Programme Museums and Collections

Programme information

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The specialisation Museums and Collections gives students thorough knowledge of relevant issues concerning early modern collections and museums of the modern and contemporary period. Students will learn how to critically analyze texts, collections and exhibitions and reflect on historical and contemporary issues.

In the specialist research seminar of the early modern period students will gain an overview of the history of collecting in the period 1500-1800 and its historiography. We will discuss topics relating to early modern cultures of collecting: notions and concepts of wonder, curiosity, the exotic and the familiar, networks of knowledge and exchange, and visualisation of early museums. In weekly sessions, students develop their analytical, critical and research skills through discussions of literature and presentation of their ongoing projects, which result in a research paper. 

In the specialist research seminar of the modern and contemporary period the student will gain in-depth knowledge of museum theory and politics of museum practice, and acquire an informed understanding of current (theoretical) issues and controversies concerning museums throughout the world. This course will develop analytical, communicative and research skills in weekly debates, exhibition analyses and presentations of research topics.

In addition, the reading list Museums and Collections aims to give students insight in specialist reference works on museums and collections both in the past and today. For this self study module students choose 650 pages of preferred titles from a general list. There will be an oral or written exam.

In the final thesis the student explores an argument with regard to the notion of museums and collections.

Timetables and calendar

Prospectus: programme overview and course description

The Prospectus contains overviews and course details for all programmes in the Faculty of Humanities (and other faculties). The information in the Prospectus is updated annually, in June. Please consult the Arts and Culture section of the Prospectus for more information.

Application, enrollment and examinations

  • To enroll in a specific course or examination, use the Study administration system uSis.
  • This website is intended for students who are already enrolled in the programme. Prospective students looking for application information should consult

Papers and thesis

During your Master's studies you will need to write papers and a thesis. The following documents will give you information about the preferred lay-out for papers, the registration form for your MA thesis, and the evaluation form which is used to grade your thesis:

Study advice

Every department (or degree programme) has a Co-ordinator of Studies (studiecoördinator). The Co-ordinator of Studies knows all the ins and outs of the programme and can help with any problems. Typical subjects to discuss with the Co-ordinator of Studies are: student progress (and delay) and exam regulations.

Graduation procedures

MA students who are ready to apply for their graduation should follow the graduation procedure. See the graduation website for more information about this procedure, the MA thesis, and how to deregister from Leiden University after graduation.

Teaching and Examination Regulations and Faculty Regulations

All the rights and obligations of students in the Humanities faculty are set out in regulations. The most important of these are indicated below. (The list is not exhaustive; more documentation on regulations may appear here in the future.)

  • Teaching and Examination Regulations state the contents of your programme and the specialisations within the programme.
  • Registration for lectures, tutorials and tests is obligatory: see the uSis registration procedure.
  • The Student Charter informs students about what they can expect from the University and what the University expects from them.
  • Regulations on plagiarism are in place, to counter any instances of malpractice. These regulations provide advice on how to use sources and citations.

Boards, committees, and co-participation

Students within the Faculty of Humanities, are represented in the following boards and committees:

  • the departmental Teaching Committee
  • the departmental or institute administration ór Institute Board
  • the Faculty Council
  • the Faculty Board

Another committee that is relevant to your studies, but in which students are not represented, is the Board of Examiners.

Contact and staff for Museums and Collections

Last Modified: 01-12-2016