This Master of Arts degree course is structured to build on existing technical skills in drawing and painting.
Numerous workshops and labs will enable you to learn practical techniques, contextualised by theoretical modules including history of art, fashion and design, theory of fashion, philosophy, aesthetics, cultural theory, art and design research, rhetoric, poetics and creative writing.
HAW Hamburg‘s Department of Design offers students an up-to-the-minute, interdisciplinary higher education with a broad range of modules available. Its currently 37 professors and 74 freelance lecturers teach Master’s students in the disciplines of fashion, costume, textile and communication design, illustration, photography, graphic printing, art history and clothing technology. Our graduates are rounded professional personalities ready to tackle the cultural, societal and technical challenges of our time and find aesthetically and technologically innovative, business-compatible and environmentally sustainable solutions.
If you’d like to join us on this course, you should be able to identify communication and design challenges and meet them with a high level of skill. We’re looking for talents whose Bachelor or Diplom thesis (or equivalent piece of work) stood out from the crowd – in a good way. Ideally, you’ll be a team player who’s prepared to take on responsible roles.
This degree course explores key questions relating to the aesthetics of a variety of design subdisciplines and to future possibilities for interdisciplinary interconnections. It analyses art and design in their sociocultural contexts and examines their societal relevance in our day. Visual communication and modes of thinking, the new technologies driving today’s various communications platforms, interactive design formats and innovative design solutions of outstanding aestietic quality are at the heart of the work you will do.
The course has three branches, Communication Design, Illustration, and Fashion, Costume and Textile Product Design, each of which has its own separate curriculum consisting of seminars, projects and group presentations. The modules fall into four groups: artistic concept creation, theory, Master’s project, and Master’s forum. The focal areas particular to each branch enable you to specialise or to work across disciplines.
Focal areas in the Illustration branch are as follows:
• Fiction (novels, graphic novels, comics, children’s books)
• Non-fiction (reportage, infographics, scientific, academic and media illustration)
The following documents are required as part of your application to take a test of artistic aptitude for a Master's degree in the Department of Design (you can download the application at bewerbung.design.haw-hamburg.de):
- A copy of your Bachelor or Diplom certificate for a design degree or a similar artistic/creative degree. Alternatively, applicants can submit a letter from their university confirming that they will successfully complete their Bachelor thesis or Diplom exam in the semester in which they are applying.
- An explanation of which minor and which specialisations the applicant wants to take the test for. For the minor in 'Communication Design' applicants can list more than one specialisation.
- A portfolio of artistic/creative and conceptional work which illustrates the applicant's design skills in an appropriate and convincing way. If one of the works submitted has been produced by more than one person, this must be made clear.
- A written and signed statement confirming authorship of the work samples submitted.
- A brief letter of intent outlining your own goals for the Master's degree course, in the form of either a project outline for an artistic/design project or a description of the skills you aim to acquire.
The following documents are required as part of your application for a study place:
- A certified copy of your Bachelor or Diplom certificate
- Verification that you have passed the test of artistic aptitude
- International applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in the German language via a recognised language test, which should be one of the following: Goethe Institute C1, TestDaF 4, telc C1 Hochschule, DSH2, Deutsches Sprachdiplom issued by the KMK (Kultusministerkonferenz), or Kleines or Großes Sprachdiplom issued by the Goethe Institute.
- Preliminary review documentation (Vorprüfungsdokumentation) from uni assist for international students
Please note that you need to pass an artistic aptitude test in order to be admitted to this degree course. This involves the submission of a portfolio and takes place each spring. You can find additional information about the process, deadlines and registration on the Department of Design's application portal.
The letter informing you that you have passed the aptitude test is not a letter of admission for winter semester!
You can only apply for a study place once you have passed the artistic aptitude test. Applications are accepted from 1 June–15 July: Applying for a Master's degree course
Applications and admissions:
HAW Master's Degree Course Admissions Office
Stiftstrasse 69, 20099 Hamburg (Berliner Tor Campus)
Tel.: + 49.40.428 75-9898
Drop-in office hours: Monday/Tuesday: 11:00 am–1:00 pm; Thursday: 2:00–5:00 pm
Infothek opening hours: Monday–Thursday: 10:00 am–4:00 pm; Friday: 10:00 am–1:00 pm
Telephone office hours: Moday/Tuesday, 9:00–10:00 am; Thursday: 9:00–11:00 am
Due to the restrictions resulting from the corona pandemic, drop-in office hours are not being offered at the moment. You can reach us by telephone during these times. The Infothek is closed until further notice.
For general queries about degree courses:
Student Counselling Team (Studienberatung)
Stiftstrasse 69, 20099 Hamburg (Berliner Tor Campus)
Tel.: + 49.40.428 75-9110
Advice and information by phone: Monday–Tuesday: 10 am–1 pm; Thursday: 1 pm–5 pm
Contact person for applicants with disabilities or chronic health conditions:
Alexanderstrasse 1, 20099 Hamburg, room 4.10
Tel. +49.40.428 75-7220
Current office hours:www.haw-hamburg.de/inklusion
Applications and admissions
Faculty Service Office, DMI / Department of Design
Finkenau 35, room F E34, 22081 Hamburg
Tel.: + 49.40.428 75–48 71
Monday–Wednesday: 9:30 am–12:30 pm; Thurs: 2:00 pm–4:00 pm; Fri: 10:00 am–12:00 pm
Specifically subject-related queries:
Prof. Alexandra Kardinar
At a glance
Faculty / Department
No. of semesters
Selective / restricted entry
Language of instruction
Information about this degree course is available in German only.