Structure of the programme

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The ArtScience Interfaculty has an 'open curriculum': within some constraints, the students navigate individually through the teaching modules on offer within the Interfaculty and related departments and institutions.

At the Interfaculty there are four forms of tuition: research projects, labs, individual coaching and courses. With the exception of the first year courses, students can always choose between several options. For more information and the complete schedule, please refer to ArtScience studyguide 2009-2010 that will come out after the summer holidays.


A large number of short, practical and theoretical courses are offered in four periods of three weeks, two for each semester. Each theoretical course consists of nine morning sessions of two hours, three mornings a week over a period of three weeks. Each practical course consists of nine afternoon sessions of three hours, three afternoons a week over a period of three weeks. Some of these short and intensive practical courses focus on specific techniques, skills and practical awareness, such as light, sound, editing, electronics, programming and form studies. Most theoretical courses aim to give theoretical and historical context to the research activities that take place in the Interfaculty. Every year, about one third of these short courses is changed, in order to be able to cover more ground during the four years of the bachelor's programme.

For the first year students there is a separate programme of courses. These four periods of three weeks are the only part of the study in which there is something like a traditional class structure, as it consists of a series of short modules that are followed by all first year students together. Each of these modules focus on a number of medium-independent concepts, basic skills and sensory training that are essential to the ArtScience approach.


Starting in the year 2009-2010, many of the activities at the Interfaculty have been clustered around five studiolabs. In the year 2010-2011 this will be extended to seven labs, that are defined by output media. The labs do not pretend to cover everything in the ArtScience field and there are also no hard boundaries between the labs: they are support structures and groupings of people who are involved in creating similar output. Each of these labs is a combination of a laboratory, a production facility and an ensemble of teachers, students, alumni and guests working there. Each lab is also a platform to offer coaching and space for projects by individual students, and a channel for the accumulation, documentation and dissemination of their research results and artworks. Every couple of years the focus of each studiolab is re-evaluated in order to keep up with developments in the field and with the evolution in our research interests.

Bachelor's students are expected to be a member of one or two of these studiolabs. They can switch labs during their study, but not during the semester. Students should document their own work they do in the lab over the course of the year and write a research report every semester. Each lab has a weekly working session of three hours during which students work on their projects together with the lab coach. In some of the labs these sessions are a form of group coaching, but in other cases (RecPLay and StageLab) these sessions tend to be more like group rehearsals.

Some of the labs are facilities that are also open to lab members outside of the coaching sessions, and all labs are also open to students from other departments within the KABK and KC. Furthermore, each lab initiates group projects that result in presentations outside of the walls of the school. These projects will in some cases be group projects, but in some of the labs these presentations will mostly be group exhibitions of individual works. Each lab also organises excursions and visits to performances, exhibitions and symposia. In time, every lab will publish its results in the form of books, dvd's or other media.

The six labs are:

- RecPlay.

This studiolab is an extension of the RecPLay group that has existed since 2001. It deals with subjects such as audiovisual improvisation, improvised electronic music, real-time visuals and freestyle video, and the practical focus is on developing hardware- and software instruments and developing ensemble playing. The labcoach of RecPlay is Robert Pravda, complemented by Kasper van der Horst.

- StageLab.

The focus of this lab is theatrical performance in which the body, light, sound and projections are used as instruments. Practical work includes body training, work with light and sound on stage and developing performances. The labcoach is Michiel Pijpe.

- Spatial Interaction Lab

This lab deals with composing interactions by way of audiovisual interfaces, interactive spaces, robotics, physical computing, extra senses and interactive architecture. Its practical focus will be on hardware controllers, sensors, actuators and spatial use of sound and light. The labcoach of the Spatial Interaction Lab is Edwin van der Heide.

- Audiovisual Composition Lab

This is a lab dealing with multichannel audiovisual composition, montage and animation. Its practical focus is on HD and multichannel editing and spatial projection setups. The labcoach of the Audiovisual Composition Lab is Kasper van der Horst. 

- Tactile Research Lab

This is a lab dealing with wearables, inflatables and new, active and responsive materials. Its practical focus will be on the skills that are necessary to make physical environments out of light-weight materials. The labcoach of the Tactile Research Lab is Cocky Eek.

- CodeLab

This is a new lab dealing with the development of software for generative composition and generative art. Its practical focus will be on work in software environments such as Max/Msp/Jitter, Processing, OpenFrameworks and LuaAV. The labcoaches of the CodeLab are Marcus Graf and Nenad Popov.

- ARLab

Since a number of years the KABK has been collaborating very actively with the TU Delft in the development of new approaches to the use of Augmented Reality in art and design. Starting 2010, the Interfaculty ArtScience and the masters programme Mediatechnology in Leiden will play a much more active role in this project and will make the lab more available to their students. The practical focus of the ARlab within ArtScience will be on the development of hybrid interactive environments using AR-technology, 3d-modelling and game engines. The labcoach will be Wim van Eck, complemented by a yearly artist in residence.

