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The minor Aesthetics offers a philosophical reflection on arts and culture. Grounded in philosophy, aesthetics is an interdisciplinary field that ties into all humanities and cultural studies fields. You will engage in thoughtful and innovative approaches to topics such as visuality, performance, art and politics, everyday aesthetics, the importance of art and artists, and art and cultural/social difference.

In this minor, you will familiarise yourself with philosophical modes of thought informing reflection on art and culture, such as semiotics, poststructuralism, phenomenology, and critical theories of race, gender and identity. Key notions such as ‘form’, ‘representation’, ‘symbol’ and ‘critique’ will be situated in their historical and social contexts, approached from different theoretical angles, and connected with concrete artistic and cultural expressions. 

This minor is offered by the Faculty of Humanities. The faculty’s minors consist of 30 ECTS credits and earn you a second qualification that will be listed on the transcript accompanying your degree certificate. 

  • Introduction to Aesthetics
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  • The Sublime
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  • Literature study History of Philosophy
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  • Introduction to the Philosophy of Culture
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  • Art, Culture and Society
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UvA Course Catalogue: Minor Aesthetics
minor Aesthetics

Entry requirements

This minor is particularly suitable for students, both Dutch and international, in Cultural and Media Studies, Literary and Cultural Analysis, Art History, and Studies of Theater, Film, Sound, Music, and Performance, who are interested in the philosophical foundations of understandings of the arts and culture. This minor is not accessible to students doing a Bachelor's in Philosophy.

The minor Aesthetics is open for application to all other students who have obtained an academic first-year diploma or a positive Binding Study Advice from an academic Bachelor's programme. 

The minor is also open for application to students from a Dutch University of Applied Sciences (HBO) who have completed their propaedeutic year. If you are an HBO student and if you are looking to do a Master's programme at the UvA, please check out our pre-Master's programmes, as completing a minor is not enough to grant you access to Master’s programmes. 


The enrolment for the academic year of 2023-2024 will start 15 May 2023.

Facts & Figures
Credits 30 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Starts in September
Location University Quarter