Charles University Faculty of Arts

Introduction
CUP

“Since the beginning of my studies, I made it my principle that whenever I find a more correct opinion, I will immediately abandon my own, less correct opinion and joyfully embrace the opinion which is more justified, knowing that all we know is merely an infinitesimal fragment of what we do not know.”

Jan Hus, philosopher and Church reformer, alumnus of the Faculty of Arts

The Faculty of Arts at Charles University is currently one of the largest and most important research and educational institutions in the arts and humanities in Central Europe. The Faculty was founded in 1348 by the Czech king and later Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV who established it as one of the four faculties of the Prague university, later named after him Charles University – the oldest university in Central Europe east of France and north of the Alps. Ever since, it has been the intellectual centre of the Czech lands: alumni of the Faculty, their deeds and ideas, have been shaping the Czech society and culture and at the crucial moments of Czech history, the Faculty of Arts has always been at the very heart of the events.

With close to 1,000 staff members, over 9,000 students and a growing international student population of almost 1,000 students from all over the world, the Faculty of Arts is a vibrant and diverse academic environment. Thanks to the flexible system of more than 700 possible double-subject degree combinations, the BA and MA degrees allows the students to focus on two subjects to the same extent, which increases their adaptability and provides them with more opportunities for their future career. The acceptance level is only 27%, which is a prerequisite for a more individual approach, necessary if the humanities are to be taught and studied seriously.

Students and researchers come to the Faculty of Arts to work in more than seventy subjects – a larger number than the majority of comparable institutions in the world can offer. Charles University as such ranks among the top 2% universities in the world and the Faculty itself ranks among the first 200 universities in the world in a number of disciplines.The Faculty attracts the most talented students from the Czech Republic and the number of applications for BA, MA and PhD programmes amounts to 10,000 every year.

The remarkably wide range of disciplines at the Faculty of Arts includes philosophy and religious studies; history and archaeology; psychology; sociology and political science; theatre, film and music studies and a number of philological programmes which combine a rigorous study of a given language and courses in the associated literary, historical and cultural background. The Faculty offers courses in more than a hundred languages, dead and living, such as Albanian, Akkadian, Arabic, Armenian, Avestan, Azerbaijani, Basque, Bengali, Bulgarian, Czech (also special degrees for foreigners and for the deaf), Catalan, Church Slavonic, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English, Eblaite, Ancient Egyptian, Finnish, French, German, Gothic, Greek (ancient and modern), Hebrew (Old Testament and modern), Hindi, Hittite, Hungarian, Irish, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Lithuanian, Latvian, Lusatian Sorbian, Macedonian, Mongolian, Norwegian, Old Norse, Old Irish, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Sanskrit, Slovak, Slovenian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Tocharian, Tibetan, Turkish, Ugaritic, Ukrainian, Yiddish and Vietnamese.

The research output of the Faculty, measured in the number of monographs and articles, is larger than that of any other institution in the humanities in the Czech Republic – which reflects both the quality of research and the level of tutoring. Every year, the Faculty hosts a number of international conferences and events of general cultural significance – exhibitions, concerts, lectures, public debates. In the last few years, the Faculty of Arts publishing house has earned prestigious awards and is now competing with the largest academic publishers in the country.

Did you know that…

… the Department of Egyptian Studies has been working in Egypt for the last fifty years and has made significant discoveries? Their discovery of the tomb of an unknown Egyptian queen in Abusir in autumn 2014 was voted one of the 10 greatest archaeological finds in 2014.

… in 2014, Professor Tomáš Halík was awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize, given to people who “made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension”?

… Professor Martin Hilský translated the complete works of William Shakespeare into Czech?

CUP

History

The Faculty of Arts was founded as one the four original faculties of Charles University – the oldest institution of higher learning in Central Europe – by the issue of the Foundation Charter on 7 April 1348. Charles IV, in pursuit of his state and dynastic policy, strove to establish the Kingdom of Bohemia as the centre of the Holy Roman Empire. His plan was to concentrate scholars from home and abroad in Prague, which became his residential city, and thus bolster the base of his power. In pre-Hussite times, two-thirds of all students of the university were students of the Artistic Faculty where they acquired the knowledge needed to be able to study at the other three faculties (theology, medicine, law). One of the privileges enjoyed by the faculty was the right to confer master’s and doctoral degrees which entitled their bearers to teach at any European university.

During the two centuries following the Hussite wars, the Faculty of Liberal Arts was the heart of the whole university. Since the seventeenth century it was called the Philosophical Faculty. From the beginning until the mid-nineteenth century, it served as a faculty whose programme was designed to provide preparatory higher education for the future students of the other faculties. From the eighteenth century onwards, the number of academic disciplines started to increase: besides philosophy, it was possible to study aesthetics, mathematics, astronomy, natural sciences, engineering, economics, education and history. In the nineteenth century, apart from oriental studies, archaeology and religious studies, significant developments took place in the realm of philology and degrees in Czech, Italian, French, English and Hebrew were introduced. After the reforms of 1849–1850, the faculty was liberated from its propaedeutic function and acquired an equal with the other faculties. In 1897, women were allowed to study at the Philosophical Faculty.

