Cultural Studies, M.A.

Cultural Studies, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 12 months
The Master in Cultural Studies at KU Leuven 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 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


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 Cultural Studies programme is offered at KU Leuven.

Programme Structure

Courses include:
  • Online Publishing
  • Photography and Visual Culture
  • Film and Literature
  • Theatre, Theory and Culture
  • Optional in stage 
  • Contemporary Dance and Dance Studies
  • Cultural Studies: Capita Selecta


            • 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

            Detailed Programme Facts

            • Programme intensity Full-time
              • Full-time duration 12 months
            • Credits
              60 ECTS
            • Languages
              • English
            • Delivery mode
              On Campus

            English Language Requirements

            You need the following IELTS score:

            • Minimum required score:


              The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

              Schedule IELTS

            Academic Requirements

            • BA in one of the following fields: arts, literature, history
            • a complete list of courses including their respective size (in ECTS credits) for which the applicant has obtained credit
            • a list of study results obtained for each of the above courses, preferably according to the ECTS scale. If a different scale is used, a brief explanation of the local 
            • for the undergraduate courses that the applicant considers most relevant to the Master of Arts in Cultural Studies, a brief course description (one half to a full page) according to the standard guidelines for an ECTS study guide
            • proof of proficiency to CEFR level C1 in English, viz. an IELTS score of at least 7,5. 

                Tuition Fee

                • International Applies to you

                  3500 EUR/year
                  Tuition Fee
                  Based on the original amount of 3500 EUR per year and a duration of 12 months.
                • EU/EEA Applies to you

                  906 EUR/year
                  Tuition Fee
                  Based on the original amount of 906 EUR per year and a duration of 12 months.
                We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

                Living costs for Leuven

                • 810 - 1280 EUR/month
                  Living Costs

                The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


                StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

                The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

                Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

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