International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies

Behind the scenes of arts and culture
IBACS student on campus

Is this the programme you're looking for?

You have a passion for arts and culture. You might not be an artist yourself, but you want to know what goes on behind the scenes of the art world. And you want to contribute to its success. The International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies in Rotterdam offers a unique approach to arts and culture. You will study the world of arts and culture from a sociological and economic view, but you will also be familiarised with theories on media, policy, marketing and aesthetics. 

As an IBACS student you’ll learn to answer questions such as: Why does one listen to Dua Lipa, while other loves Beethoven? And how come some have both in their playlist? What do the budget cuts on arts and culture mean for the way the sector is organised? Who decides about the worth of art and how it is presented to the public?

Key Facts & Figures

Type
Bachelor
Degree
BA
Mode of study
Full-time
Instruction language
English
Duration
3 years
Study points (EC)
180
Start date
September
Application Deadline (EEA)
1 May
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The study programme in a nutshell

Alternating a sociological and economic view, you will study how art is produced and how it is presented by parties such as theatres, museums and festivals. Moreover, you want to understand how art is consumed and appreciated by the audience and how new media is impacting this process. With this bachelor you will be able to analyse the mechanisms of the art world in a societal context. 

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Programme in numbers

Student satisfaction Students rate this study programme 4 stars.
140
Number of firstyears The number of students in the first year.
12-18u
Contact time firstyears Number of hours offered per week
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Career opportunities after graduation

As a graduate, you will be able to engage with the artists themselves as well as the economic and commercial players in the field. Furthermore, you have well developed analytical skills and you will be capable of examining issues from different angles. These are skills that employers generally appreciate. Graduates regularly work for museums, festivals, fashion houses, theatre companies, PR agencies, sponsoring agencies, governmental institutions, and media companies.

This could be your future

What do our students think?

Young man with brown hair and white t-shirt

Samuel Jakob

Student International bachelor Arts and Culture Studies

I always wanted to study something connected to the arts, but I never felt talented enough to go to arts academy. This bachelor offered me the opportunity to find my way into the arts world through the theoretical and academic route.
Young man with brown hair and white t-shirt
I always wanted to study something connected to the arts, but I never felt talented enough to go to arts academy. This bachelor offered me the opportunity to find my way into the arts world through the theoretical and academic route.

I found the International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies by coincidence. I was about to start a different bachelor here at Erasmus University Rotterdam, but when I read through the IBACS study schedule I was hooked.

I always wanted to study something connected to the arts, but I never felt talented enough to go to arts academy. This bachelor offered me the opportunity to find my way into the arts world through the theoretical and academic route. Finally, I was about to start studying what I’m really interested in and what I believe to be one of the most meaningful and fascinating fields.

Career perspectives

I put aside the purely practical considerations which had earlier led me to study Business Administration. Sometimes it is questioned whether an Arts and Culture bachelor will land you a good job. However, there are many talented, intelligent, and enthusiastic students in my year, who will certainly be valued on the job market.

As a society we are moving away from seeing success solely measured by economic parameters. If you go into the creative fields because that is where your intrinsic motivation and interest lie and you’re in it with your heart, you’ll inevitably be successful. That is not to say that it is not possible to also just earn good salaries in these areas.

Great fundament

Studying IBACS also inspires you to get into practicing art. You can go with the Dual Degree in Arts and Sciences (RASL), but in the era of the internet you can also just teach yourself.
Lastly, I believe this bachelor to be a great fundament. You can go many different routes after obtaining your bachelor. You can become entrepreneurial, jump right into the job market, do a specialising master, or even try your luck as a practicing artist with broad background knowledge of the world of arts and culture.

Portrait photo of IBACS student

Sabine van Ewijk

Student International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies

Working together with people from different backgrounds has taught me valuable skills that I will certainly use in my future career.
Portrait photo of IBACS student
Working together with people from different backgrounds has taught me valuable skills that I will certainly use in my future career.

Why did you decide to study IBACS?

I have always been interested in making art and looking at art, but never thought about studying anything related to it until I found out about IBACS. I knew I wanted to study in Rotterdam, because of thevibrant cultural scene in the city. I first started out as a RASL Dual Degree student, combining my studies at Erasmus with an arts degree at Willem De Kooning Academy. However, during my second year, I realised that I am more interested in cultural management and policy, and that I wanted to devote my time to IBACS entirely.

What do you find most interesting about IBACS?

The most interesting about IBACS to me is the diversity in both the curriculum and the students. What I really enjoy is looking at the cultural and creative industries from different perspectives. Although I chose my focus to be Culture and Economics in my second year, I enjoyed the courses on sociology, media, policy, and philosophy just as much. Working together with people from different backgrounds has taught me valuable skills that I will certainly use in my future career. I think the study programme is a great basis if you would like to pursue a future in the cultural and creative industries.

What kind of struggles did you encounter and how did you dealt with them?

Personally, I don’t think I have had any study-related struggles. The learning environment at Erasmus is very pleasant, and there is always room to ask questions to your lecturers or tutors. Most students are also curious and eager to learn new things, which is very motivating and a guarantee for an amazing time as an IBACS student at Erasmus!

female student with brown hair in black t-shirt posing for the camera

Ligia Cristea

Student International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies

The students and teachers are very open-minded and friendly and manage to create a safe environment for learning and developing a critical perspective on the world.
female student with brown hair in black t-shirt posing for the camera
The students and teachers are very open-minded and friendly and manage to create a safe environment for learning and developing a critical perspective on the world.

