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Bachelor in Media, Art, Design and Architecture

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
3 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
On campus
Amsterdam
English
Inquire for more information
Application deadline: Non-EU/EEA students: 1 April | EU/EEA students: 1 May
Virtual open day
11/7/2021
Virtual open day
12/5/2021

Program description

Bachelor in Media, Art, Design and Architecture

What is relevant in visual culture today? How do images and objects, media and technologies shape how we view ourselves, others, and our environment? Which stories, people, places, and things do we remember, and why do we forget others?

Media, Art, Design and Architecture is an interdisciplinary programme that integrates four fields of study. In the first year, students follow all courses together. By the second year, you are prepared to choose one of the four specializations: media, art, design or architecture. In the third year, in preparation of your thesis, you broaden or deepen your disciplinary knowledge. Besides following courses, you can study a semester abroad, take an internship or choose a minor. 

This structure offers a broad theoretical-methodological foundation, and a historical understanding of how cultural expressions come into being. You will develop a critical perspective on the effects of culture on society and on our planet. This expertise enables you to critically explore cultural practices, transforming you into an insightful and informed actor in the cultural field.

You will go on field trips, visit museums and creative incubators, with the chance to meet artists, curators, filmmakers, and designers. How do local creative scenes interact with other parts of the world? And how do global developments affect culture locally? Media, Art, Design, and Architecture opens doors for you to experience and understand these developments academically. Note that this is not a practice-based bachelor.

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Admission requirements

International applicants

Applicants holding a non-Dutch pre-university diploma apply via the International Office. We check if your previous education meets a number of requirements. If you do not yet meet the requirements but expect to do so in the future (such as obtaining your diploma), you can already apply. We will evaluate your application and inform you of our admission decision.

Requirements that apply:

  1. A diploma equivalent to the Dutch pre-university VWO-diploma
  2. Proof of sufficient proficiency in English

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the website.


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Program content

Core Courses

Year 1

  • Approaching Visual and Material Culture
  • Cultural History
  • History of Media, Art, Design and Architecture: Early Modern
  • Academic Skills
  • Image and Object Analysis
  • History of Media, Art, Design and Architecture: Modern
  • Academic English
  • History of Media, Art, Design and Architecture: Contemporary
  • The Netherlands TM
  • Research Methods


Architecture Specialization

Year 2

  • Architecture: a history
  • Exhibition Machines
  • Great Cities
  • Urban Culture and Public Space
  • Philosophy CIS-L&S-MKDA
  • Historiography of Art, Design and Architecture
  • History of Knowledge
  • Living culture
  • World Heritage and Conflict
  • Foreign excursion Art and Architecture

Year 3

  • Bachelor's thesis Media, Art, Design and Architecture
  • Bachelor's thesis colloquium Media, Art, Design and Architecture
  • Current affairs
  • Research Working Group Architecture
  • Contesting Images


Design Specialization

Year 2

  • Exhibition Machines
  • Graphic design
  • Fashion divorce theory
  • Urban Culture and Public Space
  • Philosophy CIS-L&S-MKDA
  • Historiography of Art, Design and Architecture
  • History of Knowledge
  • Living culture
  • World Heritage and Conflict
  • Foreign excursion Media and Design

Year 3

  • Bachelor's thesis Media, Art, Design and Architecture
  • Bachelor's thesis colloquium Media, Art, Design and Architecture
  • Current affairs
  • Research working group Design
  • Contesting Images


Art Specialization

Year 2

  • Exhibition Machines
  • Early Modern Art: Production and Reception
  • Modern Art: Progress and Tradition
  • Urban Culture and Public Space
  • Philosophy CIS-L&S-MKDA
  • Historiography of Art, Design and Architecture
  • History of Knowledge
  • The Post-Medium Condition
  • World Heritage and Conflict
  • Foreign excursion Art and Architecture

Year 3

  • Bachelor's thesis Media, Art, Design and Architecture
  • Bachelor's thesis colloquium Media, Art, Design and Architecture
  • Current affairs
  • Research working group Art
  • Contesting Images


Media Specialization

Year 2

  • Exhibition Machines
  • Film and Media History
  • Historiography of Media
  • Urban Culture and Public Space
  • Philosophy CIS-L&S-MKDA
  • Film analysis and theory
  • History of Knowledge
  • The Post-Medium Condition
  • World Heritage and Conflict
  • Foreign excursion Media and Design

Year 3

  • Bachelor's thesis Media, Art, Design and Architecture
  • Bachelor's thesis colloquium Media, Art, Design and Architecture
  • Current affairs
  • Research working group Media
  • Contesting Images

Tuition fees

  • Tuition fee for EU: € 1,084
  • Tuition fee for NON-EU/EEA: € 7,786

Continuing studies

After receiving your bachelor's degree in Media, Art, Design, and Architecture, you may continue to study in one of several master’s programs offered by the VU, or by another university.

Among the master’s programs offered at the VU that may be of interest are the following:

  • Arts and Culture Studies with five specializations: Architectural History, Comparative Arts & Media Studies, Contemporary Art History, Design Cultures, Art, Market and Connoisseurship
  • Critical Studies in Arts and Culture (Humanities Research Master)
  • Curating Arts and Cultures
  • Heritage Studies

Career opportunities

With a bachelor’s degree in Media, Art, Design and Architecture, you have built a strong foundation with a range of skills and a broad knowledge base and you can start in various positions. Increasingly, companies and organizations look for candidates who can approach an issue in an interdisciplinary way. That’s great for you: your studies were specialized in interdisciplinarity.

Possible functions:

  • Media: program maker, editor or journalist for television, radio, magazines, films, new media, and digital labs.
  • Art: curator, exhibition maker, assistant researcher or tour guide at museums, galleries, auction houses, or in cultural tours.
  • Design: curator or assistant researcher at design museums and design agencies.
  • Architecture: consultant or assistant researcher in historic preservation, spatial planning, or architecture centers.

Also think of possibilities for employment in policy projects at municipalities and other government institutions, education at schools and museums.

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About this institute

Welcome to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (‘VU Amsterdam’) is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 175 English-taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to more than 26,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff...


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Why study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

With more than 24,000 students, of which 4,088 are international, VU Amsterdam conducts cutting-edge research into problems of societal and scientific importance.

They distinguish themselves in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes:

  • Human Health and Life Sciences
  • Science for Sustainability
  • Connected World
  • Governance for Society

As a student this will help you to look beyond the boundaries of scientific disciplines, and to seek for tangible solutions for a better world.

In addition, VU Amsterdam regards diversity, whether in culture, conviction, nationality or prior education, as source of innovation and progress, and hence as special strength.

The Dutch higher education system has been ranked in the top 10 by Universitas 21. In the first Times Higher Education University Impact Ranking, VU Amsterdam is ranked 16th worldwide. In this ranking, universities are assessed based on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to measure the impact of the universities on society. In the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018 (Shanghai Ranking) VU Amsterdam holds the 104th position. The international QS World University ranking 2021 places the Vrije Universiteit at number 236 in the world, which means the Vrije Universiteit belongs to the top 20% of the world.

At VU Amsterdam, the teaching style can be described as student-centred: they encourage students to develop their own opinions through independent and creative thinking. This means that teaching is mainly conducted in small tutorials, where interactivity is the norm rather than the exception. At every opportunity, students are encouraged to engage in constructive dialogue with their professors.

Contact info

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands, the

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Want to know more about Bachelor in Media, Art, Design and Architecture? Fill out the following form and we'll pass your details on to a representative from the school, who will respond to your enquiry.

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