Our specialised and intensive research Master's programme immerses you in traditional and innovative approaches to the history of art. Working in close connection with museums and heritage institutions in the Netherlands and abroad, you will acquire the theoretical insights and practical experience necessary for a career in academia or the museum world.
Critically reflect on the past and imagine new possibilities
Our specialists cover the field from medieval to contemporary art, centered on Europe and the Netherlands in a global context. In addition to the core courses, focusing on technical, transcultural, and digital art history, you will explore subjects of your own choice. You are encouraged to critically reflect on the past as well as imagine new possibilities in the study of art history, material culture, and museums.
Three core interests
The programme’s traditional focus has been on the art of the Low Countries. The current programme maintains strong expertise in this field, but does not emphasize a single period or area. You will learn different art historical methods, with a focus on three new approaches that allow you to address art and material culture in terms of making, circulation, and display. In addition, you will pursue your individual interests in immersive tutorials and a 6-month internship.
- Technical art history
This approach highlights the material aspects and making processes of works of art, craft, and architecture. Special attention goes to how the practical and theoretical expertise of artists, artisans, and architects is related to the history of knowledge. Mainstay of the approach is the ARTECHNE project, which collaborates with the Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science.
- Global/transcultural art history
You will analyse Dutch and European art and material culture in a wider geographical framework that reveals how individual works are determined by migration, interaction, and intermediality. The approach connects to the UU’s own Research Institute for Art History in Florence and includes topics such as Chinese-Dutch exchange and the collection of Islamic art in Europe.
- Digital art history
Acquaintance with the latest digital methods, from mapping migration patterns to 3D modeling, allows you to engage in current debates and in competitive fundraising. The approach is connected closely to digital initiatives of the Netherlands Institute for Art History and the ARTDATIS project. In addition, the UU Heritage Lab explores new manners of museum public involvement.
Why this programme in Utrecht?
A long-standing tradition
The RMA in Art History was established in 2004 and has established a wide-ranging network of contacts with museums and heritage institutions in and outside of the Netherlands. Utrecht has itself two excellent museums and is centrally located in regard to major museums in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Antwerp, Brussels, and Cologne. Our in-house heritage institution is Utrecht University Museum.
International hands-on experience
The programme’s long-standing ties with major art museums and heritage institutions in the Netherlands and abroad ensure an integrated approach of theoretical and practical aspects. Dutch students often spend a semester in a major museum abroad while students from other countries usually intern at a major Dutch or Flemish museum. You may also choose to study at another university for one semester. Since the beginning of the research Master's programme, our students have completed internships at more than fifty museums and heritage institutions, mostly in Europe.
Our teaching staff
Utrecht allows you to benefit from the expertise of teachers and researchers across a wide spatial and historical range of material and visual culture, including the Heritage Lab, the Descartes Centre for the History of Science and the Humanities, the Institute for Cultural Enquiry, the Centre for Early Modern Studies and Centre for Medieval Studies. Teaching is frequently hands-on and on-site: courses connect to ongoing academic projects and curatorial projects.
In Utrecht I have learned how to do detective work and investigation into primary and secondary sources and how to formulate a coherent argument, even when there is scanty evidence.
- Arts & Culture (research)
- Language of instruction:
- Mode of study:
- Study duration:
- 2 years
- Tuition fees:
- Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee, full-time) 2023-2024: € 2,314
Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee) 2023-2024: € 18,332
More information about fees
- Croho code:
- Accredited by the NVAO
- Graduate school: