Industrial design and applied arts

Undergraduate study programme

Our mission is to facilitate the development of talented individuals and working groups qualified for research design work, focusing on creating innovative, sustainable products and services.

We are the only institution in Slovenia carrying out the study programme in industrial design and applied arts. The aim of the programme at the first-cycle level is the acquisition of the basic knowledge necessary for understanding the profession and working in the areas of industrial design and applied arts through design methodologies, and the development of individual design capacities. This multidisciplinary study stimulates you to holistically develop your design capacities. Through practical courses and with the help of the tutors who are the leading design experts in Slovenia, we help develop the student’s abilities to identify and solve problems and upgrade these with the knowledge acquired during history and theory courses. The study is based on one-to-one teaching and a personal approach to students, which is crucial for teaching the topics included in the programme. You can choose between two courses: Industrial Design and Applied Arts. Vertical, in-depth continuation of the study is possible at the second-cycle level. The Department for Industrial Design and Applied Arts has been, for the second consecutive year, ranked among the top 50 schools in the area of architecture and design in Europe, and it is proud of its long tradition.

Interdisciplinary doctoral studies


The interdisciplinary doctoral programme in Art at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (coordinator), the Academy of Music, the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film, and Television, the Biotechnical Faculty, the Faculty of Architecture, and the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering of the University of Ljubljana, lasts for 4 years and comprises 240 credit points.

The doctoral programme in Art is analogous to third-cycle education in the field of science and is equivalent to it. It is connected to the field of science by the degree of systematicity, complexity, and creativity, while being distinguished from it by the content, methodological, educational, and evaluative aspects of the study. An important common denominator of both modalities of third-cycle education is the aspect of research, as the third-cycle education programme in the field of art is fundamentally designed and guided by research.

The interdisciplinary doctoral programme in Art is a continuation and upgrade of the second-cycle study, the central part of which is artistic research and the development of highly qualified artists from various fields. The learning outcomes are reflected in highly qualified artists (at the artistic and theoretical levels) competent for internationally comparable artistic practice in the chosen field.

Presentation booklet of the Interdisciplinary doctoral programme in Art (in preparation)




The doctoral programme leads to the degree of Doctor of Arts in the following artistic fields:

Artistic fields coordinated by the Academy of Fine Arts and Design:



Artistic field coordinated by the Academy of Music:


Artistic fields coordinated by the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television:

  • FILM

Artistic field coordinated by the Biotechnical Faculty:


Artistic field coordinated by the Faculty of Architecture:


Artistic field coordinated by the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering:





The interdisciplinary doctoral programme in Art comprises 7200 hours or 240 ECTS. Out of this, 1800 hours or 60 ECTS consists of organised classes, and 5400 hours or 180 ECTS are allocated to individual artistic-research work. 1 ECTS is valued at 30 hours of student work.

Organized forms constitute 25%, while research work represents 75% of the student’s obligations. Lectures generally do not exceed 20% of all organized forms of instruction. The proportion of seminars, exercises, and other forms of study averages more than 80%.

The order of subjects or the distribution of subjects across semesters and years:

  1. YEAR: 60 ECTS

5 ECTS – Research in Art I
5 ECTS – Theories of Art
5 ECTS – Compulsory Core Course from the field in which the student is enrolled
10 ECTS – Art Seminar I (participation in comparable activities, artistic activity, activity in written text as a connection between conceptual and practical work)
35 ECTS – Individual Artistic Research Work

  1. YEAR: 60 ECTS

5 ECTS – Research in Art II
5 ECTS – External Elective Subject
5 ECTS – Presentation of the Doctoral Dissertation Proposal
45 ECTS – Individual Artistic Research Work

  1. YEAR: 60 ECTS

10 ECTS – Art Seminar II (participation in comparable activities, artistic activity, activity in written text as a connection between conceptual and practical work)
50 ECTS – Individual Artistic Research Work

  1. YEAR: 60 ECTS

50 ECTS – Individual Artistic Research Work
5 ECTS – Presentation of the Results of the Artistic Research Work
5 ECTS – Public Defence of the Doctoral Dissertation

Vertical Integration of Courses: The doctoral study begins with compulsory core methodological courses and progresses to more particular ones. From the 1st to the 4th year, the proportion of individual artistic research work increases. Core courses provide essential knowledge necessary for artistic research in the chosen field. They initially provide the broadest theoretical framework for research, then address research methodology, various methods of artistic research, and methods for presenting research results.

