The MaHKU master programmes are primarily geared at the topical debate within the field of art and design and they aim to stimulate students to engage in this debate. This takes different skills than those taught in the bachelor phase (such as knowledge production, contextualization, communication).
MaHKU considers itself an experimental, dynamic testing ground for thought about the role and position of the graduate school as an education and research environment.
This philosophy is borne out in a curriculum in which:
- critical studies are mainly seen as catalyst;
- critical studies and creative practice have a mutually inspiring relationship;
- the role of research / the research attitude stands central (and processes are stressed rather than finished products);
- emphasis is placed on a curricular structure and on seminars;
- yet the tutorial has a significant role to play (MaHKU promotes didactics that use the best of both worlds: academy and university);
- interdisciplinary and transmedial projects have a detour-function: the specific qualities of the chosen discipline/medium become clearer through such detours;
- continuous assessment of the programmes and dissemination of their outcomes take place in the shape of  external activities (publications, symposia etc).

At MaHKU education and research are offered in four distinctive departments:
A. FINE ART (Programme Ma Fine Art)
The Fine Art department offers a programme that highlights the question of the position of the artistic image in current visual culture. Questions regarding mediality and public domain form the starting point of the programme. Research into these two subjects lies at the base of frequent cooperation with the two design departments: Communication Design (for mediality) and Spatial design (for Public Domain).
B. COMMUNICATION DESIGN (Pathways: Ma Des Editorial/ Ma Des Fashion)
The Communication Design department offers programmes for students of Editorial Design and Fashion Design. The programmes consist of two discipline-specific parts (unit1: exploration, and unit 3: elaboration) and two communal parts (unit 2: analysis, and unit 4: presentation). In Unit 2 the department for critical studies offers a discipline-specific theory programme for each of the pathways (concept development)
C. SPATIAL DESIGN (Pathways: MA Interior Design, Ma Public Space Design)
The Spatial Design department offers programmes for students of Interior Design and Public Space design. The programmes consist of a discipline-specific part (unit 3: elaboration) and three communal parts (unit 1: exploration, unit 2: analysis, and unit 4: presentation). In Unit 2 the department for critical studies offers a discipline-specific theory programme for each of the pathways (concept development).
The department of critical studies organizes the theory programme of MaHKU. The department is responsible for the following programme parts:
- unit 1: Modes of Research.  A series of lectures on current themes offered to all departments (Fine Art, Communication Design and Spatial Design) simultaneously
- unit 2: Research development. A discipline-specific theory programme offered to each department / pathway
- unit 3 en unit 4: Research report coaching and monthly research seminars in conjunction with the programme leader.

A. Dean: Henk Slager
- The Dean is ultimately responsible for the overall development and realization (both financially and content-wise) of all MaHKU programmes.
- The Dean is programme leader for Critical Studies.  In consultation with the theory lecturers he develops a policy for both the teaching of critical studies and for the way that the reflexive paper (research essay) is realized.
 - Furthermore the Dean is professor of Artistic Research. In this capacity he develops a contribution to the general research policy of the Utrecht School of the Arts.
B. Programme leaders: Klaas Hoek (Fine Art), vacancy (Spatial Design), Hein Eberson (Communication Design).  
In collaboration with the Dean the programme leader develops the content of the programme. Twice a year a planning session takes place: for units 1 and 2 in May and for units 3 and 4 in November. The arrangements agreed at this meeting (contracts, planning of dates etc.) are carried out by the management. The programme leader makes sure the (guest) lecturers are aware of the philosophy of the programme (induction letter). The programme leader meets with the core tutor to discuss the content of the programme on a regular basis for example in an editorial council with the dean and the critical studies lecturer to discuss the content of common units.
Every month the programme leader meets with the dean for a bilateral meeting.
The programme leader is also the first contact for students. He monitors the progress of their research by means of a.o. assessments and tutorials. Furthermore the programme leader coordinates admissions to the programme.
The programme leaders each have a workstation at their disposal in the studios (Fine Art 104, Fashion Design 104b, Spatial Design 106, Communication Design 107).
C. Core Tutors: Ginette Blom (Public Space Design), Annette Heijnen (Fashion).
Together with the programme leader  the core tutor is responsible for the content of the units that are specific to the pathway. The core tutor monitors the progress of student research. The core tutor is a member of the admissions committee.
D. Lecturers
The lecturers are responsible for the contents of specific parts of the programme. They coordinate this with the programme leaders. Lecturers are asked to report their experiences in an evaluation form.
E. Management Assistant: Jessica de Schipper
The tasks of the management assistant are a.o.:
- Weekly progress meeting with the dean
- Administration of student files, ECTS, diplomas
- General Information and communication with lecturers, students
- Coordination of unit schedules
- Coordination of contracts
- Coordination of EVAL (programme evaluations)
- Coordination of Annual Reports/ general communication with OUVS
- Coordination of introduction week/DARE
- Coordination of open day
- Coordination of admissions
- Coordination of assessments
- Coordination of website

