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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Arts and Culture Art History
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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 offers all the knowledge and expertise that you need.

The one-year Master’s track in Art History is one of the seven tracks within the Master’s programme Arts and Culture.

In this track, you will study the history and social impact of old, modern and contemporary art. You analyze and interpret artworks and study them in a broad sense and often in museum oriented contexts. Additionally, during you internship you will learn to apply your gained knowledge in different fields, other than museums, for example in art dealerships, art loans, art auctions and in the media. Another aspect of the track, that is just as important, are the theory and historiography of the discipline; you will deepen your knowledge and learn to reflect on these topics.

The Master’s track in Groningen has two focal points: the visual arts from the Netherlands and Italy from 1400 until 1700, and 20th century and contemporary art and art criticism. The materials used and techniques applied by artists are a recurring theme in the curriculum. During the year, you can sign up for an excursion abroad, to Rome or Berlin.

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://www.rug.nl/ocasys/rug/vak/showPos?opleiding=5428

Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >123456
Art History Now: Theory, Method, Historiography (10 EC)

Core module for all tracks. Joost Keizer, Ann-Sophie Lehmann

Collections & Artefacts (10 EC, optional)

Peter de Ruiter, in collaboration with a museum

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

Linda Nijenhof, Ann-Sophie Lehmann, in collaboration with Frank Mohr Institute

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

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

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.

Modern and Contemporary Art (specialization)

The Modern and Contempory Art specialization offers courses from the Enlightenment to the present. Course offerings include the study of the broad spectrum of media used during this period: photography, film, video, multi-media installations, and post-digital art, in addition to painting, sculpture, drawings, and prints.

Early Modern Art (specialization)

The specialization Early Modern Art focuses on art made between the late Middle Ages and the Enlightenment. Courses deal with a wide variety of media: painting, sculpture, prints, drawings, and applied arts. Students study the historical embeddedness of artworks in addition to art's theoretical reach.

Curatorial Studies (specialization)

This specialization prepares students for a career in a museum or as an independent curator. All students take Art History Now and make a selection from the offerings in Early Modern or Modern and Contemporary Art. After having fulfilled all course requirements, including the thesis, students complete their program with a placement of six months in a museum in the Netherlands or abroad. Higher than average scores are a requirement for this specialization.

More information about this option

Master's Honours Programme (honours program)

The Master's Honours Programme was developed especially for students who want to get more from their studies.

It is a programme worth 15 ECTS that is followed in addition to the standard Master's programme. It is a one-year interdisciplinary programme that is designed to introduce students to various aspects of leadership.

More information about this option

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
Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Art HistoryAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

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). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180.

previous education

A Bachelor's degree in Art History

Students with a degree from a Research University or University of Applied Sciences in related fields (such as, a BA Arts, Culture and Media, an Art degree or a broad minor curriculum focused on Art History) could possibly be admitted to this Master's track. If you wish to apply, we advise you to contact the Admission Board for the track Art History.

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 202201 September 2022
15 August 202301 September 2023
EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023

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). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180.

previous education

A Bachelor's degree in Art History

Students with a degree from a Research University or University of Applied Sciences in related fields (such as, a BA Arts, Culture and Media, an Art degree or a broad minor curriculum focused on Art History) could possibly be admitted to this Master's track. If you wish to apply, we advise you to contact the Admission Board for the track Art History.

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 202201 September 2022
15 August 202301 September 2023
EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2022-2023€ 2209full-time
non-EU/EEA2022-2023€ 14570full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Art is 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, ranging from cultural policy makers, academics, museum staff, and the art market.

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

  • 
						Testimonial of Hero Hooijer

    Kunsthistoricus bij Studio Haas

    – Hero Hooijer
    Read more

    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 koos ik voor de richting 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!?

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Charlotte Wytema

    Stage bij het Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

    – Charlotte Wytema
    Read more

    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! Lees meer

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Marieke de Rooij

    Stage bij het Fotomuseum Provincie Antwerpen

    – Marieke de Rooij
    Read more

    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. Lees meer

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Muriel Ramuz

    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.

    – Muriel Ramuz
    Read more

    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.

    Close

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

Meander

Meander is the study association of Arts and Architectural History at the University of Groningen. The aim of this study association is to unite its members and to offer additional activities in which both social and educational aspects play a role. The activities organized by Meander range from interesting lectures to excursions abroad.
During these activities, the academic background of the lecturer is also being addressed in order to establish a link with the future career of students of Arts and Architectural History.
https://www.studieverenigingmeander.nl/
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Study support

Every Master track has its own study advisor.