Immerse Yourself in the Art and Architecture of the Low Countries

Our two-year Research Master's program focuses on the art and architecture of the Low Countries (present-day Netherlands and Belgium), and spans the period from the late Middle Ages to the present day. You will study Netherlandish art and architecture, taking into account their international context. We invite you to critically reflect on the production of art and architecture, and the role of patronage; investigate the reasons why so many artist went abroad and how they became agents in the international diffusion of styles and themes; and explore how artworks testify to the Dutch encounter with the wider world from the Golden Age to the present day.

Furthermore, the program will acquaint you with the innovative approaches of global, technical, and digital art history. In the end, we hope you will imagine new possibilities for the field of art history of the Low Countries.

International Field Experience

You will also have the opportunity to study other specific subjects that align with your own personal interests. Our close ties with major art museums and other cultural organizations both in the Netherlands and abroad mean that the academic and practical work are closely linked.

Dutch students will spend a semester in a major art museum abroad while students from other countries intern at a major Dutch or Flemish art museum. You may also wish to study at another university for one semester. To date, our students have undertaken internships at approximately twenty institutions in eight different countries. Whatever your choice, your internship or study abroad will be tailored to your own individual interests. Read more about the teaching and research environment, including our teaching staff.

After Graduation

The Research Master's program in Art History of the Low Countries will prepare you for further research by specializing in the art and architecture of the Low Countries. In your program, you will have the opportunity to actively work on your career development.

Many graduates have gone on to undertake PhD programs in the Netherlands or abroad. To name just a few examples, alumni are currently doctoral candidates at KU Leuven, University of Ghent, Paris Sorbonne University, LMU Munich, Goethe University Frankfurt, Utrecht University, University of Amsterdam, and a number of universities in the United States, including Princeton University, Harvard University, and Columbia University.

Graduates can also apply for curatorial positions requiring specialist skills in art history at museums and research institutes. A number of our graduates are currently employed in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Twenthe in Enschede, the Municipal Museum of The Hague, the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, the Printroom of the Royal Library in Brussels, the Groeningemuseum in Bruges, and in the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) in The Hague. Read more about possible career prospects.

Career Prospects

This Master's program prepares you for positions involving research on the art and architecture of the Low Countries. After graduation you will often find PhD positions, or jobs in:

  • art galleries
  • museums
  • research libraries
  • archives
  • the art trade
  • publishing

Some of our graduates have gone on as independent exhibition organizers.

Academic Careers

A substantial part of the graduates will move on to a PhD program.

  • Sander Karst for instance, found a PhD position at Utrecht University.
  • Ruben Suykerbuyk is a PhD student at Ghent University.

Other graduates found PhD positions at:

University of Amsterdam | KU Leuven (Belgium)| Sorbonne | Goethe University | LMU (Germany) | Harvard University | Princeton University | Columbia University

After their PhD, a number of alumni found positions in the Dutch academic world. Merlijn Hurx, for instance, works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Art History of Utrecht University; Tijana Žakula is a lecturer in art history at University College Utrecht; Janna Schoenberger teaches at Amsterdam University College; Marjolijn Bol is a post-doctoral researcher at Utrecht University.

Non-academic Careers

This program does not only prepare for an academic career. Several students who graduated in 2009-2013 have found curatorial positions in Dutch or Belgian museums or at the Netherlands Institute for Art History.

Our alumni found jobs as:

  • Curator of 19th-Century Art at Gemeentemuseum in The Hague
  • Assistant Curator Old Master Paintings at Netherlands Institute for Art History(RKD) in The Hague
  • Assistant Curator Prints and Drawings at Groeningemuseum in Bruges
  • Project Coordinator at Marcel Wanders, product design & interior design in Amsterdam
  • Scientific researcher at Royal Library of Belgium in Brussel
  • Assistant Curator at the Amsterdam Museum

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Last updated November 30, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
2 years
2,083 EUR
Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee 2019-2020): € 2,083. Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee): 2018-19: € 15,575, 2019-20: € 16,600
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