- Bilateral meeting: Monthly meeting of the Dean and the programme leader. In May and November this meeting is primarily devoted to the content of the units.
- Management meeting: Frequency: 3 times a year: Dean, Programme leaders, Management Assistant.
Meeting about the preparations for and logistics of the assessments (November, May, August)
- Coordination: the dates for the management meetings are set during the management meeting in August
- Course committee: 2 times a year
Two lecturers and two students serve on the course committee that meets to evaluate the general realization of the programme. The course committee also offers advice about possible changes and new developments. The committee meets at least twice a year in December and June/August.
- Editorial Board, (Programme leader, Core Tutor, lecturer Critical Studies, Dean):     
The purpose of the editorial board is the attunement between the various parts of the programme.
  • Fine Art: Klaas Hoek, Tiong Ang, Henk Slager  
  • Spatial Design: Wim Marseille, Ginette Blom, Annette Balkema, Henk Slager
  • Communication Design: Hein Eberson, Annette Heinen, Arjen Mulder, Henk Slager   
 Meetings: twice a year at pre-assessments (December) and pdp (march/april)
- Steering group: informal deliberation between members of the Editorial Boards. Minimum of two meetings. Themes: cooperation between fine art, communication, content of the cross-disciplinary studies programme, selection of a theme for the annual Dutch Artistic research event (DARE) etc., exchanges between programmes, organization of the annual research and development meeting.
- Admissions
Applications are primarily assessed by programme leader, the core tutor and the theory lecturer. Applications are assessed at the following moments:
  •    late November  –  meeting of the editorial board 
  •    February - May – following the monthly research meeting  
  •    May – admissions interviews  

The results are reported to the management. 
 - Logistics Ba-Ma flow of students
The programme leaders/ Critical Studies lecturers, in consultation with the core lecturers of the bachelor programmes, set dates in February for a series of introduction meetings for the bachelor students (Editorial, Public Space, Interior, Fashion, Fine Art).  In these meetings bachelor students are informed about the possibility to continue in the master programmes and about the admission procedure
- Student Evaluations in Eval:
As of September 1, 2009 evaluation by students of the units will be done in Eval, HKU’s computer based evaluation system.

  •    Sept.-Oct.: unit 1: Exploration - Presentation
  •    Nov.- Dec.: unit 2: Analysis  - Representation  
  •    Jan. cross-disciplinary studies and supportive studies: collective programme 
  •    Feb.- March: unit 3:`Elaboration  - Communication  
  •    April - May: unit 4: Presentation - Context 
  •    June – August:  individual research 
- ECTS Credit transfer: Initial Review: 23 ECTS
- 1.2   Programme leaders: set up Introduction meetings for bachelor students
- 15.2 Programme leaders: hand in the schedule for unit 4
- 15.2 Cultural Studies lecturers: hand in feedback on the pre-essay (2500 words) 
- 30.3 PdP: moment: feedback. In combination with the editorial board meeting
- Open day
- Steering group meeting/research and development meeting
- Programme leaders meeting
- Admission interviews
- Exam Entry Assessment: 23 ECTS credits transfer
- 15.6. Programme leaders: hand in the schedule for unit 1
- Cultural Studies lecturers: hand in material for the Critical Studies reader
-  20.8. Programme leaders meeting (to confirm the calendar for the coming year)
 - Graduation
-  Course Committee
-  Final Assessment: 23 ECTS Transfer
- Introduction week/DARE
- Management: Annual Reports
- 15.10: Programme leaders: hand in the schedule for unit 2
- 15.10: steering group meeting
- Programme leaders meeting
- 15.11: Cultural Studies lecturers: give feedback on paper for Visual Studies
- Pre-assessments/ meeting of the Editorial Board /first admissions
- Initial Review
- 15.12. Programme leaders: hand in the schedule for unit 3
- 18.12: Feedback Review + theory paper
-  Course Committee meeting
1. The introduction week at the start of September has the following outline:
Tuesday: reception within the pathway, the programme leader and the critical studies lecturer present their own research. Tuesday evening: research screening Spatial Design. Wednesday: research screening Fine Art. Thursday: guided tour by alumnus + research screening communication design. Friday: presentation by students of their research proposals.
2. Detailed unit schedules are communicated to the students in ample time. The programme leader is responsible for the timely communication of any changes to the schedule.
3. Admissions: the admission committee consists of the programme leader / core tutor and a critical studies lecturer.
4. Clear arrangements are made for introduction meetings and for the flow of students from the bachelor department to the master programmes in consultation with the bachelor department. 
5. Programme leaders/Core Tutors have an extended Christmas Holiday and a relatively short summer holiday
6. During January students work on their first draft research essay.

