M.A. Painting, Master of Fine Arts

Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen

Application deadline: August 15; Students needing a visa: June 1
Tuition fee:
  • € 1,906 / Year (EEA)
  • € 7,500 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2014
Credits: 120 ECTS
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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The MFA Painting educates visual artists who create individual work and perform autonomous research with a view to gaining insight into new prospects for painting in a digital era on the basis of a reflective and critical attitude.

The Master Course Painting stands for the challenging and innovative potentialities of painting. Those taking part in its study programme are visual artists seeking a deepening of insight into and a specialization of their artistic practice. They prefer to commence that specialization from a fascination for painting, generally using a variety of media at the same time and side by side.

The course starts with a critical reflection on existing possibilities of the student's own artistic practice in relation to painting and the interdisciplinary character of present-day art. This reflection offers new incentives and results in multidisciplinary work in the form of paintings, drawings, collages, photographs, film, three-dimensional work. What matters in the long run is making forceful images that spring from the artist's personality and the surrounding world alike.

The actual start of the artistic process takes place in the studio: the physical workplace and mental space to generate new ideas and work. This workplace will frequently extend to the public domain, as a starting point for work or as a location for experiments in the field of presentations. The master student is being offered a great deal of scope for personal course-related questions and for developing his specific quality as a visual artist.

One of the factors determining that quality is the interaction between the artist's own ideas and the distinguishing characteristics of the media, genres and artistic expressions selected by him. Alignment with the curricula of the FMI Masters Interactive Media & Environments and Scenography courses offers the opportunity to examine other media with a view to applying them in the student's own work.

Professional Prospects

The Master Course Painting trains and coaches the student at the hbo (Higher Vocational Education) Master level. The course specialises in the broad knowledge domain of the art of painting and its practical approach, while focusing on its near-infinite potentialities in the digital era.

Painting as a challenging sphere of action where disciplinary and non-disciplinary aspects are collected, selected, diversified and developed with a view to contributing to the major properties of art: autonomy and diversity. The autonomy of visual art is founded upon its ability and quality to serve unexpected, uncertain and unattainable goals in different periods of time and in different ways. Visual art demands the creation of a free position with one's own field of action where one is allowed latitude, but which is also the point of departure for one's journey into society.

The professional attitude of the Painting master is revealed by the visual quality of his own work, from an individual artistic system, from constant critical reflection and an adequate mastery of artistic skills, including making, presenting and showing his work. The master is able to reflect on his own work, address complex problems and provide a theoretical underpinning of his work.

Internationally oriented sector

Contacts with colleagues and representatives from the occupational sector are essential. The professional master is working within an internationally oriented sector. An international learning environment prepares the student for the international labour market and teaches him to push back frontiers, which enhances his abstraction skills and conceptual abilities. The master is aware of the development of his artistic process and all aspects involved in his artistic practice. By developing an autonomous, independent and inquisitive attitude the artist is in a position to assess and define his own position as well as his visual practice in relation to current events.

Enterprising attitude

Having an enterprising attitude and an inquisitive mind, the artist likes to break out of established patterns and realize social value. He is able to deal with uncertainty, is constantly alert and on his toes, creative and contrary. This attitude helps the professional master effect innovation in his artistic practice, being able to motivate and convince others and letting them share in his artistic ideas and thoughts.


The core qualities of the MFA Painting programme are challenge and innovation, making, thinking and sharing, autonomy and diversity, artistic system and artistic attitude, critical vision and theoretical reflection, artistic research.

To realise these qualities, the programme employs specific didactics that are fluid all the time and take the individual differences between artists into account. In this context the course is not seen as a place to work but rather as a place to study. This is a case of a didactic model whose structure is determined by the professional practice.

The academic character of the course ensures that – in a practical and theoretical sense – the master student focuses on developing an individually based artistic system that reveals a clear artistic attitude and a highly-developed professional discipline. The students are supervised individually and in groups in their process of making and thinking by two core teachers, one of whom is a practical teacher and one a theoretical teacher, as well as guest teachers, all of them renowned artists and theoreticians.