Horizontal Integration of Courses is ensured by the theme of the doctoral dissertation, based on which doctoral seminars are selected and which guides individual artistic research work.

To complete the study and obtain the artistic title of Doctor of Arts, the student must successfully fulfill all program-specific study obligations and successfully defend the doctoral work with a total of 240 ECTS. The doctoral candidate’s obligation includes at least one public presentation of the results of artistic research work (upon submission of the doctoral work for evaluation), recognized as appropriate by individual artistic disciplines. The doctoral candidate must submit evidence of the first authorship of the artistic work and its public presentation no later than the submission of the doctoral work for evaluation.

The doctoral work is the result of a multi-year artistic research project. It must represent an original contribution to art, positively evaluated by the committee monitoring the doctoral student. The doctoral work must primarily adhere to three principles: the addressed problem must be relevant, the student must master the methodology of artistic research, and the results must constitute an original contribution to art.





The University of Ljubljana, Academy of Fine Arts and Design (UL ALUO), coordinates and participates in the implementation of the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programme in Art. The fields carried out by UL ALUO are FINE ARTS and DESIGN.



The doctoral study in the field of FINE ARTS and DESIGN is designed as a qualitative upgrade of the first and second Bologna degree levels in the field of fine arts and design. The upgrade is prepared following the example of art academies and higher education institutions in the EU, USA, and beyond, in a manner that considers the characteristics and socio-historical specificities of the Slovenian cultural space.

The fundamental goal of the study programme is to educate doctoral students to perform the most demanding tasks and roles in the artistic environment, to conduct independent artistic research in a broader field of art, and to integrate equivalently into the international job market and artistic research environment. It aims to establish opportunities for further study in postdoctoral artistic study programmes. The programme is focused on shaping a broadly educated Doctor of Arts capable of independently leading and coordinating the most demanding research and knowledge applications in the chosen field of art, as well as in the context of interdisciplinary research and artistic projects. The doctoral candidate will be qualified for research work in the academic sphere and beyond, skilled, independent, and proactive in leading fundamental, applied, or developmental (interdisciplinary) research programs and projects in the field of art.



Due to the complexity of interdisciplinary practices within the field of fine arts, the research programme offered by the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programme in Art is crucial. Artistic practice requires transferable, replicable research methods that can be applied to various subfields of fine arts.

The field of fine arts encompasses various disciplines from the realms of modern, contemporary, and intermedia arts. The term “modern art” refers to art that spanned from the 1870s to the 1970s. The art of this period is characterized by a series of movements, styles, and trends. The term “contemporary art” is used for the art of the present time, distinguishing it from modern art not as a stylistic label but as a way to differentiate it. The term “intermedia arts” is used to describe art that artistically utilizes and represents processes, products, and influences of technologies, sciences, and related practices, using modern technologies in a reflective, creative, and research-oriented manner.

The working method and artistic research in the field of fine arts will predominantly focus on acquiring knowledge and skills in the field of individual authorial work. However, the doctoral study will also include new forms of fine arts that are technologically demanding and require teamwork for their realization. Special attention will be given to acquiring competencies in newer modes of expression, with an emphasis on those that frequently emerge in the interaction between multiple genres, and more, in interaction with other fields, not necessarily bound to a single discipline.



In the field of design, the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programme in Art allows for in-depth and systematic research into all practical forms of design. This includes those covered by both design departments at the first and second levels of design studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, as well as those emerging from contemporary design practices. In other words, artistic research in the field of design provides insight and critical evaluation of developmental changes within professional practices and research in a broad range of product design, services, interactions, and systems.

This is significant because design is happening constantly and everywhere. We are persistently building and redesigning our everyday lives. The theorist and designer Tony Fry has described the world we live in as a “world within the world.” It is a world entirely designed by us, humans, or as historian and critic Siegfried Giedion called it, a world of anonymous life. However, this slowly changing everyday world continually redesigns our patterns of life. The awareness of the potential of design and our ability to activate it is crucial for shaping the field of design in the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programme in Art.

