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Graduate School of the Arts, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #123 (QS) ,
The transdisciplinary Graduate School of the Arts (GSA) brings art and science together: art graduates can study for a doctorate in the joint program of the University of Bern and the Bern University of the Arts (BUA). The GSA gives both research and art new impulses as well as introducing new perspectives and research fields.


Graduates of the graduate school of the Arts will be able to think and act within interdisciplinary and international networks. They will be capable of undertaking independent research. They will be able to reflect upon the kinds of artistic phenomena that may arise from their own work within an academic context. Their doctoral thesis, which will generally be closely related to their own artistic activity and area of research, will give them an opportunity to demonstrate their academic competence.

Graduates of the graduate school of the Arts will pick up specialist (disciplinary and interdisciplinary), methodical and transversal expertise and competences. The latter also include soft skills such as project management, presentation techniques, and the ability to communicate. Graduates from an academic background will acquire experience of artistic practice and cultural mediation.

The doctoral program prepares for research-oriented work either within universities or outside (culture, wider society, finance, administration, etc.) and equips the doctoral students to take on a wide variety of demanding professional duties and roles.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date Registration deadline: December 15, 2018 / July 31, 2019
  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
    • Duration description
      Graduate schools, doctoral programmes and doctoral studies last 3-5 years.
  • Languages
    • English
    • German
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Approaches to learning and work

The doctoral program contains both theoretical and practical modules. Considerable emphasis is placed on the independent work undertaken by doctoral students, who also benefit from intensive supervision. A core element of the GSA is the mutual sharing of experiences across disciplines. As part of the collaboration with Bern University of Applied Sciences, those attending the GSA receive a second supervision from qualified lecturers at Bern University of the Arts (BUA). The services of qualified external lecturers may also be enlisted, or a group of lecturers may come together to form a doctoral committee, particularly when specific areas need to be covered and the staff at neither the Faculty of Humanities nor Bern University of the Arts have the requisite competences.

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

General Requirements

Admission to the doctoral program is open to those who meet the formal requirements and would like to undertake a research project which links the research fields and clusters associated with the BUA or the University of Bern.

Further requirements:

Tuition Fee

  • International

    368 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 184 EUR per semester and a duration of 36 months.
  • EU/EEA

    368 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 184 EUR per semester and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

The fee for doctoral students is 200 CHF per semester. Additionally, a registration fee of 100 CHF is charged for the first or re-admission.

Living costs for Bern

  • 1655 - 2130 CHF/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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