The Research Master programme Critical Studies in Art and Culture (formerly known as VAMA), specialization of the Humanities Research Master, focuses on the study of current developments in visual arts, architecture, design and media, from a theoretical and historical perspective. In a globalizing cultural world in which art, architecture, design and media are ever more closely integrated and packaged as creative industries, disciplinary boundaries need questioning and challenging, yet a thorough grounding in older and newer disciplines such as art history, architectural history, design culture, and media studies is a prerequisite for doing so.
The programme in a nutshell
In your studies, you will focus on the analysis of visual objects: of artifacts in various media that function (primarily or in part) as images. This ranges from landscapes, cities and buildings to artworks in various media, as well as film, television, design and games. Notions such as inter-, cross- and transmediality play an important part in the program. Since artifacts, media and forms of intermediality can only exist in specific social, institutional, economical and ideological frameworks and networks, Critical Studies in Art and Culture will equip you with the analytical and critical tools for analyzing these. Each of the four main disciplines that inform the specialization brings specific theories and methods to the table, and the programme seeks to foster a sense of their interconnectedness, highlighting their specific potential as well as possible limitations.
The study programme of 120 ECTS (60 ECTS per year) consists of mandatory and elective parts (check out our website
for more information).
If you are interested in pursuing a PhD after your MA, but also if you generally cherish critical attitude and original lines of questioning based on a profound knowledge of your research subject, and wish to develop your research skills, this programme will be a perfect choice.
The research masters degree will enable you to work as an independent researcher. In the academic world, both at home and abroad, it is seen as a possible step towards a doctoral study. Actually, in the last years, a great number of alumni of our program has been awarded PhD grants in the Netherlands and abroad. Yet you could also find a position in art and media management, journalism and publishing, or in art and architecture centers, research agencies, museum institutions, film or design festivals, art and media archives and teaching and government institutions.
Studying at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880.
The university is located in the vibrant city of Amsterdam, one of the most multicultural cities in the world, with the largest concentration of students in the Netherlands and where English is the second language spoken. The campus is surrounded by one of the most dynamic and fast-growing business districts in the Netherlands hosting over 700 companies.
With more than 23,000 students, of which 3000 are international, the university conducts cutting-edge research into problems of major societal and scientific importance. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam distinguishes itself in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes reflecting a strong level of involvement in current societal issues: Human Health and Life Sciences, Science for Sustainability, Connected World and Governance for Society. As a student this will help you to look beyond the boundaries of scientific disciplines, to engage with society and to seek for tangible solutions for a better world. In addition Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam regards diversity, whether in culture, conviction, nationality or prior education, as source of innovation and progress, and hence as special strength.
For more information, go to: www.vuamsterdam.com