Doctoral Program Artistic (PhD in the Arts)

Doctor of Philosophy in the Arts
Nahaufnahme von engmaschigem grauem Gewebe | © Gertrud Fischbacher, Marius Schebella

The doctoral program negotiates the further development of artistic-research practice as well as the formation of theory on artistic research or on the development and development of the arts in a continuous discourse and reflects on methodological diversity, contextualization and the gain of knowledge. In principle, the artistic doctorate is interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary.

Study & Examination Management
+43 676 88122 492

Length of study
6 semesters / 180 ECTS credits


Registration deadline
from February each year
to the dates

Admission examinations
Summer semester of each year



The artistic doctoral programme at the Mozarteum University sees itself as an international course of study and offers artists and researchers from various fields such as music, visual arts, theatre, dance, film, media, design an opportunity to further develop independent artistic research practice. The programme promotes research that focuses on and emerges from artistic practice and its processes, and focuses on the potential of artistic processes to articulate themselves as research, as well as the capacity of these processes to reflect creatively and critically, making artistic practice both the object of research and the method by which research is conducted.

The PhD in the Arts provides a framework for the development of individual projects with a wide range of formats from one-to-one teaching, seminars, workshops, lectures, field trips and an open space for candidates to organise themselves. Doctoral studies take place in a collaborative research environment that fosters artistic and intellectual exchange and collaboration and provides adequate infrastructure and facilities (rooms, instruments, staff, library, etc.).

The programme works with the concept of transversality as an operational principle that opposes both a vertical and a horizontal understanding of art. Examples of transversal practices that the programme welcomes include.

  • Practices that engage with post-anthropocentric forms of creativity (e.g. reflections on the interaction between humans and other-than-humans, environmental consciousness, historical and new materialisms, speculative realism, posthuman discourses, etc.).
  • Practices that develop deviant and creative approaches to history and cultural heritage (e.g. archival practices, reflections on temporal linearity and anachronism, experimental forms of music performance, montages of found footage, etc.).
  • Practices that question hierarchical social and political structures (e.g. following feminist, queer, Marxist, decolonial and postcolonial discourses, etc.) and traditional divisions of labour in the art market (composer/performer/improviser, artist/audience, art/society, etc.).
  • Practices that engage with the imaginary and the spiritual, not as marginal non-realities, but as means of changing epistemologies and reinventing ontologies.

General study information

With the artistic doctorate, the Mozarteum University extends and completes its rich offer of art-university research.

The concept of the work, the artistic-research process and their documentation are regarded here as broad, interrelated and divergent categories whose definition and differentiation can themselves become the subject of artistic research.

The programme is aimed equally at graduates of the University Mozarteum Salzburg as well as at graduates of other relevant studies at a recognised domestic or foreign post-secondary educational institution.

In order to be admitted to the artistic doctoral programme, doctoral candidates should fulfil the following general requirements in addition to the formal requirements:

  • an active, richly developed and ongoing artistic practice;
  • a strong awareness of the context of their own practice and a keen interest in critically engaging with it;
  • an interest in critical and creative exchange with colleagues and with a research environment, and openness to the reciprocal change that occurs in such dialogue;
  • a willingness to engage with current discursive practices and to contribute to them by developing one's own discourse in artistic research.

Applicants are admitted to the doctoral programme in a two-stage selection process (application and presentation). In addition, knowledge of English (oral and written) must be proven.

The general university entrance qualification for admission to the doctoral programme is proven by the successful completion of a relevant diploma or master's programme or another equivalent programme with at least the same level of education at a recognised domestic or foreign post-secondary educational institution. In any case, but not exclusively, degrees in the studies offered at the University Mozarteum are considered suitable.

Furthermore, the entrance examination must be passed in order to be admitted to the degree programme. All relevant documents and previous studies must be uploaded to be checked in the course of the online application. Selected applicants will only be invited after their previous studies and uploaded applications have been checked.

Necessary documents for the online application

  • The application portfolio (in a PDF file of maximum 5 MB) consists of a written part in English outlining the research project and documenting previous artistic practice, including:
    • a curriculum vitae, please also upload separately
    • a portfolio of relevant activities (exhibitions, concerts, compositions, publications, conferences, etc.), with links to audio and video files if applicable,
    • a written proposal for the artistic research project to be developed in the course of the study (contextualisation of the artistic research practice, possible questions of the project, outline of a possible course and provisional timetable of the project, optional: proposals for possible supervisors).
      The PhD project proposal should consist of 2 to 10 A4 pages.
  • MA certificate or diploma of a relevant degree programme, if the degree programme has already been completed. 
  • Current confirmation of enrolment, if the degree programme has not yet been completed (the certificate must be submitted by the time of enrolment!)
  • overview of subjects and grades (Transcript of Records) of the MA programme
  • If further previous studies are available, a complete overview of subjects and grades (Transcript of Records) of all studies must also be uploaded.
  • Proof of English language skills, at least B2 Common European Framework of Reference CEFR 2001 (optional for the online application but obligatory for admission).

Form of the documents

  • The documents can be uploaded as PDF in the application form.
  • If the documents mentioned are not available in German or English, an official translation must be submitted.

Dates & time schedule

  • Examination registration during the application period (16 January - 28 February) online via the registration portal for university applicants
    (ATTENTION: Registration is only possible if all documents are complete!)
  • The result of the first part of the selection procedure will be communicated to the applicants at the beginning of April 2023.
  • Selected candidates will be invited to the entrance examination on site in Salzburg between 2 May and 3 May 2023.
  • The results of the selection procedure will be communicated at the beginning of June 2023.
  • Enrolment during the general admission period.

Deviating examination method

It is pointed out that the University Mozarteum Salzburg offers various support options for the admission examination and during the studies if you have a disability or a chronic illness.

If this applies to you and you would like to take advantage of counselling, please contact Claudia Haitzmann: or +43 676 88122 337.

All courses take place in monthly meetings. Residence in Austria is not required, but participants are asked to take part in the activities in Salzburg.

The degree in the artistic doctoral programme consists of the following parts:

  • Positive completion of the courses and examinations including Interim Review
  • Submission of the documentation of the PhD project
  • Commissioned final examination: Final Review

Link to the semester plan

Every semester, the ÖH fee and, if prescribed, the tuition fee must be paid.

Information on the current amount of fees can be found HERE.

No salary or scholarship from the Mozarteum University is associated with admission to the PhD in the Arts program.

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