Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Arts and Culture Art History
Header image Art History

Art History

Do you want to be well prepared for a career in the world of the Visual Arts? The Master Program in Art History and Curatorial Studies offers all the knowledge and expertise that you need.

The MA Art History & Curatorial Studies is a vibrant master programme that attracts students from all over the globe. It teaches students to become intellectually thorough, socially engaged, and professionally successful art historians.
The programme combines a rigorous, research driven curriculum with hands-on experience in curatorial practice, working closely together with stakeholders in museums, galleries, alternative art spaces, and heritage institutions. It offers courses on early modern , modern and contemporary art, while also highlighting transhistorical and transcultural means. The program includes courses on artistic research in collaboration with the art academy, and explores contemporary conservation issues with a view to eco-critical approaches in art history. All students will go on an excursion to a major European city (Berlin, Paris, Rome or Venice). Next to the MA thesis, small scale research tutorials allow students to work with individual professors, developing and strengthening their professional profile. On top of the programme, students can participate in summer schools, Erasmus exchange modules, and research activities, such as workshops and conferences offered by the faculty’s research institutes.
Our international staff includes experts in medieval, early modern, and modern & contemporary art, Chinese, South-American, and African heritage and museum studies, artistic research, and visual & material culture. All course modules are taught in close contact with museums, curators, artists and other professionals in the field and involve on-site elements.
With completing the one-year Master’s track students obtain an internationally well perceived degree and springboard for future careers. Students particularly interested in research and an academic career, may apply for the Research Master Program after the first semester (upon consultation with the supervisors). Students particularly interested in curatorial practices may pursue a six months internship after the completion of all coursework and the thesis. The curatorial internship is subject to a selection after the first semester of the MA track . Higher than average scores and strong collaborative skills are a requirement for the internship.


Facts & Figures
Degree
MA in Arts & Culture
Course type
Master
Duration
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
60087
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
Arts
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • Combination of historical and theoretical depth. Faculty specialized in the fields of Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, Northern Renaissance and Baroque art, including pre-modern globalization, the art of the Enlightenment, twentieth-century art, art criticism, new media, and materials and techniques.
  • Excursions abroad.
  • Unique curatorial programme.
Programme

The first semester consists of one required course, Art History Now, and two course that complement the student's specialization.

In the second semester, the Early Modern and Modern and Contemporary Art students write a thesis of 15 EC and complete an internship of 10 EC. The Curatorial students write a thesis of 20 EC and follow a tutorial of 5 EC. These students conclude their studies in the third semester with an internship of 30 EC. All students go on an excursion abroad in the second semester.

Take a look at our course offerings here: https://ocasys.rug.nl/current/catalog/programme/60087

Semesters
CoursesCourse Catalog >1a1b2a2b3a3b
Material Religion (5 EC, optional)

Andrew Irving (needs to be taken with THM-MR5

Art History Now: Theory, Method, Historiography (10 EC)

Core module for all tracks. Ann-Sophie Lehmann

Collections & Artefacts: Ceramics & Sustainable Curating (10 EC, optional)

Wendy Gers

Media, Materials, Makers: Arts and/as Research (10 EC, optional)

Linda Nijenhof, in collaboration with Frank Mohr Institute

Museums: The Making-Of (10 EC, optional)

Partly on-site module. Andreas Blühm, in collaboration with Groninger Museum

Museums and Religion (5 EC, optional)

Andrew Irving (needs to be taken with THMMRE5

Excursion (5 EC)

Core module for all tracks.

Master Thesis: Curatorial & Museum studies (20 EC, optional)
Master Thesis: Early Modern European Art / Modern & Contemporary Art (15 EC, optional)

Modern & Contemporary Art / Early Modern European Art

Research Internship (10 EC, optional)
Tutorial: Research expertise (5 EC, optional)
Museum Internship: Curatorial & Museum studies (30 EC, optional)

Curriculum

The master-track in Art History has three specializations: Early Modern Art, Modern and Contemporary Art, and Curatorial Studies. Students specialize in one of these three specializations. Specific qualifications are required for Curatorial Studies.

All students take the course Art History Now, which offers the fundamental theoretical and methodological preparation for the Master's thesis. Students select the rest of their coursework from our course overview (see table above)

Programme options
Master's Placement (specialization)

This Master's track includes an optional work placement for which you are awarded ECTS credit points.

It is your responsibility to find a placement yourself, but the Office for Student Affairs can offer help with this where necessary.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional

Art History is an international discipline. During the scheduled excursions you will familiarize yourself with art in foreign countries, museums, art academies and exhibitions. The Master's track Art History offers you the opportunity to study abroad or follow an internship abroad.

