My GUIDE - The gateway to your german university

Link switches to other language version

Back to "Art, Music, Design"

Art, Music, Design

Study Fine Arts in Germany

Explore 165 programmes.

The field of fine arts includes the disciplines painting, ceramics, photography, and restoration, among others. You will learn artistic methods and hands-on skills and develop your own artistic style. The courses of study will teach you basic scientific and practical knowledge. They also require a great deal of personal initiative. Reflection, experimentation, and exploration of your own and other projects will further hone your skills.


64 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master, Diplom, Final Examination, State Examination

German, English

2-10 Semesters

What content can I expect?

The focus of a degree programme in the field of fine arts is on strengthening your practical, hands-on skills. In addition, your studies will teach you about art theory, art history, design, and graphics, among other things. Moreover, your reflection, analysis, discussion, communication, and presentation skills, which are especially useful, e.g., in an exhibition context, will be developed. It is generally the goal of your course of study to help you develop your own artistic style and to prepare you for work as a freelance artist. Achieving this goal will also require you to demonstrate a great deal of personal initiative.

The field of study of fine arts includes the areas:

  • Sculpture, plastic arts
  • Stage design
  • Photography
  • Glass
  • Graphic arts
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
  • Restoration, which requires technical and scientific skills and can thus be classified as a discipline somewhere in between a science and an art
  • Textile art
Explore degree programmes

Are you interested in an in Art, Music, Design? Run a non-binding eligibility check now.

What are the requirements to study fine arts?

Applicants to study fine arts should have plenty of design and creative talent, as this field of study is very practice-oriented. In addition, an existing interest in art history is an advantage.

Typically, to be eligible to study in Germany, you must have achieved the general or subject-specific higher education entrance qualification or an equivalent educational qualification. For the study of fine arts, many higher education institutions also use an internal selection procedure to check the artistic, cinematic or sculptural aptitude of applicants, depending on the course of study. For example, as part of the application process, applicants must send in so-called application portfolios with photos or videos of their own art projects, which are then evaluated by selection committees. This process is also common for applying for Master’s programmes. A prerequisite for the Master’s degree is usually a first degree in the field of art.

What is a standard course of study like?

Bachelor’s degree programmes in the field of fine arts have a standard period of study of six to eight semesters. At most higher education institutions, the first semesters are devoted primarily to learning the theory of art or the respective subject theory of the field of study. One feature that is actually shared by all the degree programmes in this field is a high proportion of practical activities from the beginning of the course. In addition, many degree programmes are characterised by a high degree of flexibility and independence.

Bachelor’s and Master’s theses differ from other fields of study, as they require students to complete a project in addition to their theory-based academic work. In the Master’s programmes, which usually last between two and four semesters, theoretical lectures also alternate with artistic projects in the modules.

There are still programmes in the field of fine arts that lead to a German “Diplom” degree. A Diplom programme usually lasts nine to ten semesters. Here, too, artistic and creative aptitude is examined as part of the application process.

How much does it cost to study fine arts in Germany?

At most public higher education institutions in Germany, studying is tuition-free. However, to cover the administrative costs of the student union and the higher education institution, a so-called semester contribution of 100-400 euros must usually be paid. At many places of study, this already includes the ticket for local public transport. Depending on where you study, this may be valid for the city, the region or even for all of Germany. Ask your higher education institution whether such an offer is currently available.

There are exceptions: at some higher education institutions you may have to pay tuition fees for studying fine arts. Especially at private higher education institutions, where programmes for the fine arts can often be found, you can usually expect to have to pay tuition fees. These fees vary widely from institution to institution and can range from a mid double-digit to a high tripple-digit euro amount per month for Bachelor‘s and Master‘s programmes alike. A Diplom programme is often cheaper.

Even in the case of tuition-free courses of study, expenses for paints or materials may be incurred, which are not always covered by your higher education institution.

In Germany, the cost of rent and living expenses can vary greatly depending on the place of study. In large cities, housing is often scarce and expensive, while in smaller cities it is comparatively affordable. In any case, student halls of residence are usually your cheapest option. As soon as you have decided on where you want to study, you should start looking, as halls of residence can fill up quickly. , you can find information on local halls of residence and the respective application process for most cities.

To finance your studies in Germany, you should also find out about scholarships. There are many different scholarship programmes and excellent grades are not the only deciding factor. You can learn more about scholarships  and find suitable programmes directly on My GUIDE.

What are my job and salary prospects with a degree in fine arts?

Graduates of a fine arts degree programme have a wide range of professional fields open to them. Depending on the chosen degree programme and subject profile, they can work as freelance artists, in art education or in museums and antiquities and monument offices. In addition, many graduates work as stage designers or in the restoration of works of art.

While one can expect a comparatively low starting salary in stage construction in a theatre or in restoration, one can earn somewhat better as a set designer. It must be borne in mind that employment in the arts and creative sector is often freelance, i.e. without a fixed monthly income. Your starting salary varies significantly depending on the specific position.

Explore degree programmes

Check your eligibility to study at German higher education institutions (non-binding)

Run a quick and non-binding check to determine whether your certificates make you eligible to study at German higher education institutions. Depending on which educational certificates you provide, you may qualify for all degree programmes or only for certain subjects or types of higher education institutions. It is possible that you do not currently meet the requirements to be eligible to apply to a German higher education institution. In such a case, you may be able to attend a Studienkolleg. Please note that the eligibility check results apply exclusively to undergraduate programmes and are not legally binding.

Once you have completed the non-binding check, degree programmes that match your eligibility will be marked with a corresponding icon.