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Arts, Life Science and Digital Culture


Admission requirements

This course is jointly organized by Art History and Biomedical sciences and open to art history students (10 EC) and biomedical students (who take the course for 5 EC). MA students from other faculties are also welcome to apply.


In this course students examine ethical and humanistic dimensions of life sciences through art and explore the possibilities of the usage of digital methods. From the onset of medical research in history, the cultural worlds of art and science have interacted. More recently, artists have been directly inspired by genetic and biomedical sciences. The science-art relationship has become an exciting and dynamic field where controversial ethical issues, societal consequences of science, and the art of science itself are being addressed. How do artworks provoke new ways of thinking about science and the world? What moral and critical dilemmas are involved in the intersections between science and society and how can art play a role in this? These questions will be addressed by maximally involving Digital Studies and exploring their possibilities to create exhibitions.

Course objectives

The student will:

  • Learn to reflect on the life sciences by discussing contemporary art;

  • gain insights into social and cultural consequences of the life sciences by study of art works;

  • be able to signal ethical issues and controversies in science addressed by art;

  • broaden his/her perspective on science by working in interdisciplinary groups of Science and Art students.


  • will be given an opportunity to articulate their moral attitudes, and explore during meetings other reasoned arguments that challenge their existing assumptions and ethical positions.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

  • Excursion

Assessment method

Art History students (10 EC)

  • participation in discussions, presentations and reports site visits (25%);

  • presentation of proposal for digital exhibition (25%);

  • written paper of 4500 words (50%).

  • each ResMA student must fulfil an extra assignment per course, in order to demonstrate their ability to work with more advanced theoretical and disciplinary questions beyond the normal MA level, to be decided by lecturer and student.

Biomedical Sciences students (5 EC)

For biomedical science students, the course load is distributed as follows:

Total course load is 5 ec x 28 hours = 140 hours:

  • Workgroups: 3 hours per week x 13 weeks = 39 hours;

  • Site visits = 12 hours;

  • Practical work = 24 hours;

  • Preparation and presentation of proposal digital exhibition = 25 hours

  • Preparation and writing paper = 40 hours

Biomedical science students will be assessed as follows:

  • participation in discussions and assignment preparations (25%);

  • presentation of proposal for digital exhibition (25%);

  • written paper of 1000 words (50%).


The final grade is the average of the three grades (25%, 25%, 50%). A student passes the course if the weighted average is a 6.0 or higher (marks under 5.0 are not allowed) and the paper is a 6.0 or higher.


There is a re-sit for every assessment.

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.

Reading list

The booktitles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where it can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand.
The reading list will be made available through Brightspace.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Studiecoordinator Master Arts and Culture