M.A. Painting, Master of Arts

  • On Campus
  • 24 months
  • EUR7500 per Year (International

    Tuition fee for the international students.

    EUR1984 per Year (EEA

    European Economic Area tuition fee is applicable to the students from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

  • English ( Take IELTS test or Find a course )
| Groningen, Netherlands
You wish to gain more insight into the innovative quality of painting in a rapidly changing world. Aware of the force of physicality and materiality of art works, you take a painterly approach as you conduct your experimental research into the functioning of perception psychology, cognition and imagination. A painting shows you the imagination of ideas as well as how the material is edited and used. Taking a painterly and critical approach means that you create new relationships and associations through the use of materiality. In this way, you determine the meaning and significance of your work in today's society by combining ideation and materiality; transforming your ideas in unexpected, meaningful and powerful images.



Past, present and future

Painting has been re-invented all over the world: due to political changes, the digitisation of society, the need for a postcolonial perspective and nowadays - because of a runaway art market. That's the reason why at MFA Painting, apart from the importance of materiality and ideation, we keep on searching for the dialogue between different viewpoints from the past, present and future: between perception and cognition, image and language, stable and unstable media, old and new technology, and in a broader sense, between art and science as well as local and global forms of society. In doing so, we collectively explore charted and uncharted territory, sharing our views and ideas, working in groups and learning from each other. At the same time you will follow your own path, improving your knowledge and skills, learning to reflect critically on your own position, role and work as well as on the world around you.

Hybrid practice

Participants of our programme stem from different practices, for instance art and design, but all share a fascination for painting. The combination of these disciplines enables you to develop your artistic vision, working in a hybrid practice as a critical and engaged artist. As your art engages with the world, you will grow as an individual as well as in your artistic profession, reinforcing the power of your imagination and exploring your own connection to a transforming, technologically charged society.

What matters

To be admitted to this master, we expect you to show us what you want to get out of this programme. We therefore ask you to submit a broad outline of the artistic research that matters to you. What is it that fascinates you about painting? What kind of research would you like to carry out, what is progress that you want to make? During the admissions procedure you will discuss your ideas with us. Once admitted, your ideas will form the start of the next two years.

The Frank Mohr Institute is named after Mr A. Frank Mohr (1931-1998), cultural advisor to the city and province of Groningen and chairman of the advisory boards of Minerva Art Academy and the Prince Claus Conservatoire. He was a fervent advocate of independence and innovation in art education in the North Netherlands.

Detailed Course Facts

Start dates and application deadlines

Started in

    Deadline was:
  • ( General

    General deadline, applies to everyone.


Dates reflect the university's timezone.

Tuition fee
  • EUR7500 per year ( International

    Tuition fee for the international students.

  • EUR1984 per year ( EEA

    European Economic Area tuition fee is applicable to the students from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Credits (ECTS) 120 ECTS

In ECTS, 60 credits represent one year of study (in terms of workload); normally 30 credits are given for six months (a semester). In Dutch higher education, each ECTS credit represents 28 hours of work.

Duration full-time 24 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

First yearFirst year: exploring possibilities

The first year of this master programme is mostly about exploring your chosen field. You will carry out your own research and studio work in our Hybrid Arts Lab. We will challenge you to explore how you can innovate and renew the art of painting, looking beyond the boundaries of a traditional approach and carrying out research into new, artistic possibilities. At the same time you will reflect critically on your own work and your artistic practice. You will find out how painting and other media, technology and disciplines are intertwined, to experience how you can benefit from these innovations in your own artistic practice. This will allow you to improve your knowledge and skills, get to know the international art practice, create new concepts and to discover the possibilities of artistic research.

First year highlights
  • Working in your studio on your own development.
  • Research & Media Theory: following theory and research courses about the relationship between visual perception psychology and media theory and between perception and cognition, current developments in media theory and links between the arts, visual communication and visual culture.
  • Attending a series of lectures on relevant subjects at the University of Groningen, like history of art, psychology of art and art philosophy.
  • Collaborating in a shared research course on 'Research & Development/New Media Art Practices with master students from the University of Groningen.
  • Regular sessions where you and your fellow students present and discuss the results of experiments, workshops, research projects and your own progress; to each other, to experts and to the public.
  • Individual or collective visits to relevant institutions, festivals and research centres.
Preparing for the second year

During your first year you will gradually focus on what you really want to concentrate on in your second year, gathering ideas, improving your skills and gaining new knowledge to prepare for your practical research. This way you can develop and refine your research plan, which you will carry out in your second year, and which will form the basis of your master thesis. At the end of your first year an assessment of your work will determine whether you are ready to enter the second year.