- Modes of Research: Unit 1 is made up of a series of lectures in which the critical studies lecturers (and possibly a number of guest lecturers) discuss current themes.  The unit is concluded with a short essay (500 to 1000 words) in which the students reflect on the meaning of the various theoretical concepts for their research
- Research Development: In Unit 2 a discipline-specific unit is offered for each programme (Fine Art, Spatial Design, Communication Design).
- In January Supportive Studies are offered. The aim of this is to facilitate the writing of the research essay.
- Starting in February the critical studies lecturer offers essay coaching once a month. Besides that a research meeting at which the programme leader is present, also takes place once a month.

The official assessment moments in the programme are the Initial review, the Exam entry Review and the Final exam. Besides these assessment moments there is a so-called PDP-meeting halfway through the programme at which the student reflects on progress and planning. PDP, in this context stands, for Personal Development Plan.
 a. Initial Review: mid December.
Emphasis on Criteria 1 and  2: Organize and Discourse, (with special attention for conditions)
The form is filled out after the pre-assessment by the programme leader/core tutor, the lecturer unit 2 and the lecturer critical studies of the  spatial design, communication and fine art departments.
Pre-assessment: Ten-minute presentation about the research process and reflection on the research report, followed by ten minutes of critical discussion
Taken into account are: the paper for visual studies, Research report draft (1000 words), Unit 1 and Unit 2.During the collective assessment the assessment form is reviewed and finalized. (Programme leader/Core Tutor and Critical Studies lecturer).
At the next assessment, the Exam Entry Review in June, the conditions need to  have been met. If not, the student fails or is advised to take a PgDip.
Self-assessment: before the initial review students fill out a form themselves. This is compared to the actual outcomes in a feedback meeting with the programme leader.
b. PdP-meeting: late March
Interim report. Student presents (in a research meeting) and reflects on his/her work plan, research project and research essay. Feedback document.
c. Exam Entry Review: start of June
A five-minute presentation about the state of the research project and the research essay. Five minutes of critical discussion.
Emphasis on criteria 3 and 4 of the assessment form: Create and Interact, (with special attention for conditions)
No pre-assessment presentation.
The assessment form is filled out by the programme leader/core based on the research meetings in April and May. The results of Unit 3 and Unit 4 are taken into account. If a PgDip seems likely the student is advised about this at this stage.
The panel at the exam entry review consists of the programme leader, the core tutor, critical studies lecturer.
d. Final Assessment: late Augustus.
Ten-minute presentation about the research process and reflection on the research essay, followed by ten minutes critical discussion
Emphasis on criteria 5 and 6: Communicate and Reflect
Three sessions: Fine Art, Communication Design, Spatial Design.
In the final assessment the results of the Exam Entry Review are considered as well.
Panel: Programme leader, Core Tutor, Project Tutor (or external lecturer), Theory Tutor.


- Exam board: Procedure Final Exam. After the exams the panels meet for an hour to discuss the outcome and to award the scores for the six exam criteria.  Subsequently the panels present these outcomes to the Dean.  Minutes of this meeting are made. Within a week from the exam the programme leader and the Cultural Studies lecturer fill out the complete assessment form (that serves as an appendix to the diploma).
- The external examiners attend presentations and deliberations. It is their task to ascertain that regulations are applied in line with the exam protocol.

As of September 1, 2009 evaluation by students of the units is done in Eval, HKU’s computer based evaluation system. Student evaluations take place twice a year in December and June.


As of September 1, 2009 the Graduate School has its own clearly designated space within the building of the Faculty of Visual Art and Design. The workrooms for Editorial Design and Spatial Design remain the same. Fine Art en Fashion has moved to rooms 104 and105. The management has moved to room 102. This space is designated for MaHKU management activities only.
The programme leaders each have a workstation at their disposal in the studios (Fine Art 104, Fashion Design 104b, Spatial Design 106, Communication Design 107).
Here you find the names of the MaHKU management
Jessica de Schipper
Management assistant
Henk Slager