Entry requirements

Transfer options

Transferring from...

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Art HistoryUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Arts, Culture and MediaUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Incl. Visual Art programme

Arts, Culture and MediaUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Excl. Visual Art programme. - Students with a Faculty Minor (30 ECTS) in History in Art, Architecture and Landscape are eligible for admission to this Master's track only via the Admission Board.

American StudiesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Students with a Faculty Minor (30 ECTS) in History in Art, Architecture and Landscape are eligible for admission to this Master's track only via the Admission Board.

Communication and Information StudiesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Students with a Faculty Minor (30 ECTS) in History in Art, Architecture and Landscape are eligible for admission to this Master's track only via the Admission Board.

English Language and CultureUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Students with a Faculty Minor (30 ECTS) in History in Art, Architecture and Landscape are eligible for admission to this Master's track only via the Admission Board.

European Languages and CulturesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Students with a Faculty Minor (30 ECTS) in History in Art, Architecture and Landscape are eligible for admission to this Master's track only via the Admission Board.

European Languages and CulturesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Students with a Faculty Minor (30 ECTS) in History in Art, Architecture and Landscape are eligible for admission to this Master's track only via the Admission Board.

History (part-time)University of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Students with a Faculty Minor (30 ECTS) in History in Art, Architecture and Landscape are eligible for admission to this Master's track only via the Admission Board.

Media StudiesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Students with a Faculty Minor (30 ECTS) in History in Art, Architecture and Landscape are eligible for admission to this Master's track only via the Admission Board.

Middle Eastern StudiesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Students with a Faculty Minor (30 ECTS) in History in Art, Architecture and Landscape are eligible for admission to this Master's track only via the Admission Board.

Dutch Language and CultureUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Students with a Faculty Minor (30 ECTS) in History in Art, Architecture and Landscape are eligible for admission to this Master's track only via the Admission Board.

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Art HistoryAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Students with a Bachelor's degree in Art History and Arts, Culture and Media (incl. Visual Art programme) are directly admissible to this Master's track. University of Groningen students with a BA in:

  • American Studies
  • Arts Culture and Media (excl. Visual Art programme)
  • Communication & Information Sciences
  • Dutch Languages and Cultures
  • English Language and Culture
  • European Languages and Cultures
  • History
  • Media Studies
  • Minorities & Multilingualism

with a Faculty Minor (30 ECTS) in History in Art, Architecture and Landscape are also eligible for admission to this Master's track only via the Admission Board.

Professionals and students with a background in a related field are welcome to apply to the track. The Admission Board will assess whether your educational/academic background meets the specific track requirements, and will consider the level and curriculum of your previous studies.

Checklist previous education (to upload to the Progress Portal): https://www.rug.nl/let/studeren-bij-ons/kunstgeschiedenis/arts-and-culture-art-history-checklist.docx

language test

Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), 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). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180.

Registration procedure

Please use this step-by-step guide for more information regarding your eligibility and your specific application procedure.

After you complete your application, the Admissions Board will assess whether your educational/academic background meets the specific programme requirements, and will consider the level and curriculum of your previous studies.

The Admissions Board will then determine whether:

  • direct admission is possible
  • a student has to complete a pre-Master's programme first
  • a student cannot be admitted

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202401 September 2024
15 August 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Students with a Bachelor's degree in Art History and Arts. Culture and Media (incl. Visual Art programme) are directly admissible to this Master's track. University of Groningen students with a BA in:

  • American Studies
  • Arts, Culture and Media (excl. Visual Art programme)
  • Communication & Information Sciences
  • Dutch Languages and Cultures
  • English Language and Culture
  • European Languages and Cultures
  • History
  • Media Studies
  • Minorities & Multilingualism

with a Faculty Minor (30 ECTS) in History in Art, Architecture and Landscape are also eligible for admission to this Master's track only via the Admission Board.

Professionals and students with a background in a related field are welcome to apply to the track. The Admission Board will assess whether your educational/academic background meets the specific track requirements, and will consider the level and curriculum of your previous studies.

Checklist previous education (to upload to the Progress Portal): https://www.rug.nl/let/studeren-bij-ons/kunstgeschiedenis/arts-and-culture-art-history-checklist.docx

language test

Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), 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). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180.

Registration procedure

Please use this step-by-step guide for more information regarding your eligibility and your specific application procedure.

After you complete your application, the Admissions Board will assess whether your educational/academic background meets the specific programme requirements, and will consider the level and curriculum of your previous studies.

