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 program 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 for 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.
Starting in 2021, students may choose to follow Media, Art, Design, and Architecture entirely in English.
Choose a specialization
Media are everywhere. From traditional audiovisual media like film and TV to digital networks, streaming platforms, and your personal smartphones, media affect all aspects of private and public life. They deeply influence how we create, consume and comprehend society and culture.
With its age-old traditions and its innovative power, art is a vital influence in culture - from the canonized ‘masterpieces’ of Western tradition to contemporary installation, performance, and digital art from all over the globe. Artists can both challenge our view of the world and actively participate in shaping society. Art uses all forms of media and complements the design of our built environment.
From the chair you sit on to one in a museum, from the graphic design of your Zoom backdrop to the clothes you wear, the design is everywhere. As such, design both shapes—and is shaped by—the world we live in.
Architecture is all around us, from the house you live in to the park you spend an afternoon in. Our spatial environment has been designed over time by people with specific ideas about society. Understanding why and how we live the way we do is at the core of architecture.
In year 1, you will attend lectures and participate in seminars about media, art, design, and architecture. Discussion and reflection on academic literature will take place in lecture-based courses and you will learn to look critically and historically at objects, from paintings to buildings, films to games. During seminars, you will work to apply what you have learned from literature, analyze case studies, visit exhibitions, archives and explore the urban environment. You will also receive training in speaking and writing skills.
In the second year, you will take joint courses in which media, art, design, and architecture are discussed in relation to each other and to the museum, the city, digital, and globalized worlds. You will also discuss how theories about media, art, design, and architecture have developed. At the end of the academic year, you will go on an excursion abroad.
You will also dive into the history, theory, and analysis of film, television, the internet, and games in a broad cultural and contemporary context.
The third-year is devoted to broadening or deepening your disciplinary knowledge and writing your bachelor’s thesis. You decide how to fill in the first five months, by broadening your knowledge or with in-depth electives, a university minor, a research internship, or by following courses abroad. You complete your bachelor’s degree with a research seminar, a broad course on visual culture, and a course that aims to familiarize you with the labor market. Last but not least, you will write a bachelor’s thesis, where you demonstrate that you have gained sufficient knowledge and skills to carry out independent academic research.
Change your future! Take the Bachelor’s in Media, Art, Design, and Architecture (MKDA-EN)
After receiving a bachelor’s degree from the MKDA-EN program, you can continue your education by pursuing one of the master's programs offered by the VU or another university. Alternatively, as a graduate in Art and Culture, you can work in a wide range of fields. You might work as a program maker or an editor for television, or in the production of new media. You can work in museums, auction houses, or as a consultant or assistant researcher at a design institute, in the field of monument preservation, or in spatial planning.