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General information

General profile of the programmes
Structure of the two-year research master's programmes starting in 2015/16
Future prospects
Tutor protocol for Research Masters
Rules for elective courses
Research training individual programme in the third semester
Organisation of the programme
Academic year 2021-2022

The Research Master in Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies includes three different study programmes:

  • Historical Studies
  • Art and Visual Culture
  • Literary Studies

This Research Master’s has a duration of two years, is a continuation of a bachelor's programme in a related discipline, and is taught in English. It offers an advanced programme for highly qualified students interested in the relevant disciplines and train students as scientific researchers in one of these fields. The two-year Research Master’s programme combines disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses together with a trajectory of individual research training under the supervision of a personal tutor. It prepares its students for a PhD trajectory or for positions outside academia which require advanced academic competence.

General profile of the programmes

This Arts and Humanities Research Master’s offers an advanced programme for highly qualified students from the Netherlands and abroad with a bachelor’s degree in relevant disciplines.  It puts emphasis on the theoretical and methodological aspects of the humanities in order to contribute to academic depth, interdisciplinarity and future flexibility that extends beyond a single field. This Research Master’s aims to train students to gain a deep understanding of the complexities of the past and the present of Europe in a changing world. They learn to assess the relevance and impact of Humanities scholarship in terms of societal questions and problems which demand new strategies of interdisciplinary collaboration, co-creation and sharing of knowledge.

To this end, it offers a (unique) combination of three different disciplinary study programmes (Historical Studies, Literary Studies and Art and Visual Culture) and a general programme of interdisciplinary courses, together with a trajectory of individual research training under the supervision of a personal tutor. This Research Master’s provides students opportunities, freedom of choice and supervision in tailoring their individual examination programme. On completion of the programme, they are able to develop a topical research question derived from or embedded in relevant scholarly debates; connect this question to a theoretical and conceptual framework which allows for interdisciplinary, innovative, and original approaches of their topic; identify, collect, and manage  relevant data for their research; analyse and interpret these data with robust methods; and present their findings in a transparent and convincing manner. Students are able to present their research projects, results, and their significance to academic audiences, as they are trained to critically consider the societal relevance and impact of their research projects and present these to and discuss these with various interested parties and audiences.

Future prospects

This two-year Research Master’s programme prepares a multinational group of students for a PhD trajectory as well as for professional positions outside academia which require an advanced academic competence. Alumni of this programme have found positions as researcher in a cultural or scientific organisation, assistant of a senior researcher, teaching staff in institutions for higher education, policy-making official in the fields of culture and science, editor in the field of historical or cultural scholarship, (assistant) curator in a museum, critic, scientific staff member of heritage and conservation institutions or archaeological agencies, scientific staff member of publishing companies and text agencies. This English-taught master equips students to find such positions in the Netherlands as well as abroad.

Tutor protocol for Research Masters

As soon as possible – and ultimately before September 15 – each student must select one research staff member from his/her programme or discipline to serve as tutor. The student and tutor will discuss the student's academic planning and progress on a regular basis. The tutor may also invite the student to become involved in his/her research.

The tutor will advise the student on all the decisions and options he/she is presented with during the learning process. All the electives, and modules, courses and masterclasses offered by national research schools need to be be agreed upon by the tutor. The student’s individual programme needs the explicit approval of the Examination Board, who will ultimately check if the weight of the proposed electives etc. meets the requirements of the Research Master’s.

Although the tutor will guide the student through the entire thesis process, he/she will not automatically become the student's thesis supervisor. If the thesis topic so demands, the student may request that a different instructor serves as supervisor. The thesis supervisor must be a staff member of Radboud University. This does not apply to the second reviewer, who may be employed elsewhere.

The tutor will also advise on internships and funding opportunities to support the student in all possible areas. Further information can be requested from Maaike van Gerven, International Office Arts (internationaloffice@let.ru.nl). Once a student has found an internship position, they must submit this for approval.

Since April 2020, students submit their proposed internship via Osiris Case. The course coordinator (Director of Studies of the Research Master’s) is asked to approve the proposed internship via Osiris Case. In case of approval, the tutor will in most cases be assigned as the RU-internship supervisor. Osiris Case will inform the student about the approval and the assigned supervisor. Attached to that email the student will find the internship contract and further instructions. The process of approval generally takes no more than two weeks. In case no approval can be given, the student will receive a motivated rejection that will help them and their tutor to revise the original proposal and resubmit.

Rules for elective courses

The elective component of the curriculum consists of courses of (research) master programmes (15 EC) and courses offered by national research schools (10 EC). At the start of the academic year, students are required to register with one of the national research schools (via the executive secretary). All optional modules will be chosen in agreement with the tutor. Language courses and transferable skill modules are excluded. The final assignments will have to be accomplished in English.

Courses offered by a non-Research Master's degree programme in the Netherlands must be intensified in workload by students of the Research Master. For this course intensification, students are expected to write a critical report of 1.000 words in English, in which they reflect on the aims and learning outcomes of the course, and its contributions to their Individual Programme in terms of acquired theoretical, conceptual, methodological, or other type of knowledge and skill. The student must discuss this paper with their tutor.

International Research Training

In the second year students widen their horizons of research practice and deepen their disciplinary knowledge abroad by means of a research training (internship) or course programme with a research component. The programme encourages students to take the initial steps of the preparation for this research training in the first semester. In principle, all students are expected to spend a period of four months abroad. For foreign research master students similar training programmes in the Netherlands may be taken into account. Students in Dutch literature may be allowed a training period in the Netherlands, with the emphatic advice to put together a supplementary programme of conferences etc. abroad.

The host institutions must be recognised universities or research institutes abroad, and in specific circumstances, in the Netherlands outside Nijmegen. In all cases, the programme must strengthen the (disciplinary and interdisciplinary) learning process in the student's specialisation and provide an in-depth preparation for the research project of the master thesis.

Scholarly article and research proposal

Both assignments must be written in English. In both cases the tutor acts as a supervisor. The article will be assessed by the tutor and a second reviewer. The aim is to have the article published in a scientific journal. More information about courses/internships and the thesis can be found in this study guide.

Organisation of the programme

Director of Studies: Prof. dr. M Monteiro (m.monteiro@let.ru.nl)
Programme coordinator Historical Studies: Dr. D. Raeymaekers (d.raeymaekers@let.ru.nl)
Programme coordinator Literary Studies: Prof. dr. M. Depourcq (m.depourcq@let.ru.nl)
Programme coordinator Cultural Studies: Prof.dr. H. Grootenboer (h.grootenboer@let.ru.nl)
Study counselor: Kim Oyen, MA (hlcsmaster@let.ru.nl)
Executive secretary: Cecilia Stutvoet (secr.researchmastershlcs@let.ru.nl)

Academic year 2021-2022

In Nijmegen the Academic Year 2020-2021 starts on 31 August 2020.

Students admitted to the research master Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies must be present at the start of the Academic Year.

For an overview of the Academic Year 2021-2022 at Radboud University, Faculty of Arts, https://www.ru.nl/facultyofarts/stip/english/study-information/annual-calendar-arts/

NOTE: Time periods in different universities and faculties are not harmonized. Therefore, if you are planning to take any courses offered by another university or faculty, you should always check the scheduling there.