Research projects

The field covered by the ArtScience programme is very broad and dynamic. In order to avoid freezing our current approach in a fixed curriculum, we chose to cover this territory through an "inkblob-strategy". Every year the ArtScience team chooses a number of topics that are explored in research projects. Some research projects are collective projects with the emphasis on the production of art works and lead to a public presentation, preferably outside the school walls. Other research projects focus less on the final result and more on the process of artistic investigation of the topic in question, producing artworks, prototypes and documentation in the form of papers and audiovisual registrations. 

Self-study, coaching and presentations

We expect our students to start developing their personal niche in the field of the arts and sciences during their studies, and an important part of the education therefore consists of self-study: time to make personal work and to pursue personal research.

From the second year of the study each student has two teachers who coach this personal work, reflect on it together with the student, offer a context for it, suggest literature and other sources of information and often assist in solving practical problems. As the study advances we expect from our students that they start showing their personal work outside of the school walls and start building up a network. Instead of making work specifically for the presentations twice a year, the student in this way evolves towards a situation where the work has been shown and developed outside the school before being shown at the presentations. On the day of the presentations the students present an individual work representative of the research they have been doing in the last half year. All teachers are present at these presentations to discuss and evaluate the work. Also the general progress in the study is evaluated together with the student. 

Individual trajectory and portfolio

Many kinds of individual activity can be part of the individual study trajectory, such as a personal research project, an internship, an international exchange, taking part in a production, attending symposia, initiating a production, organizing a festival or writing a research paper. When approved by the individual coaches such activities can be awarded study points after a presentation about the project in question has been given at the weekly ArtScience colloquium meetings. A written report or another form of documentation of such a project should be included in the portfolio.

Part of the individual study trajectory will consist of courses outside of the ArtScience Interfaculty. Likely choices are the Introductory Courses offered by the KABK (Moving Image, WebDesign, 3d-animation, Sound) and the courses offered at the MediaTechnology master of Leiden University.

Apart from this a very wide spectrum of courses within the Royal Academy, the Royal Conservatoire and Leiden University are available. In the past students have followed courses in amongst others Sonology, Singing, Percussion, Photography, Print Making, Art History, Philosophy, Electronics, Sociology, Bio-informatics, Art and Genomics, and we would like to encourage students to explore the many other possibilities and surprise us. Points for elective courses are awarded on the basis of exams passed, certificates, a written report or another form of documentation that should be included in the portfolio the student is compiling over the course of the study year. 

Before the presentations in June, the teachers look at the portfolio's of all the students and discuss their participations in lessons and extra activities. On the basis of the portfolio and their own experiences they then evaluate the year of the student and confirm the study points for courses followed outside the Interfaculty and for extracurricular activities. 

Credit Points Overview

Credit Points (EC points) are assigned two times a year, at the end of each semester before the presentations. Each credit point represents 28 hours of study and students should earn a total of 60 credit points per year. 

Credit points for participation in courses, labs, research projects, KABK introductory courses, MediaTechnology courses and other KABK and KC courses are assigned on the basis of the evaluations given by the teachers of those courses. The credit points for the individual study trajectory are assigned on the basis of written reports or other forms of project documentation. The student is expected to compile a portfolio containing the documentation of individual projects and documentation of the activities in research projects, labs and other courses. The points for extracurricular activities are assigned during the evaluation of the portfolio at the end of May. Successful presentations of individual work earn eight credit points. Failed presentations must be repeated one or two months later, or at the end of the following semester. 

In order to pass the propaedeutic exam the student should have enough points and should have passed both presentations, all of the first year courses and the Introduction to Electronics. Students who fail to pass their propaedeutic examination within two years are not allowed to continue their studies. 

In the first year, students are required to be a member of two labs and to take part in two research projects. In the second and third year, students should take part in at least three labs or research projects. In the fourth year, students should take part in at least two labs or research projects, while the student should be member of at least one lab. It is always possible to be a member of more labs as part of the individual study trajectory. 

Year 1 (Propaedeutic Year) 

Introduction week and excursion to Ars Electronica - 2 EC 
First Year Courses: Practice - 6 EC
Introduction to Electronics - 1 EC
First Year Courses: Theory - 6 EC
History of Art Theory - 3 EC
two research projects - 14 EC
two labs - 14EC
ArtScience colloquium - 2 EC
Presentation 1: mobile - 4 EC
Presentation 2: Propaedeutic examination - 8 EC 

Year 2 

courses: practice - 6 EC
courses: theory - 6 EC
three research projects/ labs - 21 EC
individual study trajectory - 9 EC
ArtScience colloquium - 2 EC
Presentation 3 - 8 EC
Presentation 4 - 8 EC 

Year 3 

courses: practice - 3 EC
courses: theory - 3 EC
three research projects / labs - 21 EC
individual study trajectory - 15 EC
ArtScience colloquium - 2 EC
Presentation 5 - 8 EC
Presentation 6 - 8 EC 

Year 4 

courses: practice - 3 EC
courses: theory - 3 EC
two research projects / labs - 14 EC
individual study trajectory - 18 EC
ArtScience colloquium - 2 EC
Presentation 7: Final examination project - 20 EC