MA in Arts, Culture and Media


Program Description

University of Groningen

What is the role of the arts in society? How do the arts reflect, and direct the worldviews of individuals and communities? This track offers insight into these relevant issues relating to contemporary arts.

In the Master's track Arts, Culture and Media, students examine the role of the arts in society. The program combines the study of the aesthetic dimensions of music, theatre, and film. It teaches students how to uncover the cognitive and societal impact and the value of the arts in contemporary culture. Students learn to analyze and interpret artistic expressions with an enhanced view of how arts phenomena convey, negotiate, or hasten cultural change. They gain insight into the art worlds and their organization. The program explores how the arts relate to social, economic, and technical developments in an increasingly mediated world.

The Arts, Culture and Media track offers four specializations:

  • Music, Theatre and Performance Studies
  • Film and Contemporary Audiovisual Media
  • Arts, Policy and Cultural Entrepreneurship
  • Arts, Cognition, and Criticism

Student profile

This program suits students who have studied one of the arts disciplines (dance, music, theatre, film, literature, performance art) or arts-related perspectives (media studies, cultural studies, art history, arts sociology, art philosophy, arts cognition) in their Bachelor program.

Program options

General Information (track)

MA students enrolled in the Arts, Culture and Media degree program are offered an interdisciplinary curriculum, which highlights the inter-related nature of contemporary art worlds.

By combining an art specialization with a professional framework, students gain critical knowledge about the specifics of particular arts disciplines such as film, music, and theatre, while also gaining skills through exposure and experience with a professional framework, which is necessary for working in today's rapidly changing professional arts worlds. In the one-year Master's program, we offer four specializations:

Arts Discipline Specialisations:

  • Music, Theatre and Performance Studies
  • Film and Contemporary Audiovisual Media

Professional Framework Specialisations:

  • Arts, Policy and Cultural Entrepreneurship
  • Arts, Cognition, and Criticism

Students choose six modules of 5 EC (30 EC in total), combining either 20 EC in the Arts Discipline with 10 EC in a Framework, or 20 EC in a Framework and 10 EC in an Arts Discipline. These courses are taken during the first semester. During the second semester, students write their MA thesis (20 EC) and apply for an internship (10 EC).

Note: As of September 2018, the four specializations will be offered as separate Master's tracks. The content of the courses and the structure of the program will remain the same.

Music Theatre and Performance Studies (specialization)

This specialization offers a rich field of study which encompasses both emergent and historically established practices in music and the performing arts.

MA students learn about the current makeup of musical and theatrical organizations, as well as the impact of broader processes such as globalization, digitalization, urbanization, festivalization, and mobility upon expanding forms of creativity. Because humans continue to shape creative experience within cultural fields, this specialization aims to uncover how music and theatre remain relevant for understanding broader relations between culture, society, and the arts.

We examine these and other processes in historical contexts and in our musical and theatrical presentations, where economic crises in recording and performing industries have led to vast re-arrangements of musical and theatrical labor and changing conceptions of the public sphere.

Course options include:

  • Music Politics and Resistance
  • Music in the City
  • Music Technology and Ideologies
  • Classical Music in the Digital Age I: The Audiovisual Experience
  • Classical Music in the Digital Age II: Rethinking the Concert
  • Dramaturgy
  • Theorizing Performance: Theatre after the Performative Turn
  • Adaptation Theory and Practice

Film and Contemporary Audiovisual Media (specialization)

This new MA specialization offers the opportunity to study contemporary developments in film and moving-image culture.

Film and other audiovisual media surround us in everyday life, shape our societies and therefore demand critical and reflective engagement from responsible citizens. It highlights the significance of in-depth investigations of aesthetic experiences and perceptual and cognitive effects of different viewing cultures and screen technologies.

Methodologically, we offer state-of-the-art approaches like cognitivism, film-phenomenology, narrative theory, techno-aesthetics, and experimental media archaeology. Thematically, we focus on rapidly shifting trends in moving-image culture and the challenges connected to them: innovations in technologies, complex storytelling, changes in viewer experiences, film archiving practices and media curating, and new formats in documentary filmmaking that blur the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction.

Course options include:

  • First-Person Documentary and the Real
  • Contemporary Film and Media Curating
  • Contemporary Complex Cinema
  • The Film Experience

Arts, Policy and Cultural Entrepreneurship (specialization)

The specialization of Arts, Policy and Cultural Entrepreneurship has defined its mission as devising strategies for art in the public sphere.

Support for the arts and the related role of artists in the public sphere result from intense negotiations between stakeholders within the fields of politics, finance, management, and marketing. At the same time, artists critically reflect upon their public role and the manner in which they are supported. Thus both the public's role and its support of the arts are the subject of constant debate.

