FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Is my Master's or diploma certificate acceptable for admission to the doctoral programme at the MUK?

The MUK doctoral programme does not restrict the required academic degree of applicants to specific artistic disciplines. Instead, it focuses the direction of submitted research projects and also admits doctoral students with a scientific degree, provided that they demonstrate substantial artistic practice.

The doctoral programme profile is aimed at applicants from different disciplines who share an interest in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary artistic research and thinking, and the merging of theory and artistic practice with the goal of acquiring new knowledge and new research insights.

How is the doctoral programme structured?

The doctoral programme comprises 180 ECTS credits with a minimum/regular study period of six semesters. The programme concludes with the academic degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

The following table (curriculum) outlines the programme structure, the modules and the mandatory courses of the doctoral programme:

Within the scope of the doctoral programme, the doctoral student will devise and complete an artistic-scholarly research project. The project includes:

a) a portfolio that documents the relevant research steps and results of the research project and communicates these in an appropriate and comprehensive form. You are required to discuss with the supervisors how to devise your individual portfolio.

b) a written dissertation that presents the research findings, anchors the project and the topic within the research discourse, and includes a reflection on the methods and an analysis of the research process; minimum length 80 pages (approx. 160,000 characters excluding images, musical examples, bibliography and appendix). The dissertation must be written in German or English. The provisions of the Copyright Act must be observed during the handling of the topic.

In which subject areas can I conduct my PhD research?

Admission to the doctoral programme is possible in the following subject areas/research fields: contemporary theatre, interpretation research, composition/music theory, art and cultural education, performance art, and contemporary dance.

Do doctoral students receive instruction on a central artistic subject?

The curriculum of the doctoral programme does not include instruction on a central artistic subject.

Which documents should I submit with my application?

The applicant must submit the following application documents in German or English via MUKonline:

a) Comprehensive and convincing concept for the intended research project (topic, research questions, methods, literature) with a maximum of 10 pages
b) Letter of motivation
c) CV
d) Artistic portfolio of work to date
e) Description of previous activities/experience in the field of Artistic Research (one A4 page)
f) Written confirmation of supervision (supervision agreement) by the academic supervisor and the artistic supervisor (at least one of the two supervisors must be from
the MUK pool of supervisors; external supervisors must have a post-doctoral qualification or post-doctorate equivalent qualification)
g) Copy of Master’s thesis or relevant recent publication (List of Publications)
h) Degree certificates (Master's degree or equivalent)

How do I find the right supervisors?

For your application, you will need written confirmation of supervision (Supervision Agreement) from two supervisors: from one academic supervisor and from one artistic supervisor. At least one of the two supervisors must be from the MUK pool of supervisors; external supervisors must have a post-doctorate qualification or post-doctorate equivalent qualification, i.e. a professorship at a university.

For PhD projects that require or substantially benefit from interdisciplinary supervision, it is possible to engage supervisors from different research areas (e.g. Artistic supervisor: Composition/Music Theory, Scientific supervisor: Performance Art).

You are expected to send your elaborated concept, as well as references to your relevant (previous) artistic work, to your preferred supervisors. Please note that the potential supervisors have no obligation to give feedback and that they are not expected to coach you; any feedback should be considered an act of generosity.

Supervision agreement

Can I change supervisors?

Until the completed research project is submitted, it is possible to change supervisors following approval by the doctoral committee.

Do I have to move to Vienna?

It is recommended, yet not indispensable, to move to Vienna. Overall, you must schedule sufficient periods of presence in Vienna in order to attend PhD courses and engage in a productive dialogue with your supervisors and peers onsite at the MUK.

How does the selection process work?

You can find the current deadlines here.

Admission to the programme is based on a qualitative selection procedure, which is carried out with the applicant in the form of an admission examination by the relevant doctoral committee. This selection procedure is used to assess the candidate’s suitability for the specific requirements of the doctoral programme. The applicant’s prior knowledge and artistic-scholarly potential will be taken into account along with the quality of the planned research project according to the following criteria: innovation of the research question, clarity of the chosen methodology, feasibility and the positioning of the project within the relevant research discourse.

Based on the submitted documents, the doctoral committee will decide whether to invite the applicant to a commission-led admission examination. During the admission examination, the applicant must present the concept of their planned research project (maximum 20 minutes). This is followed by a discussion between the doctoral committee and the applicant (maximum 40 minutes).

The doctoral committee will decide whether the applicant fulfils the admission requirements by means of a simple majority, based on the submitted documents, the obtained statements of the supervisors and the commission-led admission examination.

The doctoral committee may conditionally admit a student to the programme with the requirement to complete additional tasks beyond the study plan (e. g. examinations, courses) related to the research project.

Admission to the programme is followed by the appointment of the academic supervisor and of the artistic supervisor by the Vice Rector for Research.

The Rector is to admit the persons proposed by the doctoral committee to the programme, based on the number of available study places.

Does the MUK provide assistance with the preparation of the application documents (concept of the research project)?

The MUK does not offer assistance regarding the preparation of the application documents. Doctoral students who have already been admitted to the programme receive assistance from the Research Service of the MUK regarding their third-party funding applications.

Do I need to provide proof of language proficiency?

All PhD students are expected to be proficient in German or English in accordance with Level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Written evidence (exam results, etc.) need not be submitted at the time of application.
However, the doctoral committee may request written evidence following their review of the application documents or after the commission-led admission examination.

What are the costs for studying on the doctoral programme at the MUK?

An overview of the fees can be found here.

Is there financial support available?

A budget of EUR 3,000 is made available to each doctoral student for travel expenses, conference fees and the research project.

You can find information on grants and research funding in Austria at this link: grants.at.

Will doctoral students have the opportunity to apply for a paid position at the MUK?

Two doctoral positions (50%) are allocated to the doctoral programme. These are re-advertised every three years.

Can I complete the programme while working?

As most of the ECTS credits are obtained in and through the self-organised research process (laboratory), the programme can be completed while you are working.

Is admission subject to an age limit?

There is no age limit.

How many doctoral students are admitted each year?

A maximum of 5 doctoral students are admitted each year.

Which premises are available for doctoral students to use?

The premises for the doctoral programme are located at Bräunerstraße, in the 1st district of Vienna. Doctoral students have access to two laboratories (89 m2 in total) as well as a work zone with 2 mobile and 2 fixed workstations.

Where can I learn more about research at the MUK?

All current research projects at the MUK can be viewed on the website of the ZWF – Centre for Science and Research).