General university entrance qualification (Allgemeine Hochschulreife)
Enrollment period winter semester
Place of study
Start of the program
Standard length of the program
Part-time studies possible
A Bachelor's degree program in Art History and Visual Culture at the KU in Eichstätt will familiarize you with the culture of art and image from the early Middle Ages to the present. You will learn to understand works of art from Europe, but also from the colonial and post-colonial world in their different historical contexts and to impart the acquired knowledge in a clear and informative way. Art historians work as curators in museums or in exhibition houses, as scientists in universities and research institutions or in one of the numerous, also new professions in cultural and public relations. In the course of your studies, you will encounter works of painting, sculpture, graphics, applied arts and architecture, but also image types and media such as caricatures and illustrative graphics, posters, photos, films, video and Internet art, and images in social media. Thanks to small course sizes and friendly collegiality among students and lecturers alike, you can study Art History and Visual Culture in Eichstätt with excellent supervision and support. In addition, you will have the opportunity to study abroad within the framework of continuously well-supervised international networks.
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The program in detail
In the framework of the subject Art, Art History can be studied in the Interdisciplinary Bachelor’s degree program as a major or minor subject in the Aisthesis.Culture and Media variant or in the flexible variant in the amount of up to 60 ECTS credits, in combination with at least one other subject and/or the Studium Individuale.
Today we live in a media reality in which the function of images and their interaction with texts has changed. In all areas of society, images raise the question of information and fiction, of fact and fake. Social media determine our behavior: from our ideas about the world and current challenges to our everyday actions. The increased interest in visual media in all communicative areas also brings new attention to the visual arts - both of the present and past. As a result, the subject of Art History and Visual Culture is moving more strongly into the center of the cultural studies discussion. This is the right program for all those who enjoy dealing with pictures and works of art in a historical-critical way and sharing their encounter with art and their enthusiasm with other people.
Science of visual media and the arts
Today, art history is the science of the visual media and the arts, which looks back from the present use of images to the history of images, their effect and their use, in a historical-critical way.
The Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt teaches Art History from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.
The genres of painting, sculpture, and architecture are a core topic together with graphic reproduction techniques, photography, film, or images in social media.
The historical epoch designations such as Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque or –isms from Romanesque to Impressionism to Surrealism, and finally terms of the present as well as global conceptual art are presented, as well as genre terms such as history and genre painting, portrait, landscape and still life. However, they are taught and questioned with regard to their origin, their dissolution and their continued effect in other media (such as photo, film, series).
Main subject in the Interdisciplinary degree program
If you choose Art History and Visual Culture as a major subject within the Interdisciplinary degree program (flexible variant or Aisthesis.Culture and Media), the Bachelor's degree program offers a comprehensive, fundamental education in the professional fields of the subject. All students will be introduced to
the methods of style analysis
and the meaning (or iconography) of images,
and to the media-compatible image narrative or image rhetoric,
the effect and reception of art, for example in art criticism
as well as to the course and the most important works and monuments of European art history.
A series of well-coordinated courses was designed to impart the following contents:
a one-year basic course
as well as a lecture with accompanying seminar, in which an art genre is analyzed in depth in its epoch.
In the course of further seminars, you will apply the methods you have learnt in various specific areas, drawing on the examples of the epochs and main topics of your choice.
In all stages of the program, field trips in Germany and abroad will deepen your knowledge of art, architecture and museum landscapes. The works will be viewed in different, topographical contexts, for example in an art landscape or an urban structure, or in a museum and a grown collection, and finally in historical contexts.
In addition to the excellently equipped University Library with numerous art history publications and continuously updated specialist journals as well as seminar rooms with modern equipment, the Chair of Art History also has a Visual Media Center that provides advice on databases on the visual arts, photography and film, provides information on reliable (i.e. not embellished) image data sets and copyright, and is finally responsible for the acquisition and digitalization of high-quality images.
Rankings and assessments
KU students and alumni have voted for their University to be Germany's most popular university in the 2021 ranking of the online portal StudyCheck. The ranking was based on over 40,000 evaluations for more than 500 higher education institutions and universities. 98 percent of students questioned for the ranking would recommend studying at the KU to others.
"There is no better praise for a university than almost 100 percent of students and alumni agreeing: I can only recommend studying at the KU! That is why we are very pleased with the ranking’s outcome, because it expresses the high level of satisfaction of our students," says KU President Prof. Dr. Gabriele Gien.
The study structure of the Bachelor's degree includes the following for all variants:
in the fifth semester, a well supervised study abroad, which can be completed within the framework of existing international networks, and
an academic required internship, for example in a museum or cultural institution.
Particularly noteworthy is the International Network for Art History, based in Paris, in which committed colleagues from universities in Geneva, Florence, Montreal, Los Angeles and Tokyo, but also from such renowned educational institutions as the École Normale Supérieure in Paris or the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, are continuously involved. [Link: http://proartibus.org]
The KU maintains a partnership network with around 300 universities worldwide. The KU International Office supports students in the planning phase and provides information on different financing possibilities for stays abroad.
At all levels of education, field trips in Germany and abroad deepen the knowledge of art, architecture and museum landscapes, but also of urbanism and urban landscapes with their historical and current social structure. In addition to the required internship in the Interdisciplinary Bachelor's program, there is also the possibility of completing an internship of several months in an academic institution (e.g. museum, exhibition house, office for the preservation of historical monuments) in the fifth semester of the subject Art History. For individual advice and support in finding an internship and financing possibilities, the KU Career Service and the International Internship Service are happy to help.
