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UMPRUM in Prague, Czech Republic

Call for Applications: Ph.D. Programme in Visual Arts

The Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (UMPRUM) invites candidates to apply to the Ph.D. Programme in Visual Arts in English. At UMPRUM, you can study Architecture, Design, Fine Arts or Applied Arts at the doctoral level while the emphasis of the studies is on artistic research.

During their studies, doctoral students are engaged in artistic creation and individual production, focusing not only on the creative practice itself, but also learning to reflect on their own work, share, summarize, and develop their own experiences of the artistic and technological process.

The listed doctoral thesis topics are formulated quite broadly, and individual proposals from applicants are welcomed. The doctoral thesis consists of two fully equivalent and mutually supportive parts: the artistic (artistic-technological) realization and the text. Thus, within the framework of their fields of study, students are able to move their work to qualitatively higher levels and at the same time to carry out artistic (artistic-technological) research, contribute to the formation of professional discourse and also teach.

The uniqueness of the graduates of doctoral studies at UMPRUM lies in the interdisciplinarity of the school, which is based on a long tradition and on a well-established system of close cooperation between doctoral candidates and their consultants from the Department of Theory and History of Art.

Since its foundation in 1885 UMPRUM has ranked among the best educational institutions in the country. According to the QS World University Rankings, UMPRUM is the only school from a post-communist country ranked among the most prestigious art schools in Europe. All studios at UMPRUM are led by leading figures of the Czech art scene.

Contents of studies

Doctoral studies are designed as a four-year programme, so the curriculum is divided into eight semesters.

The study programme is based on an individual study plan, which, in addition to the compulsory subjects, consists of:

  • artistic (artistic-technological) work on the project,
  • theoretical work on the dissertation text,
  • other activities (participation in the preparation for external lectures, workshops, presentations, exhibitions, etc.)

Both the artistic work and teaching and organizational activities are usually carried out under the guidance of the studio supervisor. Exhibition and publication activities are mostly independent. Joint theoretical teaching is carried out by the Department of Theory and History of Art, and it focuses on the strengthening of study competences (understanding of difficult texts, skills in presenting one’s own work and the ability to formulate and elaborate one’s own text) and mainly takes the form of seminars/exercises. The interactive approach is complemented by theoretical lectures to help the Ph.D. candidates to better grasp the art world and understand its functioning (museology and curating, the art market, broader social context).

Assessment criteria

Basic requirements for applicants are the following:

  • Master’s degree in the same or related field (Arts, Design, Architecture, Applied Arts),
  • Qualifications for independent, professional, and research work,
  • English language proficiency (certificate required – certified English exam at B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference),
  • 2-3 years of artistic experience for applicants to the Ph.D. Programme in Visual Arts are recommended, but not required.

As one of the mandatory documents, the student presents a written concept of their doctoral thesis defining the specific problem to be addressed by the doctoral project, which includes:

             -Explanation of the project topic;
             -Project objectives and benefits for its target groups;
            - Summary of the current state of the problem;
            - Background literature;
            - Anticipated methodological approach;
             -Timetable for each year;
             -Expected form of the practical part of the doctoral thesis

Applications will be assessed in two rounds. The assessment is based on evaluation criteria such as the quality of the project, the quality of previous work, the contribution to UMPRUM, and the ability of reasoning.

Selection process

The first round is conducted remotely, while the second round takes place in the form of an interview with a committee, and it is conducted via distance communication tools. Thus, the applicants do not need to travel to Prague.

Interviews of shortlisted candidates are planned for June 23, 2023. The selected candidates start their studies in October 2023.

Contact information

Centre for Doctoral Studies, UMPRUM, e-mail:


Application deadline: May 30, 2023

Website for application:


Image: Ondřej Přibyl, Signs of Causality (Waste Incineration Plant in Malešice), 2011, daguerreotype, 6 × 8 cm

The project Signs of Causality (2009-2012) was part of the dissertation at the Department of Graphic Arts and Visual Communication at UMPRUM in Prague. The doctoral research focused on the investigation of the uniqueness and reproduction of the photographic image and the process of daguerreotype. It consisted in the mastery of the historical photographic process of daguerreotype and the possibilities of transposing this technological method with a specific visuality into contemporary photographic work. The final output of the dissertation was an exhibition (UM Gallery, 2011) and a revised publication of the text part of the doctoral project (UMPRUM Publishing House, 2014).




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