Update date: 13.12.2023
Пражский образовательный Центр

Photography — how to become a professional photographer in the Czech Republic

Photography — how to become a professional photographer in the Czech Republic - 1

Photography - literally translates to "light painting". The ability to control light, and not to obey or depend on it, is one of the main tasks of a modern photographer.

A real photographer should not only have artistic taste and vision, but also thoroughly understand the technical aspects of creating a photograph.

Especially for those who are interested in photography, Prague Education Center has collected information about which Czech universities teach photography and which exams you need to pass in order to enroll in them.

State universities of the Czech Republic

All the universities listed below have budget places, so applicants have the opportunity to enroll in the desired specialty completely free of charge. 

1. Prague Academy of Arts
Film and Television School 

The independent Department of Photography at the Prague Academy of Arts appeared in 1975, which makes it one of the oldest of its kind in Europe. The Academy strives to preserve the best of its famous traditions, including the education of talents and the encouragement of freedom, ingenuity and imagination, including cooperation between teachers and students. Today, the Academy constantly analyzes the quality of its faculties, which allows it to occupy leading positions in the international arena.

The art of photography is taught in 7 different directions:

  • classic photography
  • studio photo
  • postconceptual photo-art
  • documentary photo
  • photography and new media
  • art photo
  • restoration of photography.

Training is conducted in both Czech and English in Bachelor's (3 years) and master's (2 years) programs. During this time, students get the opportunity to get acquainted with the basic techniques of photo production, its editing, develop their own author's style, study the history and theory of the photo department.

What is required for admission

First of all, international students will need to prepare a standard package of documents consisting of a nostrified certificate of secondary full education and a certificate of knowledge of the Czech language at the B2 level. Applications for training, as well as for any other creative specialty at AMU, are submitted until November 22. The exam takes place in December-January and consists of 2 parts.

The first thing the applicant will have to do is prepare a portfolio of their works (maximum 20 photos) and send it no later than December 1 to the University's admissions office. The assessment is based on the credit / non-credit system. The names of students who have passed the 1st stage of selection are posted on the University's website.

The second stage is a creative competition that can last for several days, most often 3. during this time, applicants must complete several tasks: take a photo on the topic chosen by the jury, write a test on art history and photography, pass an English language exam, take a still life photo, present their portfolio (give a comment, explain the creative idea, etc.) and discuss with the admissions committee their desire to study at the Prague Academy of Arts. Not everyone can pass such a serious selection process. So, last year, 68 school leavers applied for training at AMU, only 10 of them were able to start classes in September.

The very first photograph in the world, which was taken in 1826 by the Frenchman Joseph Nicephore Niepce (Joseph Niepce) is called "View from the window on Le Gras".

Photography — how to become a professional photographer in the Czech Republic - 2

2. Higher School of Applied Arts in Prague
Department of Photography 

The Higher School of Applied Arts (Vysoká škola uměleckoprúmyslová v Praze, VŠUP or UMPRUM) is a state university in the Czech Republic that trains specialists in the field of fine arts, design, architecture, photography and animation.

The university was opened more than 130 years ago by the Austrian Emperor and King of Bohemia, Joseph Franz. VŠUP occupies an important place in the educational system of the Czech Republic. It is for admission to the Higher School of Applied Arts that dozens of applicants from all over the world come here every year.

The concept of studying at the Department of Photography at the Faculty of Artistic Creativity is based, first of all, on a thorough study of the theory and philosophy of photography, technical aspects of photography and, finally, constant practice in studios.

In recent years, the interest in photography among applicants has been so great that it led to the creation of a second department, but already at the Faculty of Graphics and Visual Communications. The recruitment of students for this specialty was opened only in 2018. In general, the university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs for study.

UMPRUM's goal is to provide a comprehensive art education. A mandatory part of the training is an internship in a studio of another direction or abroad.

Twice a year, the School arranges a presentation of students' works to the public under the name "Art Semester". During each year, the School organizes 15 exhibitions, half of which are shown abroad.

Admission requirements and conditions

Upon admission to the university, along with the "invitation card", you will also need to submit a number of different documents, including, for example:

  • Nostrified certificate of secondary full education
  • Motivation letter
  • Applicant's resume
  • A copy of the payment receipt for the application
  • State certificate of knowledge of the Czech language, at least at the B1 level
  • And, of course, the participant's portfolio.

The creative exam itself consists of 2 stages: one of which takes place remotely, and the second with the direct participation of applicants.

First, the admissions committee examines the works sent by the applicant, evaluates them, and invites the most talented guys to the second round. The second part of the entrance tests takes place in early February and usually stretches for several days, during which participants complete creative tasks, write an art history test and pass an oral interview with the head of the photography department. The maximum score that can be obtained at this stage is 12.

3. Yana Evangelista Purkin University in Ust-nad-Labem
Faculty of Arts and Design 

A modern, educational and cultural center of the Ust region, named after the famous Czech scientist from the Libohovice family. Jan Evangelista is considered one of the founders of biology, embryology, histology, advanced pharmacology, comparative anatomy, anthropology and was one of the world's leading physiologists.

The University, due to its geographical location, pays attention to the problems of interethnic culture. It has various educational centers that complement the versatility of this university. 

The faculty, thanks to which the university has gained incredible popularity among applicants. Here they teach such specialties as graphic design, interior design, clothing, digital media, photography and even advertising photos.

The main profile disciplines studied at the departments of photography include: "Theory and History of Photography", "Analog and digital Photography", "Critical analysis of Photography". Bachelor's degree lasts 4 years, master's degree lasts 2 years as standard.

