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Art, Music, Design

Study Performing Arts in Germany

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Whether on or off the stage, working in the performing arts is about inspiring people. In a performing arts degree programme, you will learn how to develop and implement your own ideas and projects as well as how to perfect your practical talent. Depending on which specialisation you choose, you may receive training in improvisation, artistic analysis, or the functions and qualities of the body and voice.


43 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master, Diplom, Final Examination

German, English

2-9 Semesters

What content can I expect?

This field of study deals with the performing arts, including theatre, musical theatre, acting, performance, dance, and other hybrid art forms. In addition to receiving practical, performance-oriented training, you will also deal with the theory, technology, aesthetics, and history related to your specific art form. The art form will thus also be examined in a historical and social context.
The following areas of specialisation belong to the field of performing arts:

  • Dramaturgy
  • Television, radio
  • Film
  • Musical theatre
  • Direction
  • Acting
  • Dance
  • Theatre studies

Creativity and self-confidence are particularly important for successful studies in the performing arts. You should also have the ability to improvise and bring enthusiasm to everything you do.

Bachelor’s programmes usually last six to eight semesters, and Master’s programmes two to four semesters. Some higher education institutions also offer courses of study leading to a German Diplom which usually takes eight or nine semesters. In most degree programmes, you can expect numerous practical units such as excursions, internships and projects. For example, in addition to the written final papers, there may also be final projects such as film productions or performances.

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

What are the requirements to study performing arts in Germany?

In most cases, you need a general or subject-specific higher education entrance qualification, a higher education entrance qualification for studying at universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulreife) or a comparable qualification. Most degree programmes also have additional admission restrictions, paying special attention to your artistic talents and abilities. This also means that an exceptional artistic talent or ability can, in rare cases, be accepted as a substitute for a formal entrance qualification. So if you don’t have a higher education entrance qualification but are simply made for this field of study, you can still apply and try your luck!

The specific admission restrictions can look very different depending on the degree programme and higher education institution. For example, you might need to pass one of the following aptitude tests and selection procedures:

  • Submission of your own work, e.g. videos lasting several minutes or a collection of different clips, samples of work from design projects or a creative portfolio
  • Selection interviews in which, for example, perceptual tasks are set or choreographic works are to be presented by you.
  • Curriculum vitae and/or letter of motivation
  • Proof of practical work in theatre or theatre education, previous internships
  • English language skills
  • Numerus Clausus (NC), a minimum grade point average; however, this most often applies only to Master’s programmes

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

Many different factors must be taken into account when planning the budget for your studies. However, it’s difficult to generalise them due to the differences between degree programmes, higher education institutions and cities in Germany. You should consider the following major cost items:

There are no tuition fees for most degree programmes at public higher education institutions. However, since the performing arts are a special field of study, there are exceptions and some degree programmes even at state institutions may be subject to tuition fees. Private higher education institutions or academies generally charge tuition fees for all their courses of study.

At a state higher education institution, you will usually have to pay semester contributions. Depending on the institution, these contributions range between 100 and 400 euros per semester. Sometimes your semester contribution covers a ticket for local public transport or you can purchase a discounted ticket. 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. Also, note that excursions or certain projects during your studies may incur extra costs.

Another big cost item will probably be the rent, which can be higher than you might expect depending on the location. That’s why student halls of residence or shared flats are often a popular type of accommodation among students. These accommodations often cost (far) below the average local rent and are therefore good ways to save money! As soon as you have decided on where you want to study, you should start looking, as halls of residence can fill up quickly. Here, you can find information on local halls of residence and the respective application process for most cities.

You should also take a closer look at the cost of living when reviewing your finances. Living costs also include expenses for food and clothing, for example, as well as telephone and internet bills and health insurance. How much you need to cover your cost of living can be very individual. If you want to get a better sense of how much money you need to live on, you can, for example, monitor your expenses over a month and write them down.

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 here and find suitable programmes directly on My GUIDE.

What career options do I have as a graduate in the performing arts?

After completing your degree, and depending on your specialisation, you can find work in different fields:

  • theatres (on and/or behind the stage), e.g. the state or municipal theatres
  • cultural institutions, e.g. in culture, talent and event management functions, in exhibition and concert management or at festivals
  • production companies, e.g. in film productions and independent production houses
  • broadcasting companies or journalism, e.g. in radio or TV editorial departments
  • public relations

Since many job opportunities are artistically rather than commercially oriented, they usually do not pay as well as other jobs. Nevertheless, many employers follow public pay scales, which means that salaries are usually stable. As a freelance artist, however, you may have to deal with more irregular salary payments.

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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.