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MA Cultural Leadership

University of Groningen
Length: 24 months
Study pace: Full time
Education level: Master's degree
Study allowances: Yes
Location: Groningen
Language: English
Start date: September

Program description

Culture and heritage are the sinews of a society. In an era marked by rapid change and technologies that open up new possibilities, ambitious and critical cultural leaders are required to foster the cultural core of a sustainable society.

Culture defines humanity. Managing the valuation and transmission of culture through policy, entrepreneurship, and education across generations is therefore a key responsibility for a sustainable society. In our modern society, culture has to be negotiated as it is shaped by digitisation and new media, ethnic and cultural diversity, changing audiences and economic circumstances, dwindling public funds, and a loss of shared historical awareness. The mission of the Master's track Cultural Leadership is to educate future leaders in the cultural domain, both national and international, enabling them to carry culture forward in a critical, sustainable, and creative manner. The programme equips students with essential scholarly expertise and analytical and strategic skills.

The Master's track Cultural Leadership:

  • is innovative: it prepares master students for a cultural field which quickly changes due to technological, pedagogical, political, and societal developments. It offers new methods and tools (e.g., hands-on history, digital curating) to help rethink the cultural field.
  • has a dual character: it combines theoretical and object-oriented courses and a thesis with a six months research traineeship.
  • has a well-defined aim: to equip students with the knowledge and skills to develop an inspiring, responsible, and realistic vision on how we can carry culture into the future.

Admission requirements


  • Assessment: a personal (video) interview is part of the selection process.
  • Grade list: excellent academic record.
  • Language test: minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 100 (with a minimum of 25 on writing skills) or IELTS 7 (with a minimum of 6.5 on all items). ERK level C1.
  • Previous education: BA degree in
    • Archaeology
    • History
    • Language and Culture Studies
    • Arts and Culture Studies
    • Or any study related to the aforementioned programmes
  • Reference letter: 2 letters of recommendation from relevant experts.
  • Other admission requirements: we strongly advice you to start the programme in September.

Programme content

1st year: in their first year students do course work.

  • In the first semester they choose two disciplinary electives (depending on their BA-degree) and follow the Introduction to Cultural Leadership I and II courses.
  • The second semester is a joint semester together with students from Roma Tre University. The first block (approximately January-March) is taught in Groningen, the second block (approximately April-June) in Rome, and includes a ten-day Spring School at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR).

2nd year: in their second year students do a research traineeship and write their thesis.

  • In the third semester students design their thesis research and start their six-month research traineeship with a cultural institution (in the Netherlands or abroad). In January they will participate in a ten-day Winter School in Groningen related to their thesis research carried out at their host institution.
  • In the fourth semester they finish their traineeship and write their thesis.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is required
  • For an average of 12 weeks
  • Maximum of 15 EC

Career prospects

Cultural Leadership graduates find jobs as:

  • Cultural entrepreneurs, designing, promoting, and organizing cultural events on a variety of scales: from (inter)national festivals to regional and local projects
  • Cultural administrators, policy makers, and educators, working on different levels of government, public foundations, and pedagogical institutions
  • Cultural media critics, working in print, audio visual, and electronic media.

Tuition & fees


  • EU/EEA: € 2006 full-time
  • non-EU/EEA: € 11400 full-time

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About school

University of Groningen

The University of Groningen is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands, founded in 1614 the university ranks amongst the top 100 universities in the world. We are a research intensive institution offering a wide range of highly regarded bachelor,...

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Contact info

University of Groningen

Broerstraat 5
9712 GL Groningen
The Netherlands

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