Film and Photographic Studies

Film and Photographic Studies, a specialisation of Leiden University Master’s in Media Studies, is your chance to choose a challenging academic study in the field of ‘lens-based’ media, comprising photography, film and video. Combine history and theory of film and photography within the broad context of visual and other media. You will gain expertise on the three media and their specific nature, as well as their relation to one another.

Reasons to choose Film and Photographic Studies in Leiden

  • Become a well-trained professional who can analyse film and photography both as independent media and in relation to other cultural practices and disciplines.
  • Join the only programme, nationally and internationally, to focus on film, video and photography while maintaining an interdisciplinary approach. The curriculum provides students with an in-depth understanding of the specific histories, institutions and discourses of cinema, photography and other media arts.
  • Focus on artistic and critical networks of production, distribution and exhibition. In particular on the intersection between moving and still images. Whereas other academic programmes study photography within an art historical context or concentrate on cinema within the framework of the performing arts or the mass media, it is our aim to foster a dialogue between the various fields of photographic and cinematic studies.
  • Explore the history and theory of lens-based media since the nineteenth century, discussing various developments of an artistic, independent and mainstream nature. A variety of lecture courses, workshops, seminars and internships allow students to reflect on the specificity of these media practices, to explore their interrelationships, and to investigate their place within a broader mediascape.
  • Make use of our faculty’s extensive ties with other academic and cultural institutions within the Netherlands and abroad, providing students with immediate access to a broad professional network.
  • Follow lectures by artists, critics, scholars and curators that are incorporated within the curriculum. During the first semester, for instance, field trips are organised to introduce students to several key institutions within the field.
  • Discover one of the oldest photos collections in the Netherlands, housed at the Leiden University Library, one of the major strengths of this programme.


If you intend to do an internship, it is recommended to do so in combination with the MA thesis. Interns have been placed within such organisations as the Photography Collection in Leiden, Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Magnum (New York), International Center of Photography (New York), Museum of Photography (Rotterdam), The Museum of Photography (The Hague), FOAM (Amsterdam), Fotomuseum Winterthur, and Victoria & Albert Museum (London).

Who can apply?

The programme will be of interest to students who have acquired an undergraduate background in art history, film studies, cultural studies, visual studies, media studies or literature and wish to pursue a professional career in the field of cinema, photography and/or media arts. The programme also encourages applications by artists, photographers, and filmmakers who would like to expand their historical and theoretical base. See entry requirements for more details.

Check out the programme of Film and Photographic Studies.

Master details

  • Dit is een afstudeerrichting van: Media Studies
  • Graad Master of Arts in Media Studies
  • Onderwijsvorm Full-time
  • Duur 1 year
  • Start September, February
  • Taal English
  • Vestigingsplaats Leiden
  • Croho/isatcode 60830

Ontdek een master die bij jou past!