Emerging technologies and practices in transition

This Research Master's programme in Media, Art and Performance Studies is an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented research-based programme which offers an advanced training in academic research skills appropriate for today's highly dynamic and interdisciplinary field of media, visual arts and performance.

Cultural transformations

Contemporary media, art and performance increasingly play with and transcend disciplinary boundaries. Intermedial and performative practices both produce and critically investigate cultural transitions in today’s mediatized and performative culture. Such synergies invite to explore how emerging forms of media, art and performance – while historically and culturally embedded - interact with and relate to social and cultural transformations.

Emerging media, art and performance

As a student of this programme, you will be introduced to and specialise in new research areas and methodologies, necessary for investigating emerging media, performance and contemporary art forms within today's rapidly changing culture. In relation to this you will also reflect on the role of the Humanities in both academic and public debates.

A mediatised culture and society

Central concerns in this programme are, amongst others:

  • the role and meaning of (visual) media in a mediatised society, inter- and transmedial practices in theatre, dance, film, television, digital media and visual arts 
  • spectator- and usership, the performative turn in contemporary arts and media
  • technology, materiality and corporeal literacies
  • game, play and activism
  • changing institutions, mobile and/or location-based media, urban interfaces, navigational screen-based practices
  • art and media ecologies

Comparative approaches

We approach this broad field from a range of comparative and intermedial perspectives, focusing primarily on the dynamics of change and exchange between media, contemporary arts and performance within a culture and society in transition.

RMA Media, Art and Performance Studies

Research Questions

In this programme you will reflect on questions such as how media have developed from the time of early cinema up to current new media art; how the definition of 'live' has changed alongside these mediatised cultural forms. How has the performative turn changed the ways we think about audiences? How do media technologies facilitate new methods of self-staging and social performance? What is the influence of media and technology on way we curate and educate in museums and archives and other cultural institutions.

In this age of selfies, datafication, (self-) staging and re-staging, and playful learning, you will examine how various media, art forms, and performance have been used for critical analysis, civic engagement, entertainment and educational purposes. You will do this by asking how digital technologies, dramaturgical and artistic strategies alter ways of dealing with knowledge production and distribution, and how these transitions have contributed to and also ask for new methods of research.

How does the ubiquity of media technology change our understanding of the world and our sense of self within it, as well as how we communicate and act?
Utrecht University Library City Centre

After graduation

This programme will train you as a researcher within the field of Media, Contemporary Art and Performance Studies, to either prepare you for a PhD position, or for research-oriented positions in professional contexts of cultural institutions such as archives, museums, art institutions, theatres, for education, (non-)governmental organisations, or in creative industries.

After completing the programme:

  • You have acquired knowledge of the history and the state of the art in media, visual art and performance practice and research, as well as insight in current public, academic and critical debates.
  • You will know how to employ an intermedial and historically informed comparative approach for studying emergent media, art and performance practices, and how to use and develop research methodologies related to this perspective.
  • you’ll have the skills to critically investigate relations and transitions in the field of media, art and performance and are trained to communicate research outcomes to fellow researchers and other professionals, as well as to a general audience.
  • You are equiped with the advanced knowledge level necessary to compete in the academic and professional field.
  • You will have the ability to effectively communicate theoretical insights that will contribute to the field, as well as having broader social and cultural relevance.
  • You are able to reflect upon the social and ethical implications of developments within the field of media, art and performance and contemporary humanities research.

The Research Master’s is aimed at excellent students from both the Netherlands and overseas, who have a background in the history and theory of contemporary art, or media and performance studies with a focus on theatre, dance, film, television, and/or digital media.

Alumni of the Media, Art and Performance Studies Research Master’s have been successful in obtaining PhD positions in various prestigious international programmes. Graduates also find their way to other job markets. For example in the domain of curation, dramaturgy, or media consultancy. Read more about possible career prospects.


Media, Art and Performance Studies is a selective Master’s programme. Do you want to find out if you are eligible for this Master? Check the entry requirements

  • Zowi Vermeire, RMA Media, Art and Performance Studies
    "If you go to Utrecht, be prepared to be challenged, to take responsibility for your own research, to be independent and above all to remain curious."
  • Bjorn Beijnon, RMA Media, Art and Performance Studies
    "The programme finds the perfect balance in teaching you new comparative perspectives and giving you the opportunity to compose your own track."


Degree: This Master's programme is officially registered under its name in the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes
  • Title: MA
  • Master's degree in: Media Studies (Research)
  • Programme: Media, Art and Performance Studies
Accredited by the NVAO
Croho code:
Language of instruction:
Part- or full-time status:
2 years
Credits: 60 credits equals one year full-time study load (European Credit Transfer System, ECTS)
Start of studies:
When to apply:
  • Dutch & EU/EER students: 1 June 2018
  • Non-EU/EEA students: 1 April 2018
Tuition fees:
Graduate school: