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Academy of Fine Arts and Design Bratislava

Doctoral Programme / Institute of Art and Science

Bratislava, Slovak republic


Visual arts, Design, Architecture, Restoration, Art Theory

Degrees offered
Doctor Artis (Art.D) in artistic research, PhD in art theory

Number of third cycle students

Number of 3rd Cylce Researchers 2009-2012
2009/2010: 74
2010/2011:  89
2011/2012:  88 

Full time: 3 years
External: 5 years

Entry Requirements
A Master's degree in Visual Art, Design, Architecture or Art Theory is required.

Programme Requirements
Doctoral students are required to attend the mandatory lectures and seminars, and pass the respective exams. They engage in up to 4 hours/week of teaching activities within the main supervisor’s studio programme. The doctoral work includes a dissertation and public defense as well as developing one’s own artistic practice presented publicly at exhibitions.

Publications and conferences
There is no publication series for artistic research so far; outstanding theoretical dissertations are published.

Each student has 1 main supervisor/teacher and 1 theory consultant; students can ask for a second consultant in theory if needed. 
Supervision includes regular consultations, accomplishment of particular projects, educational activities within the supervisor’s teaching program, eventually other tutorials.

Embedding within the institution
Doctoral students are organizationally embedded within the studio practice based programs of their supervisors, giving workshops and lectures for undergraduates. Supervisors are embedded in their respective departments.
AFAD hosts the Institute of Art and Science, which is a separate body of researchers in art theory. The researchers (only with accomplished doctoral degrees) accomplish their research project in duration of 3 years. Apart from their research they are expected to organize series of lectures and symposia.

Funding and stipendia
Full-time students receive a state stipend ranging from € 400-600 monthly.

Doctoral studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (AFAD) in Bratislava are focused on providing contemporary knowledge from the fields of arts and sciences, as well as on supporting independent scientific research and creative activities in the field of arts.
Standard length of the daily programme of doctoral studies is three years; for the external programme, it is a maximum of five years. Completing the studies is conditional to passing a dissertation exam, which is a form of a final state examination, together with defending a dissertation, which is the final thesis work of the studies. Doctoral graduates in History and Theory of Arts receive the academic title “philosophiae doctor” (PhD.); graduates of doctoral studies in arts fields receive the academic title "artis doctor" (ArtD.)

From Prof. Ivan Csudai, Vice Rector for Art and Research:
"Ever since their introduction at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (AFAD) in Bratislava, doctoral studies have been accompanied by numerous discussions, questions, and perhaps also doubts as to whether it is possible to conduct research in the field of art, what characteristics should it actually have, and what will its results/outcomes be. Today, after years of this third-level study programme, with the school’s portfolio being full of successfully presented graduates, we can say our expectations are being fulfilled. Graduates of our doctoral programme often complete their studies with impressive presentations, sometimes populating an entire gallery. At the same time, in a way these works are debuts of professional artists. Results prove that intensive work on one topic during the entire length of studies allows a more in-depth analysis of the issue, but also a better execution of a project. Theoretic part of the work complements authorial standpoint with attitudes of a practitioner. This way, another form of applied research is being carried out in the institution, which enhances theoretical as well as technological support. By means of assigned topics, communication with pedagogues and their programme in the studio is being enriched. By enabling participation of the doctoral students in the teaching process, doctoral studies also represent a platform that tests capabilities of the school’s future teachers. This also provides for a gradual generational renewal of pedagogues and experts within our institution.

At AFAD, third-level education is offered in the following fields of study: Visual Arts, Design, Architecture, Restoration, and Theory and History of Art. To have all of these study programmes in one institution provides us with specific conditions for an intensive communication, but also specifically for generating new topics. In this environment, students navigate naturally and – knowingly or unknowingly – they make use of the opportunities and advantages arising from this situation. They are familiar with traditional, historic technologies, as well as with the contemporary ones. We see this as a specific advantage of our school, being significant not only for the domestic third-level study programme, but also for the eventual future international doctoral study programme. Currently, we devote a lot of attention to the doctoral study programme. A certain regeneration of the expert committees is taking place, and mechanisms for their work are being improved, too. Undoubtedly, good conditions for a well-structured study programme are beneficial for every young artist and graduate of doctoral studies, providing good conditions for a professional start in the ever more sophisticated world of art."

Author: Silvia Senesi Lutherova, Academy of Fine Arts and Design Bratislava