Second yearSecond year: realising your artistic goals

At the start of your second year, you will begin to work on your graduation project. Most of your time will be devoted to working on this project. There will still be classes, although less than in the first year. Supervisors will advise and guide you and encourage your progress. Your goal is to realise your research project and write your master thesis. There will be plenty of opportunities throughout the year to share what you have learned and experienced with others during sessions, discussions and presentations. Depending on what you need, we will ask guest lecturers to contribute to the supervision of your research project. During a series of public dialogues, second year students will also discuss their work with guest lecturers and others, helping you to improve your work and take it to the next level.

Applying for prestigious awards

In addition, as a second year master student you can apply for special awards for excellent students of fine arts, for instance the 'George Verberg Grant', an annual, prestigious award of 10,000. This award enables the winner to spend a year in one of the Baltic States, Germany, Poland or Scandinavia in order to work there as an artist.

Second year highlights
  • Working in your studio, individually or in collaboration with others, focusing on your work and research.
  • Attending a series of lectures on relevant subjects at the University of Groningen, like history of art, psychology of art and art philosophy.
  • Studying independently, supervised by your lecturers.
  • Joining projects, collaborating with the Centre of Applied Research and other Hanze
  • Visiting international exhibitions, biennials and triennials and an intensive study trip to New York.
  • Regular sessions, where you and your fellow students present and discuss the results of experiments, workshops, research projects and your own work relating to your final project.
  • Presenting and discussing your work at public occasions, exhibitions and public lectures.
Graduation work and master thesis

Towards the end of your second year you will create your graduation work and write a master thesis, showing your analytical skills, critical view and ability to reflect on your own work, as well as illustrating your research abilities. With this thesis you will also show us your future place in the world of art. You will present your artistic work and your master thesis at your public graduation. Upon your graduation you will be awarded the degree of Master of Fine Arts.



  • Ton Mars
  • Margo Slomp (theory)

Semester tutor Spring semester 2013-2014

  • Wjm Kok

Semester tutors 2007-2014

  • Eric Jan van de Geer
  • Anne Jaap de Rapper
  • Sara van der Heide
  • Nanda Janssen
  • Klaas Kloosterboer
  • Eelco van der Lingen
  • Ronald Ophuis
  • Roland Schimmel
  • Berend Strik
  • Guido Vlottes
  • Barbara Wijnveld
  • Ingrid Commandeur
  • Kie Ellens
  • Martin van Vreden

Guest tutors / workshops 2007-2014

  • Frank van den Broeck
  • Aquil Copier
  • Gijs Frieling
  • Bert Frings
  • Eric Jan van de Geer
  • Mariska de Groot
  • Katalin Herzog
  • Liet Heringa and Maarten van Kalsbeek
  • Aukje Koks
  • Danielle Kwaaitaal
  • Sjaak Langenberg
  • Jos van Merendonk
  • Erik Odijk
  • Jacco Olivier
  • Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson
  • Charlotte Schleiffert
  • Janwillem Schrofer
  • Elly Strik
  • Esther Tielemans
  • Guido Vlottes
  • Rob Voerman
  • Anne Wenzel
  • Tiong Ang
  • Roel Arkesteijn
  • Ingrid Commandeur
  • Mariette Dolle
  • Kie Ellens
  • B.C. Epker
  • Denise Green
  • Colin Huizing
  • David Jablonowski
  • Natasja Kensmil
  • Sanja Medic
  • Aji Valliathu Narayanan
  • Mechtild Prins
  • Frank Reijnders
  • Arno van Roosmalen
  • Wilma Sütö
  • Leif Trenkler
  • Tim Voss
  • Rob van der Werf


To be admitted you need a bachelor's degree in art (visual arts or design) or an equivalent previous education (for example, a university degree or diploma in a related area). In addition, you are expected to have good English language skills. You must be able to read specialist publications in English, follow instructions in English and express yourself well in English. To prove your competence, you have to submit an official international IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge ESOL test certificate.

Exemptions from having to take a mandatory language test:
  • Dutch students, who can prove that English was a compulsory course in their previous education, and who have achieved a pass for English on their final transcript;
  • International students who have had their preparatory education in English. The National Commission may request that the higher education institution provides a statement from the NUFFIC, confirming that the preparatory education has been followed in the English language.
  • International students in case the student obtained a diploma of secondary education in a country listed in the diploma list drawn up on behalf of the associations of institutions of higher education, as published on the website of the Code of Conduct.

International students should consider taking a Pre-Master to gain access to universities in Netherlands when:

  • You are considered ineligible for admission
  • You need to improve your academic, study, research or language skills
Search all Pre-Masters

More Information


The programme is formally accredited by the Dutch government (NVAO).

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