy and adaptability, key strengths for anyone
entering the workplace - or academia."

Learning in situ
"The Arts and Culture programme offered the perfect mix of hands-on and
theoretical study, and I benefited especially from the programme’s emphasis
on independent study. Doctoral programs require a strong work ethic, intrinsic
motivation, and the ability to work independently-- skills strengthened by my
time in Leiden.
There was nonetheless ample opportunity for collaboration with my peers and
professors, and I developed friendships with international colleagues that I am
sure will last a lifetime. Learning in situ was extremely important for me: as an
American scholar devoted to European art, I owed it to myself to come to the
source, and so do you."

Career preparation
Our goal is to prepare you to make a difference in your future career.

Knowledge and skills

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The master’s programme in Arts and Culture at Leiden University will equip you with a
range of important skills and knowledge that will help you thrive in your future career. Your
specialised knowledge is complemented by highly-developed critical-thinking skills that can
be applied to any challenge, in any role.

Relevant professional skills and experience

Our emphasis on learning outside of the classroom is one of the ways in which we give our
students a head-start in their future careers. We encourage you to network with practitioners
during field trips, to work as an intern at an organisation, join an exchange programme, and
sign up for extracurricular activities to acquire valuable practical skills and experience.

Internships

Many of our students choose to do an internship during their studies. Internships are a great
way to gain invaluable first-hand experience in your area of interest before you decide to
make it a career. In recent years, students from the MA in Arts and Culture have done
internships at the following organisations:

Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische documentatie


Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
The Courtauld Institute in London

Humanities Career Service

Our staff can help you identify both the career that is right for you, and the necessary steps
to get you there. Our team at Humanities Career Service provide all Leiden University
humanities students with professional advice and guidance on everything from internships
and career planning to job applications. Humanities Career Service also organises regular
workshops on topics such as effective interview skills and creating a successful CV.

Humanities Career Event

Each year, the Faculty of Humanities organises a Humanities Careers Event. This all-day
event is your chance to learn everything you can about how to find the job you want and
successfully attain it. The event includes workshops on a wide range of topics as well as
opportunities to network with alumni and potential employers and attain tips, information
and potential job leads.

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Check out the video of the Humanities Career Event 2018!

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Admission and Application


We invite motivated students from around the world to apply for the Master of Arts in Arts
and Culture. Admission requirements may vary per specialisation. Please visit the
specialisation of your interest to find out more about their specific entry requirements.

Art, Architecture and Interior before 1800 (MA)


Contemporary Art in a Global Perspective
Museums and Collections (MA)

Student life
Your time at Leiden is about more than just studying. Some of your best
experiences will stem from being a part of our lively and diverse student
community, as well as from life in the beautiful city of Leiden.

Life in Leiden

Picturesque and the perfect size, Leiden is the ideal place to spend your university days. The
Faculty of Humanities is located within the heart of the city, where dozens of cafes, shops
and bars line its historic laneways and leafy canals. Small enough to run into familiar faces,
but big enough to keep offering surprises – you will treasure your time at Leiden. And for
adventures further afield, the major cities of The Hague and Amsterdam are a short train
ride away, along with Schiphol Airport, which is just half an hour away by train.

Our study and student associations organise a huge variety of social, cultural, and study
events to keep you busy all year round. You can also join the University Sports Centre,
which offers scheduled group sports and fitness classes, amongst other activities.

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Welcome and orientation programme

In August and February each year, Leiden University hosts the English-language
Orientation Week Leiden (OWL), which welcomes both international and Dutch students.
The OWL is an excellent way to get to know Leiden University, the city, and other students.

Study associations

Leiden University’s Faculty of Humanities has a number of study associations run by


students and related to a particular department or programme. Study associations organise
social activities such as informal gatherings, sports events, and parties, as well as study-
related activities such as excursions and study trips.

The study association related to Arts and Culture is LKV - Leidse Kunsthistorische
Vereniging. You may contact the study association via lkv.post@gmail.com.

International Student Associations

Leiden has several student organisations that specifically cater for international students.
These associations organise regular social events and activities that help create the strong
sense of community that exists within our international student body. The main two
organisations are:

International Student Network (ISN)


ISN Leiden is an international student organisation which hosts a range of activities and
programmes. They also have a buddy programme which provides new students with the
right support to assimilate into Leiden and the university.

AEGEE Leiden
AEGEE is a leading European student association with sister organisations in over 40
countries across Europe. AEGEE organises many activities in Leiden, from dinners and pool
nights to boat trips and guest lectures.

For an overview of all of our student associations, please visit our Student assocations page.

Humanities Master’s Buddy Programme

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The Humanities Master’s Buddy Programme has been set up by the Faculty of Humanities
to help all students who are new to the university to integrate quickly and easily into
university life. Through the programme you will learn everything you need to know about
the university, the student community, and the practical side of life in Leiden.

Information activities
Come and meet us at the Leiden University Master’s Open Day!

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About our Master’s Open Day

Are you thinking about joining a master’s programme at Leiden University? Come and visit
our Master’s Open Day! This event is your opportunity to learn everything you need to
know about our master’s programmes and how they can help you reach your goals. Attend
presentations, meet our lecturers, learn about the careers of our alumni and hear first-hand
the experiences of students and graduates on life at Leiden University.

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Jelle and Rick: “The main reasons we’re visiting the Master’s Open Day is to talk to
students and recent alumni. The website gives you a lot of information, but talking to
students gives us a much better idea of what it’s really like to study this degree.”

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Sophie: “I came to the Master’s Day because I had some questions that I couldn’t find
answers to on the site. In my bachelor’s I am already specialising in North America,
so this master’s is a good match. And next year, in the first semester, I’ll be going to
Boston!”

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Luuk: “Today I want to find out what it’s like doing a master’s, and what the real
focus of the programme is. I’ve just been looking at International Relations, because I
really like the dynamics of the programme. It focuses on current events, and I’m
particularly impressed with the international aspects of the master’s, which I feel give
it more weight.”

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Nino and Elias: Nino: “I’m now doing a bachelor’s in Assyriology, and I might well
want to do a master’s in it too. We’ve heard that studying here is real fun. We’re from
Italy but we love Holland and the Dutch.”

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Dennis: Studying: pre-master’s in Dutch Literature (Vrije Universiteit), master’s in
Philosophy (University of Amsterdam) Interested in: Literary Studies, Dutch Studies,
Comparative Literature and Literary Theory

Contact
If you have a question, there are various ways to get in touch with us.

The website and our Frequently Asked Questions are the quickest ways to find an answer to
your questions.

Questions about the Programme

Coordinator of studies
Ms. Els Munter
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 22 28
Email: stuco-ma-kg@hum.leidenuniv.nl

Questions about the application procedure

Student Affairs Front Office


Phone: +31 (0)71 527 80 11
Email: Contact form
Or visit their website

Visiting address
Leiden: Plexus Student Centre
Kaiserstraat 25, ground floor
2311 GN Leiden
Monday till Friday between 11.00 and 16.00, Tuesday 11.00 to 21.00.

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