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Bachelor of Fine Arts

The interdisciplinary Bachelor degree »Fine Arts« encompasses all of the artistic and scientific subjects which can be found in the different departments as followed:

as well as numerous workshops and laboratory classes.

Students are free to decide whether to take classes in several departments or in a single department. This open structure guarantees maximum flexibility and allows students to determine the content of their studies in art and/or science themselves.

During their first two semesters, beginning students will receive extensive supervision and assistance in becoming familiar with forms and methods of working, as well as an orientation on which subjects to take in the following years. Eventually, the learning and research which is undertaken in the studios of this institution will be dictated by the student’s own artistic intentions and by the interaction between individual artistic ideas and the practical considerations of planning and artistic work. Students will be assisted extensively during this process by assessment both within the group and in one-to-one conversation with tutors. At the same time the various scientific options on offer will help students to develop their plans for artistic development in detail, give them a theoretical dimension, and set them out in a judicious way and present them successfully to others. It is also possible to concentrate on scientific subjects. Knowledge of the materials and the principles of application of different techniques of working in art, as well as the necessary manual and technical skills can be gained in the numerous different artistic workshops.

Students will learn to develop work of their own which is experimental in a way which emphasises the aesthetic principles behind the work, the statement it makes and its strengths. They will be able to gain skills in craft processes which will enable them to express, refine and further develop a variety of artistic ideas. Students will be able to develop a knowledge of the history of art and theoretical concepts which will enable them to analyse and determine the state of development of their own artistic work and both increase and enhance their artistic productivity. Students taking a scientific subject will also learn to formulate theoretical problems, to develop an argument which traces their implications, and arrive at a conclusion or thesis. Developing the ability to present one’s own work to an audience, and to translate it into a variety of media is also an integral part of this study syllabus. The normal amount of time needed to complete this degree is 8 semesters.


Semestereröffnung und Hiscox-Preisverleihung 2020

On the evening of November 4, the HFBK celebrated the opening of the academic year 2020/21 as well as the awarding of the Hiscox Art Prize in a livestream - offline with enough distance and yet together online.

Art defies Corona: Graduate Show 2020

With a two-month delay, the Graduate Show took place this year on the 19 and 20 September. More than 140 students showed their artistic graduation projects, from painting to sound installation.

Teaching Art Online at the HFBK

How the university brings together its artistic interdisciplinary study structure with digital formats and their possibilities.

New articles at is the social network of the HFBK. It opens a digital forum for exchange and discussion in which students, teachers, guest authors, art critics and the interested public provide a wide range of content and perspectives.

HFBK Graduate Survey

Studying art - and what comes next? The clichéd images stand their ground: Those who have studied art either become taxi drivers, work in a bar or marry rich. But only very few people could really live from art – especially in times of global crises. The HFBK Hamburg wanted to know more about this and commissioned the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg to conduct a broad-based survey of its graduates from the last 15 years.

How political is Social Design?

Social Design, as its own claim is often formulated, wants to address social grievances and ideally change them. Therefore, it sees itself as critical of society – and at the same time optimizes the existing. So what is the political dimension of Social Design – is it a motor for change or does it contribute to stabilizing and normalizing existing injustices?

Annual Exhibition 2020 at the HFBK

The HFBK’s traditional annual exhibition („Jahresausstellung“) opens in February every year. For three days the students – from first-years to post-graduates – present a broad spectrum of their current work and projects from all the different departments. All classrooms, studios and halls in the building are used. Interested visitors are cordially invited to gain an impression of the art currently being created at the HFBK.