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COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

The master’s programme in Film and Photographic Studies at Leiden University covers the history and theory of film and photography within the broad context of visual and other media.

Why study Film and Photographic Studies at Leiden University?

This one-year master’s programme takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of ‘lens-based’ media: photography, film and video. Designed for students with an undergraduate degree in a related field or relevant professional experience, this programme offers excellent preparation for a career in cinema, photography or media art.

About the programme

The Film and Photographic Studies programme will equip you with a broad and interdisciplinary knowledge of lens-based mediums.

Programme structure

Semester 1

The first semester focuses on various aspects of the study of film and photography through the two lecture series Media, Art and Theory and Topical Debates on Photography in Historical Perspective. You will also choose an elective, either Curating Film and Video or the Editorial and Curatorial Training Programme. The aim of these courses is to provide you with insights into the various practices surrounding film and photography, whether these be academic or professional.

Semester 2

The second semester focuses on current debates in the field of cinema, through the lecture series Contemporary Theories of Film, and the writing of your thesis.

You will write this thesis under the guidance of a supervisor. Students who are actively engaged in work as a photographer or documentary film-maker may submit a visual thesis as their final project.

Areas of study

During the programme you will be able to focus on the following areas of study.

  • Interdisciplinary methods in the study of photography, film and video;
  • Aesthetic, social and political theories of photography, film and video;
  • Avant-garde, documentary, independent, and mainstream practices of photography, film and video
  • The interconnections among photography, film and video, and other visual art practices;
  • The relationship between film, photography, video and other media arts to dominant media practices, such as television or Hollywood cinema;
  • Media archaeology;
  • The presentation forms of photography, film and video (exhibitions, internet, publications, reviews, etc.);
  • Photography, film and video as research practice;
  • Strategies in the field of collecting, conservation and arts administration;
  • Recent developments such as digital photography and new media.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Humanities

Study options

Full Time (1 Year)

Tuition fees
€17,716.00 (14,47,386) per year
Application deadline

Expected April 2023

More details

Start date

Expected September 2022


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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