Universiteit Leiden

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Museum Studies (MA)

The master’s programme in Museum Studies 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.

Art History and Museum Studies at Leiden University

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Why study 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.

What will you study?

In the Museum Studies programme you will study and experience the history of collection formation as well as crucial themes concerning museums today. In our global society, the status and importance of museums, collections and heritage as key factors of our identities and cultures are undisputed. The museum’s present day influential role in the shaping of knowledge and identity should be understood in its historical context and the underlying social, political, ethical and intellectual structures. During excursions you will have the opportunity to experience the museums personally and test your research.

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What are your career prospects?

An MA in 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.

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Admission and Application

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

Check the entry requirements

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).

Master's student Laura develops own exhibition: 'A very enriching experience'

Many students dread writing a thesis. Master’s student Laura Robustella's practice-based thesis shows that it is well worth the effort. She developed an art exhibition based on her master’s thesis. Read more.

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