Foto: Heike Kandalowski

Acting – Artist Diploma

The Folkwang University of the Arts trains actors who, on the basis of their personal development and acquired skills, are able to independently fulfil the dramatic, physical and voice-speech demands they will be faced with in their future work in the world of theatre, film, television and media.

The aim of the training is to achieve artistic personalities, who are enthusiastic and inquisitive and also able to work in a team, while possessing the ability to develop their own perspective towards a given figure and theme. The students are thus equipped to open themselves up to other forms of art in a confident and competent manner while moving in new areas of work.

In this regard, a broadly diversified training in the traditional forms of theatre, the areas of film, television, radio as well as the performative arts takes account of the changing theatrical and cultural landscape

Study contents & study plan

Originally consisting of two separate study courses in the Essen and Bochum campus, the Acting study course was reorganised in 2008 into an Artist Diploma (equivalent to a Master degree). The training ensues in the form of an intensive study course, which enables the students to achieve the Artist Diploma (300 ECTS credits) at the end of four years of study.

The interdisciplinary teaching in the first year of study at the Essen campus – comprising the Acting, Directing, Physical Theatre and the Musical study courses – allows the students contact to the other study courses and their students and teaching staff at an early stage. This experience of differing forms of expression from the very beginning continues over the entire period of the study course and forms the basis for later projects.

From the second year of study, the training mainly takes place in the new Folkwang Theaterzentrum (Theatre Centre) at the Bochum campus. In addition to the intensive reinforcement of the fundamental manual skills undertaken in individual and group instruction, the study course will continue to be shaped by mentored project and independent individual works with students of Directing and the Physical Theatre study courses.

The graduates of the Acting study course are after many years still professionally active, winning awards and receiving acclaim at acting school meetings.

Theatre training in the Folkwang tradition

The former combination of the three study courses (Acting, Acting|Directing and Physical Theatre) has been transformed into a theatre training, which bears Folkwang's own distinctive character and points the ways for the graduates.


In accordance with the Folkwang concept of the interdivisional cooperation of the arts, the students are able to present the interdisciplinary projects they have developed in the new Folkwang Theaterzentrum and explore artistic/scenic forms of expression. This Theatre Centre is intended not only to offer a platform to students of the Acting, Acting|Directing and Physical Theatre study courses, but also to serve as an invitation location for them for the purpose of meetings and artistic engagement with other study courses of the Folkwang University.

Cooperations & Partners

Thanks to a close collaboration with our long-standing cooperation partners, the students receive the opportunity to gather new experiences in meetings, discussions and joint productions. A Folkwang University of the Arts partnership with the Ramallah Drama Academy has been in place for several years.


The Shakespeare Festival, an occasion rich in tradition, which takes place with international institutions and universities from the Palestinian territories, the Czech Republic, Israel, Uzbekistan, the Netherlands, Romania, Britain, China, the USA, Poland as well as Australia, creates a platform for the meeting point of a wide range of theatrical forms and differing approaches.


Regular independent film projects are undertaken with the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
The close cooperation with the Bochum Schauspielhaus Theatre provides the students with the possibility of experiencing the transition of their own theatre productions into professional practice.

The Folkwang Theaterzentrum at the Bochum campus

In the new Folkwang Theaterzentrum in Bochum, students from the various study courses present their project works and studio productions in regular programmes to the public, thereby acquiring in addition further valuable stage experience.


The Folkwang Bochum campus has also been strengthened by the new Theatre Centre. The intention is that concerts, performances, exhibitions and presentations shall provide an insight into the various arts, such as theatre, music, dance, design and academic studies, all united under the Folkwang roof.


With the known Concert Hall (the former Thürmer Hall) and the newly built Studio Stage – the Black Box, two performance venues with a total audience capacity of 750 are now available.


More information on the Folkwang Theaterzentrum at the Bochum campus is available here.