Universiteit Leiden

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Art History (MA)

The master’s programme in Arts and Culture at Leiden University is uniquely positioned at the intersection of Art History and Museum Studies. Informed by leading interdisciplinary research, this degree provides you with a strong academic foundation for a variety of careers in museums, galleries and heritage institutions.

Please note: this master's programme starts in September 2022. If you want to start your studies in February 2022 you can apply for these Arts and Culture specialisations:

Why study Art History and Museum Studies at Leiden University?

The MA in Art History and Museum Studies is a unique programme upholding a critical approach to the visual arts, decorative arts and architecture, as well as diverse cultures of collecting and presenting art. The programme is taught by a research-active staff and (former) curators from the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the Frans Hals Museum, the Museum Volkenkunde, the National Museum of Antiquities and the RKD, among others. Our teaching and research are enhanced by collaborative partnerships with museums, heritage institutions and contemporary art venues. We regularly host leading voices within the field to introduce our students to emerging trends and world-class research. The programme also facilitates optional internships in the cultural sector, both within The Netherlands and beyond. Students can pursue their individual fascinations and explore a large range of topics studied from an interdisciplinary and critical perspective.

Learn more about the study programme

What will you study?

This programme will give you a comprehensive grounding in the history, methods and theories of art history and museology, while also engaging with contemporary museum practice. The two specialisations in our programme, Art History and Museum Studies, will cut across disciplinary boundaries, while making it possible for you to steer towards one of the fields according to your own interests. There is an emphasis on the study of the object and its agency; critical theory and world art studies; and museum and collection studies. Possible paths lead through the late medieval and early modern period, to contemporary art and the digital age, as well as cultures of collecting and the museum in past and present times.

Check the entry requirements

Career preparation

An MA in Art History and Museum Studies will qualify you for a wide variety of careers in the cultural sector – museums, galleries, heritage institutions, exhibition spaces – as well as careers in publishing, media, public relations, and education. You will also be qualified to pursue a PhD and a career in academia. Our graduates are currently working in museums including Kunstmuseum Den Haag, the Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden, in organisations including Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, Valiz publishers, Groene Amsterdammer, Mondriaan fonds, Gavelers Auctioneers and Lyppens, and at art venues such as BAK Utrecht. Graduates have started their own enterprises as cultural entrepreneurs, such as Dürst Britt & Mayhew gallery while other students have continued their graduate studies at Cambridge University and the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Learn more about the career prospects

Arts and Culture degree

The MA in Arts and Culture at Leiden University is an accredited degree programme of Arts and Culture. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited master’s degree in Arts and Culture and the title Master of Arts (MA).

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