3 Types of Research within the domain of the arts

Within the domain of the arts, there are three types of research that can be encountered in the research practice, often in a variety of combinations:

  1. Research into the arts: for example art history, musicology, media studies, communication issues, aesthetics and reception-aesthetics.
  2. Research for the benefit of the arts: for example the development of new technologies, or research of forms and materials.
  3. Research in and through the arts, also known as ‘artistic research’: research by artists or designers in and through their own work.


The goal of research skills within a fine art and design programme at the master-level is to teach the student how to go on developing, exploring and innovating. These skills include research of sources, adequate use of sources, communication skills and organising dialogues, debates and exhibitions.

Source: Overleg Beeldende Kunsten (Consultation Committee on Visual Arts).  Master Profile for Fine Art and Design. 2017.