Research Overview » Slovenia


In Slovenia, the three academies of art at the University of Ljubljana (Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Academy of Music, Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television) have university status. They are currently preparing a joint PhD programme.

In 2010 the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology prepared a National Higher Education Programme 2011-2020, which was later, in May 2011, accepted by Slovenian parliament. In the course of the public debate about the programme 2011-2020, the three academies of art at the University of Ljubljana formed an Art Council. It proposed several supplements to the articles in the document which would allow the academies to develop and install the 3rd cycle in art research in the university system which have been accepted. As a result the Academies formed a Commission for the 3rd Cyle in Art consisting of 14 members, 3 from each of the Academies and 1 from the Faculty of Architecture, Faculty of Education (Art Pedagogy), Biotechnical Faculty (Landscape Architecture), Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering (Textile, Fashion). The task of the Commission is to prepare the 3rd cycle programmes from the field of art and plans to prepare the 3rd cycle programme in a year starting from May of 2013.

Proposed main features of 3rd Cycle Study Programme
  • 3 years of studies
  • 180 ECTS, at least 60 ECTS from organized forms of studying.

  • The Law about Higher Education
  • The Standards for Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions and Study Programs
  • The Standards for Credit Evaluation of Study Programs by ECTS.

Proposed Elements of 3rd Cycle Study Programme
The 3rd cycle study programme in the area of Art is a qualitative upgrading of the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Art within the Bologna education system. The upgrading has been made in the way already implemented by several other art academies and colleges in the EU and in the United States also taking into account the values and socio-historical characteristics of the Slovenian cultural context.

The programme is analogous to a 3rd cycle / doctoral study in the area of science, being equivalent to it. The 3rd cycle program in Art is similar to a scientific one due to its systematic organisation, complexity and creativity, and different due to its content-related, methodological, educational and evaluative study aspects. The important “common denominator” of both 3rd cycle levels is the necessity for research, as the programme in Art is designed and conducted as a research process.

The research aspects of the 3rd cycle study in Art are based on the requirements of the contemporary art systems and on the intense methodological development of artistic research, with which the students already became familiar at the previous levels of the Bologna study.

If the artistic research is a conceptual means of achieving results, the artistic practice is the core of all academic developments, as, only through this practice, can the effects of research and conceptual strategies be accurately and timely verified.

Given that the artistic practices within all so far known socio-historical formations were interpolated between the three basic “existential” areas – the area of beliefs and ideologies, the area of the already implemented cultural patterns together with the corresponding morphological epistemology, and the area of the current socio-historical phenomena – it is logical that any 3rd cycle study in Art is also supported by three types of epistemology: (i) productive or formational (empiricist inquiry; shapes–generating theory, composition theory, semiotics of art, etc.), (ii) interpretative (interpretative discourse) and (iii) critical and representative type (critical process, enactments). These types of epistemology provide the infrastructure for artistic research.

The 3rd cycle programme in Art is not a theoretical but a practical study leading to practical results. This, however, does not mean that theory does not play an important role in its course; on the contrary, practical results are supported by theoretical findings that are discursively expressed. The theory and practice in an artistic creation are not two diverse or excluding entities, but two focal points of the same ellipse that become intertwined during the creative process.

The 3rd cycle study in Art is in a permanent research contact with the developments in the area of contemporary art and the art market; however, its organisation, epistemology and realisation are emancipated from these events.


Doctoral programmes are co-funded by the government of Slovenia on the basis of public call for applications through the ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology.
There are also scholarships for students.

The funding may be:
  • Full school-fee up to 4.000,00 € per year
  • Part school-fee up to 50% but not more than 2.000,00 € per year

National assessment systems for research programmes

How Often: 7 Years 
Who Does It: Slovenian Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
Criteria of evaulation:
1. Ability of integration into society/environment
2. Activity of the higher education institution
3. Staff
4. Students
5. Material conditions (spaces, equipment, librerian and information activity and financing)
6. Quality, inovative and development assurance.


The proposed curriculum is practice-based and practice-led, theoretical in cooperation.
There will be a taught component of at least 60 ECTS raning to180 ECTS. The possible forms of outcomes proposed are a combination of different achievements. A written element will be obligatory but its features has not been determind yet.


The criteria for selection of new researchers and students will be decided throug the Commision for 3rd Cyle in Art.

Relevant Links

National Research Council 

Author: Bojan Gorenec, Academy of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Ljubljana