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Arts and Culture

In the Master’s programme in Arts and Culture, it is not only the art object itself that is key; the commissioner of the work and the reactions of the public also play a central role. A binding theme is the effect of works of art on the viewer and the ways in which the medium of art works contribute to this. This broad approach ensures you become familiar with different methods and allows you to connect with other disciplines such as anthropology, natural sciences, theology and gender and international studies.

The MA in Arts and Culture in Leiden is unique in the Netherlands for the interdisciplinary range of subjects offered and for the diversity of the optional tracks available. Students may specialise in one of five tracks. These specialisations vary in their specialist focus on different media and periods:

Click on “More info” below for more details about the programme or visit our website.

More info

Course objectives

  • to enable students to acquire academic knowledge, understanding and skills, and train them in the use of scientific methods in the field of Arts and Culture in general, and in particular with regard to the chosen specialisation;

  • to enable students to develop the following academic and professional skills:

    • independent academic reasoning and conduct,
    • the ability to analyse complex problems,
    • academic reporting;
  • to prepare students for an academic career and further education;

  • to prepare students for a career outside academia.


The structure of the programme is the following:

  • Practices and Debates (5 credits);

  • Two Research Seminars from the chosen specialisation in the master’s programme in Arts and Culture (20 credits);

  • Free Component (10 credits);

  • Thesis Seminar (5 credits);

  • Thesis (20 credits).

Full-time and part-time

The programme consits of 60 EC, to be completed in one year.
Part-time students complete the programme in 1,5 years. Courses are scheduled during office hours.

Requirements for graduation:

In order to graduate, students must have completed 60 EC of courses including the writing of the thesis. The master’s programme is concluded with a master’s thesis containing the results of the individual research.

In order to meet the demands of any specialisation you need to follow a minimum of 45 EC in your chosen specialisation.
The most common study path to meet this requirement:

  • 2 Research seminars in field of specialisation (20 EC);

  • Thesis seminar (5 EC);

  • Thesis (20 EC).


The specialisations are: Architecture, Early Modern and Medieval Art, Museums & Collections, Art of the Contemporary World and World Art Studies and Design and Decorative Art Studies.