Diploma (expires)

Stigma jonas englert

As of the winter semester 2022/23, the diploma programs at the HfG have been replaced by new bachelor's and master's programs. For the current diploma students, this does not change anything and no one has to change the degree program.

A voluntary change from the diploma to the bachelor's degree is possible via the regular admission procedure and thus again for the winter semester 2023/24, then into the maximum third semester. Diploma students who have already completed a degree program (e.g. BA/BFA) can also apply for the Master's program under the same conditions.

Gliederung des Studiums

Art Department

as a rule, the foundation course is completed at the end of four semesters after taking the University Intermediate Diplom which consists of a complex art/design paper. The advanced course concludes in the tenth semester with the Diplom exam, consisting of an art/design-related main subject and a theoretical one plus a subsidiary one of both kinds.

Type of qualification

Diplom Designer, School of Art.

Foundation course

The basic teaching is largely identical for all first-semester students. Students are taught the basics of art/design and methods of presentation and are introduced to the field of theoretical knowledge. As of the second semester they can attend various courses that go into more detail, depending on their individual interests. 

The foundation course takes the form of various courses, seminars and lectures on the following subjects:

1. Elements of design

The principles of design for both the applied and the liberal disciplines, Drawing, Nude Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Experimental Spatial Concepts, Conceptual Design, Typography, Graphic Design/Illustration, Photography, Electronic Media, Film/Video, Stage and Costume Design.

2. Projects

Projects in the fields of the liberal arts and applied arts involving film, video and electronic media, photography, stage and costume design. External projects and cooperative work.

3. The principles of theory/academic work

The principles of theory/academic work in the four core theoretical subjects: Philosophy/Aesthetics History of Art, Sociology/Theory of the Media , Theory of Perception and, for students of Stage and Costume Design in the  subject area-related theoretical subjects: History and Theory of Stage Direction, Aesthetics of the Theatre/Dramaturgy.

4. Technical courses

Technical courses: Electronic publishing/DTP, digital publishing, preprint/print processes, industrial print processes, silkscreen printing, soft and hard covers, free graphic reproduction, sculpture workshop, workflow photography, video lab, film/video workshop, electronic media workshop, information technology, stage and costume design workshop.

Advanced course

In the advanced course, the basics of art/design and theory/academic knowledge already acquired are investigated in greater detail and more depth. The focus of this course is on conceptual work and the methodology to be used, on substantive considerations and the development of the students’ own pictorial vocabulary and pictorial strategies. Theory starts to become increasingly important when planning and executing complex tasks.

The following range of teaching is available for the individual subject areas:

Subject area Art

Conceptual drawing/nude drawing, painting, sculpture, experimental spatial concepts.

Subject area Communications Design

Conceptual design (e.g. corporate design, corporate communications, poster design, editorial design, event design, copyrighting), typography (e.g. book typography, magazine design), graphic design/illustration (e.g. motion graphic design, media in transit, digital branding and image, interface design). 

Subject area Media

Photography, electronic media (cross-media live formats, net-based systems/telepresence, virtual environments, cross-media lab), film/video (art documentary film, experimental film, short feature film, video art, expanded cinema etc.).  

Subject area Stage and Costume Design

Stage and costume design (e.g. stage design and costume concepts, theatre projects, costume design).

In-depth theoretical/academic work

In-depth theoretical/academic work in the four core theoretical subjects: Philosophy/Aesthetics, History of Art, Sociology/Theory of the Media, Theory of Perception.

Technical courses , workshops

To consolidate and expand on the knowledge acquired in the foundation course the teaching on the advanced course continuous to include workshops and project work: Electronic publishing/DTP, digital publishing, preprint/printing processes, industrial print processes, soft and hard covers, silkscreen printing, free graphic reproduction, sculpture workshop (e.g. plaster of Paris and clay, wood and metal), workflow photography (e.g. photo studio, digital photo lab, analogue black-and-white lab), film/video workshop (e.g. digital cutting studio, audio studio, script, camera, film music), video lab, electronic media workshop, (e.g. compositing and montage, 3-D lab, development of art software and hardware) information technology, stage and costume design workshop (e.g. theatre technology, technical drawing, lighting, makeup, costume design, material science, theatre workshop, stage technology).


