The use of the lens, as a core organisational category for research and creation in contemporary lens-based digital media, allows students’ enquiries to be placed within a long tradition that spans centuries: from lens-based technologies used by painters from the 15th century onwards, through the development of early photography and film, up to contemporary developments in analogue and digital imaging technologies.


Through Thematic Seminars, Toolbox sessions, Reading Writing and Research Methodologies seminars and Self-directed Research, we encourage students to explore new forms of analysis and creative practice that treat images as plastic—open to recombination, manipulation and shaping.

Thematic Seminars are taught by visiting experts as well as core tutors. For a list of guest tutors teaching Thematic Seminars please visit our Staff and Tutors page.

Our core study path allows students to follow a trajectory of thematic seminars that address a range of topics including:

  • Creating the portrait
  • Principles of photobook design
  • Researching through active listening
  • Making an analogue film (abstraction and film)
  • Storytelling through image editing
  • The ethics of documentary practice
  • Principles of virtual reality and VR storytelling  

Beginning in September 2023 the Lens-Based Media program will introduce three new thematic seminars exploring Narrative Design:

  • Psychological and Anthropological Origins of Narrative
  • Tools for Storytelling
  • Narrative Shapes and Positions

The Narrative Design thematic seminars respond to the needs of students who want to engage more deeply with the narrative potential of the media they have chosen to work with. For more info on the Narrative Design study path visit:

Weekly Toolbox Sessions explore the technologies and grammars of photography and cinema.

Weekly Reading Writing and Research Methodologies seminars will equip students with the skills required to reflect upon and write about their own practice, as well as the work of others. For more info check out our Method’s wiki page:


In the second year of the program students dedicate their time to writing a Master’s thesis, and the creation of a significant lens-based work or series of works. Throughout the year students receive intensive individual tutorial support, and take part in a series of seminars that address the principles and practice of staging moving image installations within gallery and museum contexts.

Master degree offered

The Master Lens-Based Media is a two year full-time program fully accredited and reviewed by the NVAO (Nederlands-Vlaams Accreditatie Organisatie), the standard academic accreditation council for the Netherlands and the Flemish part of Belgium, and fully subsidised by the Dutch state. The Master degree we offer is a “Master of Arts in Fine Art and Design: Lens-Based Media”.