Career possibilities and professional fields
In the context of the current interest in visual media in the present and past, art history is no longer an exotic subject. Accordingly, the often surprising occupational profiles that are available to successful graduates in the cultural sector are correspondingly diverse. A Bachelor's degree can be followed by a Master's degree and then a doctorate. Classical occupational fields are still research and teaching or placement in universities, museums and exhibition houses or monument preservation. Art historians are therefore employed as research associates or professors, as museum or exhibition curators. In addition, there are professional opportunities – often already for those holding a university degree below the doctorate – in cultural and media work in public and private institutions, in collections and archives, in teaching in educational institutions as well as in the art trade, public relations and journalism. In all professional fields, art historians are in demand as independent researchers as well as mediators and managers of visual culture.
Dorotea Lorenz, former student of the flexible variant in the Interdisciplinary degree program with the subjects Art History and Romance Studies
“Through my studies of Art History at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, I have gained a comprehensive overview of all art historical media, genres and epochs from late antiquity to the present. The interdisciplinary exchange with disciplines such as Sociology, Philosophy and Archaeology, as well as multiple field trips in Germany and abroad have also raised my curiosity for interdisciplinary considerations and comparisons. As a university town, Eichstätt is rather small, but thanks to the close exchange with the lecturers it offers an ideal starting point for international work and study experiences: A year abroad at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris gave me the opportunity to compare the different scientific traditions and to deepen my knowledge of art history on site. In addition, I was able to supplement the scientific-theoretical education at the KU with an internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice: Here, I have gained important insights into the museum operations of an internationally active institution as well as into museum education and mediation work. After completion of my Bachelor's thesis, my studies offer me sound scientific knowledge and practical experience to specialize in art history and museology within the framework of a Master's program.”
What students say about the program
Andrea Pojer, flexible variant of the Interdisciplinary Bachelor's degree in History, Art History, Latin and Early German Literature
"The particularly flexible possibilities to design my own curriculum at the KU in an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary way prompted me to come to Eichstätt from Italy. This flexibility allows me to approach and analyze individual thematic focuses from different disciplinary perspectives. The small courses and study offers, in which there is room for easy exchange between the varied range of study profiles, contribute to this. The Art History courses are also designed to promote a broad discussion horizon. The exciting seminars and field trips have sharpened my eye for image constructions and narratives, prompting me to question image content and make comparisons between past and present.”
Franziska de Vries,student of Art History with the minor subjects English Studies and Theater Education within the flexible program variant
"I have been studying Art History in Eichstätt for six semesters. Although Eichstätt is a rather small location in comparison, it has a broad range of courses on offer. I really like the fact that Art History here is so interdisciplinary. For example, I took part in an exciting field trip to the Biennale di Venezia, which was organized jointly by the departments of Art History and Theology. Munich and Nuremberg are easy to reach from Eichstätt, and together with the department of Archaeology we have often visited museums there. But Eichstätt's Art History department also has good connections abroad; so I was able to spend a semester in the art city of Salzburg. I can always integrate my own interests and wishes into the program, and so I can only say that I really enjoy studying here.”
Lena M. Thiermann,student of Art History and English Studies in the context of the program variant Aisthesis.Culture and Media
"Studying Art History in Eichstätt is always a good recommendation. The small courses not only enable us to receive special attention from our professors and lecturers, but also lead to lively exchange, which is especially appreciated on field trips. The latter have already taken me to Munich, Kassel, Venice and Amsterdam to experience originals of art. Art history also played a major role in my semester abroad, which I spent studying English. I spent a trimester in Birmingham, England, and was able to visit many wonderful museums there, one of which is even right on campus.”
Short distances on campus at the KU save time and avoid stress. The KU is a campus University with modern facilities. The buildings on campus are located close to the Eichstätt old town. Although the University and its campus has grown, it is still characterized by short distances: In Eichstätt, everything can be reached within ten minutes’ walking distance. On campus, green spaces such as the Hofgarten are the perfect places to relax. The garden of the Kapuzinerkloster is also used by different student initiatives for their projects. The canteen is located at the heart of the Eichstätt campus and has a sun deck and cafeteria that leave nothing to be desired.
What sets the KU apart
Studying at the KU is more than just acquiring specialist knowledge. We broaden our horizons together and take on responsibility in and beyond the individual degree programs. The KU has a particular focus on topics such as personal development, sustainability, social skills and social commitment.
It offers its students the possibility to study and work in a welcoming atmosphere and benefit from outstanding support and comprehensive service offers, a well-stocked library, a broad range of sports and leisure activities and a large global network of approx. 300 partner universities. Our team at the International Office helps you to plan your semester abroad and the KU Career Service provides comprehensive advice and support for embarking on your professional career.
Eichstätt and the surrounding Altmühltal natural park are not only a popular destination for culture enthusiasts and nature lovers, but also for cyclists, climbers, canoeists and fossil collectors. Located between Munich and Nuremberg, the city impresses with its Baroque setting and southern flair combined with modern and prizewinning architecture as well as a broad variety of cultural offerings and leisure activities.
The Baroque park at the heart of the campus and the nearby banks of the Altmühltal river are the KU’s “green living room”. Another big advantage: all University facilities are just a short walk away from each other.
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