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PLEASE NOTE: This programme is undergoing change. From the academic year of 2020-2021 onward, this programme will be part of the Master's Curating Arts and Culture. More information on this will be published soon. If you are planning on visiting the upcoming Master's Day on 9 November and are interested in specialising in Arts of the Netherlands, please visit the information session for the programme Curating Arts and Culture. 

Programme structure

First year

The Research Master’s programme Arts of the Netherlands consists of two years of study and comprises 120 ECTS. The first year is devoted to course work: 

  • 24 credits for 4 core seminars
  • 12 credits for 2 mandatory tutorials
  • 12 credits for 2 electives
  • 6 credits for a seminar at the Dutch University Institute for Art History in Florence 
  • 6 credits for a seminar on architecture

Core courses

The aim of the four core seminars is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the current research and debates on the arts of the Netherlands. The first of these is dedicated to a topic of general methodological interest; the other three are divided by subfields: Early Netherlandish Art, Art of the Golden Age, and Art of the 19th and early 20th Centuries.


The topics of the two mandatory tutorials will be determined on the basis of the student’s interests but will relate directly to the program’s core mission.


The two electives might be in art history but might also be in any other relevant field of study, at the University of Amsterdam or elsewhere.


The seminar in Florence is organised under the supervision of the Dutch Postgraduate School for Art History and will involve a topic pertaining to the artistic exchanges between Italy and the Netherlands. The seminar on architecture will be taught on-site, in Amsterdam and elsewhere in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Second year

The second year revolves around a research project at one of the participating museums and cultural institutions:

  • 30 credits for a museum internship
  • 12 credits for the thesis project
  • 18 credits for the MA thesis

The topic of the research project will be chosen in accordance with the student’s preferences and the research opportunities provided by the Rijksmuseum and the other participating museums and cultural institutions.


The internship will be for four days per week and will last for the first four blocks (out of six) of the academic year, which amounts to approximately seven to eight months. During this period, the fifth day of the week will be reserved for the thesis project, which is meant to monitor the student’s ongoing research and to help formulate a clearly defined plan for their final MA thesis.

Master's thesis

The MA thesis will be written during the last two blocks of the academic year. The subject can, but need not, be identical or related to the research topic of the museum internship. The Master's thesis reports on research carried out under the supervision of an academic staff member involved in the programme. The subject of the thesis must be mutually agreed upon by the student and the academic adviser.

UvA Course Catalogue

For detailed course information, please see the UvA Course Catalogue (link below).

UvA Course Catalogue: Arts of the Netherlands (study schedule)