The MA in Arts and Culture in Leiden is unique in the Netherlands for the interdisciplinary range of subjects offered and for the diversity of the optional tracks available. You learn to consider modern art and design as links between media, cultures and communities. You also discover how sculpture, architecture and visual arts were applied together in the Renaissance and Baroque periods as a means to convince the viewer.
In this programme, it is not only the art object itself that is key; the commissioner of the work and the reactions of the public also play a central role. A binding theme is the effect of works of art on the viewer and the ways in which the medium of art works contribute to this. This broad approach ensures you become familiar with different methods and allows you to connect with other disciplines such as anthropology, natural sciences, theology and gender and international studies.
You can choose from five different specialisations. It is also possible to study Arts and Culture as a two-year Research Master’s.
“I learned a lot during my study about the objects that I now actually see in my work. “
“Although art and art history have always fascinated me, it took some time before I realised that I wanted to work in this field. After completing my bachelor’s in Languages and Cultures of China at Leiden University, I moved to China to gain work experience. It was in Beijing that I really got into the art world. I loved it so much that I decided to focus on this area and to return to Leiden to take a Master’s in Arts and Culture.
Before I could start the master’s, I first had to do a pre-master’s programme. This programme proved to me that applied art and design was the right direction for me. I did a research internship at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, where I had my first opportunity to put my research experience into practice. Another big advantage of this internship was the chance to meet a lot of good contacts: one of these was Uniquole, a project consultancy that organises exhibitions on Dutch applied art and design.
While completing my master’s thesis, I joined the company as art historian and project assistant. I recently started to work at the Stedelijk Museum as research assistant, where I carry out research on different objects in the collection. Both these positions give me every opportunity to apply my research skills. The good work ethic that I acquired during my study, as well as the ability to handle deadlines, are skills that are important assets in my work today.
The Design and Decorate Art Studies programme was a good introduction to the different subjects that form part of my specialist field. I would recommend this master’s to everyone who is interested in applied art and design. There is an immense amount of knowledge available within Leiden University. The excellent training that I received during my study from true specialists taught me a lot about the objects that I am now seeing in my everyday work.
Art historian and project assistant at Uniquole
Research assistant at the Stedelijk Museum