Master in Arts & Culture: Design Cultures

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Program Description

Master in Arts & Culture: Design Cultures

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Master in Design Cultures

The MA programme Design Cultures is all about the study of product design, graphic design and fashion in a broad diverse cultural context. The focus is on both the designer as ‘author’ and the complex chain of production, sale, consumption and criticism in which design operates and derives its many different meanings. Design Cultures restores design as the core object of academic interest without detracting from the cultural and material context in which it operates. The programme combines a generalist, comparative approach to design with a clear focus on history and theory.

Career Prospects

The Design Cultures course is taught in English. It is an internationally oriented course which has close ties with real-life practice. Besides studying the theoretical and historical background of design, students get a chance to do their graduation project in association with key players in the design world. Students of Design Cultures can look forward to careers in cultural institutions (editor, project manager), museums (researcher, curator), media, (author, critic, producer), government (administrator, advisor), design agencies (researcher, consultant) and educational and research institutes (teacher, researcher).

International students and students with a foreign Bachelor/Master degree

If you would like to start a Master’s programme at the Faculty of Arts, you can apply using our online application system, using the following link. The departmental Examination Board will decide upon your admission after having officially reviewed and evaluated your diplomas/degrees. Diplomas unknown by the board will be assessed by the master coordinator in cooperation with the NUFFIC.


The Master’s Arts & Culture is designed for students with an academic Bachelor’s in either design, fashion, art or (visual) cultural studies. You may also be accepted if you have an academic Bachelor’s in other disciplines of the Humanities (history, journalism, communication studies) or in anthropology or sociology, with a major or specialization in design, fashion, art or visual culture (equal to a minimum of 30 ECTS). Students with a historical and theoretical interest in the broad field of design are particularly welcome.

For international students the level of studied academic theory needs to be based on the course description, literature list and sample of academic writing, due to a lack of distinction between applied and academic universities abroad.

You must always present official test results proving your proficiency in English. Only students who have completed a full high school or bachelor’s degree in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia may be exempted. We require a TOEFL score (score 580 paper based, score 237 computer based or score 92 internet based) or an IELTS score (score 6.5).

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated July 14, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
1 year
Full time
1,984 EUR
Apr. 1, 2017
deadline for international students
Start date Sept. 2017
Netherlands Amsterdam
Application deadline Apr. 1, 2017
deadline for international students
End date Request Info
Duration 1 year
Price 1,984 EUR
for EEA students; €13.400 for Non-EEA