We study the business of art. In many respects, the arts and culture sector can be called dynamic. In this world, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship are key concepts. These characteristics do not only apply to artists, they are also increasingly essential for you, the future arts and culture specialist that engages with art and culture behind the scenes.
The contemporary cultural landscape requires creative professionals with analytical skills and in-depth knowledge of cultural policy, arts education, art markets, audiences, heritage, cultural organizations, creative industries and entrepreneurship in a global perspective.
This international bachelor offers a unique approach to the world of arts and culture. During the course of our three-year programme, you will acquire a thorough understanding of how the cultural sector is organized, and gain insight into the socio-economic and political contexts that allow the arts to flourish.
The first year
The first year of IBACS is the same for all students. You gain a thorough grounding to study the world of art, culture and media. What are the central theoretical concepts with which culture scientists work? What historical, sociological and economic aspects are important for art and culture? And how are they related?
You will be given an introduction into the transmission of art and culture, art and culture policy and the organization of art and cultural institutions. In addition, you will be introduced to scientific research methods and you will follow a course in Academic Writing.
You’ll choose one of the Focus Areas in your second year: Culture and Economics, Culture and Society, or Culture and Media. You’ll follow the related courses and a Research Workshop.
An internship is mandatory in the second year. This is a great opportunity to apply your theoretical knowledge in practice and build on your professional network.
Minor or studying abroad
In the third year, you can choose to do a minor. Within a minor, you take several courses outside of your own field: the perfect opportunity to broaden your horizon. You can also choose to study abroad, at one of our partner universities. For many students, their period abroad is a memorable part of their studies, in which they learn a lot about other cultures and themselves.
In this course you will be provided with a historical and versatile foundation for further studies. Students will acquire a historical overview of the main developments and trends in Western art and culture, and gain insight into how the various disciplines (visual arts, literature, architecture and music) are interrelated.
In this course you will develop your critical thinking skills by analysing the nature and role of information sources. You will learn about the basic principles, conventions and structures of academic reading, writing and presenting in the field of communication and media.
This course is an introduction to sociology, the systematic and critical study of how people live together. Moreover, sociology is a perspective, a way of seeing the general in the particular.
This course familiarizes you with economic theory, both micro- and macro, and introduces you to applications of economic theory to the cultural sector and the creative economy. After the course, you should have a basic knowledge and understanding of economic theory and you should be able to apply the concepts to the (cultural) economy.
This course will introduce you to economic, sociological and historical theory as well as empirical research on government intervention for culture.
This course focuses on the dynamics between arts, culture, and the media, addresses the various agents involved in these practices, and gives insight into how current trends, including globalisation and digitization, may have altered relations in the field.
The course is oriented towards developing the understanding of the production and consumption of culture in contemporary societies. It will look at practical aspects of the organization and financing of cultural industries and discuss how these affect the type of art that is created and the cultural products that reach the audiences.
In this course you will develop and expand your knowledge of the sociological perspective on the arts and culture in the broad sense. You will be able to distinguish three contemporary theoretical approaches in cultural sociology (culture as cognitive structure, culture in action and production of culture) and identify these approaches in recent sociological research.
You will be acquainted with theories and concepts from the field of aesthetics. Following a thematic and historical overview of aesthetic theory you will familiarize yourself with various philosophical perspectives on the question ‘What is art?’.
During this term you can choose an elective course from various elective courses.
This course will introduce you to the principles of art marketing. On the one hand, you will learn which characteristics of potential audience members determine their interest in the arts and how this interest may be increased. On the other hand, you are introduced to marketing strategies employed by cultural organizations and the rationale behind them.
This course introduces you to descriptive statistics aimed at ordering, summarizing and presenting quantitative data. Course activities involve practical assignments that lead to the development of research evaluation skills, statistical data analysis skills, as well as proficiency in the use of SPSS. You will actively participate in discussion groups to practice statistical research skills.
During this term you will choose a course from your focus area. The focus area courses are listed below. If you would like more information about one of the courses, you can fill in the course code in the course guide.
Focus area Culture and Economics:
- Economics of Cultural Heritage (CC3107)
- Economic Geography of Creativity and Urban Development (CC3203)
- History of the Art Market (CC2044)
- Values of Culture (CC2008)
Focus area Culture and Society:
- Theories of the Avant-Gardes (CC2039)
- Globalization, Culture and Place (CC2053)
- Consumption and Identity CC2050)
Focus area Culture and Media:
- Audience Studies: Current Perspectives (CC3124)
- Cultural and Media studies (CC2051)
The aim of the course is to develop your understanding of economics as it applies to the world of the arts and culture. Cultural economics studies economic decision-making by artists, organizations, policymakers and consumers in the cultural sector. The course surveys economic theories about the arts, teaching you how to evaluate the economic aspects of cultural policy and the market for cultural goods and services.
This course focuses on qualitative research methods employed in the social sciences, particularly when studying phenomena in culture, media, and history. Whilst various qualitative research methods are contextualized and students are familiarized with their specific characteristics and uses in scientific research, the course is primarily a hands-on course.
During this term you will choose a Research Workshop. The Research Workshops are listed below. If you would like more information, you can fill in the course code in the course guide.
Focus area Culture and Economics:
- Management of Arts and Culture (CC3073)
Focus area Culture and Society:
- Recognition in the Visual Arts (CC3113)
- Cultural Lifestyles and Participation (CC3072)
Focus area Culture and Media:
- Media, Tourism and Culture (CC3167)
In the second year of IBACS, you're required to do an internship in the field of arts and culture.
Students who choose to not go on exchange take a minor. A minor is a coherent package of courses, which can be taken at Erasmus University Rotterdam or other universities within the Netherlands.
A semester of living and studying abroad at one of our 70+ partner universities worldwide. Exchange is the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself, get out of your comfort zone and take the step towards being a global citizen!
If you decided to study abroad, you will still be on exchange during term 2.
If you decided not to go on Exchange, you will choose two focus area courses and one elective course.
In this course, we will discuss important modernist cultural theories at the intersection of sociology and philosophy. These theories all deal with – and critically reflect on – the ideals of the Enlightenment, particularly the concept of the free, agentic individual and societal progress through science and technology.
The aim of this course is to develop students' understanding of the economics of the cultural industries. The course encourages students to apply economic analysis to an industry of their choice. Like any course in applied economics, this course stimulates students to use theory for developing logically consistent explanations of developments in the cultural industries and for making well-founded predictions.
This course focuses on the practice of Arts Education, with the goal of getting students acquainted with theories and practices of the field of cultural education. This is done by an intensive analysis of the occupation of professionals within cultural institutions.
This will prepare students for their BA thesis. You are guided though the process of formulating an appropriate and relevant research question and structuring and conducting research.
This is a continuation of the Bachelor Graduation Project in term 3. Students complete their Bachelor's programme by writing a Bachelor's Thesis, an individual project. The thesis is a reflection of the knowledge and research skills obtained in the field of Arts and Culture. In addition, the BA thesis is designed to further train students' ability to develop, conduct and report on a theoretically informed, practically relevant, empirical study.