Degree programmes

The Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst / Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig (HGB) is one of the oldest and most prestigious colleges of art in Europe. The Academy has already been providing art and design education at the highest level for more than 250 years. Its excellent reputation is down to the many graduates who continually make a significant impact on the areas of fine art and graphic design and the many renowned professors and dedicated tutors working at the HGB. We maintain a superb international network of more than 100 collaboration partners from various areas of the art and graphic design industry, but also from the world of science and economics. Quality and sustainability of teaching and practice is what we stand for.

Studying at the HGB

We want to create the perfect environment for stretching your mind, stimulating fruitful discourses and encouraging unbound experimentation to enable you to develop your creative talent. Supported by the close contact our students enjoy with all the supervisors, you will be able to develop your own artistic personality. This interaction will allow you to help shape the development of the university. Feel free to either work in a core subject area or take an interdisciplinary approach. In addition to your artistic suitability and your enthusiasm, your time here will be marked by the joy of sharing ideas and lively discussions with others— something you will benefit from throughout your entire career.

Degree programmes

The HGB offers four Diploma degree programmes:

Each degree programme is divided into a two-year foundation course and a three-year main course. These are flanked by a broad and intense range of theory classes. The HGB also offers a Meisterschüler*innen programme (postgraduate studies for artists) in all subject areas as well as the master’s degree course Cultures of the Curatorial. Since 2016, the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig (HGB) has been offering the Academy for Transcultural Exchange (AtA), the first academic program in Germany for refugees in the field of fine arts and graphic design, in which participants are regularly enrolled.

Programme structure

Foundation Course

The two-year foundation course of all our Diplom programmes is all about giving you a technical, artistic and theoretical foundation and honing your own art and design skills. You will mainly immerse yourself in your specific degree programme, but you will also take advantage of the interdisciplinary workshops and take part in public presentations from an early stage, e.g. at the annual tour of the Academy.

Main Course

The main course of every degree programme gives you a choice of four areas in which to specialise:

Book Design / Graphic Design


Painting / Printmaking

Media Art

However, these are generally not strictly regimented, meaning you can also complete your degree in two areas of different degree programmes. The artistic orientation of the classes taught in the respective specialisation areas is mainly down to the artists and designers who teach them. Tuition is given in individual and group session, practical work and symposiums, workshops, placements and field trips. As a result you will:
  • develop your own position and visual language
  • become proficient at critically reflecting on your own work and questioning your own practices
  • develop and assess work processes and devise you own work methods
  • become confident at realising your own projects
  • be given the tools to express yourself with confidence when faced with relevant target groups
  • develop and expand your organisation and communication skills

Theory study

Nowadays, doing a semester abroad at another university has become the norm. Art and media theory as well as philosophy have become an integral part of our degree programmes and accompany all students throughout their practical art education.

Meisterschüler*innen (post graduate studies for artists)

The "Meister*inschüler*innen" programme expends and deepens the artistic-practical and artistic-theoretical abilities and skills and provides support for the development of artistic projects. Goal of the studies is to attain the title "Meister*inschüler*innen" (master pupil). The studies are, in general, completed with the "Meister*inschüler*innen" exam at the end of the 4th semester of studies. The studies take place within "Meister*inklassen" (master classes). Content and extent of the studies are defined within the individual studies programs by the responsible professor (mentor). The number of terms prescribed for the completion of the degree is 4 semesters. Objectives, contents and structure of the "Meister*inschüler*innen" program are regulated in the prevailing studies regulation. Contents, requirements and procedures of the exam are regulated in the prevailing examination regulations for artistic "Meister*inklassen". More informationen...


For the practical sections of its degree programmes, the HGB has various superbly equipped workshops at its disposal: the 3D lab, the audiovisual lab, the photo labs, the workshops for wood carving, artistic offset printing, lithography, etching and screen printing as well as workshops for book printing, book binding and manual typesetting. The education and training in these areas has a longstanding tradition at the HGB, but is simultaneously also always looking for new technologies and new realms of possibilities.

Presenting, publishing, exhibiting

We present our work to the public in exhibitions, events and publications — be it at the Academy’s own gallery, the institute for Book Design or at one of our many national and international partner institutions.


The programme of the support office includes a broad range of courses, lectures and discussions on cross-disciplinary and specific topics that are relevant to the artistic and creative practice in everyday working life. The support office strives to help students on their way to professional independence. The offers are divided into three areas: basics, presentation and perspective.


The HGB is home to a special research library providing specialized information resources on art history, painting, graphic design, book art / bookmaking, photography, new media art and related subject areas. The library user has access to a total of approx. 65,000 items and more than 80 current periodicals. Historical literature on photography, Academy prints and special collections like artists’ books, rare prints and unique copies complement the collection. The Library is open to the public. Resources may be borrowed by members of the Academy as well as by external users, if registered.

Studying in Leipzig

The fact that the city of Leipzig offers genuine (and affordable) quality of life for students is no longer a secret. In addition to the great infrastructure and lavish layout of the city, Leipzig has an internationally unparalleled range of cultural attractions.