Erfgoedstudies: Curating Art & Cultures

Academic and practical approach to curating
Programma vanErfgoedstudies (duaal)
TitelMA Erfgoedstudies

Curating Art and Cultures
The Dual Master’s in Curating Art and Cultures is a unique, two-year programme offered jointly by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), University of Amsterdam (UvA), and leading museums and cultural institutions in the Netherlands. The programme is designed to train the curators of the future. Taking place in both the lecture hall and the exhibition space, the Dual Master’s in Curating Art and Cultures prepares you for a career as a professional curator by strengthening your disciplinary and theoretical foundations, and equipping you with the necessary research skills and practical experience.

An academic approach to curatorship
The Dual Master’s in Curating Art and Cultures responds to the growing demand for academically-grounded curatorial professionals with excellent (inter)disciplinary and theoretical backgrounds. The programme teaches you to engage with crucial theoretical concepts and contemporary issues regarding the collecting, curating and display of art objects and cultural artefacts. It also encourages you to deepen your own disciplinary knowledge and develop your research practices, culminating in the Master's thesis.

A curator in training
In addition to developing your theoretical foundations, you will also have the opportunity to work as a ‘curator in training’ during the year-long, curatorial internship at one of the programme’s partnering museums and cultural institutions. During the internship, you will receive hands-on training in all aspects of professional museum practice, from research for publications to organising exhibitions. You will also take part in collection acquisition, registration and conservation, management, art handling and display. In short, this is your chance to dive headfirst into the many aspects of the curatorial profession.


Degree certificate

The Dual Master’s in Curating Art and Cultures is a programme of the accredited degree programme Heritage Studies. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited Master’s degree in Heritage Studies and the title Master of Arts (MA).

 

Curriculum
The Dual Master’s in Curating Art and Cultures aims to foster academically-trained curators with a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical and disciplinary concepts, and practical aspects surrounding the collecting and display of objects of art and culture. The programme also offers you the unique opportunity to gain the skills and experience of the curatorial practice by means of a year-long internship at one of the city’s leading museums or cultural institutions.

Curating Art and Cultures programme structure
The Dual Master’s in Curating Art and Cultures is a two-year programme comprising 120 ECTS credits:
• 24 ECTS Core courses
• 18 ECTS Electives
• 60 ECTS Internship
• 18 ECTS Master’s Thesis

Core courses and electives
Central to the Dual Master’s in Curating Art and Cultures are two, two-part core modules that explore the historical and theoretical aspects of museum collecting, curating and display, as well as the theoretical and practical aspects of contemporary (museum) curating. In addition to these core modules, you will have the opportunity to delve deeper into your field of interest by following two electives in a range of disciplines, including art history (contemporary art history and kunst, markt en connaisseurschap (art, market and connoisseurship), cultural studies (design cultures, comparative arts and media studies), history and archaeology.

Internship
The internship is the heart of the Dual Master’s in Curating Art and Cultures. Starting in the second semester, you will commence a year-long work placement at one of the programme’s partner museums or cultural institutions., Under the supervision of curatorial professionals, you will gain first-hand experience of the roles and responsibilities of contemporary curatorship, including presentation and exhibition making, registration and documentation, art handling, restoration and conservation, research and communication, and acquisition policy.

Thesis
To complete the Dual Master’s in Curating Art and Cultures programme, you will devise a thesis project that demonstrates your ability to independently conduct, organise and defend your own academic research. The subject of your thesis is a topic of your own choosing that pertains to one of the programme’s various disciplines, and may correspond to a project from you curatorial internship. It will be supervised by a member of the academic staff of your choosing who is specialised in your disciplinary field of interest. If you already have a thesis topic in mind, please take this into consideration when registering for the programme at either the VU or UvA.

Excursion
The programme also includes a five-day excursion to Berlin or London, which will bring students into contact with practices outside of the Netherlands.



Curating Art and Cultures is a unique programme designed to train the curators of the future. As a graduate of the programme, you will have developed the necessary theoretical expertise and had preliminary work experience for a curatorial career at museums of art, ethnography, design and history, galleries and exhibition spaces or any other cultural institution where research into objects and cultures is central. Graduates are also encouraged to continue their academic careers and pursue a PhD position.

Previous graduates have gone on to positions at, among others:

  • Van Gogh Museum;
  • Rijksmuseum Amsterdam;
  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen;
  • Tropenmuseum;
  • The Teylers Museum in Haarlem;
  • RKD Netherlands Institute for Art History in The Hague;
  • National Gallery in Washington;
  • Getty Museum in Los Angeles.


The Dual Master’s programme in Curating Art and Cultures is a collaboration between VU Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam. Part of the programme is offered jointly by both universities. For the elective component of the programme and for your thesis, VU Amsterdam offers specific options.

Wide range of choices
The VU Humanities Faculty represents a wide range of research areas that are of relevance to Master’s students of Curating Art and Cultures. In addition to the specialisation that forms the focus for your development alongside the core subjects, you can select your electives and your thesis topic from the programmes in Art and Cultural Studies (Contemporary Art History, Art, Market and Connoisseurship, Design Cultures and Comparative Arts and Media Studies), History and Archaeology.

Strong practical emphasis
The Art and Cultural Studies, History and Archaeology staff not only excell in academic research, but also in bringing their research to the attention of wider society. To do that, they regularly work with museums on research projects and exhibitions.

Accessible and personal
VU Amsterdam is an accessible university that is easy to find one’s way around because all the staff and facilities can be found on a single campus. In the Art and Cultural Studies, History and Archaeology programmes, there is a lot of personal contact between students and lecturers. Moreover, you will receive intensive personal support and guidance during the Master’s in Curating Art and Cultures.

Overview Erfgoedstudies: Curating Art & Cultures

Language of instruction

Dutch

Duration

2 jaar

Application deadline

1 april

Start date

1 september

Study type

Dual (combined work-study), Full-time

Field of Interest

Art, Culture and History

More information


An integral component of the Dual Master’s in Curating Art and Cultures, the internship offers you the unique opportunity to gain insight into, and the skills of, the curatorial profession. Commencing in the second semester of your first year, the internship entails a year-long work placement at one of the programme’s partner museums or cultural institutions. Under the supervision of curatorial professionals, you will gain first-hand experience of the roles and responsibilities of contemporary curatorship, including presentation and exhibition making, registration and documentation, art handling, restoration and conservation, research and communication, and acquisition policy.

For the internship, you will be placed at one of the partnering museums or cultural institutions. The list includes, among others:

  • Rijksmuseum Amsterdam 
  • Van Gogh Museum
  • Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
  • Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen (Tropenmuseum)
  • Centraal Museum Utrecht
  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
  • Van Abbemuseum
  • Kröller-Müller Museum 
  • Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Each of the participating museums and cultural institutions offer one to two internship placements for the programme’s students. The Master’s coordinators at both the VU and the UvA determine at which participating institution you will be placed. You will be introduced to the various internship opportunities in the first semester of the programme, and will also have the chance to voice your preference in a meeting with the coordinators.

Is it possible to have a job alongside this programme?
The Master's in Curating Art and Cultures is a full-time programme. The optional modules in the first semester of the first year must have been completed before the start of the practical year. During the practical year, you will spend four days each week in your work placement museum and attend lectures on one day. For that reason, we advise against having a job at the same time as this Master’s programme.

Can I choose my own work placement?
No. VU Amsterdam and UvA Master’s programme coordinators will jointly decide which of the participating museums or cultural institutions you are posted to. However, in the first semester of the programme, you will have a meeting with the Master’s programme coordinators during which you can express a preference for a particular museum.

Is it possible to take modules or the work placement abroad?
No.

I still have to complete certain components of my Bachelor’s programme. Can I still already apply for the selection procedures for this Master’s programme?
Yes. However, in your application you must specify which components you still need to complete. Bear in mind that you must have completed the full Bachelor’s programme before the start of the academic year in which you start the Master’s programme.

What does a dual Master’s programme entail?
A dual Master’s programme is one in which you spent part of the programme at the university and part in the professional field. It is funded for a single year only.
Am I eligible for this programme with a degree from a University of Applied Sciences?
No, the Master’s programme in Curating Art and Cultures is accessible only to students with a university Bachelor’s degree.

Can I take the programme on a part-time basis?
No, the programme can only be taken on a full-time basis.

Should I register for the programme with Student Admissions before or after the selection procedure?
You apply to Student Admissions before the selection procedure by completing the application form. If you are admitted to the Master’s programme, you can register definitively. For this, a VU registration pack will be sent to your home. For further information, see Admission and Application.

For admission to the Master’s programme, does it matter at which university you studied for your Bachelor?
No. The selection committee will consider your motivation, the content of your Bachelor’s programme and your results. VU Amsterdam and UvA students are no more likely to be admitted than students of other universities.

Can I apply for two Master’s programmes at the same time?
Yes, you can. If you are accepted for the Master’s programme in Curating Art and Cultures, but ultimately opt for another programme, you will be expected to notify the Master’s programme coordinator as soon as possible. This is because the number of work placement positions on the Master’s programme is limited and your position could be offered to another student.

