Francine van Beusekom is a student of Media, Art and Performance Studies
"What I find so valuable about this Master’s programme is the broad perspective. If I want to, I can let assignments link up with my media background. But I also come in contact with subjects and lecturers with other approaches. Even the fellow students come from various disciplines. Where one of them has something to say about the popularity of reality shows, someone else considers them in an ethical way. It goes like that with everything, from augmented reality to the media attention for the refugee crisis or terrorism. The Master’s programme offers all the space you need to investigate your own interests. This could be the research school you choose or the tutorial in which you and a lecturer explore a subject together.
In my Bachelor’s programme, I laid the foundation for my knowledge and analytical skills. In this research Master’s programme, I am learning to connect my skills to practice. For instance, we have one subject where we write a blog every two weeks in which we apply theories from the Humanities to current events. We ask ourselves: What do I see happening around me? What can I say about it? That continues to occur in the research Master’s programme. That way, you learn to use your academic perspective in a practical way.
A Master’s programme lasting two years instead of one is an advantage to me in every way. I can really take the time to read, investigate, specialise … That way, I can discover what I like and don’t like and can get to know the academic world better. Aside from that, a two-year Master’s programme gives you more time to do fun projects on the side. For instance, I’m currently organising a conference together with students form other research Master’s programmes and PhD candidates. The University gives us all the freedom we need. It’s like: this is the theme, here’s a budget, go do it! Very cool.
The research Master’s programme has the reputation of being a Master’s programme that is only of use to the academic world. I don’t see it like that at all. Instead, you can be the analytical force in the commercial world with what you learn. One example: you’ve done a lot of research into augmented reality. That makes you valuable to a tech, film or marketing company that wants to experiment with that. That’s because you know exactly what works and what doesn’t work. Personally, I want to continue as a researcher, but there are plenty of people in my year who want to work outside the academic world. I know for sure that the Master’s programme offers enough tools for that."
Zowi Vermeire is a student of Media, Art and Performance Studies
"After completing a Master in Film and Philosophy at King’s College London with a thesis on Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and masculinity using Vivian Sobchack’s view on film and phenomenology, I realised I had a real interest in doing in-depth, transdisciplinary research.
Utrecht University came to my attention because of the specialised staff they have in both games and film studies. Little did I know, Utrecht would bring me much more than that. At the moment I am working on a thesis on Anonymous and new forms of protest using a new materialist view on cheating in digital games. What I love about this degree is that apart from the wide range of objects and topics you can research here, it also draws students from various backgrounds, which makes discussions with fellow students fascinating and very helpful for your own research projects. Furthermore, this programme is truly international, drawing students from all over the world, which makes for a great group of motivated and ambitious students.
Currently, I am looking at many vacancies at various organisations: PhDs, but also jobs at broadcasting agencies, film festivals, museums etcetera. I am sure that within all these organizations I can use my research skills that I have developed in this program, be it in games, film or philosophy. If you got 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 is a graduate from the Media, Art and Perfomance Studies programme
"After obtaining my Bachelor in Theatre-, Film and Television Studies (now: Media and Culture), I found out that I wanted to broaden my academic horizon with interdisciplinary research. I was very interested in the field of cognition and perception; how is the human body from these perspectives influenced by its exposure to media? It is with this interest that I entered the Media, Art and Performance Studies programme.
Different teachers with various backgrounds have helped me to sharpen my own academic interests and thoughts, but have also enlightened me in how my approach on media is relevant in the current cultural transformations in our mediatised society. I have, for example, studied how current neuroscientific research affects contemporary studies in the Humanities regarding the perception of theatrical performances, but also how the ongoing evolution of Virtual Reality influences our own knowledge of our bodies.
What I liked most about the programme is how it finds the perfect balance in teaching you new comparative perspectives and giving you the opportunity to compose your own track. In the two years of this programme, I got to study in South Korea for six months, I have visited multiple conferences in Europe, and published in a few journals. The programme does not only help you to become a great scholar, but it most of all encourages you to be the critical academic you want to be."