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Study programme and professional objectives

Graduation project 'Panacea' | Hannah Polak, Fine Arts 2014, Winner Stroom Encouragement Award

Image: Graduation project 'Panacea' | Hannah Polak, Fine Arts 2014, Winner Stroom Encouragement Award


The Curriculum is described based on three, partly overlapping, competency domains: Artistic technical domain, Theoretical domain and Professional social domain:

Artistic Technical domain

Within the artistic/technical domain, you develop your artistic abilities and the capacity for self- critical reflection. These abilities or competences are the most characteristic and most important considerations for the graduating student in the fine art programme. All aspects of art and design are developed and creates the foundation for future opportunities.

Theoretical domain

The creation of art and design is an intellectual and investigative occupation. Art and design are weighed based on artistic objectives relevant for the (inter-) national conducted standards of the professional practice. That means that theoretical knowledge of the profession is an essential constituent for the competencies of the artist or designer.

Professional social domain

In the professional domain, almost all the competencies or capabilities come into play: capacity for critical reflection, ability for growth and renewal, organisation and communicating competencies, as well as field orientation, and the ability to work in team.

Foundation Year

Competences developed in the foundation year:

During this phase, the student should be able to display the following competencies:

  • Creative competencies: the student is in a position to apply the knowledge and skills acquired into his/her own work, and is able to make the appropriate connection between the provided task and his own artistic ambition.
  • Capacity for critical reflection: the student is able to judge his own work effectively and engage in quality debates surrounding his work.
  • Ability for growth and renewal: the student can implement the newfound knowledge, skills and understandings acquired, on a theoretical and practical level.
  • Organisational competency: the student is competent to effectively organise internal and external factors to benefit his work during tasks and investigative processes.
  • Communication competency: the student has the ability to effectively evaluate and justify his/her work and development, and its position with respect to the current art situation, in both oral and written means.
  • Field orientation: the student is aware of the strong influence of the historical and modern day artists and their social significance, and can be considerate as well as critical of the work of other artists.
  • Teamwork competency: the student has the ability to positively contribute to group projects, excursions and the tutorial climate in class as well as the academy.

The competencies at the foundation level are related to the orientation, selection and referencing phase of the programme and are stimulated by the subjects during the foundation year (see General Overview).

These competencies are stimulated in all practical subjects, by performing tasks in 2- dimensional, 3- dimensional and the lens-connected spectrum of visual arts. The same applies to the capacity for critical reflection and the ability for growth and renewal, since the results of the assignments from instructors or students are evaluated based on form and composition qualities. The outcome of the evaluation results in the issuing of new tasks.

The organisational competencies are activated through learning how to organize formal problems that occur during the process of content and form, and are inseparable from the above mentioned processes of creating and being created, namely: first you create and subsequently, through critical reflection, assignments for new work emerges as well as elicits reviewing of the production process, and the adaptation of the formal aspects.

The theoretical side of organisation comes into play during the subject, field orientation in which the student, through an intensive program is confronted with the professional practice and the associated organizational aspects. In the second semester is a workshop portfolio, so the student can document from that moment his development. Furthermore, there is the participation (talk of participating) in an Inauguration program, and the students keep (whereby a file) in which all the developments are documented and debated.

The inauguration program is an exhibition cycle designed in various rooms in the academy, whereby students in a period of one week have toconstruct a solo or group exhibition and undergo all the aspects associated with the organisational processes namely: send invitations, design layout, organise public debates and documents, as well as prepare for the opening. The communication competencies are developed during the entire process of the inauguration program; students are required to present and explain their own or other students’ work, by writing a report for the subject Art orientation with references associated with the subject General History of Art. Field orientation is achieved through the subject Field orientation, the annual Berlin excursion, other excursions such as the Biannual of Venice and the Documenta.

The subject general history of art widens the parameters of principles and factors that art and culture have formed since the early time until the period of Romanticism. Teamwork competencies are exercised during the foundation year, when the students participate in organised discussions, critically analyse their joint presentations, organise activities for the Open Day, and prepare for the academic expositions during the project week. Moreover, the academic climate saturates the idea that much can be learned from each other's understandings, ideas and problems.