Up until their Diplom students must prove that they have worked as interns for at least 12 weeks and at most 24 weeks. Depending on the requirements of their chosen subject area, this internship can be in DTP studios or with a reprographics services provider, at a printer’s, advertising agency, communications and media agency or a publishing house, with a broadcasting company, at film studios, postproduction and photo studios, galleries, art galleries, art societies, museums, festivals, theatres, independent theatres and similar institutions.

Design Department

Alongside a non-applied exploration of drawing and 3D design basics, from the very beginning of the course the teaching also focuses on creating an awareness of the communicative interplay between people and objects and products.

The theory of product language investigates questions of designation and the context-related positioning of products, the interaction between the user and the object (product) and the precise communication of the design objective. This investigation takes place in the form of workshops and design projects and is accompanied by an introduction into the theory of design.

The design projects on the foundation course are intended to reveal the diverse areas of work product design involves and lead to a differentiated, hands-on method of product development.

In addition to traditional design methods (freehand drawings, illustrations, 3D model construction), digital tools for model visualization (computer aided design, rapid prototyping) are also integrated in the design process. The workshop and software courses that accompany the projects provide information about the prerequisites for these.

The addressing of social questions as well as an understanding of materials, technical function and production aspects (techniques and technologies) play a fundamental role.

Lectures and seminars provide an introduction to corresponding theoretical and technological areas of knowledge: theory of culture and theory of technology, aesthetics, theory of perception, design theory, design methodology, design history, an introduction to technology and ergonomics.

Advanced Course

On the advanced course the design, theoretical, technological and technical basics are expanded and explored in greater depth. Furthermore, students are given an opportunity to develop their own profile from among a wide range of topics in the fields of technical design, integrating design, furniture design, strategic design, material-oriented design, inter-cultural designs and brand and design strategy.

Alongside assignments students are free to choose themselves which take up current social and technological trends, there are regular collaborations with industrial partners and various public institutions. Students can build on this individually by including an internship in their course of studies or by spending time studying abroad.

Project Fields

In general product designs explores the problems associated with out private life (among other things how we live, leisure time, sport, health), the working world (among other things our profession, industrialism, production), and the public domain (among other things transport, traffic, architecture) by means of in-depth exploration and criticism of mankind’s current and future individual, social, and economic spheres. Here, how we live and the culture of home living are accorded special importance.

The focus in the development of technical products and product systems is on technologically innovative approaches and product concepts that also integrate digital and mechanical interface components and process them in network contexts and interdisciplinary teams.

Interdisciplinary design processes are playing an increasing role in integrative design as well, examples being space-related projects such as exhibitions, , corporate design, and guidance systems.

In terms of experimental fields in new technological and globalized contexts, the range of projects is rounded out by experimental construction (for example material and its impact) and intercultural design projects.

Strategic brand design questions are likewise discussed and exemplified in innovative projects.

For interaction design and interface design (as an additional professional qualification at a later date as well) there is already a large project room available – either in its own right or integrated in individual project fields.


By their Diplom examination, students must prove they have completed an internship lasting at least 12 weeks. The internship can be in a design studio or the design department of an industrial company, as well as in a research institute.

Furthermore, before embarking on their studies it is desirable for students to complete a handicrafts and technically oriented internship.

Bachelor's/Master's degree & Diploma

As of the winter semester 2022/23, the diploma degree programs at the HfG have been replaced by bachelor's and master's degree programs. These degree programs are possible in the two HfG departments of art and design:

Art Department

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Master of Fine Arts
  • Master of Fine Arts with a larger theoretical component

Design Department

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Master of Arts

Study plans Ba/Ma