The Bachelor of Arts degree course in Communication Design at HAW Hamburg is broad-based. It encompasses the subdisciplines of brand, editorial and interaction design, typography, time-dependent media, photography and typeface design, producing skilled all-rounders with specialisms in the areas it covers.
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The technological, economic and societal developments precipitated by the advance of digitalisation have opened up new fields and roles for specialists in communication design. Their work takes place at points of intersection between various departments within an organisation or between functions or academic disciplines. They may also work in specific roles in design or advertising agencies, in publishing, in film, photography or digital media.
Our graduates' day-to-day work might include designing and developing visual information systems or image campaigns for advertising, print (newspapers, magazines, brochures, books, posters and flyers), digital media (online applications, screen design, film clips, design tasks for film and television), or documentary or art photography.
This Bachelor’s degree course comprises modules from brand, editorial and interaction design, typography, time-dependent media, photography and typeface design, from which students select their own emphases. In this way, our graduates leave us as both specialists and solid all-rounders, which enables them to respond flexibly to the increasing demands of their professional lives. At the end of this seven-semester degree course, students complete a Bachelor thesis.
If you’re keen to pursue a career in communication design, you should be interested both in traditional graphic techniques and in innovative visual systems and communication solutions for print media, film and digital formats. You’ll do well with us if you‘re driven by the desire to express yourself visually, curious about the creative process, and engaged with the world around you.
Higher education entrance qualification and test of artistic aptitude
As well as having a school-leaving qualification that entitles you to enter higher education (the German Abitur or Fachhochschulreife or an equivalent), you’ll need to take a test of artistic aptitude (see below). In exceptional cases, we admit applicants without a higher education entrance qualification who have demonstrated outstanding talent.
Read more about the test of artistic aptitude: Application – Department of Design
We do not require you to have completed pre-course experience for this course.
If you completed your schooling outside Germany and want to study here for a Bachelor’s degree, you need to hold an academic school-leaving qualification which entitles you to admission to higher education; that is, it needs to be comparable to a German Abitur or Fachhochschulreife. The organisation uni-assist will check your certificates from school and any degree-level studies to establish comparability.
You can find more information about HAW Hamburg’s application criteria at International applicants.
Please note that applicants for this course are required to take a test of artistic aptitude which includes submission of a portfolio of your work. The test takes place each autumn. You can find details about the test and the registration deadlines on the Department of Design’s web page: Department of Design
You may only proceed to the formal application stage once you have passed the test of artistic aptitude. We only accept online applications. They can be submitted between 1 December and 15 January for a place in the following summer semester. This course does not have a winter semester intake. You can find the online application system (available only during the period specified above) here: Applying for a Bachelor's degree course
Applications from international applicants should also be submitted online during the application period.
We’ve prepared a step-by-step checklist to guide you through the process: International applicants
Applications and admissions
Student Admissions and Registration Office (Studierendensekretariat)
Stiftstraße 69, 20099 Hamburg (ground floor)
T +49.40.428 75-9898
Contact us with your questions about applications and admissions
Drop-in 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
Advice and information by phone: Monday/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 on HAW Hamburg degree courses and course choice
Student Counselling Team (Zentrale Studienberatung)
Stiftstraße 69, 20099 Hamburg, rooms 121/122
T +49.40.428 75-9110
Advice and information by phone: Monday/Tuesday: 10:00 am–1:00 pm; Thursday: 1:00–5:00 pm
Contact person for applicants with disabilities or chronic health conditions
Alexanderstraße 1, 20099 Hamburg, room 4.10
T +49.40.428 75-7220
Current office hours
Specifically subject-related queries:
Student advisory service
Prof. Almut Schneider
Finkenau 35, 22081 Hamburg
Tel.: + 49.40.428 75-4696
almut.schneider (@) haw-hamburg.de
Test of artistic aptitude
Dates for portfolio consultation sessions and the registration form for the test are published at www.design.haw-hamburg.de/bewerbung/bachelorstudium
You can contact our portfolio advisory team at
At a glance
Faculty / Department
No. of semesters
Selective / restricted entry
Language of instruction
Information about this degree course is available in German only.