Expression through art can tell us a lot about how people at different moments and places have understood and still understand the world. In our rapidly changing society we increasingly depend on a wide range of media to produce, disseminate, and communicate our creativity. As an English-taught track of the Art History programme, Arts, Media and Society is a BA programme in its own right. In this programme, you will explore contemporary art in many of its manifestations, including the visual arts, video art, installation art, bio-art, games and digital media art. All of these will be placed in the broader context of the global history of art. Our current society is dealing with many challenges such as global warming, globalisation and inequality.
As a student of this programme, you will study how contemporary art comments on and contributes to the debates concerning these issues in interaction with the media. During your studies you will gain in-depth knowledge about:
As the programme progresses, several of its courses will combine theoretical knowledge with practice. You will analyse artistic and activist strategies and public manifestations, such as street art, designing an art exhibition and participating in practice-based research. Additionally, there will be interesting field trips and excursions to participate in.
'Since I am not from Europe myself, I was a bit afraid my background wouldn’t be welcomed as much in my work, but the professors are always welcoming my story and my story as a Japanese student. We have students in the classroom from everywhere in the world, so I can learn a lot about different cultures and it helps me to become an international person. I think this is important because you can learn from the values in other places in the world and take some home.'
Arts, Media and Society is delivered by Leiden University’s Centre for the Arts in Society which has close connections with local and international museums, archives and art academies, including:
The Arts, Media and Society staff have a large national and international network of contemporary and internationally-recognised artists who will be regularly invited to lecture on their practice and state of the arts today, or to develop projects together with our students.
Some examples: Dutch artists Floris Kaayk and Arne Hendriks, international artists Kaisu Koski (Finland) Mike Thompson (UK), Susana Cámara Leret (ES), Jennifer Willet (Canada), Adam Zaretsky (US), Anna Dumitriu (UK) and Špela Petric (Slovenia).
In the first semester of your third year, you can choose to study abroad, follow elective courses, take a minor or complete an internship. Leiden University has partnerships with over 600 universities around the world.
Curator or programme developer for museums, festivals, media labs or other cultural institutions
(Art) journalist or columnist for newspapers and magazines
(Online) media editor or publisher
Policy adviser or consultant for governmental and non-governmental organisations
Organiser of educational or public engagement activities for the education sector, non-governmental organisations or companies
Cultural entrepreneur, setting up your own service or institution in the field of art and culture
Part of the admission and application procedure is participation in the matching module. Matching helps you determine whether the focus and level of the programme are for you. You receive advice in order to solidify your decision to start this programme.
year programme, 180 ECTS
English-taught programme established
largest lecture size
maximum tutorial size