ZHdK offers prospective students the possibility to complete a doctorate in cooperation with universities in Switzerland and abroad. Like all Swiss art academies, the Zurich University of the Arts does not have its own right to award doctorates. However, in order to enable its graduates and international students to obtain a doctorate, the ZHdK has entered into cooperation agreements with universities in Switzerland and abroad.

The department of performing arts and film is developing a new Artistic Doctoral Programme in Performing Arts, Music and Film in collaboration with the department of music at ZHdK and several international partners, which have the right to award doctorate degrees.

The programme builds on an existing and successful partnership with the Doctoral School for Artistic Research at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (KUG) (Austria), which started in 2014 in music and was extended to the field of theatre and performing arts in 2017. The programme further aims to consolidate and expand the strategically important collaborations between the ZHdK and the Dr. phil. in art Programme at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF as well as the Third Cycle Programme in Artistic Practices at the Stockholm University of the Arts to an in Switzerland unprecedented partnership in doctoral programmes in the performing arts, music and film. Both Babelsberg as the first and only practice-based doctorate in film in the German-speaking area and Stockholm with its specializations choreography, performing arts, opera, and film and media represent the full spectrum of disciplines in performing arts, music, and film.

The PhD-Programme is based on the high standards and demands of the model of artistic research developed there and encourages the exploration of transdiciplinarity between the performative practise and reflection within music, the performing arts and film.

Participants of the PhD-programme benefit from the expertise and facilities of ZHdK, a vibrant artistic research community and an excellent infrastructure. They can access a large pool of artistic and academic supervisors at the universities and participate in lectures, events and peer groups.

The establishment of this third-cycle programme goes hand in hand with the newly established ZHdK PhD Centre. PhD candidates can join one of the three cross-departemental PhD schools at ZHdK. More information on the conditions of doing a PhD with ZHdK (formal requirements, funding options etc.) can be found here: FAQ

Call for Applications 2024/25

The next Call for Applications will be launched in spring 2024.
If you want to check out the Call for 2023/24, you can find it in either English or German

How to apply:

In order to apply for a PhD programme in collaboration with ZHdK, a MA degree (or equivalent) is required. For further requirements, please check the particular conditions of the partner universities.

We are currently cooperating with four acclaimed arts universities:
— Graz University of the Arts (KUG): Dr. artium Programme
— Babelsberg Film University Konrad Wolf: Scientific-artistic doctorate
— Linz University of the Arts: Transdisciplinary Artistic PhD
— Stockholm University of the  Arts (SKH): doctorate

If you are interested in applying for the collaborative programme with the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (KUG), please check the information on the three-year programme, its curriculum and requirements: KUG-Website

If you are interested in applying for a PhD in performing arts or film at ZHdK in collaboration with other partner universities, such as the Film University in Potsdam-Babelsberg or the University of the Arts Stockholm, please contact us.

Current Doctoral Candidates 

Current Supervisors

Current Supervisors from Graz

Partner Universities

University of Music and Performing Arts Graz
Stockholm University of Arts
Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf