Fine Arts

The program is designed to enable graduates to work independently in artistic and designing disciplines. Graduates are to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired in all areas of artistic practice and to be able to bring these to other professional fields and societal domains as important creative potential.


The program is designed to teach reflective and communicative skills as well as decision-making, responsibility to act, and technical know-how.The artistic and intellectual qualifications acquired help graduates to think along interdisciplinary lines, act strategically, and work as a team player. This way, the program teaches the capability to work in art, and to give concrete material and programmatic shape to ideas and concepts.

Educational objectives:

The curriculum focuses on the following in response to complex developments in technology and society, as well as to the idea of what it means to be a contemporary artists:

a) Objectives of arts education

  • Development of discerning capabilities of perception and expression
  • Development of an independent world of artistic ideas and morphology
  • Ability to turn concepts into projects
  • Ability to engage with one's own work in a critical way
  • Understanding artistic and designing work as creative activities in artistic and societal contexts
  • Understanding designing work as a principle intrinsic to all areas of life
  • Knowing and understanding the mechanisms of the art world and the art market
  • Ability to apply artistic and designing techniques and production technologies
  • Problem-solving skills and development of methods in artistic and item-related designing processes
  • Ability to present and document one's own work
  • Ability to convey artistic concerns and interests
  • Social skills

b) Educational objectives in artistic and cultural studies as well as natural sciences

  • Acquiring an overview of the development of art, visual culture, and aesthetic theories
  • Understanding the connections between art, culture, and society
  • Familiarity with various issues and methods of artistic and cultural studies as well as natural sciences
  • Ability to do scientific research independently (writing texts relating to artistic and cultural studies) and adequate presentation of results (up-to-date conversion into appropriate media)
  • Ability to critically reflect upon and discuss one's own and others' works in the context of cultural developments
  • Insights into issues and problems of women's and gender studies
  • Knowledge of fundamentals in respect of material and natural sciences

2) Art and Cultural Studies Field of Study (code no. 607)

Art and Cultural Studies as a field of the Fine Arts program is primarily geared to students who would like to go in for theoretical education in addition to their practical work in the fine arts. The field of study offers students of the Fine Arts program an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the links between theoretical and practical interests in art and science. Against the backdrop of a differentiated range of theoretical and practical information, this field of study conveys insights and sensitization to a societal and communicative field defined by the following five coordinates:

Subject and subject fields    

These form a structure to which the theoretical disciplines in art and cultural studies refer. The generality of these coordinates is meant to show that this field of study does not teach any derivations of other academic disciplines but, from out of their subtexts, develops an independent and practice-oriented way of dealing with societal and cultural issues. Unlike other disciplines of the humanities and social studies at other universities, this field of study centers on interdisciplinary approaches and application-oriented thinking. In contrast to cultural studies programs at other universities in Austria and abroad, the link between theory and practice in art takes absolute priority; after all, these links already exist in the contemporary discussion on art and culture but this development has not been taken into consideration in education and training so far.

Entrance examination

Admission to the Academy requires an entrance examination conducted by a board of examiners. It is held once a year and consists of the following parts:
a) Presentation and survey of candidates' portfolios with samples of visual art. 
b) Art exam in the form of a test as proof of creative talents, completed by an interview.
Both parts of the entrance examination have to be completed successfully for a pass grade.