The Master’s programme in Curating Art and Cultures is a collaboration between VU Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam. Does it matter at which university I register?
Yes. Only the compulsory components of the programme are offered jointly by both universities. For the elective modules, you can choose from what is on offer at VU Amsterdam, UvA and other universities. However, you write your thesis at the university at which you are registered, which means this will be related to the research areas represented at that university. You are therefore advised to consult the Academic staff’s personal webpages in order to gain an impression of their various specialisation.

Dutch students

Admission and application

A university Bachelor’s diploma
The Dual Master’s programme in Curating Art and Cultures is open for application to students with a Bachelor’s degree from the VU, UvA or an equivalent, recognised degree from another university in:

• Art History
• MKDA (Media, Art, Design and Architecture)
• Cultural Studies
• History
• Archaeology

The level of the Bachelor’s diploma from a foreign higher education institution must be equal to three years of Dutch university education (to be judged by the Examinations Board).

Grade average
If you wish to apply for a Dual Master's in Curating Art and Cultures, you are expected to have an overall grade point average (GPA) of at least:
• 7.0 (Dutch educational system);
• B/3.3 (American system);
• 2.1 (an upper second class degree in the British system);
• C (ECTS-system).
Please note that admission will not be granted solely on the basis of sufficient grade point average.

Selection Procedure
The Dual Master’s in Curating Art and Cultures is a competitive and professional programme that includes a year-long curatorial internship. Due to the limited number of internship placements, applicants must first undergo a two-round selection procedure before being admitted. During the process, the selections committee scrutinises the content of an applicant’s Bachelor’s programme, their study results and motivation letter, as well as social skills.

In the first round of the selection procedure, a student’s application will be evaluated by a selection committee comprising the programme coordinators from the VU and the UvA, as well as additional academic staff. Applicants who have reached the second round will be asked to write an opinion piece regarding one of the participating museums or cultural institutions. Applicants progressing through to the final round will be invited for an interview with the coordinators and curators. Students will be informed of the final application decision by 15 May.

Deadlines
You need to upload a complete application before 1 April.

Contact

The programme coordinator for the Dual Master’s programme Curating Art and Cultures is dr. Ingrid R. Vermeulen
dr. Ingrid R. Vermeulen
i.r.vermeulen@vu.nl
+31 (0)205986578

UvA coordinator
dr. Rachel Esner

Mastervoorlichting
Kijk hier wanneer de volgende voorlichtingsactiviteit plaatsvindt.

Admission and application

A university Bachelor’s diploma
The Dual Master’s programme in Curating Art and Cultures is open for application to students with a Bachelor’s degree from the VU, UvA or an equivalent, recognised degree from another university in:

• Art History
• MKDA (Media, Art, Design and Architecture)
• Cultural Studies
• History
• Archaeology

The level of the Bachelor’s diploma from a foreign higher education institution must be equal to three years of Dutch university education (to be judged by the Examinations Board).

Grade average
If you wish to apply for a Dual Master's in Curating Art and Cultures, you are expected to have an overall grade point average (GPA) of at least:
• 7.0 (Dutch educational system);
• B/3.3 (American system);
• 2.1 (an upper second class degree in the British system);
• C (ECTS-system).
Please note that admission will not be granted solely on the basis of sufficient grade point average.

Selection Procedure
The Dual Master’s in Curating Art and Cultures is a competitive and professional programme that includes a year-long curatorial internship. Due to the limited number of internship placements, applicants must first undergo a two-round selection procedure before being admitted. During the process, the selections committee scrutinises the content of an applicant’s Bachelor’s programme, their study results and motivation letter, as well as social skills.

In the first round of the selection procedure, a student’s application will be evaluated by a selection committee comprising the programme coordinators from the VU and the UvA, as well as additional academic staff. Applicants who have reached the second round will be asked to write an opinion piece regarding one of the participating museums or cultural institutions. Applicants progressing through to the final round will be invited for an interview with the coordinators and curators. Students will be informed of the final application decision by 15 May.

Deadlines
You need to upload a complete application before 1 April.

Contact

The programme coordinator for the Dual Master’s programme Curating Art and Cultures is dr. Ingrid R. Vermeulen
dr. Ingrid R. Vermeulen
i.r.vermeulen@vu.nl
+31 (0)205986578

UvA coordinator
dr. Rachel Esner

Mastervoorlichting
Kijk hier wanneer de volgende voorlichtingsactiviteit plaatsvindt.