Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA)


Connect art and academia at ACPA

ACPA offers education in the arts: electives, minors, talent programmes Practicum Musicae (PM) and Practicum Artium (PA) and Honours classes. ACPA’s electives and subjects focus on music, visual arts and design. Please browse through the options and find out how to connect art and academia at ACPA!

ACPA offers electives in visual arts, music or music philosophy. As a student of Leiden University or the University of the Arts The Hague you can choose these electives offered by ACPA.


In each BA or MA degree programme you have the opportunity to follow elective courses. You can choose an elective course that completes or deepens your study or you choose an elective that fits your other interests. For example visual arts, music or music philosophy.

The electives cover the different disciplines in art and music. Courses such as Music CognitionMusic - Philosophy - PoliticsMusic x Technology, and Popular and Global Music link music to philosophy, psychology, rhetoric and even Artificial Intelligence.

Are you more into visual arts and performance arts? You can choose from various electives, including The Essay Film in Theory and Practice - lecture series with film screeningsReading as Performance: Reimagining the Community of Knowledge and On Fiction and Forensics: Writing Artistic Research, 2024-2025 - Prospectus - Universiteit Leiden.

Our electives are taught by musicians, artists, lecturers and professors from the Netherlands and abroad: lecturers who have earned their spurs in scientific and artistic practice. The courses are taught in English and are open to all bachelor’s, master’s and pre-master’s students from Leiden University. There are no additional costs.


Take a look in the Studyguide for our selection of electives!

*Royal Conservatoire/Royal Academy of Art


ACPA offers two minors: Creative Strategies for a Society in Change and Music Studies.

The minor Creative Strategies for a Society in Change (CSSC) makes a connection between gaining insight into creative processes and exploring social issues that characterize our time.

The perspective is that of the visual arts disciplines, including film and design. The thematic emphasis is on broad social developments and urgencies that involve a multitude of topics, such as migration, climate change, decolonial and anti-racist struggles, or gender and feminist politics, to name a few.

CSSC considers these developments from the perspective of filmmakers, artists and designers and takes their work as a starting point for reflection. Two ways of working are central: the film essay on the one hand, and social justice activism in the visual arts on the other.

The courses of CSSC involve theory and practice and offer both introductory and in-depth engagements. It is about acquiring theoretical insights into creative practices, but also about gaining understanding of those practices themselves, with opportunities for students to use creative processes in the preparation of the final work of the study components.


The minor consists of four courses: 

The courses take place in The Hague.

Study Guide

Would you like to know about this new Minor? Please consult the Study Guide for more information.


Eight students were so enthousiastic about the program that they decided to make a trailer, which can be viewed below. The students who made the trailer are:

  • Lelani Antar
  • Tessa van Wayenburg
  • Charlotte Dessaignes
  • Nihal Miaaz
  • Anna Torregrosa Prats
  • Lily Azcona
  • Arto Schudy
  • Nienke de Bruin

They were supervised by editing teacher Alkaios Spyrou.

Due to the selected cookie settings, we cannot show this video here.

Watch the video on the original website or


Music as a multi-faceted and integral part of our society.

Music and society

The minor Music Studies offers you a different way of thinking about music.
Music is more than just a form of art, more than just entertainment.
What roles does music play within our society? How does current society influence music? And vice versa: how does music influence, for instance, politics, media and technology?


Music, sound design and sound art are omnipresent in our daily environment. How are music and sound used, how do they influence us? Why do we dance to music? Can music cure us when we are ill? What is the function of technology in listening to, discovering and creating music?

Various roles, positions and functions of music

You study and reflect on the various roles, positions and functions of music using theories from sociology, psychology and philosophy, among other things. Cultural philosophy is also studied, investigating artistic, socio-political and even ethical aspects of music. We gain insight into the history and current developments of music and sound art. The definitions of 'popular' and 'global' in relation to music are examined, as well as music and cognition, the role of the internet, artificial intelligence (AI) and electronic music.

Engage in music by listening or performing, but also study, reflect on and discuss the phenomenon of music in all of its facets!

Is this minor for you?

After having taken this minor you will have gained a broad insight into what music is and into the influence that music, human beings and society have on each other.

You are not required to be able to play an instrument to take this minor. If you are curious about the interaction between music and society, if you want to know more about music, sound art or cultural sciences, this minor is also for you.

Interview Rogier Schneemann with Ben Samama

See below the interview between Rogier Schneeman and songwriter Ben Samama, conducted as part of the 'Popular and Global Music' course of the minor program in Music Studies.

Due to the selected cookie settings, we cannot show this video here.

Watch the video on the original website or


More information is published in the Studyguide.

If you have any questions, please send an email to Rogier Schneemann.

Talent programmes Practicum Musicae and Practicum Artium

Practicum Musicae and Practicum Artium are programmes specially developed for students of Leiden University with a talent for music and visual arts.

