Universiteit Leiden

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Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA)

About ACPA

The Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA) provides artistic research and education in the arts.

ACPA is a research institute of the Faculty of Humanities at Leiden University and embodies the collaboration between Leiden University and the University of the Arts The Hague (the Royal Conservatoire and the Royal Academy of Art). In addition to research in and through the arts, ACPA offers academic education for art students and art education for students at the university. Furthermore, the institute organizes cultural events where art and science meet.

ACPA is located in the center of Leiden and is led by a scientific director and a managing director. At ACPA there are two professors, three university teachers, seven office staffmembers, and freelance supervisors for the PhD candidates and teachers. ACPA has three emeriti professors. There are also two honorary doctorates awarded in 2005 and 2015.

Doctorate in the arts

ACPA, has doctoral programmes in the arts. Which makes it a unique institute as it is the only institute in the Netherlands where artists can do doctoral research. Currently, over sixty artist researchers are engaged in doctoral research. ACPA is also associated with a number of research projects, such as Critical Making, which is funded by the NWO in the Smart Culture programme.


Students from Leiden University and the University of the Arts The Hague can follow practical and academic arts education. ACPA’s education includes:

  • Academic elective in visual arts and music, which allows students to also compile a minor;
  • The talent programmes Practicum Musicae at the Royal Conservatoire and Practicum Artium at the Royal Academy of Art for Leiden students;
  • A double degree programme consisting of the Fine Arts studies at the Royal Academy of Art and Arts, Media and Society at Leiden University;
  • Educational  exchange: the possibility for Leiden students to choose electives at the University of the Arts in The Hague and for art and music students to choose academic electives at Leiden University.


ACPA was founded in 2001 by Prof. Frans de Ruiter as the Faculty of Arts, to promote research in the arts and academic and practical arts education. From 2009, ACPA is a research institute under the Faculty of Humanities. Since the fall of 2016, the founder has transferred the leadership to a new, dual management.