Master of Fine ArtThe study

Master of Fine Art

About the study

Master of Arts in Fine Art
Mode of study
Fine Art
Master of Arts
2 years
HKU Loods

Welcome to the Master of Fine Art

Are you an artist, researcher, activist and/or cultural worker? Did you complete a Bachelor degree and are interested in eco-socio-cultural contexts? In this Master Fine Art you unfold, deepen and develop your cultural, societal and/or planetary participation and its possibilities. HKU Master of Arts opens up and invites a time and place for dialogue, meeting and relation. Our focus on the 'and' - and not on the ''either/or'', nor on the 'therefore' - is driven by the urgencies and gathering forces of ecological, social and political crises that pose an inescapable challenge for practitioners today. Together as a team we wish to learn to orient away from the vertical or horizontal, towards the spheric, away from the separated stance of the eye/mind towards the corporeal, the collective, the planetary. We are invested in the necessity of unocvering and addressing the problems, potentials and possibilities of our times, upholding and supporting creative forces that affirm, heal and sustain life.

Whatever we see and understand as ''cultures'' and ''natures'', these are not objective, neutral, value-free or indifferent notions. They are given, and the same time arise, disappear, mutate and change continuously, according to most diverse interests, factors, events and perspectives. The Master Fine Art supports artistic research practices that participate and play a constitutive role in how nature-cultures can contribute the flourishing in solidarity with each other and the hybrid societies of this world.

As a Fine Art Master student you experiment with artistic research approaches that are situated in eco-socio-political contexts, and you are sensitive and critical towards the affects and effects of your practices. Through our open and sustainable political collaboration and partnerships with a series of international and local cultural institutions, we work on and offer concrete possibilities for contact between the art academy and the art world. Our focus on engaged, close, transdisciplinary collaboration with most diverse institutional practices understands your artistic research practice(s) as a challenging and changing professional field, allowing you to (re-)position your practice in collaboration with emergent, moving and committed working contexts.

Concerned by the multitude, degree and range of planetary, colonial, societal, hierarchial and personal problems, we encourage collaboration that transcend individualism and the separation of disciplines by fostering the cooperation between education, scienes and cultures that are supportive, inclusive and creative.

In brief

  • A two-year full-time English-taught Master's programme
  • A deep exploration of contemporary art and its eco-socio-cultural domains
  • Developing, communicating and sharing your position
  • A focus on a processual dynamics between making, thinking and sharing
  • Exploration of diverse, experimental and interrelated practices, such as inter-, cross- and transdisciplinarity, activism, commoning, community- and world building, etc.
  • Artistic Research Graduation with extended research report
  • Possible preparation for further research in the form of a PD, PhD, etc.
  • International, program, colleagues and study environment, in a locally vivid and sustaining cultural network
  • High quality education, awarded with the golden Medal by 'EW best studies 2022', elected from in total 2.273 BA and MA studies.

How do you know the Master of Fine Art is right for you?

The Master of Fine Art is the programme for you if:
  • you have a Bachelor Degree and/or work since several years as practitioner on Bachelor level
  • you wish to contribute and/or have experience in the political domains of art making and enjoy to look critically at the eco-socio-political field of the arts, culture(s) and their affects and effects
  • you like to experiment with and co-develop different approaches to art and it’s understanding and attend to the relations between things, gestures, plants, people, expressions, animals, clouds, technologies and practices through researching, improvising and learning by doing
  • you wish to develop your artistic research practice in relation to the discourses and methodologies of the Master program and in collaboration with its support structures
  • you work on your own practice in relation to the world: you seek to question and position yourself in, instead and against capitalist, extractive, colonial, racist, sexist, patriarchal, ableist, discriminatory, heteronormative, elitist, chronically unfair and unjust structures, and to try out, develop and integrate alternative agencies into your (understanding of) practice(s).
  • your practices are generated through processes of relation, exchange, action, making, discussing, studying, researching and responding and understand creative work as socially, politically and environmentally sensitive and enactive.
  • you are interested in and challenged by the institutional and politico-cultural context(s) in which you study and work
  • you share your knowledge, sensibilities and ideas with others: you enjoy thinking together and through each other and collaborate with everyone and everything; you understand your practice as collective knowledge development in situated, time- and site-sensitive solidarity network of humans and non-humans alike
  • your practice is a reorientation of and from the human and looks for relationality, reciprocity and enlivenment
  • you engage in intergenerational thinking, conceive of legacies, references, soulmates, life and death as intra-connected and understand your practice not as knowledge production, but as a continuous, situated process of knowledge development; you can envision your developing relational practice(s) in further (eventually collective, inter- and/or transdisciplinary) research contexts, such as PD, PhD etc.

