Master Fine Art and Design | Scientific Illustration
In this international study programme you will learn to make accurate visualizations of topics from the clinical, medical and biological domain. You will get the skills to use a wide range of traditional and digital visualization techniques.
It is unique in Europe!
- Location Maastricht
- Duration 2 years
- Degree Master of Arts
- Freshmen 8
- Language English
- Student rating 8,9
About the education
One image tells more than a thousand words
It is not surprising that in biomedical sciences traditionally illustrations are created to enable communication between scientist and author, teacher and student, or physician and patient. Art and science come together in scientific illustration.
Best of two top universities
The Master Fine Arts and Design | Scientific Illustration is an international study programme in which you will meet students from European countries and beyond. It is a cooperation between Zuyd University of Applied Science and the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at Maastricht University.
This study programme is in English. The lecturers also speak Dutch and German.
Normally you will study and work at the university for about 20 hours a week. In addition you will have to study at home for about 20 hours a week.
Full-time for the duration of two academic years, or part-time for the duration of four academic years, from September till July.
Scientific Illustration has it's residence at the attic of a beautiful restored former mansion in the city centre of Maastricht. The building is connected to the Academy of Fine Arts and they share their facilities. In addition you will quite often have college or workshops at Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences of Maastricht University.
A small team of dedicated professionals, who all have their own specialism, like scientific and medical illustration, anatomy, software, facial reconstruction etc., will train you. Input from their work experience and their involvement in issues from the professional practice keep the programme up-to-date, educationally justified and closely connected to this professional practice. They all regularly publish imagery, contribute to congresses and take part in the debate about the profession of scientific and medical illustration. External professional experts contribute as guest speakers in lectures, workshops and in the final graduation projects.
Rogier Trompert MA
Scientific and Medical Illustrator
”Anatomy in both men and animal is, in my opinion, the most beautiful art ever made. It is a privilege to be able to study and visualize it.”
Arno Lataster MSc
Senior Anatomist and Biologist
"As a biologist and clinical anatomist I will always oblige myself to emphasize the importance of clear and functional illustrations in science. What better circumstances than to work in this field and to teach and interact with talented students in scientific illustration?”
Greet Mommen MA
Scientific and Medical Illustrator
"When I talk about our profession, people sometimes find it 'cool' what we do. It is different, new, interesting...In my opinion scientific illustration is not only cool but also important! Often we succeed in making non-obvious things accessible for the general public. A medical illustration can even contribute to the improvement of the quality of people’s life..
"Having enjoyed multidisplinary training and experience,I feel privileged to educate prospective medical artists with a holistic view.”
Ilse Wielage MA
Study and Career Counselor
Scientific and Medical Illustrator
"Making clear what the mind finds difficult to catch is one of the main purposes of a scientific illustration. It is also an important aspect of my work as an artist. By ‘visualizing the invisible’ artists are like scientists: both seek a visual interpretation for worlds both visible and invisible. Both attempt to ‘read’ nature in a very similar way.
The tuition fees for this master differ from the usual institutional tuition fees because this is a non-funded study programme. The fees are based on the actual costs.
Education and Examination Regulations
The education and examination regulations provide all the information you will need about the content of the study programme, the academic support provided, and the way in which examinations are organized.
The study programme consists of three themes:
- Surgical intervention in man and animal
Each of the themes consists of three to five components and each component involves one or more assignments, which deal with various aspects of scientific illustration and in which various traditional visualization techniques are practised and applied. The assignments are graded in terms of complexity, leading up to the level required for professional practice. Read more about the study programme (pdf).
Training in technical skills
Your training has a strong emphasis on the application of conventional imaging techniques in conjunction with photography, video and computer techniques for accurate two-dimensional display of three-dimensional structures. Additional training in digital three-dimensional reconstruction and modelling is given in workshops. You acquire a broad theoretical basis as well as practical experience in working with medical techniques such as dissection, processing of microscopic and macroscopic serial sections and working with medical imaging techniques such as Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
Becoming a scientific storyteller
To be able to create a scientifically correct image, you must not only be a good craftsman, but also an outstanding 'storyteller' and communicator. You must be capable of communicating with specialists from different scientific fields, understanding the scientific problem and then be able to convert it into visualization for a specific target audience. Creating images for patient education requires a different approach than creating images for a group of medical specialists. For this reason you will not only be trained in anatomy and medical nomenclature but you’ll also be guided in the field of communication. Furthermore, by means of practical assignments (including illustrating a surgical procedure) you will build up experience in making abstractions and schematisations of the reality to create an image that tells the scientific story in the best possible way.
Final examination and graduation
The programme ends with a final examination, consisting of two components:
- A graduation project in which you write, illustrate and design a publication.
- An oral examination.
In addition, you exhibit your work in a graduation exhibition and you compose a portfolio of your representative artworks you produced during the programme. The publication and the portfolio serve as masterpiece that helps you to find work in a professional practice.
- Previous education: bachelor degree.
- Additional requirements: you will have to display sufficient motivation and talent in drawing. Also a research attitude is required.
As soon as we received your application form via Studielink we will invite you for the admission procedure, which consists of the following steps:
- A preselection based on a home assignment and your digital portfolio.
- A motivation interview and evaluation of your portfolio.
- A practical assignment.
When you pass the preselection (1) we will invite you for the entrance examination that will take place in Maastricht for a full day. During this day you will be tested on your suitability for the programme. You can show samples of your own work in a portfolio and discuss your work with the admission committee (2). The final part is a practical assignment set by the admission committee (3).
How to apply?
If you want to apply you can register on Studielink, the national information system for Dutch universities. Choose the Master Fine Art and Design (CROHO 70095). Scientific Illustration is officially a special track within this master programme. Read more about registration and enrolment.
Deadline for application is the first of May. After registering at Studielink, you will receive an e-mail from Zuyd. In case you are not a citizen of a EU/EER country, your diplomas need to be verified by an institution in the Netherlands called Nuffic.