FAQs on applying to study at Burg Giebichenstein

Information for course applicants: Answers to frequently asked questions

Which admission conditions do I have to fulfil in order to be admitted to a course of study at Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle?

In order to study at our university, you must possess a general university entrance qualification and must also demonstrate your artistic and design suitability in an evaluation procedure (the suitability test). This applies to all first-semester students in ‘Diplom’ and state examination courses in the Art faculty and also to first-semester students in the bachelor’s courses in the Design faculty. In the latter case, craft and technical skills and abilities that are relevant to the respective course are also expected. Information about the application and selection procedures for the master’s courses can be found on the relevant pages of these master’s courses in the Design faculty.

When does the next evaluation procedure take place?

The evaluation procedure (suitability test) for bachelor’s, ‘Diplom’ and teaching courses is held once a year, generally at the end of March/beginning of April. Other specific dates apply for master’s courses – generally 15 May for the following winter semester and 15 November for the following summer semester. Further information can be found on the pages for the various master’s courses in the Design faculty.

How can I register?

Bachelor’s courses in Design, ‘Diplom’ and teaching courses in Art: Online registration for the suitability test can be carried out from 1 December to 6 March.

How long does the suitability test take and what components does it involve?

The test takes 2 days in Design and 3 days in Art, and involves preselection, a main test procedure and a personal interview. Preselection generally takes place on the first day and the preliminary results are announced by the evening of the first day at the latest.

Can I apply even though I do not (yet) have a general university entrance qualification?

Students at ‘Gymnasium’ secondary schools can apply for courses in the Design faculty from 11th grade onwards. Students at ‘Gymnasium’ secondary schools can only apply for courses in the Art faculty if they are in their final year before taking school-leaving examinations (‘Abitur’ in Germany). In these cases, please enclose your most recent school report with your application documents. The general qualification for university entrance can be waived in cases of exceptional artistic and design talent. Applicants must be at least 17 (Design) or 18 (Art) years old, must achieve an above-average score in the evaluation procedure, and must have completed vocational training or have work experience.

Please note: As our institution has university status, as a rule you will require the general university entrance qualification or its foreign equivalent in order to be admitted to a course of study. The polytechnic entrance qualification (‘Fachhochschulreife’) and the subject-specific third-level entrance qualification (‘Fachabitur’) are not sufficient. The subject-specific third-level entrance qualification can only be accepted as a sufficient qualification only in cases where it applies directly to the course being applied for. In the case of all other qualifications: The requirement for providing evidence of the general university entrance qualification can be waived under certain conditions only if the result of the suitability test shows exceptional talent.

How should my application portfolio look?

There are no particular specifications with regard to format, content or techniques. As a rule, the portfolio should contain around 20 samples of work of your choice that are not more than two years old. These can be nature studies, drawing books, spatial studies or independently developed works that express your interest in the relevant area and your talent for design implementation of your ideas. Samples of work that have been produced digitally should be included as print-outs, where possible. In the case of animation or videos, please select sequences in the form of a short series of images and include these in your portfolio. CDs, DVDs etc. can only be considered in the evaluation of portfolios for the areas of Media Art, MM|VR Design and Communication Design.

Which practical placements are required by the time that students begin their course of study?

The following course-related skills and evidence of relevant technical/craft experience in the form of practical placement periods are to be achieved by the time the course is started:

For all artistic ‘Diplom’ courses:

  • No obligation to provide documentation, but course-related craft skills are useful and desired in certain areas.

For B.A. courses in Design:

  • Industrial Design: 6-month* practical placement (e.g. woodwork, metalwork, ceramics processing, glass-working and/or plastics processing)
  • Interior Architecture: 6-month* practical placement (e.g. carpentry, construction craft, shopfitting)
  • Communication Design: 3-month* practical placement (e.g. publisher, design office, advertising or media agency, photo studio)
  • Multimedia|VR Design: 2-month* practical placement (e.g. advertising agency, print and media sector)
  • Fashion Design: Max. 9-month* practical placement for applicants directly after school-leaving exams with no prior knowledge or practical experience; 3–6 months for all others (Fashion: sewing shop, tailor’s/dressmaker’s, craft manufacturer or costume/theatre workshop; Textile Design: printing shop, weaving shop, textile industry, textile museum)

* The relevant Examining Board decides on credit for craft training periods and comparable practical experience. In certain cases, students can also apply to be allowed to complete part of their practical placement (maximum of three months) over the course of the first year of study. This must be approved by the Examining Board.* The relevant Examining Board decides on credit for craft training periods and comparable practical experience. In certain cases, students can also apply to be allowed to complete part of their practical placement (maximum of three months) over the course of the first year of study. This must be approved by the Examining Board.