Why choose the Master of Fine Art at HKU?

HKU offers the Master Fine Art since 2004. Initially known as MaHKU, the programme was revisited in September 2017 and since 2018 exists as acclaimed two-years HKU Master of Art.

The Master Fine Art is a demanding, versatile and varied program, consisting of:

  • courses
  • seminars
  • short and long-term workshops
  • guided walking sessions
  • communal meals
  • open cooperations with other schools, faculties and follows within HKU
  • great collaborations with local, national and international cultural institutions, collectives and communities in Utrecht and elsewhere (Casco Art Institute, BAK, puntWG etc.)
  • face-to-face conversations, group-sessions and discussions
  • tutorials
  • try-outs, rehearsals and feedback-/feedforward sessions
  • material engagement
  • curatorial thinking
  • educational experiments
  • (co-)shaping the study together
  • keen focus on practice as research and research as practice
  • visits, trips and excursions
  • alumni networks, support structures and events

Furthermore, the Master program is in exchange with its sister program, the HKU Master of Scenography. We offer and attend to programs together and various artists, cultural practitioners, activists, curators, designers and theorists share their knowledge, perspectives and ways of observing and working with both Master programs.

Excited? Apply now!

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The course in figures

Elected from in total 2.273 BA and MA studies, the HKU Master of Art is awardes with the Golden Medal by 'EW best studies 2022'.

Want to know how the Master Fine Art scores compared to other courses?
Go to the course in figures (in Dutch)

Master of Fine ArtWhat will you learn?
Master of Fine Art

What will you learn in this program?

In the Master Fine Art program you experiment with artistic research approaches that situate themselves in eco-socio-cultural domains. You dedicate yourself engaged and critically to issues and questions relating to the making, thinking and sharing of artistic sensibility, responsibility and potential.

  • How do you together (re-)consider the histories, perceptions, effects, engagements and possible impact of ‘art’?
  • How do artistic practice(s) lead to a de-linking of pre-defined or fossilized customs, habits, patterns and modes of relating between things, ideas, people and the living?
  • And how can they lead to an uncovering of dynamics, relations and inter-connections the planet can thrive on?
  • How do you (help) focus on what matters?
  • How does your practice connect with today’s burning ecological, social and political struggles?
  • What affects perception? How to create perspectives?
  • What anchors experience?
  • How to communicate?
  • How to dedicate artistic research practice to difference, commune and the living?
  • What does situated feminist, queer, decolonial, postcolonial, Black, indigenous, disability, sound, poetic etc. study and their practices teach?
  • How do you try out and experiment with conditions that allow for the imagining of different orders of things?
The Master Fine Art program consists of an interactive dynamics between three strands:
  • Making. introduces the students to an expanded notion of making, including many possible forms of production and collaboration, beyond focusing merely on skill-based methods. Making, here, also means unmaking, and entails a literacy towards the process-oriented, the material, the relational and the socio-eco-political as important dimensions within artistic practices. In collective classes and individual tutorials, the students initiate, share and encounter diverse making processes, which might allow for a shifting of existing notions of making. In doing so, students develop sensitivities and levels of awareness for different temporalities and spatial settings as vital sensors and senses of (un-)making.
  • Thinking explores dialogue in all its forms and variations, with trees, colleagues, books, water, articles, histories, soulmates, disciplines, traditions and oneself, based on the conviction that this might be useful, even necessary, for politically aware and engaged artistic research practices that address planetary urgencies. This research-based strand does not focus on knowledge production, but on knowledge development, that is on ongoing, inspirational, encouraging and adventurous modes of thinking together
  • Sharing is emphasized on various dimensions and levels and in a multitude of forms: we share spaces, times, stories, experiences, ideas, objects, food, words, songs, senses, attitudes, sensibilities, our emotions, laughter, tears and silences… In a first instance, sharing is the effort to devote energies to being together and paying attention to relational and affective ecologies. Sharing means learning to both give, take and hold the space for oneself and each other; it means to both voice and listen. To stay tuned to sharing helps to activate, visualize, verbalize and question one’s own thinking and making at any point in the working process: an open process that allows for unexpected encounters, inspirations and deeper insights to emerge.

