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The Cultural Field in Practice


Admission requirements

Similar to the admission requirements of the BA Arts, Media and Society.


Today, many academics with a BA or MA degree in the field of art history and visual culture have a broad range of opportunities with respect to their professional career. In this course students will be introduced by academic professionals to the scope of activities employed within the cultural field. In most of these practices a combination of knowledge and cultural transfer, as well as research skills and innovative competences are required. From the perspective of an outlook on the possibilities for future BA professionals the course will consist of six lectures and three excursions. The first lecture will be introductory. The others will cover the specific topics and are (partly) lectured by guest speakers. They are divided over two main themes:

A: Knowledge transfer & Research
Communication: For cultural institutes communicating with their audience is of crucial importance. We will not so much discuss plain communication in terms of press releases and public campaigns but we will take a specific look at knowledge transfer as an integral part of communicating with the public. One could think, for instance, about the ways in which a professional art historian can be involved in designing the context, and providing the knowledge of objects in online catalogues, museum signs, relation between real life object and virtual information. This particular part of the field relates strongly to education.

Art education: There will be two lectures on art education. Different approaches and programs related to art education will be discussed that are currently carried out within cultural institutions in the Netherlands. Case-studies will be critically assessed in terms of their attunement to specific target groups such as children, elderly people, people with a migration background, private art collectors, etcetera. We will discuss the role of an academic within designing art education programs within an institutional setting.
In the second lecture on art education the possibilities of working within secondary schools will be discussed. Art programs in schools are subject to change as a result of policy from the Ministry of Education which requires an increase of art historical knowledge within these programs. Therefore, art historians will be increasingly employable in teaching art historical and theoretical classes for which special skills such as teaching methods and designing and taking assignments are important competences.

Research: The most obvious continuation after a BA is to do an MA in the field of arts, culture or other visual and media related programs. An MA or a Research MA also prepares for a future PhD project for those want to become a researcher or university lecturer. Art historians with a MA or PhD degree also work at research instiutues outside the university or within museums and other art historical institute such as for instance the RKD.

B: Cultural arrangements:

Working freelance: an increasing amount of academics design their own working practice as an entrepreneur or cultural animator. The opportunities are endless but generally vary from independent curators, advisers for companies and private persons in collecting art, designing art education programs, giving tours. Basically, all the activities that are thinkable from an institutional perspective can also be employed from an independent perspective. Working independently, allows a kind of freedom, as well as responsibilities, that are both challenging and demanding and has resulted in many innovations in the field.

Community art: With the growing demand for knowledge transfer and emancipation through artistic means there has been an increase in projects that mediate between makers of art and the public in which the public has an active role in the process of making. There is also an increasing number of art historians that are involved in doing research on these projects or who actively participate in organizing them.

The frontiers of the field: With possibilities in media and initiatives increasing on a daily basis we will also discuss the frontiers of our field. Youtube channels, social media networks, game development. These are just a few imaginary means by means of which art historians can make their knowledge productive. We will treat these media not simply as new forms of communication but as new platforms, new realms, which will also determine new relations between those that produce and promote knowledge and those that consume it. Furthermore, big data project could help in generating (new) knowledge and allow new forms of research and different art historical questions to emerge.

Course objectives

  • Students acquire knowledge about the scope of the cultural field.

  • Students learn to know the different professional career opportunities within the cultural field.

  • Students learn to view their own academic skills and competences in relation to the different kinds of work within the cultural field.

  • Students learn to know professionals working in the cultural field.

  • Students learn to describe what motivates them from the perspective of future professional options.

  • Students learn to document their experience of future possibilities within the cultural field by means of (digital) media.


The timetable is available on the Arts, Media and Society website

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Excursion

Course Load

  • Lectures: 12 hours

  • Practical work: 12 hours (excursion)

  • Study of compulsory literature: 16 hours

  • Preparation exam: 80 hours

  • Exam(s): 20 hours

140 hours

Assessment method


  • Self-reflection report (individual): 20%

  • Take home examination (documentary video in groups): 80%

The self-reflection report must be turned in through Turnitin on Blackboard on time. Assignments that are late will be regarded as a rewrite. Assignments by email are not accepted. The student is responsible for having access to Turnitin and Blackboard. The group assignment must be uploaded on Blackboard in accordance to the instructions by the lecturer.



The weighted average of the (constituent) examinations must be at least 6.0 (= a pass). The mark for the final examination (or the main assignment) must be at least 6.0 at (= a pass). The mark for all other constituent examinations must be at least 6.0 (= a pass). However, it is possible to compensate for one constituent examination a 5.0 (but not a mark lower than 5.0) with the grade of another constituent examination which has the same weight in the average as the constituent examination it compensates.


A rewrite can be done in case of failing the individual assignment. In the case of failing the group assignment an alternative assignment should be requested at the Board of Examiners. As far as applicable all rewrite examinations take place at the same time, after the final (constituent) examination.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Announcements

  • Schedule of the program

  • Reading materials

  • Practical information regarding excursions

Reading list

Will be announced on Blackboard prior to the lectures.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. A.K.C. Crucq Coordinator of Studies Arts, Media and Society


The Cultural Field in Practice is a new course in the third year of the BA Art History and the BA Arts, Media and Society. Students who did not pass the course _Seminar BA Eindwerkstuk (Kunstgeschiedenis)_ in the previous year, will have to take The Cultural Field in Practice instead.