The master programme we offer is a two-year full time, intensive
study programme with a strong international, interdisciplinary,
artistic, experimental and critical research orientation. You will
work in a small group of up to 20 students and have intensive
interaction with your tutors. The programme combines:
- artistic design practice
- theory and critical research of media, culture and the
- technological learning and study
The three aspects mentioned above are covered by three core
elements of the curriculum:
1. Thematic Projects, running one trimester (12
weeks), typically supervised by international guest teachers (who
can be artists, designers, media theorists or activists) and
addressing one particular subject or issue of contemporary media.
Their goal is to realise practical work, but they always include a
theory syllabus and address cultural issues in relation to
information society and culture. Thematic Projects have had such
subjects as: What is 'hosting', online and socially? What are Open
Media? What is a book, whether analog or digital? Can urban
planning be compared to computer programming and can this be mapped
in the streets? What is privacy in the age of "Web 2.0"? How can
you realise media designs by soldering electronic hardware?
2. Technical Course, a from-scratch
introduction into media programming that teaches you to create your
media and think up solutions that do not come out of the box or off
the shelf. It focuses on web technologies including HTML, CSS,
explains general computer science concepts, such as finite state
machines and recursion, and then teaches you how to express them in
PHP) and create interesting hacks and works with it. You get
individual guidance and tutorials based on your own work projects.
The technical course is meant for students with and without
previous knowledge of computer programming.
3. Theory Session, a weekly seminar on cultural
theory related to media, covering not only media theory in the
narrow sense, but also aesthetics, philosophy, history of art,
design, music and literature, politics. Consider it a general forum
of reflection of the larger issues we deal with during media work.
The subjects and readings are linked to the thematic projects. A
thematic project on hosting, for example, has been accompanied by
introductions into ethnography and cultural anthropology, while a
thematic project on Open Media has been accompanied with both media
and political theories that reflect "openness" in often critical
4. In addition, there are:
- group critiques, where students present and discuss their
- excursions to exhibitions, conferences or media/arts
- a great number of guest presentations and tutorials every
- and last not least two days every week for individual tutorial
appointments with staffers.
The three aspects of the programme and curriculum - artistic
design practice, study of technology and cultural theory - are
closely intertwined. To give a simple example: a media player which
you can fill with music, but not download from, manifests a
technological issue that is also a cultural and political issue (of
media "producers" vs. "consumers", copyright and intellectual
property) and has implications for artistic work.
The course is taught in English, lasts two years and will ask
your full time commitment.
The Lens-Based programme focuses on approaching animation,
digital photography, and moving-image design as a single expanded
field. It is a two-year, full-time, international, English-language
study programme. You will be encouraged to develop fluency across
the whole range of lens-based media, to create your own individual
visual language, and to employ your developing fluency and skills
to create ambitious individual and group projects.
It is a strongly research orientated master programme, with an
emphasis on the connection of practice and theory. The course
focuses on practice-led research through project-based work, always
in tandem with theoretical exploration of related topics.
The programme comprises six study trimesters. The first four are
dedicated to thematic projects, technical lessons and theory
sessions. The last two are for your individual graduation project.
Next to the staff tutors, we invite international practitioners and
theorists as guest lecturers and tutors. You will also have
opportunities to create interactive, networked, and database
projects in co-operation with students from the Networked programme
within the Master Media Design & Communication.
Related to the curriculum
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.
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
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
- studio based practice-led research on agreed topics with
- critical essays and articles