Photography Studies and Practice (Master of Arts)

Basic info & Application

  • Faculty: 4
  • Degree: Master of Arts (M.A.)
  • Standard period of study: 4 semesters (part-time study is possible)
  • Workload: 120 ECTS Credits
  • Language of instruction: German
  • Provider: Folkwang University of the Arts
  • Programme start: Each winter semester in October

Admission requirements

_A first university degree in the field of photography or in a comparable/related subject (official database on the equivalence of international educational achievements:

_Evidence of artistic aptitude by passing the aptitude test at the Folkwang University of the Arts.

Language requirements

_If you did not obtain your university entrance qualification at a German school, language level C1 is to be proven at the time of enrolment.


_The required levels of language skills at Folkwang University of the Arts are in accordance to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).


_No application fee is charged for your application for M.A. Photography Studies and Practice


_No tuition fees are charged at Folkwang.


_Each semester all students have to pay a social contribution for the services of the Student Union, a student contribution for the work of the AStA (General Student Committee) and the VRR/NRW ticket. A breakdown of the amounts plus information on how to pay is available here.


Folkwang actively supports the call of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to train people with disabilities as artists and therefore particularly welcomes applications for the guest student programme, regular study courses and requests for inclusive cooperation projects. Prospective students should make use of the possibility of a counselling meeting with the  Representative for students with disability or chronic illness in advance.

Application documents

Applications must be submitted via the Folkwang Application Portal by the end of the application period on 15 March (for the following winter semester). The portal is open for applications from 15 January to 15 March.

For the application you have to upload the following in the portal:


_Curriculum Vitae in tabular form (desired)

_Passport photograph (optional)

_School-leaving certificate from the last school attended

_If applicable, degree certificate, transcript of records and/or certificate of enrolment from the university(ies) attended to date

_If applicable, certificate of foreign university entrance examination such as APS certificate / American College Test (ACT) / College Scholastic Ability Test / University Entrance Examination Center Test or other international educational achievements that constitute a university entrance qualification for Germany such as completed periods of studies; country-specific information:




In addition, your portfolio must be received by the university by the end of the application period! The following documents must be submitted:



_A meaningful application portfolio that gives an overview of the artistic/photographic development based on the studies or other projects.


The size of the prints is freely selectable, but should not be larger than DIN A3. The portfolio can be supplemented with publication, book drafts or drawing/design work.


For time-based works such as videos and films, a download link must be included in the portfolio. For work samples that exceed a length of 2 minutes, a favoured excerpt of 2 minutes must be named to the commission. (Example: start at 00:30 | stop at 02:30 min). File formats are Quicktime (.mov) or Mpeg4.


The portfolio must demonstrate a qualified study and subject-specific interest. The submitted works should have a quality creative or artistic power of presentation and expression. The ability to critically and analytically reflect on one's own work should be evident. The portfolio should show the derivation of an interesting work project in the Master's programme.


_A concept (approx. one DIN A4 page) that clearly conveys the student's own work project must be attached to the portfolio.


_Assurance that the submitted portfolio was prepared independently.


Dates for the submission of your application

The application documents (portfolio/concept) can be submitted in person during the application period (13, 14 and 15 March 2024, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.):

Folkwang Universität der Künste
Campus Welterbe Zollverein | Quartier Nord
Room 1.02
Martin-Kremmer-Straße 21
D-45327 Essen

If you send your portfolio by letter-post, it must reach the Folkwang University of the Arts within the submission period.

Advice on subjects of study and portfolio

Subject consultations take place from October to April – not in the application period and the months of June to September.
Intending students are given the opportunity to discuss their work with a lecturer prior to application. We recommend that you bring all of the work that you have, without preselection.

Sonja Zenker
Department Studies and International Affairs
Examination office & Office of Student Affairs | FB 4
+49 (0) 201_6505-1410

Format, packaging and indexing of your portfolio

To facilitate the work of the office and Admissions, please observe the following points in your portfolio design:

  • Each sample of work must be marked with your name and numbered
  • Please pack the samples flat
  • Please write the sender’s address legibly on both sides of the portfolio
  • Please keep the portfolio size between DIN A3 and DIN A1
  • A numbered list of contents must be included with every portfolio

Aptitude test

Your aptitude is determined in a two-stage process. A first selection is made on the basis of your portfolio and the assignment. All applicants who are deemed apt, will be invited to take part in the aptitude test. You will receive the date with the invitation and will be asked to prepare a letter of intent. Please note that you have to be on site for the second part of the aptitude test.

The aptitude test consists of a 15 mins. interview and will especially assess study objectives, subject-specific interests, social skills, social commitment, interest in cultural phenomena and level of reflection.


Information on the aptitude test process can also be found in the appendix of the examination regulations.

Nr. 467 | Examination regulations for the study course Master Photography Studies and Practice und Photography Studies and Research from 13.12.2023


Only after you have successfully applied for a study place is your last step in the application process enrolment. Enrolment takes place at the end of September for the start of studies in October and at the end of March for the start of studies in April. Please refer to your letter of admission for the exact period.

Further information on the procedure and documents can be found on the websites on enrolment.