Dutch Golden Age MA

The Dutch Golden Age MA is designed to give students a thorough understanding of the history and culture of the Netherlands in the early modern period, focusing on the Dutch Republic during its 17th-century efflorescence. Jointly offered by UCL, King's College, and the Courtauld Institute, the programme draws on the full range of resources and expertise in London for study of this subject.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

£8,755 (FT) £4,375 (PT)
£17,250 (FT) £8,755 (PT)

Application deadlines

All applicants:
31 July 2015

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. The programme can accommodate beginners as well as advanced speakers of Dutch.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

This interdisciplinary programme combines three fields; history, art history, and Dutch language and literature. It aims to provide a knowledge and understanding of the political, economic, cultural and religious history of the Netherlands in the period ca. 1550–1700.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three or four core modules (75 credits), one optional module (15 credits) and the research dissertation (90 credits).

Core Modules

  • Research Skills Seminar
  • Dutch Language or Literature (appropriate to student's level in Dutch)
  • Either two modules on Dutch History:
  • From Renaissance to Republic: The Netherlands c. 1555–1609
  • Paris and Amsterdam in the 17th Century (King's College)
  • Or one module on the history of Dutch art, e.g.
  • Dutch Genre Painting
  • Making and Meaning in 17th-century Netherlandish Art (Courtauld Institute of Art)
  • Bodies of Knowledge (Courtauld Institute of Art)
  • *In some years The Dutch Golden Age will be offered in place of the two history modules listed above


  • Either From Renaissance to Republic: The Netherlands c. 1555–1609
  • or Paris and Amsterdam in the 17th Century
  • an early modern European history or art history module offered
  • by UCL or another UoL college, e.g.
  • Political Thought in Renaissance Europe
  • Signs, Mind and Society: Early Modern Theories of Language
  • The Body between Art and Science
  • Golden Age Kingship: Theory and Practice
  • Transformation of Jewish Culture in Early Modern Europe
  • Ritual in Early Modern Society (King's College)
  • New Perspectives in Early Modern Religion (King's College)
  • European Expansion: Ethnic Prejudices and Civil Rights (King's College)
  • Tranformations of the Self: Renaissance to Enlightenment (Queen Mary)
  • Material Culture of Domestic Life: European Households 1400–1800 (Royal Holloway)


All students undertake an independent research project based on 16th and/or 17th-century (primary) resources, which culminates in a dissertation up to 15,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is taught on an interdepartmental basis, and takes the form of lectures, small-group seminars and individual tutorials. Through the research skills seminar students will visit various libraries and collections, in particular the Institute for Historical Research, British Library, and Warburg Institute. Assessment is through written coursework essays and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Dutch Golden Age MA


For the most recent information on funding available for 2015/16 entry please see the UCL HIstory website.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Carol Chattaway Scholarship

£2,500 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

Furlong Bursary for MA Study in the Ancient Near East

£7,000 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

Jean Orr Scholarship

£7,000 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website


First destinations of recent graduates of the programme include: East Side Community Heritage: Volunteer, Warburg Institute, University of London: Research Degree Art History and University of Amsterdam: PhD Golden Age in Dutch Art.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Volunteer, East Side Community Heritage
  • Research Degree Art HIstory, Warburg Institute, UCL (2011)
  • PhD Golden Age in Dutch Art, University of Amsterdam


This programme not only provides an outstanding foundation for those hoping to undertake PhD research and pursue an academic career but is also popular with students wishing to go into journalism, the civil service, business, museum and heritage and the education sector. Debates, small group seminars and tutorials help students to acquire strong presentation and negotiation skills for their future career. Likewise the analytical and research skills gained by students on this programme are highly valued by employers from a range of industries. There are many additional activities available, both within the department and the wider UCL community, to help students focus on employability skills whilst they are here, for example departmental careers talks and networing opportunities with history alumni.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL History enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its research and teaching.

The department is strongly committed to the intellectual development of all our students; if you come to UCL, you will receive individual supervision from leading historians.

Students benefit from London's extraordinary resources, including major collections of Dutch and Flemish Art. The British Library, within walking distance of UCL, houses the largest collection of Dutch books anywhere outside the Low Countries.

Student / staff ratios › 37 staff › 95 taught students › 85 research students

Department: History

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme is suitable for students with a first degree in a relevant arts, humanities or social science discipline. Prior knowledge of the Dutch language is not required; depending on their linguistic skills, students will be placed in one of three language/literature courses and trained in the reading of Dutch texts.

Application deadlines

All applicants
31 July 2015

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:
  • why you want to study Dutch Golden Age at graduate level
  • why you want to study Dutch Golden Age at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact Information


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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