The Admissions Board will then determine whether:

  • direct admission is possible
  • a student has to complete a pre-Master's programme first
  • a student cannot be admitted

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202401 September 2024
15 August 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2024-2025€ 2530full-time
non-EU/EEA2024-2025€ 18700full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Art is in general of great importance to our contemporary society, as museums are taken by storm on a daily basis. Depending on your own interests and specialization, your job prospects are varied, therefore it is only natural that graduates in the field of Ancient, Modern and Contemporary art end up in varying professions.

After you have graduated the MA track Art History, you can officially call yourself an art historian. Your title shows you have completed a versatile degree programme, where you have acquired a lot of knowledge of works of art, artists, their clients, the professional field, practice, and the public. Your job opportunities after completing this degree are very diverse. Traditionally, our graduates work in museums, where they look after the collections, curate exhibitions, and put together educational material. On the other hand, they often work in the media, for art-oriented shows, write art critiques or work for a publishing house. Art historians are also active in municipal, provincial or government departments, in policy or executive positions, for example in heritage management. Particularly in the last couple of years, there has been an increased interest in cultural-historical heritage and its social significance (cultural tourism). This has increased the demand for people who can to present art in all its aspects in an appealing way.

Job examples

  • Gallery owner
  • Art Consultant
  • Policy officer Culture at (local) government
  • Curator
  • Museum Educator
  • Public Relations Officer
  • Exhibition maker
  • Employee auction house
  • Journalist
  • Purchaser company collections
  • Editor
  • Lecturer
  • Cultural-historical tourism
  • Conservator-Restorer
  • Monument care
  • Scientific Employee
Research

Conducting research in the field of Art History is one of the most wonderful challenges you can face as a Master's student. In nearly all art history related jobs, research is an important aspect of your work, whether you are a curator in a print room or a policy officer at a municipality, employers will call upon your research skills and critical thinking. During your Master's, you will learn what art historical research entails, how you can conduct it yourself, and how you can apply these skills to the benefit of society. The field of research is extensive, including, analyzing and interpreting works of art, focusing on the technique of the artist and material properties of the artwork, the museological and social context -in other words, the art world-, theoretical approaches and archival research. Ideally, your research alligns with our staff's specializations, but this does not have to be the case. Our staff members will be able to teach and supervize you because of their great research background. Additionally, our staff members have numerous international contacts in a range of fields, therefore it would be possible to study to conduct reasearch abroad, as the curriculum also permits.

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact

Contact

Kunsthistoricus bij Studio Haas

Na mijn studie werd ik gedwongen om creatief te zijn, want binnen de kunstsector is het hard werken om een baan te vinden. Toch ben ik blij dat ik kunsthistoricus ben geworden, want het is een waardevolle studie.

Binnen de mastertrack Kunstgeschiedenis koos ik voor de specialisatie Oude Kunst. Ik vind het namelijk zeer interessant dat al die kunstwerken, vele eeuwen oud, vandaag de dag nog in de spotlights staan. Deze kunstwerken hebben ons nog steeds veel te vertellen en daar wilde ik meer van weten!

Eén van de vakken die ik binnen voor deze richting heb gevolgd is Toepassing en Overdracht. Tijdens dit vak ontwikkelde ik de vaardigheden om de intenties van kunstenaar en opdrachtgevers te achterhalen met behulp van technieken zoals visuele analyse en literatuuronderzoek. Met het bestuderen van een kunstwerk komt heel verrassend de tijd waarin het is ontstaan weer tot leven.

Op dit moment werk ik samen met een kunsthistorica Moderne Kunst aan een project waarbij we de kunst in de openbare ruimte in vele gemeenten onder de aandacht willen brengen. Wij willen kunstliefhebbers en toevallige voorbijgangers ter plekke aanknopingspunten geven bij het bekijken van een kunstwerk. In weer en wind naar kunst kijken is anders dan in een museum. Buiten worden meer zintuigen aangesproken dan alleen de ogen en daar leer je als kijker veel van.

Het heeft veel pluspunten om ondernemer te zijn, ik bepaal zelf wat ik interessant vind en waar ik me mee bezig houd. En wat is er nou leuker dan kunst!?

Read more

Stage bij het Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

Ik heb in mijn tijd bij het Metropolitan Museum ontzettend veel geleerd. Ik werkte in de Robert Lehman Collection, één van de zeventien curatorial departments, en deed onderzoek naar de vroeg Nederlandse schilderijen uit deze collectie, om er vervolgens catalogue entries over te schrijven.