Making, thinking and sharing

Being integrated in the visual work, reflection, theory and artistic research have a major position within the course. Making, thinking and sharing are considered synergistic quantities and developed to a high standard. The course pays attention to strengthening the artistic attitude and developing an individual artistic system, i.e., the whole of artistic goals and means employed by the artist. It constitutes a personal, associative and constantly developing system. The relationship between the whole of artistic goals and the artist's personal thought system is put into effect in an individual artist's theory, in which views are explained with regard to the working method, the way of collecting, combining/transforming significant material, and concerning art and artistry in general.

Semester system

The programme is organised according to a semester system, where different didactic aspects are emphasised every semester. Play and experiment, reflection on the student's own work and that of others, collecting, combining and transformingsignificant material, generating an artistic system, and the position in and communication with the artistic professional practice – these are all aspects that are on the programme throughout the course. Some didactic aspects are bound to play a more important role at certain stages of the course, but basically they are constantly being discussed and developed without exception, as education at this course is not linear, but concentric in nature.

The fourth semester is mostly taken up with preparing for graduation. We also concentrate on communication, and the relationship with the art world and society. The course concludes with presenting the results of studio research and theoretical thesis. Both are presented in the form of a public exhibition.

Full-time course

The Painting master's degree is a full-time course. The programme of 120 credits is split over two academic years. This will enable to attain a high level of practical expertise and provide the student with knowledge of technical or scientific disciplines, and how to apply them.


In principle, the course is suitable both for students who have just completed their bachelor's degree and are capable of conducting artistic research independently and in a broad context, and artists who have already been working as professionals at bachelor level for several years. In both situations the study programme offers the desired conceptual deepening and broadening of professional skills, and the frameworks for artistic research.


General admission requirements

  • You possess a diploma from a recognized institution for higher (art) education, or an equivalent qualification;
  • You have an attitude of curiosity, directed at artistic/functional research;
  • You are able to clearly explain your motives and study aims in front of the admissions committee;
  • For non-English students: You have sufficient knowledge of the English language to enable you to study English-language publications relating to the field of study, to be able to follow instruction in English and be able to express yourself well in English. You must be able to demonstrate that your proficiency in the English language is adequate by providing an official certificate of the International IELTS or TOEFL test. The minimal requirements are:
    - International IELTS test: minimal 6.0
    - International TOEFL test:
    Internet based Toefl : 80
    Toefl computer based: 213
    Toefl paperbased: 550
    Institutional code of Hanze (UAS) to send TOEFL results: NLGRONING03
    Students can be exempted from submitting an extra language proficiency test in the following cases:
    • EU/EER students, who can prove that English was an compulsory course in their prior education, and who have a pass for English on their final transcript;
    • Students whose prior education was English-taught in countries where English is spoken as a first language by the majority of the population. These countries are: Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Canada (English speaking part), Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Christopher and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States of America;
    • Students with an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate.
  • You are prepared to follow the programme in its totality.

In special cases it is at the discretion of the Admission Board to deviate from these rules.

Specific admission requirements for each course

  • The candidate's work is of high quality. It must be obvious that there is mutual cohesion in the work, and that the candidate is in the process of developing a clear statement regarding visual art;
  • The candidate has the ambition to become involved both practically and theoretically in painting with the intention of opening new perspectives in this field;
  • The candidate is prepared to open a dialogue with others on the topic of his or her own work and on art in general.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6
CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IETLS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

TOEFL paper-based test score : 550
TOEFL iBT® test: 80


Grants and Scholarships

Hanze Scholarships

As of 1 September 2013 Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen (Hanze UAS), will focus even more on talented, excellent students with the Hanze scholarship programme. A limited number of scholarships will be available for talented non-EU/EER students. As a non-EU/EER student you will be eligible for a Hanze scholarship after successfully completing your first year of study at Hanze UAS (first enrolment Hanze UAS September 2013). Only the most talented and excellent students will be awarded a Hanze scholarship, based on their study success in the first year. If you are granted a Hanze scholarship you will receive it for the total official duration of your studies. The scholarship will be paid each year after succesfully completing your re-enrolment and not in one lump sum. A list of the programmes offering Hanze scholarships and an outline of the selection is stated below. Please revisit this page in the near future for additional details.