 

The International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies is a very broad course that gives you a general view of all aspects of arts and culture from sociology to economics, art history and even philosophy.

Fun, engaging and open-minded

As a Romanian student, coming from a very rigid, maths and science-based education, I was very positively surprised by the fun, engaging and open-minded manner of teaching at Erasmus University Rotterdam. I particularly enjoy the courses on sociology, which have changed the way I look at the world and the interesting discussions that such courses bring up during tutorials. While the courses are definitely relevant and thought-provoking, they are explained in an easy-going, exciting way, often with examples from popular culture which bring a fresh feeling to any lecture.

Dual Degree in Arts and Sciences

I first applied to do a bachelor in Product Design at Willem de Kooning Academy and later discovered the possibility of doing a dual degree with IBACS. This option seemed a great addition to my art bachelor as way to expand my knowledge in the field and not completely loose the theoretical aspect of my education, while still studying something I cared about. However, after 2 years I have come to consider IBACS as my main bachelor and to strive for a career in the “backstage” of art creation, and not at the core of it, making me realise how important such roles are within the cultural and creative industries.

Safe environment

The students and teachers are very open-minded and friendly and manage to create a safe environment for learning and developing a critical perspective on the world. I love everything about this course and highly recommend it.

Portrait picture of Fozhan Khamsehpour

Fozhan Khamsehpour

Fozhan Khamsehpour - Student International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies

I knew I loved the creative industries and wanted to be involved, either as a creative myself or behind-the-scenes. I felt that this degree would give me a holistic foundation to work from.
Portrait picture of Fozhan Khamsehpour
I knew I loved the creative industries and wanted to be involved, either as a creative myself or behind-the-scenes. I felt that this degree would give me a holistic foundation to work from.

The International Bachelor of Arts & Culture Studies is a great degree to pursue if you are unsure how to navigate through the creative industry. It offers courses from every angle of the art world - history, economic, sociology, philosophy, and more. This is the main reason why I chose this bachelor. As a creative person, I didn't know which path was the right one for me. I knew I loved the creative industries and wanted to be involved, either as a creative myself or behind-the-scenes. I felt that this degree would give me a holistic foundation to work from.

Over the last two years, I can confidently say that what I love about this program (and Erasmus as a whole) is the degree of independence you are granted as a student. This was a struggle and gives you more room to procrastinate. However, once I overcame that, by creating to-do lists and holding myself accountable, I feel as though the skills of proactivity & organization are something, I will take with me for the rest of my life.

Portrait picture Sunny Mkhungo

Sunny Mkhungo

Sunny Mkhungo - Student International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies

The Bachelor makes use of everyday practical examples and unpacks them thoroughly for us to see the versatile nature, not only of the creative industries but of society as a whole.
Portrait picture Sunny Mkhungo
The Bachelor makes use of everyday practical examples and unpacks them thoroughly for us to see the versatile nature, not only of the creative industries but of society as a whole.

I chose the International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies not only because of my great interest in the creative industries but also because of the broad nature of the bachelor and, its career opportunities.

The cultural and creative industries are important in our everyday life. That’s way this bachelor allows you to study in almost any industry at almost any position. Whether it is in government positions, modern art galleries, creative agencies or the fashion industry, the opportunities are endless. IBACS made me feel secure knowing I’d find the right career path regardless.

I’ve always wanted to be involved in some sort of creative process and the International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies has opened my eyes to the endless opportunities they are. From the 'Sociology of Arts and Culture' to 'Economy of the Art Market' and my personal favourite 'Arts, Culture and Media'.

This bachelor is by far one of the most interesting bachelors to study. It makes use of everyday practical examples and unpacks them thoroughly for us to see the versatile nature, not only of the creative industries but of society as a whole.

Eeske Kuipers

Eeske Kuipers - Student International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies

As it is an international course, I learn new perspectives on the world every day. IBACS is an open community where I get to enjoy the experience of studying abroad, while still studying in my home country.”
As it is an international course, I learn new perspectives on the world every day. IBACS is an open community where I get to enjoy the experience of studying abroad, while still studying in my home country.”

When deciding on where to go after high school I looked at which experiences of high school I had enjoyed most. These were my art, art history, and Spanish classes, as well as the trips abroad. Slightly scared to admit it, I knew my future would lie in the art world. Creating, designing, and drawing had always been my passion, so initially I turned to the art academy. I was convinced that studying at a university was not for me. I was very wrong!

Dual Degree in Arts and Science (RASL)

As much as I loved to work with my hands, I was missing more of a challenge in the theoretical aspect. Through researching my options, I learned of the RASL dual degree, where I could combine both the practical and the theoretical aspect of studying art. IBACS turned out to be the perfect solution. As it teaches me about the whole world that exists around the production and the consumption of art. Studying art from the historical, economic and sociological perspective helps me understand the industry and teaches me how to find my own path in it.

An open community

What I enjoy most about IBACS is the great atmosphere between both students, tutors and lecturers. As it is an international course, I learn new perspectives on the world every day. In an open commu­nity where I get to enjoy the experience of studying abroad, while still studying in my home country. Additionally, Rotterdam offers a great amount of cultural activities and I have recognised many of the examples from class within one bike ride through the city.

This vibrant city offers a variety in art, nightlife, culture and sports. Everything you wish for to enjoy your student life to the fullest.

Experience the city here
Your student life starts in the vibrant city of Rotterdam

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