nl en

MA Thesis Art History and Museum Studies


Admission requirements

Students must have completed at least one Core Course and one thematic elective.


The thesis poses a scholarly question within the framework of the broader academic debates of the field. In consultation with the thesis supervisor, the student writes a research proposal which fits within either the track Art History or Museum Studies, in which the topic for the thesis project, the current state of research on the topic (literature review), the central research question(s) and the proposed method(s) are further specified. The work will be completed step by step throughout the semester. The student will partake in three collective meetings with peers as well as three individual contact meetings with the supervisor. In the group meetings the student will discuss the research proposal and will receive feedback from their peers and the supervisor. The individual meetings concern feedback on one or more concept chapters, and the first complete draft. On the basis of the supervisor’s feedback on this draft the student will independently finish the final version, which will be read and graded by the thesis supervisor and a second reader from the department.

It is possible to do (part of) the research for the thesis within an institute (museum, gallery, etc.) on the basis of a practice related research problem. Students interested in this should first consult their supervisor. Succesively students should themselves take the initiative towards a museum or art institute. The student can start with this practice-based variant only after approval of the Board of Examiners. For more information, see the MA Thesis Procedure here


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Thesis MA

Assessment method


The thesis for the MA Arts and Culture programme contains a maximum of 17.000 words (+/- 5%) excluding notes, bibliography and appendices.

The thesis is supervised by a lecturer from the Department of Art History who possesses expertise in the relevant field. The thesis is judged by two lecturers (the supervisor who is appointed as first reader and another lecturer who is appointed as second reader) involved in the program. When a student due to personal circumstances is not able to finish the thesis in Semester II (September cohort; Semester I if the student started in Semester II in February ), he or she needs to file a request to the Board of Examiners in order to extend the period of supervision. In any other case, like not handing in a thesis without valid reasons or insufficient grades for the definitive version and the resit, the student must apply for a new topic/ supervisor through a registration form in the following semester.




In the case of an insufficient grade for the definitive version of the thesis, there is one resit option. During the resit the student will have no supervision. If the student also has an insufficient grade for the resit, the student has to deliver a new proposal at the Board of Examiners and will be assigned a new supervisor in the next semester.

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.

Required reading

In consultation with your supervisor.


Enrolment through My Studymap Login | Universiteit Leiden is mandatory.

Contact information

The student will have contact with the thesis supervisor. The MA Thesis Coordinator of the department will together with the Board of Examiners assign a supervisor. The student will be informed about this decision through umail in the semester prior to the one in which the student will write the thesis.

At the beginning of the semester prior to the one in which the student will write the thesis, students will be there will be an introduction lecture about the MA thesis procedure. Attendance to this lecture is mandatory.