Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Arts, Literature and Media (research) (MA)

This interdisciplinary research master offers the best of three worlds (arts, literature and media) through a program of well-designed courses, with ample space for specialization. It combines theoretically grounded methods and approaches with period-specific training that focuses either on the medieval and early modern or the modern and contemporary period.

About the Arts, Literature and Media Research MA

The study of cultural artefacts from the past keeps shifting our understanding of the present, just as studying contemporary arts and literature often compels us to critically revisit the past and its multiple afterlives. The knowledge produced by works of art and literature - past and present - is always multiply mediated: through the contexts in which these works are called to function, through language and the media they are made of (print, paint, other materials), as well as through other media (photography, cinema, social media etc.) that they engage with or incorporate. This interdisciplinary RMA deems such transhistorical and transmedial conversations essential for humanities research and its social impact, even when one’s research focuses on a specific period, genre or medium. It thus brings together the best of three worlds (arts, literature, and media) through a programme of well-designed courses, combining theoretical and historical training with free space for specialization.

Why study Arts, Literature and Media in Leiden?

This program provides a unique combination of theoretical and period-specific training, tailored to your own ambitions and interests. In two core seminars, you learn to position yourself, to develop your research in a multidisciplinary field and to make your work speak to others so that it has a broader appeal and hence a good chance of getting funded, published or being impactful in society. Besides these common seminars, you may choose between two lines designed to delve into specific – historical – periods that work with different understandings of media:

  • In the medieval and early modern line, the focus is on art and literature from the medieval and early modern period and the media they work through. Here, medium refers to the means by which art and literature are made and through which they are transmitted and co-shaped (such as the medium of language, manuscript, print, theatre, paint, etching, and so forth).
  • In the modern and contemporary line, we study art and literature from the 19th century to the present, as it is accompanied and co-shaped by diverse media such as cinema, games, or social media.

You are not required to follow the courses of one of the two lines: you are free to mix and combine them.

Deepen your interests

The free specialisation space offers you the possibility to deepen your disciplinary interests in medieval, early modern, or contemporary studies. Whether you have an art history, media studies, or Dutch, English, Italian, French, German, or Spanish literary studies background, the programme provides 60 ECTs in courses and research that contributes to your specialization. All you need is love for doing research. 

Learn more about the study programme

What are your career prospects?

The programme provides the basis for writing your research master's thesis that forms the starting point for either a path in the academy or elsewhere. The programme aims to prepare you well for both. During your studies you will acquire a valuable range of specific and transferable skills and knowledge, both disciplinary and interdisciplinary, historical, contemporary and theoretical.

Find out more about the career prospects

Is Arts, Literature and Media the programme for you? 

Do you have a love for doing research and a background in art history, media studies, or Dutch, English, Italian, French, German, Spanish or comparative literary studies? Then this program may be for you. With this program you will learn what it takes to do good, exciting research.

For programs in related fields, you can also check our one-year MA programs in Literary Studies, Media Studies and Arts and Culture. If you start a one-year MA in Leiden in a related field (e.g. Media Studies, Literature in Society or Arts and Culture) it may be possible to transfer to this Research MA during your studies, if you wish to acquire a deeper specialization and more extensive training in research. Do you want to find out if you are eligible for this Master's program?

Check the admissions requirements

PhD vlogs

Interested to see what some of our graduates are doing now? Around 40% of our students go on to work in (academic) research after graduating from the Arts, Literature and Media research master. Check out the PhD vlogs from the Leiden University Centre of Arts in Society where graduates, including Merel Oudshoorn en Andries Hiskes, talk about their PhD project. 

This website uses cookies. More information.