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Art History

Are you fascinated by art, architecture and cultural landscapes, modern, and old? Are you curious about the meaning, history, and impact of art? Then Art History is your program.

The Department of History of Art, Architecture & Landscape in Groningen is unique because it combines the study of the visual arts, urbanism, architectural history and the history of landscapes, and examines the relationships between artwork, city and landscape. Our bachelor program offers a combination of historical, theoretical, and practice-based courses in which our international faculty collaborates with experts in the field. You are introduced to the professional field from the beginning. Art historians study artworks on-site. You will therefore go on excursions to Florence in your first year and to a large European metropolis like Berlin, London, or Vienna in your third year. The Department also organizes many excursions in the Netherlands.

After your Bachelor degree you can continue your studies in the Master program Arts and Culture. You can choose between the following tracks:

Art speaks all languages. Since the academic year 2017-2018 our department offers all courses in English. English will therefore be our official language.

Facts & Figures
BA in Art History
Course type
36 months (180 ECTS)
Croho code
Language of instruction
Studie in Cijfers
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • International faculty with broad expertise
  • Two field trips abroad, for instance, to Berlin or Florence
  • Balanced combination of art historical, art theoretical, and career-oriented courses

The first-year courses introduce you to important works in the history of art, from Classical Antiquity to Rembrandt, from Michelangelo to Mondrian, and Warhol to Ai Weiwei. From Gothic churches to Rietveld and Rem Koolhaas, from Italian gardens to the Dutch polder landscape.

You learn everything about the most important artistic periods and movements, you take courses in visual analysis, iconography, and materials and techniques. Fridays are usually reserved for excursions and you visit Florence for two weeks in the winter.

CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Beyond Antiquity: Architecture 400-1400 (5 EC)
Beyond Antiquity: Visual Arts 400-1400 (5 EC)
Seeing and Knowing: Visual Analysis & Iconography (5 EC)
Paint to Pixel: Artist's Materials & Techniques Through the Ages (5 EC)
Towards Modernity: Architecture & Landscapes 1400-1800 (5 EC)
Towards Modernity: Visual Arts 1400-1800 (5 EC)
Florence Excursion (5 EC)
Reality Contested: Visual Arts 1800-1914 (5 EC)
Style & Modernity: Architecture & Urbanism 1800-1914 (5 EC)
Blurring Boundaries: Architecture & Urbanism 1914-now (5 EC)
Blurring Boundaries: Visual Arts 1914-now (5 EC)
Reading Cultural Landscapes: Past and Present (5 EC)

The second year has a two-fold approach: on the one hand it deepens the knowledge you obtained during the first year by focusing on distinct subject matters, such as contemporary art, the design of landscapes, architectural theory, or Italian Renaissance art.

On the other hand, we challenge you by placing what you have learned in a broader, interdisciplinary context with courses on “Art & Science”, “Art & Environment”, “Architecture, Nature & Enlightenment”, "Art & Institutions” and "Medieval Landscapes and Architecture".

CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Architecture, City & Freedom (5 EC)
Medieval Landscapes & Architecture (5 EC)
Renaissance Art: Individual/Institution (5 EC)
Art Now (5 EC)
Designed Landscapes 1800-present (5 EC)
Vrije ruimte (5 EC)
Art & Science (5 EC)
European Country House Landscapes (5 EC)
Global Dutch Art (5 EC)
Architecture, Nature & Enlightenment (5 EC)
Art & Environment (5 EC)
Art & Institutions (5 EC)

The first semester of the third year is reserved for your minor. We recommend that you choose a minor at one of our partner universities abroad. But you can also opt for a Career Minor that includes a placement or a Faculty Minor.

After you have finished your minor, you go on a field trip to a major art or architectural metropolis, like Berlin, London, Vienna, or Brussels. You finish your program with a thesis on a topic of your own choosing. You acquire the skills necessary for the job market in all of your classes.

CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Minor (30 EC)
Excursion abroad: Art & Architecture/Landscape (10 EC)
From Theory to Practice (5 EC)
BA Thesis (10 EC)
Practice Lab: Architecture/Art/Landscape (5 EC)
Programme options
Modern and Contemporary Art (specialization)
Early Modern Art (specialization)
Architecture and Urbanism (specialization)
Landscape History (specialization)
Minors (minor)

The fifth semester (year 3 semester 1) of your studies is dedicated to your Minor: a coherent set of future-oriented course units. It prepares you for a follow-on Master's degree program or for entering the labour market. You can opt for a Career Minor, a Minor abroad, a University Minor or a Faculty Minor.

More information about this option

University of Groningen Honours College (honours program)

The Honours College will give talented, motivated students the chance to be challenged even more by following Honours programmes and taking part in numerous other activities.

The Honours College comprises a broadening part and a deepening part and has a study load of 45 ECTS credit points besides the 180 ECTS credit points from your regular Bachelor programme

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
  • For an average of 16 weeks
  • Maximum of 30 EC

Art history is an international discipline. Our department offers the opportunity to intern or take classes abroad for bachelor students. For instance at one of our partnership universities in Ghent, Louvain, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Münster, Rome, and Bern.

Entry requirements

Admissible Dutch diploma profiles

  • Cultuur & Maatschappij
  • Economie & Maatschappij
  • Natuur & Gezondheid
  • Natuur & Techniek
  • HBO propedeuse

    Additional requirements English: Minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components)

Choice of degree programme check

The degree programme will organize a matching procedure. Attendance is optional. The advice is not binding.

Explanatory notes

If you intend to start with a bachelor degree programme at the University of Groningen in September, make sure to apply before May 1 in Studielink. The degree programme will give you the option to participate in a matching activity to see if you and the degree programme are a match. Which matchings activity they provide depends on the faculty and programme.