With the interactive dynamics between these three strands we aim at developing a processual literacy towards the manifold ways, dynamics and contexts of the interrelations between making, thinking, sharing and un-knowing. It also entails unpacking the politics of research practice and the modalities in which it (can) take(s) place.

The Master Fine Art program is an ongoing exercise in activating these infrastructures: what are friendly settings for nature-cultural fields to allow for transformation, in order to give room for modes of con-viviality that resist and break with established hierarchies? How do practical, affective and visionary research activities contribute to living together otherwise? How can our practices and movements and gestures invite and invoke caring for each other, human and more-than-human and invisioned alike?

The programm is taught in English, while also many more languages are spoken among students and staff.

Semester 1

Developing artistic practice and research

You respond to and work with the input, collaborative methodologies and support structures from the Master’s programme.

Artistic writing

You are introduced to a wide range of theoretical discourses.

Semester 2

Developing artistic practice and research

You engage in a wide range of transmedial and collaborative art forms.

Artistic writing and its diverse forms

You focus on the analysis and production of research concepts.

Semester 3

In the third semester, the focus is on curatorial reflection. You look for suitable ways to share, present and disseminate your work.

Research report 1

You develop a critical stance on contemporary artistic debate.

Semester 4

You conclude the programme by exhibiting your own work.

Research report 2

You complete the research report.


Here you can find the biographies of the MAFA lecturers 2022.

  • 2023-2024
    Tiong Ang
    Christina Della Giustina
    Nuraini Juliastuti
    Annette Krauss
    Katia Krupennikovà
    Falke Pisano
    Domeniek Ruyters
    Henk Slagers

    Tutor 2023 - 2024
    Manju Sharma

    2022- 2023
    Tiong Ang
    Christina Della Giustina
    Annette Krauss
    Katia Krupennikovà
    Falke Pisano
    Domeniek Ruyters
    Henk Slagers

  • 2023 - 2024
    Nikos Doulos
    Aline Hernandez
    Maria Hlavajova
    Nancy Jouwe
    Ieneke Kastelein
    Marianna Takou
    Rolando Vazquez
    Friso Wiersum
    Bart Witte

    2022 - 2023
    Clara Amaral
    Katayoon Arian
    Aster Arribas
    Clara Balaguer
    Keerthi Basavarajaiah
    Alexis Blake
    Edwina Brennan
    Staci Bu Shea
    Alice Creischer
    Giulia Damiani
    Marianna Dobkowska
    Nikos Doulos
    Sven Engels
    Kateryna Filyuk
    Iliana Fokianaki
    Nikkie Guzman
    Ola Hassanain
    Femke Herregraven
    Mathias Heyden
    Maria Hlavajova
    Nancy Jouwe
    Nuraini Juliastuti
    Alevtina Kakhidze
    Ieneke Kastelein
    Asia Komarova and Txell Blanco / Travelling Farm Museum
    Masha Krasnova-Shabaeva
    Taylor Lemelle
    Sanne Oorthuizen
    Övül Durmuşoğlu
    Natalia Papaeva
    Ilse van Rijn
    Michael van Rosmalen
    Marianna Takou
    Rolando Vazquez
    Friso Wiersum
    Bart Witte

