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Hands-on Museum Research Experience (10 EC)


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Asian Studies (60 or 120 EC), the MA Asian Studies (research) or another relevant MA programme.


Under the guidance of the lecturer, students do preparatory work for an exhibition, if possible an exhibition planned by Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden or Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. After an introduction into the museum and the theme of the exhibition, including an explanation by the curator of the exhibition, students work on finding and selecting materials and writing various types of museum texts, such as exhibition texts (label texts, panel texts) and catalogue texts (object descriptions and informative texts). They also review the work of their fellow students and make a 2-minute video on an object of their choice. Exhibitions to which students contributed previously are: The Buddha: from life story to source of inspiration (in Museum Volkenkunde and Tropenmuseum) and Asian Bronze (planned in Rijksmuseum Amsterdam). For this year’s theme: please contact the lecturer. Students who do the 10ec variant also write an exhibition plan on a topic of their choice. The course also includes museum excursions, if possible.

Course objectives

  • Practical museum research experience

  • Insight into the history of museum collections and the role of objects as cultural heritage

  • Advanced knowledge of and insight into Asian art and material culture in its cultural context

  • Academic skills to write descriptive and informative texts for a general public, to review other students’ texts, make a video presentation, and write an exhibition proposal


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Attendance is compulsory for all sessions. Students must prepare well and contribute to in-class discussion. If a student cannot attend because of illness or misadventure, they should promptly inform the convener. Extra assignments may be set to make up for missed class time, at the convener’s discretion. Absence without notification may result in lower grades or exclusion from assessment components and a failing grade for the course.

Assessment method

Partial Assessment Weighing
Mid-term assignment (1,500 words) 20%
Video (2 minutes) 10%
Catalogue texts (1,500 words) 20%
Paper: Exhibition plan (3,000 words) 50%

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average. In order to pass the course, students need a pass mark (“voldoende”, i.e. “5.50” or higher) for the course as a whole.

The research paper is written in two stages: a first version, on which the convener will offer feedback, and a final version. Feedback on the first version is conditional on this being handed in before the deadline. The grade will be determined on the basis of the final version only. (The paper deadline mentioned in uSis is for administrative purposes only. The actual date will be communicated by the convener.)

All categories of assessment must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.


Only if the total weighted average is 5.49 or lower, a re-sit is possible. The resit consists of the same partial assessments as the first opportunity.

Inspection and feedback

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

A syllabus will be posted on Brightspace at the start of the course.


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

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.