Artistic technical domain

In the foundation year, the general artistic development focuses on the learning of skills that are connected with various aspects of working in 2- and 3-dimensional form, and is achieved in the subject Drawings 1. Drawing, is to exercise observation, by which the hand-eye co-ordination is practiced on the problems of form, measurement, plasticity, toning, colour, lines, composition, material expressions etc. The same applies to the subjects paint and graphics, whereby the watercolour painting, oil painting and graphic techniques are the medium in which the problems are placed. Similarly, this applies to the subject Spatial 1, which among other things comprises modelling, constructing with the use of different materials is trained, the meaning of artefacts in relation to space is discussed, as well as the after-image (is discussed. The subject photography/video moves into the direction of exploring the general formulation of concept development, since the lens is an extension of the eye; it is dealt with as a useful instrument to accumulate personal subjects and themes. The professional ground of film expression is learnt from the camera obscura, via the analogous and the digital camera, to the video camera and digital image adaptation machines.

Concept development
Concept development is understood as the organizing of a step-by-step lapsing process, by which an unique inspiring idea is revealed and gradually conceptualised by means of theoretical and practical means. It all starts with visualising an uninhibited idea, then capturing the idea by making a sketch, followed by designs and models, and finally through means of investigation to find a suitable context in which to enhance your work. With regard to the 2- dimensional factor, this is achieved through the subject Drawings 1 and for the 3-dimensional, through the subject Spatial 2.

The foundation year has no other supporting subjects, other than the film program that can be seen as an adjoining subject to General History of Art. The film program PLAY/TIME shows an overview of the 'classics' of film history on a monthly basis, including an introduction.

Theoretical domain

The General History of Art encompasses the developments in the fine arts and architecture from the early times up until and including the Romanticism era. This can be seen from the works of  'A World History of Art' by Honour and Fleming, and as from various articles. Each semester is concluded with an examination, students receive a written assignment, and a commentary is held at least once a year. Each year during the first semester of the second academic year, the students go on an excursion to Berlin. The excursion is prepared through a series of lessons in which the cultural state of the city is addressed in conjunction with the historical, political, social and geographical factors. The academic cycle is concluded with an examination. The excursion encompasses visits to institutions of classic and modern art, artists’ studios, architecture and theatres. In the subject Art orientation, the emphasis is placed on the relation between artistic ambitions and how it can function in the public domain. This is part of the programme  by visiting the areas where this is activated namely, in studios, in artists’ domains, galleries and museums. Conversations and interviews constitute an important part of the excursions and students are required to document these visits by means of a report.

Professional social domain

The domain, professionalism during the foundation year is encouraged by the subject Field orientation, as described in the previous section as well as through: the participation in the inauguration program, the designing of a trophy, the organizing of the presentations of assessment and progress discussions, and assisting the graduating students to organize their pre-exam and final exam exhibition exhibition. After the assessment of the first semester a week of practical training in a form of internships takes place at an art related institution or situation. Descriptions of the various courses are available in separate files.

Main phase / year 2

Section: Painting

The discipline paint becomes more defined by exploring all the conceivable forms of painting and drawing arts, and the various combinations. The most well known are the gouache, water painting, oil painting and the tempera technique. However, where as the transfer of images for an important part is fixed through colour, we find a wide range of new methods of expression in this domain, such as photography, (film) projections and digital media.

Section: Free Graphics

All conceivable graphic techniques such as etching, litho, wood incision, mezzotint, silkscreen (sieve pressure) and offset, photographic and digital techniques are fixed within this domain. Although working with editions (impressions) is a normal consequence of the various graphic techniques, it is the process of converting an edition (impression) to a unique compilation that becomes an interesting option. Similarly are the production of books, posters and works of art that occur in periodical form, done via traditional or digitalised methods.

Section: Interdisciplinary attitudes

The section interdisciplinary attitudes is characterized by the absence of a discipline, concentration or limitation. Students and instructors unite to enhance the artistic ambitions. Through the gradual awareness of his/her ambition, it becomes evident which discipline or combination of disciplines is the most effective. Social situations deliver interesting material for investigation and productions. Theatrical staging, video-installations and photography is a direct consequence, but also drawings and/or paintings.

Section: 3D

The disciplinary climate of the section 3D sets the tone in the second academic year. In this year classical sculptural problems through means of the so-called 'Large Model' becomes the project theme, as well as implementing research into finding the true meaning of space and 3-dimensions. It is during this phase that the students are confronted with the contemporary views of sculpture and space. Research questions, assignments, presentations, and questions concerning how to situate your work in the (whether or not for) public domain, are considered as guiding factors. Ultimately the result leads to sculptures in the traditional sense of the word, architecture or proposal there of, video-installations and photography.

The central learning point of the second study year stands in the context of continuous production.

