Study programme

The research Master's programme Media, Art and Performance Studies comprises two years (120 EC). Each year is divided into two semesters, running from September to January and from February to June. A semester is divided into two study periods.


The programme consists of courses, study abroad or an internship and a Master's thesis. Check the study schedule (PDF). 

Year 1

  • compulsory courses (30 EC)
  • research labs (10 EC)
  • elective from the national research schools (5 EC)
  • electives (10 EC)
  • tutorial (5 EC)

Compulsory courses
The compulsory courses offer an introduction to important turns and transitions within media, art and performance, connected both to a broader perspective of humanities research as well as to a comparative approach to media, contemporary art and performance. In addition to these theoretical insights, you will also develop several academic skills, such as identifying and formulating valid and valuable research questions.

Research labs
In the first research lab you will practice advanced research skills, by analysing the steps and facets of research design of exiting projects, and practice with developing your own research proposals. In the second research lab you will reflect on, and experiment with digital tools for doing media, art and performance studies.

Following the comparative approach introduced in the core courses, the elective courses focus on specific methods, debates, phenomena, and research objects, and allow you to specialise in focus areas of media, art and performance studies.

Year 2

  • semester abroad (30 EC)
    or elective from the national research schools (5 EC) + electives (25) at or outside Utrecht University
    or an internship (15 EC) + electives (15) at or outside Utrecht University
  • thesis (30 EC)

Across the border and internship
You are encouraged to take several courses outside of Utrecht University and, if possible, to go abroad for a semester. It is also possible to do a research internship in research institutes, cultural institutions such as museums, companies or non-governmental organisations.

RMA course Urban Interfaces

Educational methods

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • group work
  • field work and study trips (such as visits to performances, exhibitions and conferences)
  • self-study
  • internship

Seminars and tutorials

In small seminars and individual tutorials you will learn to develop adequate research questions and address the appropriate theoretical frameworks and methods to conduct your own analysis. Through oral presentations and peer reviewing first drafts of papers, you will learn to critically read your own work and learn skills involved in (oral and written) communication with colleagues within the discipline.

Research Labs

The Research Labs are group meetings in which you explore and practice research methods, receive feedback on your research in development and share your experiences with peers. In these labs you develop your research skills, you will learn to collaborate and communicate effectively in research environments and to present your work in an academic context. 


    During a research internship you participate in a research project (at or outside of the university) or work in a cultural institution, company or organisation. You will write a work plan and research proposal under supervision of a staff member (internal supervisor) and in dialogue with the internship provider (external supervisor). At the end of the internship you will compile a written report on your achievements and experiences and on the research undertaken during your internship. 

    In the past, students have joined projects of our research groups, like Urban Interfaces and Transmission in Motion. Other internships options are IMPAKT, ARTEZ, ACE Producers, and EYE.   

    Internship at EYE Film Museum

    RMA student Eloise Pasmore Opray did her internship at the EYE Film Museum. She works on the Gesink Collection, for which she catalogues films in the archive, so researchers, other students or archivists can find them. 

    Internship at Het Huis

    RMA student Maren Seidel talks about her internship at production house Het Huis in Utrecht. She worked for the production 'There will be Light', for which she organised open expert talks, which she considered as concept-based curating. 


    • oral presentations
    • smaller written assignments
    • research proposals
    • research papers
    • thesis

    Extra opportunities

    For students looking for an extra challenge in addition to their Master's, there are several options. Utrecht University offers several honours programmes for students looking for an extra challenge. Honours education is followed on top of your regular Master's programme and goes beyond the regular curriculum. Honours programmes are available at interdisciplinary level and allow you to work on projects that transcend your own discipline.

    Read more about the honours programmes