  • 2023 - 2024
    Gerardo Gomez Tonda
    Minsun Kim
    Julia Petryshena
    Vlada Predelina
    Meshkat Talebi
    Victoria de la Torre
    Karen Vantvelt
    Chun Yao

    2022 - 2023
    Francisco Baquerizo
    Katayoon Barzegar
    Cara Farnan
    Gerardo Gomez Tonda
    Carina Jansen
    Parvaneh Karim
    Minsun Kim
    Angelina Kumar
    Giorgia Lafaso
    Eliisa Loukola
    Ming LoYuen
    Harriet Morley
    Julia Petryshena
    Victoria de la Torre
    Karen Vantvelt
    Chun Yao
    Julie Yu
    Jinxiao Zhou

  • BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht conducts a post-academic Fellowship Program with, at its center, research on reframing and rethinking conditions of the contemporary through politically driven art-making and inquiry.

    For the BAK fellowship Sept-Dec 2020 the student-teacher-led initiative MSP (Mutual Support Platform of the Master Fine Art) was part with MAFA alumni representatives Gerardo Gomez Tonda and Charli Herrington.

    Mijke van der Drift
    Diana McCArty
    David Munoz Alcantara
    Oleksiy Radynski
    Urok Shirhan
    Joy Mariama Smith
    Grant Watson

    Mijke van der Drift
    Mitchell Esajas
    Diana McCArty
    Katia Krupennikova
    David Munoz Alcantara
    Oleksiy Radynski
    Reem Shilleh
    Urok Shirhan
    Joy Mariama Smith
    Grant Watson

  • BAK Utrecht (inclusief Fellowship programma)
    Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons
    Impakt festival
Master of Fine ArtWhat will you make?
Master of Fine Art

What will you make in this course?

Please have a look and experience student examination work at Exposure 2020.
And, on Instagram, scroll though artistic expressions and collaborations that emerge from the Master program

MAFA community

The sustained connection, care and collaboration with its alumni is one of the key feature of this Master program. Together with its entire network, consisting of current students and alumni, the team of the Master Fine Art is developing formats of gathering, exchange and mutual support that go beyond the two years study. The open student-teacher-alumni-led initiative Mutual Support Platform MSP meets regularly to work together on projects that emerge from the necessities of this growing group. These meetings entail sharing artistic practices, exchanging life and work experiences, peer reviewing funding proposals, developing alternative economies, etc.
Recurrently, alumni and/or MSP present and share their experiences and collective work at the HKU-Alumni-Café during the HKU Open Day and other public occasions.

If you studied at the HKU Master Fine Art and wish to reconnect, please write an email to


What are your options when you graduate? There’s a host of possibilities, including:

  • starting or continuing a (collaborative) artistic, curatorial and/or textual research practice
  • working as artist in transdisciplinary research settings
  • continue to further studies, such as PhD, PD etc.
  • becoming a lecturer, teacher, tutor, editor, organizer etc.
  • a combination of (some of) the above
  • etc.

Location: HKU Loods building

The Master Fine Art is situated in HKU De Loods, a unique spacious location in a former storage building.

Master of Fine ArtAgenda
Master of Fine Art

What's on

Master of Fine ArtApplication and admission
Master of Fine Art

Application and admission

To apply to the program you have to complete the following two steps:

1. Apply via Studielink
Please apply for the course via Studielink using your DigiD. We highly reccommend you register plenty in advance, as you may need time to plan and organise visa, housing, equipment and money matters.

2. Upload your admission documents
In order to complete your application, we kindly ask you to upload the following documents: motivation letter, research proposal or study plan, portfolio and curriculum vitae. You can also upload a short introduction video (max. 3 minutes). You will receive instructions on how to upload these documents after registering via Studielink. Please check the information below for guidelines and requirements.

Based on these documents, we will decide whether we would like to invite you for an online interview in order to get to know your practice better. In the interview, you will meet the course leader, a core lecturer and a current student. The interview lasts 20 minutes and takes place over Zoom.