Competencies year 2

During this phase, the student should be able to display the following competencies:

  • Creative competency: the student is capable of conception and maintenance of a wide selection of visual creations of research and examining character.
  • Capacity for critical reflection: the student can assess own work and that of others in a qualified and effective manner
  • Ability for growth and renewal: the student is able to use the acquired knowledge, skills and understandings, and criticism of others to benefit his/her personal development and growth
  • Organizational competency: the student is able to create the ideal setting which promotes and enhances the production of his work
  • Communicative competency: the student can validate his work in both oral and visual presentations.
  • Field orientation: The students is capable of going deeper into artistic and social settings surrounding the creation of visual objects and reflect more intensely on the outcome.
  • Teamwork competency: the student is able to cooperate with fellow students and/or external parties, and uses the experiences to benefit the progress of the research and production processes.

These competencies count for all sections. Although the competencies in different discipline domains are activated they do apply to the entire division and are stimulated by the subjects CONTENT/FORM, PROCESS, TRANSFER and THEORY.

Creative competency, the capacity for critical reflection, and ability for growth and renewal is stimulated during the subjects 'content/form' and 'process': since the stream of images is placed under investigation to explore the various aspects of the true meaning of the formation of an image, to discover how to articulate measurement and space, to establish the weaknesses and potential in the context of form and composition, and as a result the consequences of the use of media and disciplines. The theoretical component of the subject 'process' stimulates the search for finding the suitable context, as a factor for growth and renewal. Additionally, the organisational competencies are developed in the subject 'process', whereby the source materials and work plan functions as a source of documentation and inspiration. Communicative competencies and field orientation is emphasised in the subjects 'content/form' and 'process' however, particularly 'transfer' and 'theory' are the subjects where these skills are centralized by means of making exhibitions, practicing in verbal and written communication regarding own work and that of others; especially since these subjects show the historical and contemporary artistic contexts as well as the associated influencing factors.

Teamwork competency is achieved by having students literally work together in a large studio, organising joint (in)external projects and exhibitions in line with the corresponding subject 'transfer'. Together students have to design a schedule with the necessary times and allocated space needed for organising presentations for the assessment and progress discussions.

Artistic technical domain

General artistic development
General artistic development in the second year is distinguished in the four sections within the field of study, at the same time, it is considered to be related to the most important objective of the academic year: the positioning of a stream of images placed in numerous analysing and reflective interventions. In the section paint, various workshops are organised, for example, a tempera workshop, and paintings and drawings are seen in all conceivable mediums. In free graphics, all graphic techniques are practised through various workshops and the production of a thematised portfolio. Interdisciplanary attides regulates an inter-disciplinary climate, and a range of workshops on the grounds of theatre, sound, and various sensory fields are organised.

In 3D, investigation of materials, structure, construction and meaning, and quality and status of space becomes the central focus. Images, sculptures and objects are made from all possible materials, but the ‘Large Model’ sets the tone, by which the entire year is dedicated to the creating of large plaster sculpture. Hereby all stages and aspects of the production process of the ‘classic’ sculpture are undergone.

Concept development
Concept development as defined in the foundation year is a similar application in this study phase and addresses the flow of images with the attention placed on being able to regulate its influence in order to reach the right target. Since concept development is considered an imported matter, it is no surprise that it appears in all the “practical” subjects. However, in the subject 'process' it becomes evident during the functional work situation, so that a deeper and more extensive look at the theme and/or artistic ambition is investigated.

Supporting subjects
Supporting subjects are in the form of various introduction courses that are offered within the academic context:

  • a selection of choice subjects and minors in cooperation with the LeidenUniversity.
  • a selection of faculty activities relating to the Stadium General and' t Heart.
  • a film program.
  • a selection of guest instructors.

Theoretical domain

Although all 'practical' subjects contain theoretical components, including the making op exhibitions, theory finds itself in the subject 'transfer': metaphors, symbolism, style and styling which undeniably coincides with the subject 'content/form', as well as the theoretical component in the subject 'process'. The subject 'theory' remains one of the most important foundations for theoretical knowledge and intellectual skills. Therefore, the program for the entire course is constructed according to: acquiring of knowledge of The History of Art from the Romanticism era until present day, by means of lectures, excursions to exhibitions, and groups discussions on subjects developed and prepared by students. The student compiles a reference book in which inspiring texts and images are administered, writes a report each semester on the subject of fine arts, whereby the student gets to choose his/her own topic. Additionally, each semester a review on his/her work in which motivations, inspirational sources, and relationships with other artists etc. is brought to light.

