Study programme Art History of the Low Countries

The Master's programme Art History of the Low Countries lasts for two years and has a 120 EC course load. During year 1 you follow courses worth 15 EC in total per block. See the course planner for a full overview of the courses in this programme:

As a Research Master's student you may also take the additional course Academic Writing in English

Programme Book

As a supplement to the student website and as a guide during your first weeks of the academic year, you may wish to consult our programme book.


Year 1

Year 1 of the Art History programme consists of 7 compulsory courses and 4 elective courses. The compulsory courses are:

Period 1

  • Methods in art history (Fundamentals I) (5 EC)
  • Trends and shifts in art history, 2000-2015 (Fundamentals IIa) (2,5 EC)
  • Digital Perspectives: a course on computational art history and its development (Fundamentals IIb) (2,5 EC)
  • Art history: institutions and current research (5 EC)

These four courses are worth 15 EC in all. In practice, however, it is somewhat less, as the course ‘Art history: institutions and current research’ is set up as a series of lectures throughout the first academic year.

Period 2

  • Art History I: Knowledge, Technologies, and Material Culture (10 EC)

Period 3

  • Art History II: Global and Transcultural Art History (10 EC)

Period 4

  • Research design: Art History (5 EC)

In the periods 2, 3, and 4 of the first year you normally choose your four elective courses. You choose two courses offered by the Dutch Graduate School of Art History (OSK). For the other two electives you can choose from the 'master-apprentice' modules offered by the Art History Programme. These are: Medieval art, Renaissance art, Art of the Golden Age, Art of the nineteenth century, Modern and Contemporary art, and Technical Art History.

The 'master-apprentice' modules are basically tutorials and will allow you to acquire in-depth knowledge of a certain period or an approach. If needed, you can even take a 'master-apprentice' tutorial with a specialist outside the University of Utrecht (Art History – open); this option needs the special approval of the programme coordinator.

You choose either two 'master-apprentice' modules or one such module, plus a second elective from another RMA programme in the Humanities; the electives from other RMA programmes that are particularly relevant are listed in the course planner. 

Year 2

You will undertake an internship at a major art museum or research institution during the first semester (30 EC). Dutch students usually take this internship abroad, whilst non-Dutch students complete the internship in either the Netherlands or Belgium.
Alternatively, you may choose to study at a European or North American university for a semester.

In the second semester you will write your concluding Master’s thesis (30 EC).

Exam requirements

When you start this programme, you will be registered for its exam programme. This is a 'translation' of the exam requirements described in the Education and Examination Regulations. In order to complete your Master's programme you will need to meet the exam requirements.

Study Progress Report (SPR)

Your study progress report lists all of your current results, and tells you how far along you are in meeting your exam requirements. View your study progress report in OSIRIS > tab Progress. See the example (pdf) for an elaborate explanation on the Study Progress Report.