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Master's Programmes

The ArtEZ Master's programmes form a critical community of change makers in a world in transformation. A creative community of seekers and finders with the in-between space as a response to new realities. A passionate community of motivated learners, daring to make the difference.

A critical community of change makers – in a world in transformation

For many decades, the value of art education in our society was underplayed. Art was often seen as a recreational subject with little bearing on real life issues and social-political or social-economic challenges. However, during days of uncertainty and with the major challenges both local and global communities face in the wake of ongoing disruption, the abilities to think creatively and imagine different futures has become a dominant urgency for all societies around the globe.

Art plays a critical role in the inevitable course of societal recovery. The ability to ‘think and act like an artist’ will be invaluable in our quest to address emerging issues, such as climate change, social political conflict, human mobility, underdevelopment and inequality, freedom of speech, autonomy and human rights. 

We believe that our Master-level learning and research communities can affect the present in order to change the future. Our learning communities focus their attention on how to create an imaginative and empathetic society where human values are key drivers. In a world in transition, the artist can learn how to step out of the comfort of an individual art practice. Take more risk and draw on the power of research and education as an instrument of change. Through enabling creative thought, presenting critical (or radical) reflections, and ultimately preparing artistic practises that are presented in and across societies, cultures, communities and diverse identities.

Are you interested in learning and practising what art and design can possibly do instead of what art and design are? This is what we aim for at ArtEZ. We offer highly diverse and autonomous Master courses – for both recent bachelor-graduates from the Netherlands as well as established international practitioners from around the world.

A creative community of seekers and finders – the in-between space as a response to new realities

In a rapidly evolving society where the norm often promotes black and white thinking, our diverse Master courses deliberately occupy new and unknown spaces. Somewhere between what we know and what we could know – what we call in-between-ness.

We locate ourselves in the here and now, respecting and responding to current realities. We start from our home-base in the Netherlands, which we see as a place of initial incubation. This is where ideas and concepts are tested against practise-based methodologies. Here, we ask and explore existential questions, such as: what is art? What is its function in contemporary transformative and rich contexts? How can we put art to work for social or political good? What does it mean to be human and where do we find values? How can we, as a group of international artists and designers, work in a domain enabling progressive shifts? How do we define time and space, ecologies, surroundings of art and self-care?

In our Master courses, we invite you to discover new modes of interaction and interpretation. Joining our cross-cultural community, you enter a diverse and trans-disciplinary group of learners, thinkers, makers. Driven by curiosity and eager to make a difference, we dare to engage and to embrace doubt and possibility. In a continuous and collective experiment, we combine the acquisition, sharing and application of knowledge. At ArtEZ, existing knowledge is utilised to form new understandings of our world. In this sense knowledge is not reproduced but re-established through joining forces on the path to resilient futures, equitable societies, embracing the diversity of thought and approaches that our community presents.

Our Master courses embrace new encounters, often working from different locations with established partners – online or site specific. Our pedagogies and educational approaches enable agency. In our courses we deliver site specific colleges, enabling ‘action research’ for long-term impact on localities: we expose our learning community to issues that are often challenging and outside the normal artistic contexts.  We share our knowledge and passion through publications, exhibitions, conferences, social media and stakeholder interactions.

This is how we see the role of research in the arts and Master courses at ArtEZ. Practising and exploring possible futures in reality, venturing critically and embracing the artistic experiment, communicating this in the exciting and ever-changing context of global society with energy and vision.

A passionate community of motivated learners – daring to make the difference

As an artist you operate from your own set of instruments and personal motivation. You know what you are doing and why you are doing it. With a master at ArtEZ, you are taking the next step. You prepare for the complex reality of your role as an artist in society. This is a role that can be uncomfortable and has far-reaching consequences. It is a lot to take on. Are you up for it? Are you ready to have that critical dialogue, to go out there and turn it around? You know you can – but are you prepared for the obstacles, the questions and the responsibility encountered along the way?

We are proud to work with outstanding, compassionate and critical students and academic partners who are leaders in their field. Our teaching staff are highly qualified from Phd. level scholars, experienced international policy makers, established artist and designers, activists and social transformers. They are active in their respective fields. We value the individual character of the programs – precisely because of their interaction and the interconnectivity between them. We are an ensemble of voices with autonomous positions. The core of that collective sound rings for making a difference – by means of art and design.

So, what is a Master-degree at ArtEZ all about?

You prepare for a significant position as an artist in a transforming society where issues are at stake. Be significant. Have confidence. Make contact. Present purpose. Design critical reflections. Read academic papers. Dare to initiate critique. Question established paradigms. Disrupt traditional flows. Bring open-mindedness. Establish trust. Take a risk. Stand out. Offer a new perspective. Inspire. Start the conversation. Take an edge. Make a change.

Be the difference.