Professional social domain

Preparation of the profession happens along two lines. Firstly, integrated; for example, during regular consultations professional aspects of the artistic scope is addressed. Similarly, this happens during other lessons in which the relevance is useful, namely in studio situations of the individual students.


The above program has been based on the programs of previous years. Each year new activities are developed with other external partners.

Main phase / year 3

The second year generates a wide variety of questions concerning formalities and subject content. In the third year, these mutually connected questions are further investigated and addressed in all the sections.

Competencies year 3

During this phase, the student should be able to display the following competencies: 

  • Creative competency: the student is able, to bring about coherence in his or her ongoing production of artistic artefacts.
  • Capacity for critical reflection: the student can identify the weaknesses and prospects during the thematic and formal reseach for coherence.
  • Ability for growth and renewal: the student is in a position to continuously deepen his/her artistic ambitions, by means of focusing on the coherence in his/her work
  • Organisational competency: the student can effectively organise the various research processes which optimally promotes the thematic and formal coherence
  • Communicative competency: the student has the ability to effectively explain the coherence in his/her work in both word and visual means.
  • Field orientation: the student focuses on artistic and social settings to an increasing extent and in turn uses this for intensifying the research in the thematic and formal coherence in its work.
  • Teamwork Competency: the student is able to cooperate with fellow students and/or external parties, and uses the experiences to assist in the investigation of thematic and formal coherence.

The creative competency, capacity for critical reflection, and ability for growth and renewal is addressed on a higher level in the subject “content/form” as well as in the practical and theoretical components of the subject 'process'.

Organisational competencies are further developed during the practical components of the subject “process” additionally, the communicative competencies and field orientation is stimulated in the subjects “transfer” and “theory.”

Similar to the described situation in year 2, teamwork competencies in year three is encouraged in the subject “transfer” in which a series of external presentations and exhibitions are presented.

Artistic technical domain

General artistic development
The format described in the second year also applies for the third year, with the exception that all paintings, graphics, sculptural and other disciplines of the field, are addressed through means of further investigation of the coherence within the fine art production. Thestudents’ artistic abilities and ambitions are further disclosed. All practical subjects plays a vital role, including the subject 'theory' since it shows the student’s own view of the situation and gives a wider approach to the connection between inspiring and specifying practical and theoretical contexts.

Concept development
Concept development for the second year is weighted just as heavily for the third year, only now it becomes the central objective of this study phase. Thus, concept development touches on the structuring of all form and content questions that presents itself on the journey to finding coherence in the work (the common relationship), and the disclosure of the authentic artistic ability. Hereby, the subject 'process' plays the most important role.

Supporting subjects
There are special subjects and workshops in line with the profession preparations that are described in the professional/social domain. For further information see year 2.

Theoretical domain

In the third academic year, the student is intensely involved in various philosophic, aesthetic and social idea models.The book 'De donkerer Spiegel' of Frank Vandeveire and a choice of historical-art literature, periodicals and papers are used.The student learns about artistic problems, can identify artistic concepts and principle, and is able to cope with the theoretical problems in his/her own work. Each semester, the student is required to write a review concerning his/her own work, as well as a report. The first concerns the movement of art in the current social development; the latter addresses the question of 'what is art'. A commentary is held at least once a year. At the end of the academic year, the student confirms the topic for his/ her thesis. For further information see year 2

Professional social domain

The activities that have been described for the second year also apply to the third year. Moreover, for the third year’s students, the following projects have been planned

  • The Hague Sculpture section 3D
  • Project Commission Chamber; section painting and free graphics
  • The Hague film theatre; section Interdisciplinary attitudes and 3D (PNT and FRGRPH)
  • Korzo; students of Interdisciplinary attitudes and 3D together with students of the KC
  • Crossing Borders; section painting and free graphics (PNT and FRGRPH)
  • Winter nights festival; section Interdisciplinary attitudes

New projects enter the programme every year.

For all sections, a Documentation Workshop is organized. The workshop deals with the different aspects of how to present your work, and consists of various sessions throughout the year and encompasses the flowing:

  • How to document work in relation to presentations and/or subsidy requests
  • How to compile and present a portfolio
  • Practical exercises for oral presentations,
  • How to effectively improve your writing skills with regard to presentations, subsidy request, assignments, further studies etc.

