Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Musicology and Theatre Studies

Ghent University’s Art History programme has a concept that is unique in Flanders. A broad basic education covers all the art disciplines, and gradually deepens depending on your choice of one specific discipline: Visual Arts, Performing Arts or Musicology.

Bachelor's Programme
3 year 180 credits
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
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About the programme
Programme summary
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Postgraduate studies


The most outstanding feature of Ghent University’s Art History programme, you ask? Without a doubt that is the programme’s broad, general education in Art Studies, combined with the possibility of specialisation in a specific artistic discipline, but without losing touch with the other disciplines.
Specialisation starts in the second year by choosing one of three majors:

  •  Visual Arts

The Visual Arts major offers an in-depth specialisation in the study of the plastic arts. It encompasses visual arts from all periods up to the present day, and highlights various visual forms, such as painting and sculpture, drawing, graphics, photography, film, fashion, design, or historical interior. The interaction between architecture and the visual arts is an important focal point, too.

  • Performing Arts

In this major you study the performing arts in their broadest sense: text theatre, performance, music theatre, dance and even new forms of circus and puppetry. This rich field of study focuses on the dramatic text as well as the performance, often in relation to the new media.

  • Musicology

The Musicology major provides you with the broadest possible musicology-related knowledge and skills. Its focus is twofold: on the one hand, you will be introduced to the history and current trends of European music. On the other hand, you will get to know systematic musicology, experimental research on the effects of music on humans. At the Institute for Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music (IPEM), one of the world leaders in the field, you will learn to work with state-of-the-arts technologies and equipment.

For whom

You do not need prompting to visit museums and attend exhibitions, concerts, theatre and dance performances, and you are fascinated by architecture and monuments. You have an artistic sensitivity, and you are interested in art and culture in its many forms. Moreover, a critical and inquisitive mindset are second nature to you. If the answer to all these questions is a resounding 'yes’, the Art History programme is the right choice for you! You will learn how to ‘see, hear and feel’ how art works. In the light of the above, prior education plays second fiddle. If you opt for the Musicology major, however, a basic knowledge of solfège will come in handy. Not unimportant either is an aptitude for and interest in foreign languages: a passive knowledge of English, French and German will give you a head start going through the specialist literature. Prior knowledge of Latin and/or Greek is not a must, but can be an asset.

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The first year offers a broad introduction to the Humanities. Together with students from other study programmes, you will take on a number of general introductory course units in philosophy, literature, archaeology, historical criticism, and anthropology. In addition, you will receive a historical and theoretical introduction to the different artistic disciplines, i.e. Visual Arts, Architecture, Performing Arts, and Musicology. The essential historical basic knowledge is further explored in the cross-disciplinary course units. Basic research skills are taught as well. Specialisation starts in the second year by choosing one of three majors: Visual Arts, Musicology, or Performing Arts. The second-year curriculum also offers a choice of minors, containing coherent sets of course units from another, complementary discipline. The third year focuses on further specialisation in your choice of major, and on putting previously acquired knowledge into practice. Also part of the third year, is the Bachelor’s dissertation: a test in independent, critical thought. The Bachelor’s dissertation is at once your graduation project and preparation for the Master’s programme.


During the Master’s programme you acquire the expertise needed to take on research-oriented or policy advisor positions. For that purpose, the education activities in the Master’s curriculum are based on topical academic research. You can choose specific tutorials and in-depth research seminars; we organise symposiums and study days (with or without the collaboration of third-party specialists); we set up collaborations with museums and academic institutions, and classes are interactive. By means of the Master's dissertation, you prove that you are able to formulate problem statements independently, and to deliver research results that are at once well-considered and critical.  
In addition to the (domain) Master’s programme described above, you can also choose a Master’s Programme in Teaching (in Dutch: Educatieve Master (120 sp)).

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Labour Market

Our study programme offers a wide range of career opportunities depending on the chosen major (specialisation), and our graduates enter a rich and diversified labour market. You are eligible for positions in the broad artistic and cultural field: at museums, concert and theatre houses, libraries, archives associated with art history, archaeology or music studies institutions, in the preservation of monuments and historic buildings sector, heritage institutions and centres of expertise on cultural heritage, cultural dissemination.