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Master of Arts in Fine Art and Design

Media Design and Communication fulltime

Two-year master in English, starts in September

Media Design & Communication, part of the Master of Arts in Fine Art and Design, is a research orientated master programme with an emphasis on the connection between practice and theory.

This programme is offered by Piet Zwart Institute. The course focus on practice-led research through project-based work will equip you to create a distinctive voice as an artist/designer in the contemporary media landscape.

The course is a two-year, full-time, international, English-language study programme. It comprises of six study trimesters. The first three include thematic seminars, technical sessions and a reading, writing & research methodologies seminar to support your developing research path. The last three are focused on your individual graduation project with tailored tutorial support.

Next to the staff tutors, who are internationally recognized practitioners in their fields, we invite a wide range of distinguished international guest lecturers. 

We are establishing two specialist study paths to allow students to intensively engage with a particular aspect of the contemporary media landscape. Lens-Based Media and Experimental Publishing.

Programme structure

A view of the study programme

Lens-Based Media

The Lens-Based Media study route focuses on approaching animation, photography, and the full range of contemporary cinematic forms as a single expanded field. 

We provide a learning environment that recognises the convergence of previously distinct analogue imaging media into a single digital workflow.  We support new forms of analysis and creative practice that treat images as plastic, open to recombination, manipulation and shaping.  We will support you in exploring the ways that the images you create might use these new potentials in innovative ways to engage contemporary audiences.

You will be encouraged to develop fluency across the whole range of lens-based media, to create a strong individual visual language and an original subjective vision, and to employ your developing fluency and skills to create ambitious and distinctive new approaches to both cinema and photography.

We seek students who recognise that the future of lens-based images lies in the proliferation of new forms, working methods and delivery platforms: new forms of cinematic narrative, inter-active visual media, photographic and cinematic gallery installation, cross-media narrative, database film technologies, site-specific projection projects, and many more hybrid forms that loop together both digital and analogue techniques.

If you wish to develop a critical and creative practice within the expanding field of lens-based media, this Masters programme will be a stimulating environment for your research and studio practice.

Experimental publishing

From app stores to art book fairs and zine shops, from darknets to sneakernets, from fansubs to on-demand services, and from tweeting to whistleblowing, the act of making things public, that is to say publishing, has became pivotal in an age infused with myriad media technologies.

The tension between the publishing heritage and novel forms of producing and sharing information has shown that old dichotomies such as analogue versus digital, or local versus global, have grown increasingly irrelevant given their bond with hybrid media practices based on both old and new technologies, and their existence within mixed human and machine networks.  This is why by publishing we mean to engage with a broad set of intermingled and collaborative practices, both inherited and to be invented, so as to critically explore and actively engage with an ecosystem in which multi-layered interactions occur that are:

  • social, technical, cultural and political;
  • involving actors both human and algorithmic;
  • and mediated by networks of distribution and communication of varying scales and visibility.

For this journey, we seek students motivated to challenge the protocols of publishing (in all its (im)possible forms) using play, fiction, and ambiguity as methods and strategies of production and presentation, in order to experiment on the threshold of what is possible, desirable, allowed, or disruptive, in this ever expanding field.

Public events

In addition to our curriculum, taught by our core faculty and invited project leaders, we organise an ongoing public event series based on issues related to the curriculum, but reaching beyond the framework of the seminars. The public events are an important resource for students, tutors and guests, serving as bridge to the city and building a community around areas of interests.

Research opportunities

The Master courses in Media Design & Communication are affiliated to the international research programme Communication in a Digital Age at the Piet Zwart Institute.

This project investigates the future of communication design in relation to the most current technological and social developments of media and communication. As a master student, you can attend all its conferences, lectures and workshops, have visiting research fellows as personal tutors, and contribute your own projects to its published research.

Research in the Lens-Based programme is in association with the research programme (lectoraat) Communication in a Digital Age of the Piet Zwart Institute. Current research in the programme focusses on the development of practice-led research projects.

These research projects may take several forms:

  • commissioned projects in partnership with other media institutions
  • studio based practice-led research on agreed topics with multiple outcomes
  • critical essays and articles

After your study programme

Different possibilities

After your graduation

Congratulations! You just received your Master of Arts (MA) degree.

With your degree, you will receive a supplement, a DS-label. With this English document, you can show the value of your degree abroad when applying for other study programmes or when applying for a job.


Where will you study?

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