Photography Studies and Research (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

_Bachelor study course degree (or also a Master degree, as appropriate) in a humanities or social science discipline with a high degree of relevance to the theory and history of photography (such as Art History, Media Studies, Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Literary Studies, Linguistics, Science of History, Sociology and Ethnology. This study is also open to graduates of artistic study courses with a particular academic aptitude. 
Official database on the equivalence of international educational achievements:

_Evidence of programme specific 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 Research


_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 31 May (for the following winter semester). The portal is open for applications from 15 January to 31 May.

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:


_A representative chapter from a larger essay or article on photo history or photo theory of about 15.000 - 30.000 characters

_Declaration that the submitted representative chapter has been prepared independently

Aptitude test

The procedure takes place in two stages. Firstly, a pre-selection is made based on the articles submitted. Applicants who are admitted to the main procedure are invited to an admissions interview.


For the Photography Studies and Research degree programme, the aptitude test procedure consists of an approx. 20-minute interview with the examination board via video conference.


Based on the sample text submitted, the topic of the interview is the applicant's specific motivation for taking up the Photography Studies and Research degree programme. The interviews serve to better assess the applicant's previous academic engagement with photography, their ability to reflect, their ability to express themselves rhetorically and their interest in the programme and subject. The interviews also offer applicants the opportunity to gain a first impression of the teaching staff on the degree programme.


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.