Develop your practice with a curiousity for materials

  • Master
  • Full-time
Fine Art and Design - MADAM cover.jpg

Fine Art and Design - Design and Material

2 years
Master of Arts
120 ECTS
  • Arts and Culture

To what extent can we know the material world around us? How can artistic making contribute to our understanding of materials? What are effective ways to document and present making processes and their affordances in a bid to contribute to sustainable living and making? These are questions that are core concerns for students and faculty of the MaDAM programme.

Projects with impact

During your master’s, you will be involved with projects that combine working in research, education and industry. Through applied research you come up with innovative solutions for genuine societal issues. Below, you can find some examples of projects our master’s students engage in.

About this programme

Within the MaDAM study programme, your curiosity about specific materials is the vantage point to developing a sustainable artistic practice that contributes to the climatic and social challenges we face. The programme aims to increase your understanding of these materials through practice and theoretical discourse. 

We think of materials as tangible elements of the world we live in that become useful and meaningful through human action. As a student of the programme, you will develop your practice as an artistic maker in direct dialogue with a chosen (set of) material(s) and a learning community consisting of fellow students, (guest) lecturers, and individuals and organisations in the region who have a stake in the use and development of products and narratives around 'materials'. In this community, you explore the affordances of your chosen material(s) and contribute to the making of others. You will not only develop your own practice as a maker but also take on the role of a narrator who is willing and able to share their insights and knowledge in the form of collective 'commons' archiving. 


Hybrid Practice

MaDAM welcomes designers, artists as well as students with a background in a scientific BA that is relevant to the research portfolio submitted with their application. Aspiring MaDAM students are willing and able to commit to the study of material(s) through artistic practice, within a discursive context. That is, a study of materials through interventions in conventional uses and distribution of these materials, and an engagement with relevant theoretical discourses and artistic references. 

Depending on the material focus, such discourses could vary from (and are not necessarily limited to) geography, biology, anthropology, sociology, and philosophy, while artistic references can come from design and fine arts as well as mass media. What is important is that the making itself, the documentation of the making, and the narration of the processes involved are all part of the competencies the MaDAM student develops.


Course overview

As a MaDAM student, you develop your personal interests in a collective setting. Faculty and students form a learning community. Core teachers bring their own research projects into the programme as processes unfolding parallel to those of students.
Throughout the programme, you develop your research project and share this in both collective and individual feedback and discussion sessions. Mapping of materials, tools, and methods is a recurring format in these sessions.  In addition, you learn through engagement with case studies presented to you in field trips in the region, and in theoretical texts.

MaDAM is one of the four study programmes of the MA in Fine Art and Design (MAFAD) at Minerva Art Academy. They share common ground, which provides another opportunity to develop your practice while remaining aware of and potentially benefit from other artistic approaches.

Entry requirements

To be admitted you need in principle:

  • A bachelor's degree/level: preferably in art (visual arts or design) or an equivalent previous education) for example, a university degree or diploma in a related area);
  • Portfolio: documentation characterizing your work well and giving a clear picture of your qualities as an artist;
  • Language requirements for admission to programmes taught in English.
    The English language proficiency must be proved by submitting a test core from IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge. 

    The minimum requirements are:
    International IELTS-test: overall score of at least 6.0 (maximum 2 sub scores of 5.5, average score of at least 6.0)
    International TOEFL-test:
    - Internet-based TOEFL: score of 80
    - Paper-based TOEFL: score of 550
    Cambridge:  FCE level C (169-172)

There are exemptions from submitting a language proficiency test:

  • Prospective students who have obtained a diploma at an English-taught institution within the EER and who can prove that their prior education for which they obtained a diploma was full time English-taught. (A statement, signed and stamped, from the school, confirming that the medium of instruction and examination of the prior education was entirely in English).
  • Prospective students whose prior education was English-taught and who obtained a diploma in the following countries: Australia, Canada (English speaking part), Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States of America.

Admission procedure

  • Step 1 Enroll in Studielink

    To enrol in this master's degree programme, submit an enrolment application through Studielink ( On the enrolment form, under the master's programme, select 'Master of Arts in Fine Art and Design' and then either MADtech, Painting, iRAP or MADAM. You will receive by email a login link and details for the 'Hanze Apply' and details of the documents we require from you.

  • Step 2 Hanze Apply

    Answer the questions and upload the requested documents: Under "Entrance Minerva" you have to upload the portfolio and other requested documents. The application form and additional information can also be found in the Hanze Apply. Under "International students" you have to upload your passport/ID card, diploma, etc. After everything has been filled out and uploaded, click on the "submit application" button.

  • Step 3 Meeting

    After we have received your application form and portfolio, the admissions committee will criticize your application documents and decide whether to invite you for a meeting with them. If you live abroad and cannot come to Groningen for this, we can conduct the interview by Skype.

Admission evaluation

When evaluating your suitability, the admissions committee will assess your theoretical skills and ability to use knowledge to deepen and enrich yourself as an artist. In the interview, you will discuss your work, motivation, bachelor's thesis and the importance of the theoretical component of the programme. The admissions committee is made up of theory experts and art professionals, including a practical lecturer, a theory lecturer, a student and the head of the Frank Mohr Institute.



  • Gebouw Academie Minerva locatie Praediniussingel

    Minerva Art Academy (location Praediniussingel)

  • Gebouw Academie Minerva locatie Zuiderdiep

    Minerva Art Academy (location Zuiderdiep)

Fields of interest

  • Arts and Culture
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