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Understand how media culture, arts, and the environment interact

Arts & Culture: Comparative Arts and Media Studies

A sharp eye and ear for media & art

During your studies in the Comparative Arts and Media Studies programme, you will develop a sharp eye (and ear) for a wide range of media and art objects and processes. You will also learn to analyse and place them in their various contexts. You will attain academic skills such as critical thinking, presentation and writing skills. Learning to conduct research on a variety of topics, both in academia and in the world at large, is another essential component of the programme. In addition to developing a solid understanding of the cultural landscape, you will learn to think, speak and write about relevant topics at a highly advanced level.


Studying in the city of Amsterdam is a unique experience. The urban setting and the multicultural mindset of the people of Amsterdam, combined with the energy of a thriving cultural city life provide a vibrant and diverse environment for your education. The larger Amsterdam region is home to several internationally renowned institutions that house some of the most significant art and media collections. Among them are the Rijksmuseum, the Eye Filmmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum, as well as political and cultural citizen initiatives such as The Black Archives.

Cultural collaboration

There are many opportunities for collaboration with cultural institutions in Amsterdam and beyond. Our wide-ranging academic courses often include research trips to museums and archives or visits from artists and cultural entrepreneurs, which allow you to explore the collaborative possibilities to their fullest and put your knowledge into practice in unique and exciting ways. 

Study Programme

The programme is built around five core courses (30EC) and a master’s thesis (18EC). You will also choose elective courses or conduct an internship (12EC).

The first semester consists of three courses with historiographical, aesthetic, spatial and environmental perspectives on processes of mediation in audiovisual culture, plus a department-wide lecture series on current issues in Arts & Culture.

In the second semester, you will get acquainted with media dynamics at work in current crossmedial exhibitions while also writing your master’s thesis.

Below you will find the core courses. Take a look at the other courses in the study guide.


  • Master Thesis Comparative Arts and Media Studies
  • Trending Topics Arts and Culture
  • Materialities of Media: Elements, Infrastructures, Environments
  • CAMS: Key Concepts
  • Aesthetics of Media Environments
  • Crossmedial Exhibitions

You will find the study programme in our study guide.

Edna - CAMS Graduate

Edna - CAMS Graduate

"I chose the program for its balance of media theory and artistic practice, flexible enough to explore my interests. I was thrilled to have direct access to cultural institutions in the Netherlands, either through an internship or in the courses. I learned enormously from the combination of the program’s challenging theoretic components and incredibly diverse academic backgrounds of my classmates."

Electives and practical experience

You can customise your Comparative Arts and Media Studies programme by selecting courses from a broad range of interdisciplinary electives in the fields of design, visual arts, architecture, literature or history.

Elective options include, among others:

  • Media Art History
  • Design, Culture and Society
  • Adaptation Studies
  • Reading Images
  • Environmental Humanities
  • Ambivalence of Seeing (Otherwise): Histories and Theories of Photography
  • Knowing by Sensing

Some of our students also choose to gain professional experience through an internship in the field of media and arts that has a research dimension (e.g. archival, audience, market, and exhibition research, or research for a publication or website). Internship placement is self-organized according to your own interests.

Our students have conducted internships at various Dutch institutions, such Sound and Vision, Eye Filmmuseum, MediaLab, Waag Society, Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, and other museums, galleries, magazines, production and distribution companies, festivals, and media and art funds.

Master’s thesis

The Comparative Arts and Media Studies programme culminates in a master’s thesis, which gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your research skills, your competence as a critical thinker, and your ability to systematically gather, select and interpret information. You will also show that you can build a strong academic argument in an independent, critical and responsible manner.

Examples of theses written by students of this programme:

  • The Fluidity of Fact and Fiction: The V2 Website Archive as ‘Unstable’ Medium and Artwork 
  • Immersive Thrills: Cinema as a Transsensorial Experience
  • The Faceless Character: The Borders of The Force of Film Music
  • Museum Blogs as a Part of Crossmedia Storytelling: The Importance of a Convincing Blog
  • The New TV-Viewing Experience: Incorporating the Second Screen into Transmedia Television
  • Aesthetics of Restlessness in the New Cinema of Turkey

Change your future! Take the Master’s in Arts & Culture: Comparative Arts and Media Studies

Change your future! Take the Master’s in Arts & Culture: Comparative Arts and Media Studies

As a graduate of the Arts & Culture: Comparative Arts and Media Studies programme, you will be qualified for a broad range of career opportunities that require analytical and critical skills and an excellent insight into contemporary developments in media and the arts. Our graduates have careers in higher education, research, cultural policy, the media industry and the cultural sector.

Explore your future prospects
Man with headphone looks at enlightened television screen

Questions about the programme?

Please contact the programme coordinator

Send an e-mail to dr. Ivo Blom via