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MA in Arts and Culture - Art, Architecture and Interior Before 1800




What will I learn?

In our MA Art, Architecture and the Interior before 1800 you will explore the role of the arts in medieval and early modern societies. Painting, sculpture, prints and the applied arts were not isolated objects in museums, but formed an integral part of palaces, churches, and private houses, giving them meaning by enforcing the position of rulers, expressing faith, or evoking joy, fear or even abhorrence.

Why study Art, Architecture and the Interior before 1800 at Leiden University

This MA centers on the (visual and applied) arts and architecture of western Europe before 1800, but will go beyond the traditional monodisciplinary approach. Rather than focusing on the most famous paintings, we will show how art and architecture interacted with other media, such as theatre, literature and religion. Moreover, we adopt a clear transnational approach by showing that the arts served as a ‘highway’ for intercultural exchange. European artists, architects and artisans explored all corners of the world, being influenced by and influencing the art they encountered. Examples from the Dutch Golden Age include Frans Post’s Brazilian landscapes, Classicist houses in Gdansk and the Chinese-inspired Delftware.

A close community

Our MA Art History is unique in the Netherlands for providing a program in English, thus bringing you into contact with students from all over the world. Moreover, we guarantee a high-level student-centered environment and individual supervision. We work closely together with the most eminent institutes abroad, such as Cambridge University and the Ecole du Louvre in the form of seminars and summer schools.

Career perspectives

You will get the opportunity to combine in-depth research with internships at leading museums and institutions. This program prepares you for a range of careers in academia, as well as for careers in institutions for heritage, auction houses, teaching, curatorship, art journalism and publishing, not in the least because our staff includes two prominent curators of the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum.

Art, Architecture and the Interior before 1800 degree

Art, Architecture and the Interior before 1800 at Leiden University is an accredited degree programme. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a master’s degree in Arts and Culture and the title Master of Arts (MA).

Career prospects

Create a world of opportunities with a master's degree from Leiden University.

What our graduates do

Your MA in Arts and Culture degree will qualify you for a wide range of professions in the public, private and non-profit sectors, including cultural institutions, publishing, media, and public relations, depending on the specialisation you have chosen. You will also be qualified to pursue a PhD and a career in academia.

Our Arts and Culture graduates are currently working with companies including Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, Sdu Publishers, Valiz publishers, Primavera Press, the Repeat Group, Gavelers Auctioneers and Lyppens, and at art venues such as BAK Utrecht and museums including the Haags Gemeentemuseum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden.

Examples of the diverse roles of our graduates include:

  • Curator at a museum
  • Collections manager at a natural history museum
  • Project officer for heritage at a government agency
  • Art teacher at a secondary school
  • Auctioneer at an online auction house
  • Research consultant at a recruitment company
  • Teacher of art and theory at an art school
  • Freelance artist and illustrator
  • Newspaper critic
  • Director of a publishing company
  • PhD candidate

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Humanities

Study options

Full Time (1 Year)

Tuition fees
€17,716.00 (15,81,786) per year
Non-EEA/non-Swiss/non-Surinam: Full-time & Part-time: €18,800. Part-time for EU/EEA/Surinam applicants: €2,168.
Application deadline

Expected October 2023

More details

Start date

4 September 2023


Leiden University

Rapenburg 70,



2311, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants need a BA or BSc degree (or equivalent) to be admitted to any of Leiden University’s master’s programmes. English-language proficiency: IELTS - 6.0; Toefl (internet based): 80 (component score: 20); Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE), or C1 Advanced (CAE): Cambridge component score of 169.

For international students

  • A copy of a valid passport or ID card
  • A copy of a Dutch residence permit (if applicable)
  • CV (résumé)
  • Language proficiency (if applicable)
  • Copies of diplomas and transcripts
  • Letter of motivation

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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