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Research Master
Cultural Analysis (Arts and Culture)
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Application deadline

The application deadline for this selective Master's programme is 1 March 2024, 23:59 CET (register in Studielink before 23 February, see step 2).

Application process

Please make sure to follow the steps of the application process carefully to ensure that your application can be processed. 

  • 1. Check entry requirements

    The Research Master’s in Cultural Analysis is open for application to all students with a Bachelor’s diploma from the UvA, or a recognised equivalent from another accredited university, in the humanities or social sciences with a minimum of 30 ECTS (equivalent to a full-time semester of academic studies) taken in the fields of cultural and or critical theory, comparative literature or history of art.

    You are expected to have an awareness of basic theoretical notions in contemporary cultural and critical theory (while a background in literary and/or visual analysis is helpful but not compulsory).

    Hbo-bachelor not eligible

    It is not possible to apply to this programme with a degree from a Dutch University of Applied Sciences (hbo). We do not offer a pre-Master's programme (schakelprogramma) for this Master's.

    Grade average

    If you wish to apply for a Research Master's programme, you are expected to have an overall grade point average (GPA) of at least an

    • A/3.6 (American system)
    • 2.1 HONS (an upper second class honours degree in the British system)
    • B (ECTS-system), or 
    • 7.5 (Dutch system)

    If you obtained a  lower grade averages you can  apply, particularly if you obtained a sufficient grade average for the courses related to the research master’s programme and/or courses taken in the advanced phase of your prior education. Please include an explanation in your motivation form.

    English language requirements

    New Master's students should be able to speak, read, write and understand English at an advanced academic level. Please check carefully on the page below whether:

    • you already meet the English language requirements based on your prior education; or
    • you need to arrange to take an official English language test. If you have serious reasons to believe you should be exempted from taking an official English language test, you will need to file a strongly motivated, official exemption request at the Graduate School of Humanities’ Examinations Board. Please note that there is a strict deadline in place for such a request, which is one month prior to the Master's application deadline.

    Selection procedure

    Because of the limited number of places available, all prospective students are subject to a selection process. We will compare your file to that of other applicants. Distinguish yourself with solid basic academic knowledge in the field of study, sufficient test scores and a convincing and enthusiastic motivation letter.

  • 2. Register for the Research Master's Arts and Culture in Studielink
  • 3. Pay the application fee (international prior education only)

    All students applying for a Master’s programme with a non-Dutch degree must pay a non-refundable application fee of €100. The UvA cannot start processing your application until this fee has been paid. You can pay the application fee via SIS by credit card (Master or Visacard) or iDEAL.

    You do not have to pay the application fee:

    • If you have obtained or will obtain a Bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university or university of applied sciences (HBO);
    • If you have already applied and paid the application fee for another Master’s programme at the UvA for the academic year 2024-2025;
    • If you have already applied and paid the application fee for a Master's programme at the Graduate School of Humanities for the academic year 2023-2024;
    • If you are applying through the Foundation for Refugee Students (UAF).
  • 4. Submit your application form in MyInfo

    After enrolling in Studielink, you will automatically receive an email with a link to your MyInfo UvA application form. To log in to MyInfo you need your UvAnetID. Please fill out the application form, upload the required documents and submit your MyInfo application form before the application deadline.

    Please make sure that in Studielink (step 2) you have selected Cultural Analysis as the track you intend to follow, and it is the selected track in your MyInfo application. Applications for selective programmes that have been selected as a second track will not be processed.

    Application documents

    Make sure you are well prepared before you start your application, and you have all necessary documents ready. You are asked to upload the following documents:

    • curriculum vitae;
    • proof of language proficiency (if required, see language requirements);
    • transcript of records, up-to-date and issued by your home institution (if you are already a student at the UvA, a screenshot from SIS is sufficient);
    • diploma (if already obtained)* or list of courses yet to complete;
    • translation of your diploma and transcript of records (if they are not in English, Dutch, German or French);
    • motivation form (PDF);
    • programme specific documents (see below).

    *Please note: If you have not yet obtained your diploma but are in possession of all other application documents, you may proceed with your application - as long as you obtain your Bachelor's degree before 1 September. If you have a non-Dutch prior education, please bear in mind that you must submit your certified documents before 1 August.

    Programme-specific documents

    Applicants are invited to either submit a recent sample of academic writing which will be assessed according to the following criteria: 

    • evidence of proficiency in the critical analysis of cultural objects and/or phenomena;
    • familiarity with a particular theoretical discourse;
    • clarity of argumentation and style;
    • academic English and referencing and citation practices;

    or to complete a written exercise. Select a cultural object – possibly, but not necessarily related to your proposed research, and then draw on theoretical discourse with which you are familiar. Provide 1,000 to 1,250 words of critical analysis written in English. Try and identify a particular aspect or detail of your chosen object and bring that into conversation with one or two concepts from your theoretical discourse. Ideally, the analysis will show both how the concept illuminates the object and the object encourages us to reflect further on our understanding of the concept. Add a bibliography of secondary material you used.

After submitting your application

Because this is a selective programme, applications will be evaluated by the Admissions Board after the application deadline has passed. You will be notified of whether you have been admitted to the programme after this time.

If you are admitted to the programme, you will receive a letter of conditional acceptance. In order to proceed with your enrolment, you must accept this offer at your earliest convenience. Read more about the steps you need to take after (conditional) acceptance on the website of the Graduate School of Humanities:

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What knowledge, insight and skills should I have?

    As a student in the Research Master’s programme in Cultural Analysis you will be expected to have the following knowledge, insight and skills:

    • You are able to conduct research independently and know how to formulate consistent and functional research questions, collect material, apply theory, and write a thesis.
    • You are familiar with conversations in a branch or branches of contemporary critical theory such as feminist theory, post- or decolonial studies, queer theory, environmental studies, posthumanism, cultural memory etc.  
    • You are interested in exploring the possibilities of the analysis of cultural objects from an interdisciplinary perspective. 
  • Can I apply for more than one Master's programme?

    Yes, you can apply for up to a maximum of four Master’s programmes. Some Master’s programmes offer different tracks. You may apply for a maximum of two tracks within the same Master's. If you wish to do so, you can select a second track in the MyInfo application form. Note that we will start by processing the track of your first choice. Only if you are not conditionally admitted to your first track will we continue to process your second track. If you are conditionally admitted to your first track, your application to the second track will be cancelled.

    Please note that it is not possible to choose a selective track as your second choice option. If you are interested in a selective track or programme, be sure to put that as your first choice.

  • Can I apply before having completed my Bachelor's?

    Many applicants to Master's programmes have not finished their previous education when they apply. If this applies to you, then you can upload a transcript of records with the courses and grades obtained so far. Make sure to also include a list of courses from your Bachelor's that you still need to complete. This applies to the scholarship applications as well.