Study at the Royal Conservatoire

When you are admitted to the Practicum Musicae music trajectory, you will participate in a programme at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague for three years. You can choose from the directions Classical, Jazz, Singing, Early Music, Sonology and Composition. Together with your teacher you agree on the lesson times. This way you combine your academic studies with studying at the Royal Conservatoire in a unique way and at no extra cost! The offer includes instrumental or vocal private lessons, music theory lessons and ensemble coaching. During the trajectory you build on a close-knit community, you have many opportunities to play together, there is the Practicum Musicae Orchestra (PMO) and you receive lessons from renowned musicians from The Netherlands and abroad.

In short:

  • 10 EC per year
  • Audition
  • Yearly, about 30 students are admitted to the Practicum Musicae programme
  • No extra costs

How does admission to Practicum Musicae work?

For Practicum Musicae, you need to audition at the Royal Conservatoire. If you want to start PM in September, your application must be received by the conservatoire before 1 March. Part of the application is sending in your motivation and three audition videos. More information about application and admission requirements can be found here.


Take a look in the Studyguide for more information about the programme.

Practicum Musicae - student Erik Elias

Due to the selected cookie settings, we cannot show this video here.

Watch the video on the original website or

Practicum Musicae - student Mara Smeele

Due to the selected cookie settings, we cannot show this video here.

Watch the video on the original website or

During the programme you can perform once a month in the Lokhorst church in Leiden.


Art and research feed on one another and are intertwined in many ways. In Practicum Artium, you will explore artistic practices and methods, and connect these to your academic studies. By becoming acquainted with materials, techniques, and aesthetics, you will learn to visually express and critically reflect on your (academic) ideas.

Film, Photography, Painting, and Drawing in The Hague (KABK)

Students from Leiden University who are admitted to this programme attend classes at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. You can choose an interdisciplinary elective in drawing, painting, film or photography: a unique opportunity for your further artistic development. The classes are mostly held in the evening, which makes it easy to combine this talent programme with your academic study programme. Lessons are given at the KABK, Prinsessegracht 4, The Hague.

You follow the PA programme for one year and receive ten credits if you pass the course. The programma is divided in two semesters, after each semester there is a final assessment and evaluation.

Have a look in the Study Guide of Leiden University for more information!

In short:

10 EC for 1 year programme

Yearly, 60 students attend the Practicum Artium programme

No extra costs

How does admission to Practicum Artium work?

You can register from 15 April to 12 June 2024 if you want to apply for Practicum Artium starting from September 2024. You can do this by following the registration steps described on the website of the Royal Academy of Art. Based on a portfolio, assignment and a motivation letter, you may be invited to a live entrance exam. Based on your level and motivation during the entrance exam, you may be admitted to Practicum Artium.

Contact Stéphane Blokhuis (Coordinator of the Practicum Artium Programme) at s.blokhuis@kabk.nl for more information.

Read the (Dutch) blog by Practicum Artium student Charlotte Arnoldy!
Read the (Dutch) blog by Practicum Artium student Charlotte Arnoldy!

Honours Education

Are you inquisitive and motivated? Do you want to get more out of your studies? Honours education provides extra challenge alongside your regular study programme. It is small-scale, innovative and often interdisciplinary. 

Honours education is organised by the Honours Academy, in cooperation with the faculties of Leiden University. ACPA, too, is involved in honours education through the programmes below.  

Bachelor Honours Classes are interdisciplinary courses (5 EC) that make students go beyond the borders of their regular studies. Advanced bachelor’s students can apply, even without participating in the Honours College. ACPA offers two Bachelor Honours Classes:

  • The Sounding City (Edwin van der Heide MMA)
  • Music in Contemporary Society: Its Role, Function and Position (Dr. Carlos Roos Muñoz)

For more information, visit the Honours Classes website

De Pre-University Classes (PRE- Classes) have been specifically developed for pupils who need a scientific challenge in addition to their VWO education and already want to experience what it means to be a student. ACPA provides the PRE-Class- Popular Music and PRE-Class Practicum Musicae. For more information: send an email to acpa@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

If you are in doubt about going to the Conservatory or the University, the PRE Class Practicum Musicae might be something for you!


The Practicum Musicae PRE-Class shows you what is like to be a professional musician and at the same time prepares you for the audition of Practicum Musicae. Read more about this PRE-Class.

Practicum Musicae

Practicum Musicae is a three-year programme at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague and was developed by the Leiden University Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA).

The course Popular Music: Selling Rebellion offers a unique opportunity to explore the popular music world from the point of view of its relation to both politics and the industry.

Popular Music: Selling Rebellion

Singer-songwriters, punk headbangers, sharp-tongued rappers: what all of them have in common is a history of social commitment that defines their musical styles. Incidentally, they also share a complicated relationship with the commercial apparatus that produces and distributes their musical work. This course offers a unique opportunity to explore the popular music world from the point of view of its relation to both politics and the industry. There is a sense in which 'popular' means that which is liked by the majority, but sometimes it also means that which runs against the grain of ‘adult’ cultures and other expressions of the mainstream. The development of subcultures and musical scenes in resistance to the ‘status quo’ is intertwined with a powerful element of defiance and rebellion that is worth discussing at length. To that end, students will explore issues of identity, meaning, inequality and political economy to better understand the various facets of popular music as a field. This course provides new insights into these matters by listening to popular songs with a critical ear, by tuning into current trends and actual cases in light of key cultural theories.

This website uses cookies.  More information.