Universiteit Leiden

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Arts, Media and Society (BA)

About the programme

After being given a sound art historical foundation of core knowledge and competences, the Arts, Media and Society programme will allow you to explore the impact that art and the media have on society. It will also give you new perspectives on global issues.

Study Arts, Media and Society at Leiden University

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Programme overview

In year one, semester one, of this multidisciplinary programme, courses that include How the World Makes Art, Big Media and Arts in Society will give you a strong foundation in the field of art history and a thorough grounding in the core subject matter. In semester two you’ll build on this foundation by acquiring general academic skills, such as researching, processing information, writing and oral presentation, before continuing with further courses on art- and media-related disciplines. 

In year two you'll delve deeper into the impact that art and media have on society, and the many interactions that exist between them. Moreover, social media will be examined as platforms and strategic choices for political and social mobilisations, such as during the Arab Spring, for example. In each of two semesters during year two you’ll follow standard and topical courses and you’ll be able to choose one of two seminars. During the second semester you’ll also do fieldwork into the theory and practice of arts, media and society.

In your third year you’ll be free to customise the programme to your specific interests. This will include a  semester in which you can do an internship, study abroad, or follow a minor programme from the Humanities or another faculty. Academically you will advance your theoretical understanding of how art, media and society intersect and interact with one another and you’ll develop and demonstrate your capacity for critical analysis by doing a final thesis.

Detailed programme

For a detailed programme, please check the Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

Zofia van der Kroft

first year student

Zofia van der Kroft

"I really enjoy the class Representation. For instance, it looks at the various ways in which the representation of minorities and women comes about in film and modern art. By putting societal issues in relation to art the study becomes very relevant. You can really apply what you learn to the real world around you."

Robert Zwijnenberg

Professor of Art and Science Interactions

Robert Zwijnenberg

"My students are strongly engaged with current issues. While giving lectures and debating with them they also teach me a lot, which means I’m continuously developing my own opinion. But this is hardly surprising, given that we have many international students here from many different countries, each with their own opinion. Thanks to this diversity in cultural backgrounds I often gain new insights myself, which is why I love the input I get from my students! Teaching them keeps me on my toes and my mind on the job."

Educational methods

If you take on the Arts, Media and Society bachelor’s programme, be prepared to put in a full working week of about 40 hours. Of this, an average of 15 hours will be spent in the classroom, attending lectures or tutorials, for example. The rest of these hours will be spent on independent study. The lectures will be focused on a particular topic, and complemented by tutorials in which the material will be discussed in greater depth and with more student input, such as individual or group presentations.

Student support services

You can rely on receiving plenty of support during the programme. A mentor/tutor will be on hand to offer the necessary help and in a first year mentoring group you can practice your academic skills.

Furthermore, the coordinator of studies can provide advice about the programme, arrange all kinds of practical things, or help you if you have personal issues.

A student psychologist can also be consulted and, in the event of chronic illness, dyslexia or a physical or psychological disability, you can contact the Fenestra Disability Centre.

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