Entrance tests

At the Faculty of Arts and Design of UJEP, "invitations" can be submitted until January 16. Foreign applicants will also need to show the presence of a nostrified certificate and a certificate in the Czech language at A2 level. Regardless of the chosen specialization, advertising photo or just a photo, entrance exams will be held in 2 stages.

Stage 1 — submission of a portfolio (20-30 author's works), which is evaluated by the admissions committee from 1 to 4. Applicants who have received satisfactory grades are allowed to the 2nd stage. Stage 2 consists of writing an art history test, passing an interview and completing several creative tasks.

The maximum number of points that can be scored for the exam is 30.

Photography — how to become a professional photographer in the Czech Republic - 3

4. Tomasz Bati University in Zlin
Faculty of Multimedia Communications

The youngest, but one of the most promising Czech universities, is the Tomas Bati University in Zlin. Founded 18 years ago on the basis of two faculties of the Technical University of Brno. Now this university occupies a leading position in training the best personnel for various sectors of the country. It got its name in honor of the country-famous shoe entrepreneur Tomas Bati, whose birthplace is Zlin.

The faculty appeared only 16 years ago, but has already become one of the main centers for training qualified specialists in the field of marketing communications and design.

One of the most popular departments of the faculty is the department of "Advertising Photography". During the training, students get acquainted with the genres of photography, methods of processing digital photos, ways of creating photographic illustrations, etc. On the basis of the faculty, master classes of famous Czech photographers are often held, field classes are organized.

Conditions of admission to the university

In order to become a student of Tomasz Bati University and study in the specialty "Advertising Photography", it is necessary to successfully pass the entrance exams, which include 2 parts.

The first is the provision of homework. Every year, the admissions committee selects a specific topic on which the applicant's work should be performed. The second is the completion of several creative tasks, writing an art history test and passing an oral interview.

5. University of Ostrava
Faculty of Arts 

The university was established 18 years ago. Now its structure is represented by 6 faculties and two research institutes, a modern library system, and a comfortable campus. A distinctive feature of the university is the presence of a Center for students with disabilities, which allows them to feel comfortable and comfortable in the learning process. The university has positive statistics on the employment of graduates. As a rule, more than 95% of students find a job in their specialty after graduation. The institution actively supports and develops student exchange and experience exchange programs.

The specialty "Art Photography" is also taught at the University of Ostrava within the framework of the direction "Fine Arts". Training is conducted both undergraduate and graduate programs.

Much attention is paid not only to the practical component of the educational process, but also to its theoretical part. University teachers are sure that in order to become a professional photographer and develop their own author's style, they should devote a considerable amount of time to studying the theoretical foundations of photography and other social sciences.

University Admission Rules

Despite the fact that the specialty is creative, you can submit an "invitation" for training until February 28. Entrance exams also take place quite late, most often in March-April. To participate in the first round of selection of future students, applicants should send a portfolio with their best works (no more than 25) for evaluation by the jury.

Those who get more than 10 points for the 1st stage of the competition are invited to the 2nd. Here, applicants already have to perform several creative tasks (the subject of the first one should be chosen from the proposed ones, and the second one should be inspired by the place). The student's work is subsequently discussed together with the admissions committee at the interview.

The world's first camera was made in 1839 by Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre.

Private universities in the Czech Republic

You can also study photography at several private universities in Prague. The requirements for foreign students are the same as in state universities: the presence of a nostrified certificate and a state-issued certificate of knowledge of the Czech language at the B1 level or higher. But you will not be able to enroll in private educational institutions on a budget.

Photography — how to become a professional photographer in the Czech Republic - 4

1. Art & Design Institute, Czech Republic, Prague
Department of Photography

The Art&Design Institute is considered to be the first private university in the Czech Republic specializing in teaching creative specialties, including photography. This university specializes in training students in relevant creative specialties. At the same time, the curricula harmoniously combine subjects in art disciplines and education in the field of business.

The training is conducted in Czech. Upon graduation, graduates are awarded the Bachelor of Arts qualification.

Theoretical classes are mainly held in the form of lectures and consultations, which allows teachers to focus on the interests of students and, to some extent, individualize the learning process.During the training period, special attention is paid to the development of artistic taste and the development of practical skills, for example, such as working in Adobe Photoshop, shooting portraits in the studio, adjusting lights, etc.

After studying for 3 years, students receive the title of Bachelor of Arts, which allows them to either immediately start professional activity or continue their education at another university.

Admission conditions and entrance exams

To enroll in the university, the applicant must:

  • Submit an "invitation" by March 16
  • Present a portfolio with at least 5 of your works
  • Write a test on art theory
  • Pass an oral interview with the admissions committee.

2. Higher School of Creative Communications, Czech Republic, Prague
Department of Photography and Audiovisual Arts

VŠKK is a private university that trains in only two specialties: "Literary business" and "Visual Art" with various specializations, one of which is photography. Studying at the Higher School of Creative Communications is purely practical in nature and graduates specialists who are already ready to work in advertising agencies, graphic design studios, publishing houses and large media. Training at the university is conducted only according to bachelor's degree programs.

The educational process is structured according to the type of Scandinavian and British schools: during their studies, students receive not only the necessary practical skills, but also join the professional community by establishing the necessary contacts.

Acceptance of documents and admission rules

The university has several deadlines for submitting documents, the deadline is September 25. The entrance exam is an oral interview during which, firstly, the work submitted by the applicant is evaluated, and, secondly, his motivation to study is discussed.

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