Universiteit Leiden

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Arts, Media and Society (BA)

We live in an era in which the intersection of art and media has real and sometimes even ‘viral’ impact on society. In the Bachelor Arts, Media and Society you will examine current issues in society from the perspective of the arts.

Joëlle Daems

Master's student

Joëlle Daems

"The teachers are very good: involved, approachable and enthusiastic about their courses. It’s always possible to ask questions. Very often they guide excursions as well."

Rob Zwijnenberg

Professor in Arts, Media and Society

Rob Zwijnenberg

"My focus lies on bio-art and the implications of biotechnology. I try to understand the juridical, ethical and cultural aspects of biotechnological developments. My research is from a humanities point of view – with art as one of my allies. I am looking for an answer to the following question: What kind of human beings do we want to become?"

Why study Arts, Media and Society?

Art has an urgent and relevant role in today’s society. It provides a unique view on complex issues and is an indispensable force for a democratic society. In Arts, Media and Society you will study contemporary art that engages with society over global issues, such as terrorism, biotechnology, ecology, and politics. You will also learn how art, film, photography and digital media shape our society and how the arts and media can provide strategies for social and political activism. 

Why Arts, Media and Society at Leiden University?

  • A small-scale, highly international programme taught in English and linked to Leiden University’s acclaimed Bachelor’s programme in Art History .
  • You will be based in the beautiful city of Leiden, close to great contemporary museums and media institutions – for example EYE Film Museum and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; the Dutch National Photo Museum  and V2 Institute for Unstable Media in Rotterdam.
  • The programme has a large national and international network of scholars, artists and scientists who are regularly invited into the classroom to lecture on their practice.

Is this programme for you?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you care about today’s pressing challenges and are you fascinated by the way that art and artists reflect and comment upon these issues – for example the work of Ai Wei Wei?
  • Do you believe that contemporary art can make a contribution to how we view the most pressing real life issues?

Are you fascinated by the influence of art on societal challenges? Then Arts, Media and Society is the bachelor’s programme for you!

In some AMS courses we invite artists that engage with societal issues to bring you into direct contact with contemporary art practice. In the photo: Bernhard Lenger & Hannah van Luttervelt.

Experience the programme online

Join our Online Experience and get a taste of our programme.

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