For all M.A. courses in Design:

  • Conceptual Fashion Design: at least 6 months
  • Conceptual Textile Design: at least 6 months
  • Design of Playing and Learning: at least 3 months
  • Design Studies: besondere Befähigung zur designwissenschaftlichen Arbeit
  • Editorial Design: zwei verschiedene mindestens dreimonatige Praktika in gestaltungsrelevanten Umgebungen bzw. Unternehmen
  • Furniture and Interior Design: at least 3 months
  • Industrial Design: at least 3 months
  • Interior Architecture: at least 3 months
  • Multimedia Design: 6 months (studiengangsbezogene Praktika bzw. vergleichbare Tätigkeiten z.B. Durchführung von Softwarekursen als Tutor, Teilnahme an Weiterbildungsveranstaltungen außerhalb des Studiums, Zeiträume freiberuflicher Tätigkeit auf dem Gebiet der multimedialen Gestaltung)
  • Photography: at least 3 months
  • Product Design and Applied Art (Porcelain, Ceramics and Glass): at least 3 months practical placement and/or workshops

Die Praktika/Berufspraktika sollten in der Regel zeitlich zusammenhängend und studiengangsbezogen sein.

Which conditions apply in the case of a transfer from another university?

In the case of a transfer from another university before the foundation course has been completed, the suitability test must generally be taken. Applicants who have successfully completed their preliminary diploma (‘Vordiplom’) or intermediary exams in a comparable course at a German art university may apply to the Examining Board of the relevant course by 1 December (for the following summer semester) or by 1 June (for the following winter semester) for courses in Design.

The application should contain the following:

  • a) A portfolio showing student project works so far. Format A4 as a maximum, no digital media (exception: applications for the MM|VR Design course)
  • b) Transcript / statement of marks for work completed so far with description of relevant modules where possible
  • c) Covering letter of motivation, maximum 1 page, stating why you wish to continue your studies at our university

The Examining Board inspects the documents submitted and invites candidates who appear suitable to an interview.

Dates of interviews:

  • In January/February for applicants for the summer semester
  • In June/July for applicants for the winter semester

Applicants for courses in Art should first contact the relevant professor. It is advisable to submit the documents described in items a) to c) in this case too.

Which conditions apply to foreign applicants?

Applicants from abroad should also register online for the suitability test by 6 March. German or English translations of certificates/school reports are to be brought to the suitability test. The certificate must be equivalent to the general university entrance qualification in Germany. The guidelines of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) will be used to decide on equivalence. In the absence of an equivalent qualification, admission is only possible in the case of exceptional suitability – just as for German applicants. Chinese applicants should submit certification from the Academic Evaluation Centre in Beijing. We strongly recommend that you take the test only if you have sufficient language skills. Even if the suitability test is passed, applicants will only be admitted to courses if they can provide evidence of German-language skills in the form of DSH (Level 2) or the TestDaF (at least Level 4 in all test parts).

Are there still questions that have not been answered here?

We generally organise information events for prospective students in mid-January and mid-July (at the time of the annual exhibition). Up-to-date details can be found on our website in good time before these events. You can contact us by e-mail at studinfo(at)burg-halle.de. The addresses and office hours of all contact persons can be found on the  Student and Academic Affairs pages.

Which conditions apply in the case of a transfer from another university?

In the case of a transfer from another university before the foundation course has been completed, the suitability test must generally be taken. Applicants who have successfully completed their preliminary diploma (‘Vordiplom’) or intermediary exams in a comparable course at a German art university may apply to the Examining Board of the relevant course by 1 December (for the following summer semester) or by 1 June (for the following winter semester) for courses in Design.

The application should contain the following:

  • a) A portfolio showing student project works so far. Format A4 as a maximum, no digital media (exception: applications for the MM|VR Design course)
  • b) Transcript / statement of marks for work completed so far with description of relevant modules where possible
  • c) Covering letter of motivation, maximum 1 page, stating why you wish to continue your studies at our university

The Examining Board inspects the documents submitted and invites candidates who appear suitable to an interview.

Dates of interviews:

  • In January/February for applicants for the summer semester
  • In June/July for applicants for the winter semester

Applicants for courses in Art should first contact the relevant professor. It is advisable to submit the documents described in items a) to c) in this case too.

Which conditions apply to foreign applicants?

Applicants from abroad should also register online for the suitability test by 6 March. German or English translations of certificates/school reports are to be brought to the suitability test. The certificate must be equivalent to the general university entrance qualification in Germany. The guidelines of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) will be used to decide on equivalence. In the absence of an equivalent qualification, admission is only possible in the case of exceptional suitability – just as for German applicants. Chinese applicants should submit certification from the Academic Evaluation Centre in Beijing. We strongly recommend that you take the test only if you have sufficient language skills. Even if the suitability test is passed, applicants will only be admitted to courses if they can provide evidence of German-language skills in the form of DSH (Level 2) or the TestDaF (at least Level 4 in all test parts).

Are there still questions that have not been answered here?

We generally organise information events for prospective students in mid-January and mid-July (at the time of the annual exhibition). Up-to-date details can be found on our website in good time before these events. You can contact us by e-mail at studinfo(at)  burg-halle.  de. The addresses and office hours of all contact persons can be found on the  Student and Academic Affairs pages.