Study programme Art History of the Low Countries

The Master's programme Art History lasts for two years and has a 120 EC course load. See the course planner for a full overview of the courses in this programme:

The Education and Examination Regulations (EER) state exactly what you will have to do in order to graduate and what you need to do if you have to catch up with courses. You graduate when you have met all the requirements of your examination programme. 


Your curriculum is structured as follows (for a more detailed description see the drop-down sections below):

  • Year 1
    • 7 compulsory courses (40 EC)
    • 4 elective courses
  • Year 2
    • First semester: Internship or study abroad (30 EC)
    • Second semester: Master’s thesis (30 EC)

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

Fact sheet

As a supplement to the student website and as a guide during your academic years, you may wish to consult our Fact Sheet.


In year 1 you take 7 compulsory courses and 4 elective courses. 

Compulsory courses

  • Period 1
    • Trends and shifts in art history, 2000-2015 (Fundamentals I) (5 EC)
    • Digital Perspectives: a course on computational art history and its development (Fundamentals II) (5 EC)
    • Art history: institutions and current research (5 EC)​
  • 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)

The three courses in period 1 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.

Elective courses

In the periods 2, 3, and 4 of the first year you normally choose your four elective courses:

  • 2 courses offered by the Dutch Graduate School of Art History (OSK). 
  • 2 courses from the 'master-apprentice' modules offered by the Art History Programme or one such module, plus a second elective from another RMA programme in the Humanities. The master-apprentice modules are: 
    • Medieval art
    • Renaissance art
    • Art of the Golden Age
    • Art of the nineteenth century
    • Modern and Contemporary art
    • 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.

Some of the electives from other RMA programmes require approval for participation by the course- or programmecoordinator. 

In the first semester of year 2 you can choose either to do an internship or to study abroad.

  • Internship (30 EC)
    You can do an internship at a major art museum or research institution. Dutch students usually take this internship abroad, whilst non-Dutch students complete the internship in either the Netherlands or Belgium.
  • Study abroad
    Alternatively, you may choose to study at a European or North American university.

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, in Ducth) for an explanation of the Study Progress Report.