Master of Cultural Studies (Leuven)

Master of Arts

The Master in Cultural Studies addresses different facets of culture as a socially embedded practice. From a thorough acquaintance with forms like literature, fine arts, dance, heritage and events and their translation into a diversity of media formats, the programme tries to connect theoretical reflection with practical realization, a.o. via an apprenticeship in the cultural sector.

Choose your courses of study

What is the Master of Cultural Studies about? 

The term ‘cultural studies’ first of all refers to the study of cultural policy at all levels of policy-making and management in the public sector (local, regional, national, international). Cultural policies are anchored in legal texts and best practices. Our programme has a strongly practice-based approach to these policies. ‘Cultural studies’ also refers to a specific type of analysis and interpretation of culture. This approach to cultural studies is mainly indebted to the Anglo-Saxon tradition. Our KU Leuven team has always been an active contributor to this particular field as well.

The MA in Cultural Studies places the following emphases:  

  • cultural theory and concepts
  • applied narrative
  • art, media and performance
  • contemporary culture
  • interdisciplinary objects of study and methodologies
  • project-based learning

You can choose between two trajectories within the program. The track 'creative practices' focuses on contemporary art and culture creation, across the boundaries of genres and media, with a lot of attention for the creative industries. The track 'cultural memory and identity' focuses on the impact of the cultural past today, and the relationship between culture and forms of identity.


Application deadline for 2019-2020

1 March 2019 (for non-EEA citizens) 

1 June 2019 (for EEA citizens)

KU Leuven uses an online application system. You can download and submit your application form via Students with a Flemish degree can consult

Tuition Fee

The current tuition fee is €922 for EEA citizens and €3,500 for non-EEA citizens. The tuition fee for the 2019-2020 academic year will be determined in the spring of 2019. Please consult the website for the most recent information:

Is this the right programme for me? 

  • You should be able to demonstrate good writing skills (in English), as demonstrated by a well-evaluated bachelor's thesis.
  • You should have a thorough knowledge of various sectors and aspects of contemporary culture, as demonstrated by your bachelor-level studies.
  • You should have a marked ability and eagerness to explore a wide range of learning formats, including both for individual and group work.


Admission requirements

Admission requirements Master of Cultural Studies

The Master of Cultural Studies is an interdisciplinary programme that aims at preparing the student for a wide range of executive functions in the cultural field (cultural mediation, criticism, media, heritage). In order to achieve this goal, the programme offers a combination of theoretical and practical modules.

At the end of the programme, graduates:
- have an in-depth knowledge of the structure of the cultural field and the aims and functions of cultural policy in Flanders (to a lesser extent) and Belgium/Europe (to a larger extent);
- are fit for employment in a cultural institution or organisation;
- are aware of the current definitions of culture and the theoretical debates on these definitions;
- are capable of writing an individual research report;
- have developed a solid scientific attitude towards the major methodological aspects and issues in the field of cultural studies.

Career perspectives

As both a hands-on and theoretically oriented programme, the Master of Arts in Cultural Studies prepares students for careers in a wide range of fields. On the one hand, many graduates become public servants and cultural policy officers at all levels of government (local, regional, national, international). On the other, many graduates enter the large field of creative industries (music, television, print and online media). The programme's regularly updated internship database provides a good overview of the possibilities open to students of cultural studies.

A fair number of students combine their studies (in 2 years) with a teachers' training programme, which prepares them for a teaching career. Students eager to find their way in the cultural sector should realise, however, that working in culture rarely entails a nine-to-five job. Special qualities such as passion, enthusiasm, creativity, flexibility, teamwork and good verbal and communicative skills are crucial. This programme in aims to hone those qualities.

Start your career, during your studies

During your bachelor's and master's programme you can already shape your own profile by choosing a certain specialisation, studying abroad (Erasmus), doing a work placement, or starting your own business.

The Student Career Centre is happy to put you on the right track towards your first work experience. The centre also coaches you in the search for an interesting job and helps you with job interviews.  For students wanting to start their own business KU Leuven also has Lcie, the KU Leuven community that encourages students with innovative and entrepreneurial ideas.

Don’t know where to start? The Student Career Centre's databases contain offers for jobs, volunteer work, innovation projects and student jobs. You can also visit one of the events organised by the Career Centre.


Faculty of Arts
Blijde Inkomststraat 21 box 3301
3000 LEUVEN, Belgium

Programme coordinator:

Student counselor:
Student representative:

More information on the website.



Study Advice Service
Naamsestraat 80 box 5415
3000 LEUVEN, Belgium
To contact us, please complete 
the contact form on our website.


In the context of the wellbeing law certain data must be stored for each student and they must be informed timely on the subject of:

  • the risks to which the student is exposed during the study programme (practicals, traineeships, master's theses,…)
  • the associated preventive measures for each risk, such as medical follow-up, personal protective equipment and instructions.
The risks and preventive measures are collected in the HSE-file for students. Through this link you can consult the HSE-file. The HSE-file will be used for traineeships and/or master’s theses. For more information about traineeships, we refer to the following site: traineeship.. For questions, please contact the HSE Department.





60 ECTS (1 year full-time)




1st semester: end of September -> end of January (exams in January)
2nd semester: half of February -> July (exams in June)


1 March (for non-EEA citizens)
1 June (for EEA citizens)

TUITION FEE 2018-2019

€922 for EEA students
€3,500 for non-EEA students

Most recent information on



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