Any questions about matching? Check

Choice of degree programme check

If you intend to start with a bachelor degree programme at the University of Groningen in September, make sure to apply before May 1 in Studielink. The degree programme will give you the option to participate in a matching activity to see if you and the degree programme are a match. Which matchings activity they provide depends on the faculty and programme.

Any questions about matching? Check

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components)

previous education

Dutch VWO diploma, a German Abitur, an International Baccalaureate diploma, a European Baccalaureate or another diploma that is sufficient for acceptance to a Dutch university. Students with a Dutch 'hbo-propedeuse' diploma also need to meet the language requirements mentioned above.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202001 September 2020
EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 8900full-time

The Dutch government intends to halve the statutory tuition fees for specific groups of first year bachelor's students starting from the 2018/19 academic year.

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Art and Architecture are of great importance to society. There are many career opportunities, depending on your specialization, master degree and personal interests. Our Department's graduates pursue a wide variety of jobs and professions.

Job examples

  • Curator
  • Exhibition organizer/designer
  • Restorer
  • Journalist
  • Professor
  • (Policy) Advisor

The term 'scholarly' or 'scientific' education points to the fact that research and teaching are connected. All faculty staffmembers are engaged in scholarly research in their respective areas. The classes you take are therefore partly based on current research within the Faculty of Arts.

Take a closer look at the current research in our department here.

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If you want to know more about the programme Art History, please contact:

  • Watch this videoClose
						Testimonial of Student Ambassador Nicky Bouma

    The study makes you experience things that you've always been surrounded by in a completely new light!

    – Student Ambassador Nicky Bouma
    Read more

    About Nicky

    My name is Nicky, I’m 24 years old, and a third year Art History student. I’m originally from Fryslan and I have been living in the beautiful city of Groningen for four years now. In my spare time, I love to meet up with friends in one of the many nice cafes in the city, read, and of course visit museums and other nice cities.

    Why Art History?

    Before I started Art History, I followed other studies for a couple of years. Because of that, I figured out what I did and did not want to be part of my degree. This made me ultimately choose Art History. Museums have intrigued me since I’ve been a small child. When I started university, I realized that I found architecture as interesting as museums. The landscape courses of my degree are also a very valuable addition. Groningen provides me with the opportunity to experience all three aspects when riding a bike, walking through the city, or visiting the museum. This makes you experience things that you’ve always been surrounded by in a completely new light!

    Read more about Nicky Bouma and why she chose to study Art History in Groningen.

    Questions? Send Nicky an email.

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  • Watch this videoClose
						Testimonial of  Mettina Bleker

    A lot of excursions during the first year

    – Mettina Bleker
    Read more

    I became interested in art history because I was curious about the stories behind works of art. In the first year you learn about artistic movements, artists and their cultural context. The lecturers specialise in a wide range of subject areas. Because it is a small-scale degree programme, you are in close contact with the lecturers and other students. There are a lot of excursions during the first year and it’s great to see in real life what you learned about in class! I recommend joining Meander, the study association, which organizes lectures, excursions and get-togethers all year round. Groningen is a fantastic place to live and study.

						Testimonial of Tessel Luitjens

    I am particularly fascinated by the broad links between art, culture and politics.

    – Tessel Luitjens
    Read more

    I came to Art History through studying Italian. I found Italian art and culture so interesting that I decided to study these as well. I am particularly fascinated by the broad links between art, culture and politics. The link between Picasso and Apollinaire, for example, but also the importance of art for society, and the political message in art.

    I was the chair of Meander, the Art History study association and am now headings its advisory board. This enables me to gain administrative experience and extend my network, but above all it is very instructive and enjoyable. Meander adds to the degree programme by organizing excursions and career days, and also parties and get-togethers.

    Because I think it’s important to be actively involved in the degree programme I am a student member of the Degree Programme Committee. It is also useful to learn more about how the University operates.

    I like to spend my free time with friends – going out for a meal, going to festivals and concerts. Luckily there is enough time to do this alongside studying and working for Meander.


Web Class

Are you at secondary school and want to know what studying at university is like? The Art History programme is offering a web class! This online course from the University of Groningen is specially designed for secondary school students.

Are you interested? Please register here.

Read more

Study associations


Meander is the study association for students following the History of Art & Architecture programme at the University of Groningen.
Members receive discount on textbooks, an annual Meander almanac and 3-4 editions of LUX magazine per year. They can also go to all the parties, lectures, excursions, symposiums and other activities organized by Meander at discount prices. In addition, Meander regularly organizes trips both in and outside the Netherlands.
Read more
Student profile

Are you fascinated by art, landscapes, or architecture? Do you want to know why art is important to society? Do you have good writing skills? Then Art History is just for you! It is important that you do not immediately label an artwork as beautiful or ugly, but rather are curious about art and its ideas and underlying messages/concepts.

(Binding) study advice
  • A minimum of 45 EC in the first 12 months (binding)

You will be offered study advice after first year of study. You can expect a positive result if you have earned more than 45 ECTS credit points (out of a total of 60 ECTS). If you have earned fewer than 45 ECTS and are issued a negative result, you will not be allowed to continue with your degree programme.

You will receive preliminary study advice in December to make sure that you know where you stand. Please contact your study advisor as soon as possible if you have any questions about the BSA system. N.B. Some degree programmes use a tutoring system; please check with your study advisor.

Study support

The transition from high school to college comes with many changes. That is why you receive additional guidance during your freshman year.

A mentoring system is meant to ease your transition. Your mentor will teach you how to study effectively and how to make smart choices. You can also make an appointment with the study advisor. She can answer your questions about selecting coursework and other things. Everything you discuss with her is confidential. In case of complex problems, she can also refer you to the 'student deans' or the classes offered by Study Support.

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