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.

Learn more about this master's programme by joining our Online Master's Experience in the week of 20-24 February. Or visit us for the On-campus Master's Experience on Friday 17 March. 

Why study Art History and Museum Studies at Leiden University?

The MA programmes in Art History and Museum Studies are unique in upholding a critical approach to the visual arts, decorative arts and architecture, as well as diverse cultures of collecting and presenting art. The programmes are taught by 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 programmes also facilitate optional internships in the cultural sector, both within The Netherlands and beyond. You can pursue your individual fascinations and explore a large range of topics studied from an interdisciplinary and critical perspective.

Learn more about Museum Studies

What will you study?

You will study the visual and decorative arts and architecture from the Middle Ages till today and its history in museums and collections. You will be involved with the question of what challenges are offered in the present day by art history. You will gain insights into this by studying the developments in art in the broad context of visual culture, from social and political developments, developments in natural sciences and globalisation. Your insights will be directed by new perspectives that will teach you to understand the multiplicity/versatility of art. During excursions you will have the opportunity to experience the works of art personally and test your research.

Learn more about the study programme

Admission and Application

Do you want to find out if you are eligible for this Master's Programme?

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

In which sector do students find jobs?

  • 34 Culture, sports and recreatoin
  • 9 Government and semi-government organisations
  • 9 Communication and marketing
  • 9 IT
  • 9 Wholesale and retail
  • 6 Education
  • 6 Research
  • 3 Business services
  • 3 Publishing
  • 3 Consultancy
  • 9 Other

This graph is based on alumni data from the MA Arts and Culture 2016-2020.

Arts and Culture degree

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).

Professor Stijn Bussels and students at an excursion at the Mauritshuis
Professor Stijn Bussels and students at an excursion at the Mauritshuis

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