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Arts and Culture: Design and Decorative Art Studies

Design and Decorative Art Studies is a specialisation in the MA in Arts and Culture. Leiden has a long tradition of research and teaching in this specialisation, from the Early Modern to the Postmodern period. You will study layout and design in a context of the reception and significance that objects and interiors bring about, such as design and identity, including cultural identity. Another option is to examine discussions on the effects of decoration, function and aesthetics of interiors and objects. This can, for instance, be from a particular period and community that is also interesting for insights into other times and cultures. You can also opt to make a more in-depth study of present-day engaged forms of design, such as ecodesign and biodesign. You can determine your own focal areas.

Special points of attention are:

  • (re)presentation of layout and design in old and modern sources, both written and visual

  • reception of layout and design in written texts

  • interiors, design and gender identity

  • history of domestic culture and objects that determine the domestic culture

In this specialisation you can also opt to do a work placement at a leading museum or other significant institution in the area of heritage and culture preservation in the Netherlands. You can also do a work placement in the area of contemporary design within the research projects of the tutors or of cultural institutions.

Compulsory courses for all students, regardless of specialisation:

  • Practices and debates (5 EC)

  • Reading List (5 EC)

  • Thesis (20 EC)

In order to meet the demands of any specialisation you need to follow a minimum of 45 EC in your chosen specialisation. The most common study path to meet this requirement is:

  • 1 compulsory research course in field of specialisation (10 EC)

  • 1 other course in your period of specialisation (10 EC)

  • Reading list (5 EC)

  • Thesis (20 EC)

An additional course or internship of 10 EC may be chosen in your field of specialisation as well.

Please note that several additional workshops will be offered during the academic year. Information will be available on our website.