The programme clearly establishes the necessity of being aware of the existence of design potential and our ability to activate it. Through artistic research, it allows doctoral students to explore design as an area that not only has the possibility to see the impossible in the possible but also to execute it in practice. Designers, through their practical work, can continuously write and change the code of operation. Therefore, the question posed to future doctoral students by the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programme in Art in the field of design is how, by following the creation of knowledge from practice, we can arrive at new (critical) insights and knowledge.



The core methodological courses of the programme, mandatory for all doctoral students, are Research in Art I, Research in Art II, and Art Theories. Research methods are crucial for the diverse fields of art, as they bring a set of transferable and replicable working methods to an increasingly interdisciplinary artistic research environment. Doctoral candidates will apply these methods in their individual artistic work within selected artistic fields and reflect on the results of their artistic research. Due to the similarity of the artistic subject areas, the fundamental subjects are the same for all areas.

To ensure familiarity with the field, each student in the chosen field of study enrols in courses totaling 20 ECTS (three core methodological courses and one core course from the specific field). In addition to the core methodological courses of the programme, the compulsory core courses at UL ALUO are Fine Arts and Design (each for its respective field).

Courses are delivered in an organized form of study, and the delivery format is adapted to the number of doctoral students. The selection of courses is made by the doctoral student in agreement with the chosen mentor.

Artistic Seminars 1 and 2 represent the concretization of core methodological and theoretical approaches when addressing selected thematic clusters related to the doctoral work’s topic. Their content is determined each year on an individual basis for each candidate or linked for a group of candidates. The connection is established based on the similarity of the themes of the candidates’ doctoral works.

The majority of the doctoral study takes place in the form of individual artistic research work, within which the candidate, under the guidance of mentors, prepares the doctoral work. They achieve active mastery of research methodology in a specific artistic project and, in practice, develop all the general and subject-specific competencies prescribed by the program and curricula.



The interdisciplinary doctoral programme in Art integrates practical and theoretical elements from selected artistic fields. The study combines contemporary didactic approaches with individual and group methods of acquiring, using, and applying artistic skills and knowledge. Upon completion of the Art study programme, students, through the vertical and horizontal integration of study content, will develop the following competencies:

  1. Analytical skills;
  2. Competent use of methodological tools (independently conducting, coordinating, leading, and organizing artistic practice and research; proficient use and further development of various artistic research methods and techniques; autonomy and self-initiative in research work);
  3. Understanding of the environment in the chosen field, discipline (broad, critical, and reflective understanding of the chosen environment, the functioning of institutions, structures, and development dynamics);
  4. Strategic orientation in the chosen field (high ability to plan, evaluate, and look towards the future, anticipate events, distinguish essential from non-essential, and find solutions to fundamental and applied research problems);
  5. Communicativeness (ability to appropriately present artistic achievements; excellent written and verbal expression skills, public presentation, and clear, active, and reasoned communication);
  6. Teamwork and cooperativeness (leading the most demanding artistic research projects and interdisciplinary group work in a wide artistic field; ability to consider the opinions of others; proactive action and fulfilling agreed roles within the team);
  7. Professionalism (analysis, sequencing, coordination of artistic tasks, and the selection of methods and work modes in accordance with professional standards);
  8. Flexibility in managing changes (flexible operation in various (domestic and foreign) social environments, artistic and cultural contexts, collaboration in interdisciplinary projects, understanding artistic and cultural plurality);
  9. Networking (ability to establish contacts within and outside organizations, managing formal and informal relationships);
  10. Well-developed artistic and artistic research ethics, critical reflection, and humanistic values when working in all professional environments;
  11. Broad knowledge and a wide range of skills in the field of art and the ability to create high-quality artistic work.


Humanities and social sciences

Department for Theoretical Sciences UL ALUO participates in the Interdisciplinary doctoral programme in the Humanities and Social Sciences, coordinated by the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. The doctoral programme leads to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the subject field Fine Art Studies.


General information:


The doctoral programme in Fine Art Studies is designed as a deepening and upgrading of the second-cycle study programmes in fine arts and fine-art theory. Its aim is to educate highly qualified researchers/scholars/teaching staff, competent for internationally comparable and interchangeable research of relevant theoretical and practical problems in the wide area of fine arts and their conceptual, historiographical and heritological infrastructure.