Upload deadlines and important dates

Upload deadlines for your admission documents are:

  • 7 February 2024 - if the admissions committee decides to invite you for an online interview, this interview will take place on either 27 February or 1 March
  • 3 April 2024 - if the admissions committee decides to invite you for an online interview, this interview will take place on either 26 or 29 April
  • 5 June 2024 (for candidates from EU/EEA countries only!) - if the admissions committee decides to invite you for an online interview, this interview will take place end of June (dates to be confirmed).
Admission results will be communicated within 6 weeks after the upload deadline.

If you are admitted to the program, you will be given further information and instructions on how to complete your enrolment.

Assessment criteria

In the selection and formation procedure, we assess whether your research practice opens up a dialogue with the program’s profile, in which not “talent”, “skill” or “artistic signature” prevail, but rather concern, dedication and engagement are key. Furthermore, we pay keen attention to a varied composition of the group and group dynamics, also with regard to practices of resistance, non-conformity, pluri-vocality, solidarity and their geo-political range.

Can you still apply?

You can still apply for the year 2024-2025.

If you are a non-EU/EEA candidate, please apply for the first or second admission round, otherwise there will not be enough time to take care of residence permit matters.

Prior education

You can apply for the Master Fine Art program if you have completed a bachelor's degree or if you have been working as a practitioner at Bachelor level for several years.

Please note: the programme is taught in English. Check the page about our enrolment requirements for ways to demonstrate your language proficiency.

Admission documents

  • We are interested in your reasons for choosing this specific master's programme.
    • Which aspects of the programme are important to you? And why?
    • How do you wish to contribute to the programme?
    • How have you heard about HKU Master Fine Art?
    Please make yourself acquainted with the programme, its lecturers and projects: & &
  • Via your research project or study plan we would like to get an idea of what you wish to dedicate yourself to during the two years and how this can enter in a mutually supportive relation with the program.
    • What are your plans for the coming two years at the master?
    • How do these ideas relate to your previous artistic work, and/or previous study?
    • How do your plans relate to the profile and possibilities of the master, its team and wider eco-system?
    • How does you research project or study plan relate to an environment which emphasizes art as social practice and which encourages not only individual practices, but collective learning and collaboration?
    • How does your proposal contribute to communities?
  • We would like to know what your artistic, cultural, and social interests are and how you present them in a portfolio. Your work can be in any medium, and we encourage applicants to submit a variety of types of work.
    Your portfolio should include approximately 20 images, links and text from your most recent or current work. Please present different projects and works, including possible collaborations. Sketches and works-in-progress are welcome.
    Enter any captions, descriptions, or titles of your work.
    We are looking for personal work that gives us a sense of who you are as a cultural practitioner. Please do not include generic class assignments (i.e. technical exercises, figure/life drawing, still life drawings etc.).
  • Please include a curriculum vitae in your application process.
  • If you wish you can add a brief video introduction that gives a sense of who you are and why you apply. This is optional.

Important for NON-EU/EEA students

Once you have been admitted to a course at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, you may need to arrange your visa and/or permit. It depends on your nationality which documents you will need to arrange to live and study in the Netherlands. The HKU admission office will inform you about what documents are necessary in your case.

Study costs

HKU has different rates for tuition fees. Depending on your situation, you pay either statutory or institutional tuition fees.

Calculate your tuition fee

  • The statutory rate applies only to students from the Netherlands, another country in the European Economic Area (EEA*), Switzerland or Suriname, and students who meet the nationality criteria of the Dutch Student Finance Act (WSF 2000).

    (* EEA countries comprise the European Union, Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein).

  • HKU sets the institutional tuition fees on the basis of the statutory rate. Students who have already completed a course in higher education and students from outside the EEA usually pay a higher rate.
    Partly as a result of legal changes, the rate for institutional tuition fees for non-EEA students may rise considerably in the coming years.

Find out more?

First, read the frequently asked questions. Haven't found your answer yet? Get in contact with the Student Affairs Service Desk. They will help you with questions about (almost) everything that has to do with studying at HKU.