 Furthermore there are two courses:

  • finances
  • how to conceive a bussinessplan

The students organises sectional, and external groups exhibition. 

Main phase + final semesters

The main objectives for the final year are: the understanding of content and form that has presented itself in the third year is to be mastered during the final year. All aspects of the research process, as well as the process construction in which it occurs are tailored to the unique meeting of content and form. Furthermore, the student learns to control the practical and theoretical aspects of making the work public as well as the financial/administrative side of the artistic field.

Competencies of the end phase

During this phase, the student should be able to display the following competencies:

  • Creative competency: the student has the ability to create authentic works that is a direct result of his/her artistic view, and contributes to the fulfilment of personal ambition to become an artist.
  • Capacity for critical reflection: the student is able to judge, analyse and explain his/her own work and that of other and benefits from the outcome of this by implementing the knowledge into his/her own work
  • Ability for growth and renewal: the student is capable of sustaining his/her own work in both depth and intensity, hereby contributing to the continuous development of fine art
  • Organisational competency: the student can create and maintain his/her own inspiring and functional work situation, and effectively organize all aspects of its research and production processes.
  • Communicative competency: the student is able to effectively present and explain his/her artistic view and work.
  • Field orientation: the student is in a position to identify the relationships between his/her own artistic abilities and that of other artists from the past to present-day; between public and social contexts.
  • Teamwork competency: the student has the ability to offer his/her own independent artistic view to joint product or processes.

The creative competency, capacity for critical reflection, the ability for growth and renewal, and the organisational competency are brought up to the standard of the program: since the student gets the opportunity to entirely organise his/her own investigation in relation to his/her artistic ambition.

Communicative competency and field orientation is highlighted in the subject 'transfer' since the problems associated with the making public of the work, are tackled intensely through thepre-exam exhibition. Similarly, the subject 'theory' plays an important role since the student is required to write a well-researched professional thesis. Additionally, teamwork competencies are brought to a professional level by participating in various collaborations necessary for organising the student’s pre-examination exhibitions.

Artistic technical domain

General artistic development
All painting abilities, graphic, sculptural and others disciplines of the field are set-in, to heighten the understanding of the connection between content on form, and implemented to its extreme specifications. It is a process of refinement of the acquired image idiom, in which all practical subjects contribute. Through the subject 'theory', students are urged to deepen the process of personalising their work, supported by the inspiring and meticulous context, which is discussed in the theory lessons.

Concept development
Concept development, according to the definition mentioned previously, addresses the structuring of all formal and contents issues that arises in the moment when students grasps this concept for the theme, and the form (shape) in which to contain this. The subject 'process' but also “transfer” is extremely important, because of the public domain factor: since unlike in studio situations, the work gains its real meaning and function when it is displayed in public situations.

Supporting subjects
Supporting subjects are not given in the final year, apart from workshops and other activities in view of the profession preparation. For further information, see professional/social domain.

Theoretical domain

The subject 'theory' in the final year is especially aimed at the preparation for the thesis, whereby the students have already determined the topics at the end of the third respectively fourth year. The thesis is a report, which handles the extensive investigation, that relates to the students own work. It should reflect a convincing understanding of the history of art and be placed in the appropriate context of the students work. The thesis is discussed in groups during the first semester and individually during the second semester. The required length should be a minimal of 25 pages typed text, excluding images. Sources and references during each year play an important inventory role, as well as an inspiring and documentation role in relation to the development stages in which the student is placed.

Professional social domain

A greater part of the external activities, which are organised for the second and the third year students, are also available for the four years students. Specifically for the fourth year students of the four sections:

  • Day of the continuation-of-studies in which all representatives of further studies are present. In addition, the possibility of following a Master’s programme in a foreign country is addressed. Should the space permit, students of the third year are welcome to attend.
  • The ‘Day of the Future' consists of; lectures over the local culture administration (Stream), presentations of the Art Fund, lectures of various gallery owners and artists initiatives, presentation of Chamber of Commerce, alumni, whereby ex-students from different academic years share their experiences of during and after the academy period
  • The pre-examination exhibition including publications organised by the students.
  • The portfolio / networking day: art collectives, galleries and curators, present themselves, and evaluate portfolios of students.
  • The final exam exhibition presented as the ‘masterproof’ in all respects, of the future artistic ability. Part-time students that participate in the final exam are allocated studio space within the academy. Remaining part-time students follow the lessons more or les as planned or by means of individual interviews. Guest lessons, workshops and lectures that take place during the day sessions are also accessible to part-time students.

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