Hanze Scholarships are available for students of the following programmes:

  • International Business and Management Studies
  • International Facility Management
  • Major International Communication
  • Advanced Sensor Applications
  • International Physiotherapy Programme
  • Classical Music (Prince Claus Conservatoire)*
  • Jazz (Prince Claus Conservatoire)*
  • Design (Minerva Art Academy)*
  • Fine Arts (Minerva Art Academy)*
  • Master of Fine Arts (Minerva Art Academy)*
  • Master of Music (Prins Claus Conservatoire)*

*These programmes have separate criteria, please check the web pages or contact the schools for more details (see below).

You can apply for a Hanze scholarship if you comply with the following criteria:

  • For non-EU/EER students
  • All candidates must be admitted to and formally enrolled to in a degree programme of Hanze UAS
  • All candidates must have received their Propedeuse within one year. If there are more candidates than scholarships, the grade point average will be taken into account to determine who will receive the scholarship
  • A negative binding study advice of Hanze UAS is not permitted in order to apply for a Hanze Scholarship
  • Candidates switching programmes are excluded
  • Candidates who are eligible for ‘Studiefinanciering’, the Dutch student grant, are excluded
  • It is not permitted for candidates to make use of other scholarships

Starting points for the Hanze Scholarships are:

  • The Hanze Scholarship amount is €3500,- per year, for Prince Clause Conservatoire candidates, please check their website for more information.
  • The Hanze scholarships are granted for the official duration of the programme
  • The Hanze Scholarship will be granted after successfully completing the first year
  • Hanze Scholarships will be awarded in October and March (last option only for February students IBS)
  • Hanze Scholarships can only be granted by the dean through the Hanze Scholarship officer

For the Prince Claus Conservatoire (hanzegroningen.eu/pcc) and the Minerva Academy (hanzegroningen.eu/academyminerva) other rules apply. These schools can grant scholarships at the beginning of each academic year. Please visit the website of the Prince Claus Conservatoire or contact Minerva Art Academy for more information. The contactperson for the Bachelor of Fine Arts is Cor Groenenberg (c.groenenberg@pl.hanze.nl) and for the Master of Fine Arts (FMI) Annica Doornbos (a.c.doornbos@pl.hanze.nl).

Dutch Scholarships

Dutch national grant system ('Studiefinanciering')

There is a national grant system in the Netherlands for students who are enrolled with a Dutch higher education institution. This grant is called 'studiefinanciering'. To be eligible for such a grant you:

  • must be a Dutch national or have the same rights. You can check this with the nationality chart.
  • have to be younger than 30.

Foreign students are generally not eligible for such a grant. Only EU/EEA-students under certain conditions can make use of ‘studiefinanciering’. The authority responsible for this grant is Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO). We try to provide you with the correct information on the conditions for obtaining the grant. However, no rights can be derived from the information given here. More information about ‘studiefinanciering’ for EU/EEA-students is available at the website of DUO.

Loan tuition fees for EU/EEA students

If you are not eligible for Dutch study finance and you are a national of one of the countries which belong to the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) or you come from Switzerland, you may apply for a ‘loan tuition fees' to pay your tuition fees (in Dutch: ‘collegegeldkrediet’). There are conditions for the tuition fees loan.

BE AWARE: You always have to pay back the tuition fees loan, also if you do not finish your course or if you leave the Netherlands!

The authority responsible for this loan is DUO, the Dutch organization that is responsible for student loans and grants. We try to provide you with the correct information on the conditions for obtaining the grant. However, no rights can be derived from the information given here. DUO provides information in English at the Duo Website. We advise you to check the site regularly for up-to-date information.

Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP)

"The Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) promote capacity building within organisations in 62 countries by providing training and education through fellowships for professionals. The NFP is initiated and fully funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the budget for development cooperation.” This scholarship is administered by Nuffic, the Netherlands organisation for international cooperation in higher education. Here you can find more information on NFP.

Other Scholarships

Further information on how and where to apply for a scholarship, within the framework of cultural agreements between the Netherlands and your home country, or most other possible scholarships, is available at the nearest Royal Netherlands Embassy, or from the NUFFIC. You can also check their online search machine Grantfinder for an overview of funding opportunities that might be available to you.



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

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