Anyone who is creative, has a head full of ideas, is able to express their artistic skills with different materials or is simply interested in the effects of art will find a wide range of opportunities in this field of study.

The field of study at a glance

The fine arts, art science or history and art education form the three pillars of this field of study.

  • The fine arts are divided into two main areas: fine and applied arts. Fine art includes painting, graphics, sculpture or photography, including all three-dimensional works such as objects and installations. The field of applied art includes gold and silversmithing, ceramics, textile art and stage design, although there is numerous overlap with the field of graphic design, media art, textile design, product design, etc. The transition to the liberal arts is also sometimes fluid.
  • Art history and science essentially deals with the historical development of the fine arts from antiquity to the present. It includes works from the fields of architecture, sculpture, painting, graphics, ornamentation and applied arts, including technical visual media. It deals with the representational content of works of art and their temporal and spatial classification as well as the interpretation of works of art according to historical, aesthetic, stylistic, sociological, economic and psychological aspects.
  • At the center of art education is the teaching of art and the aesthetic phenomena of everyday life in our society. To this end, the program combines art studies with design practice and specialized didactic training, whereby the development of specialized theory and the student's own artistic work are always related to each other.

Course offered

Undergraduate studies are possible at art colleges, universities, teacher training colleges and some technical colleges. Undergraduate and advanced study subjects in the fields of fine arts, art history, art education and art science are offered - partly in the form of combined bachelor's degree programs (e.g. art education), partly in diploma courses. The study programs are, for example, fine art, illustration, painting/graphics, visual and art history, European art history and fine art.

Contents of the course

The undergraduate subject of fine arts imparts basic scientific and practical knowledge in art, art history, art theory as well as design using visual, plastic or digital methods. Possible modules are for example sculpture, painting, drawing, graphics, design, photography, printing techniques, video.

In art history, the focus is on basic scientific and practical knowledge of architecture, sculpture and visual works of art from different eras. Possible modules include, for example, fine art and architecture, modern art history, medieval art history, and Christian archaeology.

Scientific and practical basic knowledge, e.g. about pedagogy and didactics, art history and art education, play a role in art education. Possible modules include, for example, artistic action and interaction, designed environment, explorations and experiments on color, form and material, artistic work with modern media, art pedagogical work with people with health or social disadvantages.

Admission criteria & application for study

In order to be admitted to study art, interested parties must, in addition to the university entrance qualification/technical college entrance qualification, submit artistic and design work samples and demonstrate special artistic ability/aptitude related to the course of study as part of selection or aptitude test procedures. The criteria for selection are a portfolio with original artistic work, exams and usually a selection interview.

Studying without a university entrance qualification is also possible if you have outstanding artistic talent. However, this does not apply to courses that end with the first state examination for a teaching profession.

Prospective art educators may also have to provide proof of foreign language skills.

Career opportunities after graduation

Fine arts graduates can work in the areas of sculpture, painting or artistic drawing. They often work freelance.

Studying art history leads to the following fields of activity: exhibition management, planning, art, cultural management or sales, sales (art, antiques trade). Art historians are primarily employed in museums, galleries, in the art/antique trade, in research and teaching, and in scientific institutions.

Art educators work in adult education, art education or media and cultural education.