The field of fine arts provides the possibility of a third-cycle programme in specialist epistemology, logic and methodology in the areas of fine-arts theory, art theory, history and the theory of conservation-restoration as well as the history and theory of design, with the emphasis on systematic monitoring of the specialist and methodological bases of these studies (from the historical and comparative perspectives), on the study of their current paradigms, models in discourses, related to the trends in fine-art practice and on the reflection on the research context, which, due to the complexity of the researched subject, each of the above studies encounters in the form of a more or less expressed need for an interdisciplinary epistemic and methodological synergy. The direct purpose of such training is contextualisation, which leads to the PhD student’s more comprehensive reflection on concrete research problems, hypotheses and strategies, while the secondary purpose is a permanent critical reflection on the research methods of the PhD student’s profession and his/her individual research as well as the deconstruction of the operational default premises in both areas, leading, as a rule, to innovations at the problem tackling, methodological and, last but not least, practical levels.

The study is fully harmonised with the structure and organisation of the interdisciplinary doctoral programme for Humanities and Social Sciences. A student of a given subject in the area of Fine Art Studies enrols into two core courses (2 × 10 ECTS credits), two elective doctoral seminars (2 × 10 ECTS credits) and an external elective course (10 ECTS credits). The core courses provide a doctoral student with an in-depth understanding and operational use of Interdisciplinary doctoral programme in the Humanities and Social sciences, academic year 2022/2023 Stran 61 od 63 research epistemology and methodology in the field of the selected subject and an insight into the operational interdisciplinary connections within the general matrix of the disciplines in the area of Fine Art Studies. Doctoral seminars provide the possibility of an active involvement of the core subject lecturers with students helping them identify and define relevant research challenges, prepare the outlines of their dissertations and, in particular, plan and carry out their research.

A student selects the external elective course because of the need for epistemic deepening or because of the need for a methodological expansion and contextualisation of his/her research infrastructure; he/she can select it from a range of courses included in the interdisciplinary doctoral programme for Humanities and Social Studies or outside the programme, at the other members of the University of Ljubljana, at any of the Slovenian universities or at any of the acknowledged foreign universities, thus obtaining the possibility to carry out the research work abroad and learn about different research practices. However, the largest amount of doctoral study (180 ECTS credits) is carried out in the form of individual research work, in the frame of which the student prepares, under the guidance of a mentor, a doctoral dissertation while in practice developing and verifying, via applications, general and subject-specific competences, prescribed by the programme and curricula.

The programme lasts 4 years (240 ECTS credits) and represents the third level of the Bologna cycle. The programme consists of organised classes (60 credits) and individual research work for the doctoral thesis (180 credits).


Educators and researchers:


Prof. Dr. Uršula Berlot Pompe

Prof. Dr. Petra Černe Oven

Asst. Prof. Dr. Petja Grafenauer

Prof. Dr. Jožef Muhovič

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Barbara Predan

Asst. Prof. Dr. Blaž Šeme

Asst. Prof. Dr. Tomo Stanič

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nadja Zgonik


Commision president of the doctoral studies at the UL ALUO:

prof. dr. Uršula Berlot Pompe


Course and subject fields presentation:


Fine Art Studies
Fine Art Theory
Methodology of Artistic and Fine Art Theoretical Research
Methods of Fine Art Theories
Prof. Dr. Jožef Muhovič
Prof. Dr. Uršula Berlot Pompe
Art Theory Historical and Contemporary Aspects of Art Theory and Practice
Theories of Arts and Art Historical Interpretations
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nadja Zgonik
Asst. Prof. Dr. Rebeka Vidrih
History and Theory of Conservation-Restoration Research Foundations in Conservation-Restoration
Methods of Fine Art Theories
Asst. Prof. Dr. Blaž Šeme
Prof. Dr. Uršula Berlot Pompe
History and Theory of Design The Topicality of Design History, Theory and Criticism
Methods of Fine Art Theories
Prof. Dr. Petra Černe Oven,
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Barbara Predan
Prof. Dr. Uršula Berlot Pompe