Develop your practice with a curiousity for materials

  • Master
  • Full-time

Materials in Artistic Practices (MAPs)

2 years
Master of Arts
120 ECTS
Start: September

The creative process mostly starts with a curious research question and quite often ends with a materialised conclusion.
But what’s actually happening in between processes? When, why and how are decisions made when going from research into the materialisation of concepts? Does an idea really need materials? Do materials really want to become part of your work? In fact, the most important question is: Do materials really have a voice in artistic practices? Our focus lies on materials as the protagonists of your stories.

We would like to unveil the treasures and challenges of the ever changing Northern landscape, focusing on materials as a starting point for a journey into your artistic practice both in Art and Design contexts.

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

MAPs adopts a holistic approach that goes beyond the surface of materials. We believe in exploring tangible, aesthetic, and practical properties of materials, while also considering their historical, cultural, political and ecological entanglements. Through practical exploration and engaging with relevant discourses and theory you will gain ecological sensitivity and a deeper understanding of a variety of past, present and future materials.  

We believe in a shared knowledge approach where unique experiences, backgrounds and artistic practices will together create an experimental, open, and collaborative learning environment. You will work with guest lecturers, artists, and experts from a variety of fields, which will broaden your understanding of the possibilities of materials and their implementation in your artistic practice. 


Material research

MAPs is closely connected to the local landscape, culture, and crafts in the North of the Netherlands; a hands-on environment to experiment with local materials, traditions, crafts and knowledge. In addition to exploring local perspectives, it also involves research into the impact of global processes and trends concerning materials and connected traditions, crafts, and knowledge.   

The active research focus on local materials in relation to global impact will expand your understanding of circular, future-proof materials within your own art and design practice. You are challenged, for example, to set up a hybrid artistic practice in a local community, develop circular materials or engage in mapping material sources and possible new connections with sustainable production chains.


Material archiving

Together with fellow students and other stakeholders you will also contribute to a dynamic archive of materials, both physical as well as digital. The dynamic archive is designed to be an active, evolving resource, that will be continually updated, and improved. The digital archive will give insight into making processes, collaborations, material developments and experiments.  

Application deadlines

For EU & non-EU applicants:
Round 1: Upload documents before 4 February 2024
Round 2: Upload documents before 1 April 2024

Only for EU applicants
Round 3: Upload documents before 16 June 2024  

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 characterising 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 MAPs. 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 Microsoft Teams.

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.

Fields of interest

  • Arts and Culture
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