M.A. Arts and Culture

Leiden University

Application deadline: Start in 1 February: December (non-EEA: October). Start in 1 September: June (non-EEA: April).
Tuition fee: Not specified
Start date: September  2014, February  2015
Credits: 60 ECTS
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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This programme is unique in that it studies a substantial body of works of art, buildings and material culture from the early Middle Ages to the present day, using a comparative perspective.

In this one-year programme you will learn to consider modern art and design as links between media, cultures and communities. You will also look at the ways in which sculpture, architecture and visual arts were applied together in the Renaissance and Baroque periods as a means of conveying a convincing message to the viewer. Not only the art object itself, but the commissioner of the work and the reactions of the public also play a central role. A connecting theme is the effect of works of art on the viewer and the ways in which the works of art contribute to this effect. This broad approach will allow you to become familiar with different methods and to enter into discussion with other disciplines such as anthropology, natural sciences, theology, gender and international studies. The university is connected to a network of major institutes and collections. The students of this programme therefore have access to important primary sources which are used to investigate the wider relationship between art, material culture and intellectual history.


Programme internationalization: * Studying abroad is optional.
* The percentage of foreign students: 0%
* The percentage of foreign teachers: 0%
* The percentage of students abroad: 0%
* The percentage of teachers abroad: 0%

This programme has a workload of 60 ECTS.


This programme covers several central themes, including Italian baroque; exchanges between Italy and the Low Countries in the period from 1500 to 1750; alternative architecture discourses in the 20th century; architecture theory. In Leiden you will study these themes in close co-operation with the Dutch interuniversity art history institutes in Rome and Florence. Field trips to these institutes are part of the programme.

Design and Decorative Art Studies:

This programme offers you several options to determine your own focal areas. One of these options is the analysis of the debate on the effects of decoration, function and aesthetics of interiors and objects, with a focus on a particular period or culture. You can also opt to make an in-depth study of present-day forms of design, such as ecodesign and biodesign. In this specialisation you will have the opportunity to fulfil an internship in a leading museum or other institution in the area of heritage and culture preservation in the Netherlands. Alternatively, an internship in the area of contemporary design within the research projects of the tutors or of cultural institutions is also a possibility.

Art of the Contemporary World and World Art Studies:

In this programme you will study the developments in art in the broad context of visual culture, from social and political developments, developments in natural sciences and globalisation. You will gain insights that will teach you to understand the multiplicity and versatility of art. You will become familiar with these subjects and you will research the wealth of modern and contemporary art and the place occupied by art as a medium in today's world. During field trips you will have the opportunity to personally experience works of art and to test your research. The programme also aims to promote collaboration with artists and art venues.

Early Modern and Medieval Art:

This specialisation covers three main themes: the interaction between Italy and the Low Countries; the interaction between the arts, primarily between painting and sculpture and their architectonic context; print and drawing art. In your study of these themes you will work closely with the University Library, museums in Leiden and The Hague, and the Dutch interuniversity art history institutes in Rome and Florence. Field trips to these institutions are part of the programme.

Museums and Collections:

Museums and collections are subject to rapid changes now that their social role is being redefined under political and economic pressure. There is an increasing overlap between the traditional tasks of the museum curators, the educational department and the management. Globalisation and changing geopolitical relations have a major impact on the status of cultural heritage, including political, legal and museological aspects. In this one-year programme you will study collections from the past or current museums and collections. You will gain insights into the development of the history of collecting and into the conceptual background of different types of collecting and the underlying social, political, economic and intellectual structures.


Knowledge minimum

Previous education

Knowledge minimum: See website

Previous education: BA degree in Art History or a closely related field (see website

Additional language requirements: * IELTS overall band: 6.5
* TOEFL paper based: 570
* TOEFL computer based: 230
* TOEFL internet based: 90

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
TOEFL paper-based test score : 570
TOEFL iBT® test: 90


Scholarships / Grants:
Leiden University:For additional information: Website



Accredited by: NVAO in: Netherlands

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