With this specialization, we contribute to the reflection on how the organization of art production, dissemination, and contextualization affects the realization of artistic values in society. Our methods are based on critical sociology, public policy studies, management science, and cognitive perspectives on the arts. These allow students to critically reflect upon the values that influence local art world settings, which increasingly interact with global networks.

Course options include:

  • Arts Sociology
  • Arts and the Public Sphere (with Arts, Cognition, and Criticism)
  • Public Arts Policy in Global Context
  • The Global/Local Cultural Leader

Arts, Cognition, and Criticism (specialization)

In the specialization of Arts, Cognition, and Criticism, students gain an understanding of culture as a complex individual and collective cognitive process.

Through culture, humans continuously create, distribute, negotiate, criticize, and reconsider their experiences, values, ideas, and perspectives. The arts have always played an important part in this process: aesthetic experiences reflect and shape individual and social consciousness. By doing so they partake in an ongoing conversation about what makes life worthwhile. The focus in this specialization is on how the arts innovate and reflect upon the cultural sphere.

The different courses explore themes such as art as reflective imagination, value-negotiation through storytelling, and the social and political function of the arts and art criticism. Methodologically the courses in this track draw from the cognitive sciences, hermeneutics, narrative theory, critical theory, discourse analysis, and arts sociology.

Course options include:

  • Arts and the Public Sphere (with APCE)
  • Media, Materials, Makers (with Art History)
  • Narrative Arts as Value Laboratory
  • Arts and Brain in Culture
  • 'Capita Selecta' Module

Internship and Master's Thesis (track)

Apart from the modules in the first semester, each of the four tracks consists of an MA Thesis (20 EC) and an internship (10 EC) in the second semester.

The Arts, Culture and Media track aims to launch MA students into their future professional worlds by positioning them in a network of partner organisations and by using the internship positions at the end of the second semester as a “landing strip” to the student's professional career (with help of professional partners and alumni). Furthermore, we support the combination of a Master's Research Project with an internship.

The internship will be supervised both professionally by a partner organization and academically by one of the staff members, according to the required field of expertise. The many direct contacts between our staff and organizations in the field as well as the broad choice of specialized internship opportunities we can offer to our students are a major asset of the specializations offered.

Master's Honours Programme (honors program)

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

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

Program schedule

University of Groningen

In this track, you follow 30 EC in courses in the first semester (5 EC modules) related to your chosen specializations. During the second semester, you write a Master's Thesis (20 EC) under the supervision of two Arts in Society professors. You also choose between a research-related tutorial or an arts internship (10 EC).

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
  • Maximum of 30 EC

Admission requirements

Specific requirements More information
additional subject Written Bachelor's thesis
Recommendation Letter Two recommendation letters
language test Minimum language requirements of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). ERK level B2 (preferably C1).
previous education Bachelor's degree in Arts, Culture, and Media or in a related field, such as:

  • Arts Philosophy
  • Arts Sociology
  • Arts Policy
  • Film
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Literature

Tuition fees

Nationality Year Fee Program form
EU/EEA 2020-2021 €2143 full-time
non-EU/EEA 2020-2021 €13500 full-time

Application deadlines

Type of student Deadline Start course
EU/EEA students

15 October 2020

01 June 2021

01 February 2021

01 September 2021

non-EU/EEA students

15 October 2020

01 June 2021

01 February 2021

01 September 2021

Job prospects

The Master's track in Arts, Culture, and Media: Mapping the Arts in Society is highly relevant for those students who wish to pursue a career:

  • as a cultural critic with a specific interest in the institutional and societal context of art production, distribution, and creation;
  • as a policymaker;
  • as a culture consultant;
  • in a managerial position in the professional field of the arts.

Job examples

Arts, Cognition, and Criticism
Because writing and thinking about the role of the arts in society is especially important for this framework, a position such as arts journalist, arts editor, or arts researcher is ideally suited for this task. These positions are found in newspapers, magazines, and media companies.

Arts, Policy and Cultural Entrepreneurship
With Arts, Policy and Cultural Entrepreneurship you can work, for example, as a professional organizer, manager, marketing, or publicity agent. These positions appear in city theatres, music festivals, concert orchestras, or for publishers and museums. In this field, you could also provide support and consultation for a policy or other arts-related functions relating to national, provincial, or local governments.

Other job possibilities
There are other employment possibilities such as a position by a media company or for the advertisement and commercial field. Prior students have also begun their own successful arts organizations, advice bureaus, or research institutions in the field of arts, culture, and event organizations.

Last updated Jun 2020

Keystone Scholarship

Discover the options our scholarship can give you

About the School

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astr ... Read More

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank. Geographically, the University is rooted in the Northern part of the Netherlands, a region very close to its heart. Read less
Groningen , Leeuwarden + 1 More Less