Ik heb heel veel geleerd door te werken onder de co-supervisie van Maryan Ainsworth, een van de grootste specialisten binnen mijn vakgebied, en daarnaast was het fantastisch om mijn opgedane kennis in de praktijk te kunnen toepassen en de schilderijen, waar ik tijdens mijn studie zo veel over geleerd had, van dichtbij te kunnen bestuderen. Daarnaast maakte ik onderdeel uit van het MuSe (Museum Seminar) programma: elke maandag werden er voor de groep stagiaires lezingen, discussies, Q&A sessies, exhibition tours en excursies georganiseerd. Op deze manier heb ik de diversiteit van de verschillende disciplines binnen het Met leren kennen, heb ik heel veel geleerd over het reilen en zeilen van een enorme organisatie waar rond de 3000 mensen werken en over de samenwerking tussen de verschillende afdelingen.

Voor een studie als Kunstgeschiedenis is praktijkervaring essentieel. Niet alleen om op eigen initiatief professionele ervaring op te doen, maar ook om erachter te komen wat je het beste ligt. Door mijn tijd bij het Met weet ik wat ik wil, heb ik inspirerende en interessante mensen leren kennen, mijn theoretische kennis uitgebreid, gewerkt in een van de grootste kunstmusea ter wereld, een nieuwe cultuur leren kennen en simpelweg een fantastische tijd gehad. Ik kan iedereen dan ook van harte aanraden: ga stage lopen!

Read more

Stage bij het Fotomuseum Provincie Antwerpen

Mijn stageopdracht was het samenstellen van een overzichtstentoonstelling van het werk van Carl De Keyzer. Deze Belgische Magnum-fotograaf heeft veel projecten, boeken en prijzen op zijn naam staan. Mijn taak was divers: van het vinden van een geschikte vormgever tot en met het contact met Carl De Keyzer en het meedenken bij het maken van de selectie van zijn foto's. Naast deze hoofdtaak draaide ik mee in de lopende zaken van het museum.

Door mijn stage heb ik opgedane kennis en vaardigheden kunnen toepassen maar er is ook een nieuwe wereld voor mij open gegaan, namelijk die van de museumorganisatie en de contacten met kunstenaars en fotografen die willen exposeren. De wisselwerking die tijdens een stage ontstaat tussen studie- en praktijkonderdelen, was voor mij heel inspirerend: ik heb er zelfs mijn masterscriptie aan gewijd! Dat ik tenslotte via mijn stage een artikel heb kunnen schrijven dat gepubliceerd is, was een extra kans die ik niet graag had willen missen.

Kortom, ik heb een leerzame en leuke tijd doorgebracht in het Fotomuseum Provincie Antwerpen. Overigens, Antwerpen is een leuke stad met veel bezienswaardigheden en veel horecagelegenheden met een uitgesproken sfeer. Wat te denken van een middeleeuwse eetpartij in een oud gewelf of proeven van Kwak-bier. Over huisvesting hoef je je ook niet druk te maken: een “kot” kun je vinden via de Antwerpse universiteit of via de vele aanplakbiljetten in de stad en de prijs is zeker niet hoger dan in Groningen.

Read more

Although you can choose between both old and modern and contemporary art, the boundaries of these two options are not defined. If you have a wide range of interests you can further specialise your degree, exploring unknown territory.

Although I am quite busy, the programme has been exactly what I expected it to be when I started: a diverse and challenging Masters. I am very excited about the dynamic nature of the programme and the activities involved in it. Although you can choose between both old and modern and contemporary art, the boundaries of these two options are not defined. If you have a wide range of interests you can further specialise your degree, exploring unknown territory.

Between Theory and Practice

You get acquainted with the rich tradition of art theory through challenging texts, while being instructed on how to critically analyse the material. While the theory is interesting, it takes time to deepen your understanding of the coursework. At the same time, you will examine the boundary between theory and practice through collaboration with establishments such as the Groninger Museum, Boijmans van Beuningen, and the Frank Mohr Institute. The programme prompts you to get involved in the field of Art History.

Read more

University of Groningen Orange Tulip Scholarship/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts

Are you a non-EU/EEA student from Russia, India or Indonesia, starting a Master's programme at the Faculty of Arts? If so, you could qualify for the University of Groningen OTS/Talent Grant, Faculty of Arts, a partial scholarship which helps you to finance your studies.

Read more about the OTS/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts.

Read more

Study associations

IK

IK is the study association of Arts, Culture and Media at the University of Groningen. IK organizes various study-related activities and aims to create an atmosphere in which students can study successfully. Activities organized by IK include an introduction camp, a careers week and a trip abroad.
https://studyassociationik.com/
Read more
Study support

Every Master track has its own study advisor.