University types: Art, film and music academies
Creative spirits also have an array of options for getting a degree in Germany. They may face some tough competition, though, because spots are limited, and students have to prove their talents before enrolling.
Art and music academies prepare gifted students for the creative professions. But there’s no job guarantee, and students have to prove their talents before even starting their studies.
Applicants at art academies must submit a portfolio with their work and may then be invited to complete a qualifying test. However, they aren’t necessarily required to complete the highest German high school degree, called the Abitur, or its foreign equivalent. Each art academy offers information on what tests and credentials students must show before enrolling.
A chance to specialize
The core degrees at art academies are painting, design, graphic design, sculpture and teaching visual art. Depending on the university, degrees in architecture, stage design, ceramics, glass painting, restoration or media art may also be on offer. Some art academies also have a more specific focus. For example, the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig became the first German university to offer a degree in photography in 1983 and also serves as a gateway to the publishing industry, which has a strong base in Leipzig. There’s also Burg Giebichenstein, the University of Art and Design located in Halle, where the focus is on industrial and interior design.
Playing the lead Music academies generally offer degrees in instrumental performance, singing, composition and conducting, and some also have programs in specialty areas like church music, jazz, musical theater or dance. Future teachers can also get pedagogical degrees at music academies. Qualifying exams help music academies gauge prospective students’ talent by testing their aural skills or instrumental and singing abilities. To earn a teaching degree, an Abitur or its equivalent is the first prerequisite; otherwise, the qualifying exams determine who gets admitted.
Image, tone and text
Universities emphasizing modern media are the place to head for future directors, camera operators, screenwriters and film and television producers. The Universities of Television and Film in Munich and in Potsdam-Babelsberg have long been training students for careers in everything relating to the big and small screens. The Academy of Media Arts Cologne is more than just the only university specializing in all forms of audio-visual media – the academy has also made a name for itself internationally as a center for new media. Media schools select their students based on practical and oral qualifying exams, but since their degrees appeal to many students, the spots are limited.
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