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Master of Cultural Studies (Leuven)

KU Leuven
Program overview
1 year
Full time/part time
Master's degree
Start dates
September 2020

September 2021

September 2022

Program description

Master of Cultural Studies

The Master in Cultural Studies addresses different facets of culture as a socially embedded practice. Formed from a thorough appreciation of cultural expressions such as literature, fine arts, dance, heritage and events and their translation into a diversity of media formats, the programme tries to connect theoretical reflection with practical realization via an apprenticeship in the cultural sector.

‘Cultural studies’ refers to a specific type of critical analysis and interpretation of culture, looking into how people construct and participate in everyday life. It studies and compares the meaning, political power and the social impact of varied cultural practices worldwide. The KU Leuven team is proud of their longstanding reputation as an active contributor and specialist in this field. 

The term ‘cultural studies’ also refers to the study of cultural policy at all levels of policy-making in the public, and more often non-profit sectors. Smart cultural policies are anchored by intelligent practices and legal frameworks. This master’s programme provides a research-based approach to both the design and the application of these smart cultural policies. 

The master places an emphasis on the following:  

  • cultural theory and concepts
  • applied narratives
  • art, media and performance
  • contemporary culture
  • interdisciplinary objects of study and methodologies
  • project-based learning

You can choose between two trajectories within the program:

  • The 'creative practices' track focuses on contemporary art and culture creation, across the boundaries of genres and media, with a lot of attention for the creative industries.
  • The 'cultural memory and identity' track focuses on the impact of the cultural past on the contemporary cultural landscape, and the relationship between culture and forms of identity.

Admission requirements

For more information about the admission requirements, visit the website of this programme

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Tuition fees

For more information about our tuition fees, please visit

Scholarships & funding

Visit program webpage for more information

Continuing studies

As both a hands-on and theoretically oriented programme, the Master of Arts in Cultural Studies prepares students for careers in a wide range of fields. A great many of our graduates become public servants and cultural policy officers at all levels of government (local, regional, national, international); others enter into the broad field of the creative industries (music, television, print and online media).

A fair number of students combine their studies (in 2 years) with a teachers' training programme, which prepares them for a career in teaching. In addition, the programme's regularly updated internship database provides a good overview of the possibilities open to students of cultural studies.

Students who are eager to find their way into the cultural sector should take into account that careers in culture rarely deliver traditional nine-to-five jobs and competition for appointments is often fiercely competitive. Special qualities such as passion, enthusiasm, creativity, flexibility, teamwork and good verbal and communicative skills are crucial for success. This programme aims to hone these transferable qualities in addition to the specialised academic framework.

About this institute

KU Leuven

KU Leuven

KU Leuven is Europe’s most innovative university. Located in Belgium, it is dedicated to research, education, and service to society. KU Leuven is a founding member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and has a strong European and...

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