Universiteit Leiden

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Contemporary Art in a Global Perspective (MA)

About the programme

Learn the newest insights from the researchers who uncover them.

The master's in Contemporary Art in a Global Perspective has four key themes that are offered only in Leiden in this configuration:

  • Art in a global perspective
  • Art in relation to science
  • Art theory and aesthetics
  • Multi-mediality

The programme consists of 60 EC, to be completed in one year. Part-time students complete the programme in 1.5 years, and have a course load of 20 EC per semester. Courses are scheduled during office hours.

The structure of the programme is the following:

  • Practices and Debates (5 credits)
  • Two Research Seminars from Art of the Contemporary World (20 credits)
  • Free Component (10 credits)
  • Thesis Seminar (5 credits)
  • Thesis (20 credits)

Requirements for graduation are:

  • Successful completion of courses, following the structure of the programme (40 EC)
  • Successful completion of an MA Thesis (20 EC)

You will need to complete at least 45 EC within your field of specialisation:

  • 2 Research seminars from Contemporary Art in a Global Perspective (20 credits)
  • Thesis seminar (5 EC)
  • Thesis (20 EC).
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Self-study
  • Field trips/excursions
  • Internship options
  • Thesis
  • Exams
  • Peer feedback and assessment
  • Video clip
  • Essays, reports and final thesis
  • Oral presentations

During your studies at Leiden, you are in close proximity to a network of major museums, collections, libraries and research schools, giving you access to a unique range of texts and works of art. These include:

  • Leiden University Library with its many special collections of prints, drawings and photographs
  • Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
  • Haags Gemeentemuseum
  • Museum Voorlinden
  • Museum Volkenkunde/Nationaal Museum voor Wereldculturen
  • BAK Basis voor actueel kunst Utrecht

Kitty Zijlmans

Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory/World Art Studies

Kitty Zijlmans

"The MA in Art of the Contemporary World and World Art Studies takes art as a pan-human phenomenon: art is of all people and of all places and times. We look at art beyond a Euramerican perspective and focus instead on art in its global interconnectedness and circulation. "

True internationalism

"Our international focus is facilitated by visits to art venues that uphold true internationalism. Students begin to view contemporary art as a source of specific cultural debate on issues concerning present-day society. With their open attitude and awareness of their position in the global fabric, students make for very interesting candidates for internships in the globalising art world."

The artist’s point of view

"We draw the outside world into the classroom by inviting contemporary artists from the Netherlands and beyond; students also get the artist’s point of view, their ideas and practice."

Latest research

All courses are taught by academics who are active researchers. Content is regularly updated to reflect contemporary academic debates and the very latest insights – in particular from the research conducted by lecturers on the programme.

Develop essential skills in reasoning and critical thinking, as well as advanced abilities in independently conducting high-quality scientific research and developing this data into an academic dissertation.

Detailed programme

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

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