The Faculty retained its significance in the Czech lands even after the division of the Prague University into a Czech part and a German part in 1882. During the so-called First Czechoslovak Republic (1918–1938), the life of the university was shaped especially by the secession of the Faculty of Natural Sciences in 1920 and by the acquisition of a new building on the Vltava embankment – the one where you still find most of the departments and lecture halls. The closure of the Faculty by the Nazi occupation in 1939 was followed by brutal persecution of both teachers and students. The productive, enthusiastic years after the end of the Second World War came to a violent end in 1948 with the communist coup d’ état and the following forty years of communist regime. The forced departure of dozens of outstanding teachers and the introduction of Marxist-Leninist subjects resulted in the rapid decline of research and teaching. Hopes for a widespread social change in the LATE 1960s, the so-called “Prague Spring” during which the Faculty started to invite back significant personalities of that time, such as the philosopher Jan Patočka, were crushed by the Soviet invasion in August 1968. In January 1969, Jan Palach, a student of the Faculty, committed suicide by self-immolation in political protest. The square where the main building is located and the Faculty of Arts central library bear his name. After the fall of the communist regime and the departure of its compromised followers in 1989, the Faculty established itself once again as one of the most prestigious institutions in the humanities both in the Czech Republic and in Central Europe.

Our alumni and former staff members include:

  • the Church reformer and philosopher Jan Hus (c. 1370–1415), whose thoughts inspired Martin Luther
  • the mathematician, logician and philosopher Bernard Bolzano (1781–1848)
  • the linguist Josef Jungmann (1773–1847), one of the creators of modern Czech language
  • the linguist and orientalist Bedřich Hrozný (1879–1952), decipherer of the ancient Hittite language
  • founders and members of the influential Prague Linguistic Circle, such as Vilém Mathesius (1882–1945), Vladimír Skalička (1909–1991), Jan Mukařovský (1891–1975), Bohuslav Havránek (1893–1978) and René Wellek (1903–1995)
  • the chemist Jaroslav Heyrovský (1890–1967), inventor of the polarographic method and recipient of the Nobel Prize in 1959
  • the famous writers Alois Jirásek (1851–1930), Karel Čapek (1890–1938), Ladislav Fuks (1923–1994), Josef Škvorecký (1924–2012) and Michal Ajvaz (1949)
  • the politicians Milan Rastislav Štefánik (1880–1919), Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1850–1937) and Edvard Beneš (1884–1948), the latter two became Czechoslovak presidents
  • the sociologist and politician Alice Masaryková (1879–1966), founder of social education in Czechoslovakia
  • the art historian and archaeologist Růžena Vacková (1901–1982)
  • Jan Patočka (1907–1977), one of the most important Central European philosophers of the twentieth century, student of Martin Heidegger, Edmund Husserl and Eugen Fink
  • Jan Palach (1948–1969), student who immolated himself in protest against the Soviet invasion of 1968
  • the psychologist Zdeněk Matějček (1922–2004), author of ground-breaking studies in children’s psychology
This school offers programs in:
  • English
  • Czech

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Programs

This school also offers:

PhD

Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate TEEME – Text and Event in Early Modern Europe

Campus Full time 6 semesters October 2017 Czech Republic Prague

TEEME is an international doctoral programme in early modern studies funded by the European Union. It is structured around a unique collaboration between university-based researchers in the Humanities and the cultural and creative sector in four EU countries (United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, Czech Republic). [+]

TEEME is an international doctoral programme in early modern studies funded by the European Union. It is structured around a unique collaboration between university-based researchers in the Humanities and the cultural and creative sector in four EU countries (United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, Czech Republic). The partnership will foster intercultural dialogue and disseminate the best research in history, literature and culture to the wider community. On these pages you will find our research profile, a description of the programme and its objectives, details of the consortium universities and the programme's associated partners, as well as information on the application process. TEEME OBJECTIVES TEEME aims to integrate the study of the past with impact on the present. Our principal intellectual concern is the early modern period, understood as lasting from c. 1400 to c. 1700, the foundational age of the current world order with its political divisions and economic dependencies, in which modern European identities were formed in the context of nation-building, imperial ambition and colonial expansion. Students on the programme will bring this period into meaningful relations with current issues and concerns by focusing on the enduring traces that early modern texts and events left, and still leave, on today’s globalized world. History, literature and culture will thus be taught and studied as central to the shaping of the future. The programme’s main objective is to prepare a new generation of research leaders, cultural managers and policy-makers for the demands of a 21st century in which historical forgetfulness and cultural amnesia threaten the integration of an increasingly interconnected world. These challenges will be addressed through an emphasis on forms of cultural and historical understanding – processes that are themselves both conditions of the actual student experience and potential topics of research. By investigating the past from a fully historicized understanding of the present, and by working in international teams, students will acquire the skills and background knowledge necessary to intervene in current debates about global uncertainties and the new world-wide risks faced by culture and society. The need to make the past inform the present in new and substantially different ways is painfully evident in everyday public discourse. For instance, present debates about the ‘clash of cultures’ and the tensions between the local and the global dangerously ignore the experience of our early modern forbears who first ventured out beyond Europe to encounter other cultures, peoples, and religions. Close historical attention reveals that these early encounter stories cannot easily be reduced, as they often are in public perception, to any facile and clear-cut binaries such as the opposition between ‘colonizer’ and ‘colonized’, between Christians and ‘heathens’ (often actually Muslims, Hindus or Jews), or between mobile Europeans and static indigenous people. Instead, such historical encounters were frequently moments of exchange, interaction, and even mutual respect, in which both sides learned and benefited from each other. TEEME’s ambition is to rectify such historical distortions. Through this central focus on the interface between past and present, the programme will both promote greater historical awareness of shared European origins, foster exchange among diverse European and non-European cultures, and offer a unique learning experience to both EU and international students. It will help control negative developments, such as violent nationalism or the radical distrust of foreign cultures, religions and peoples, that often emerge during economic crises and are exacerbated by the lack of nuanced historical understanding. At the same time the programme will enrich and improve current perceptions of European identities and their role in history, as well as engender the transformation of national cultural institutions through the input of knowledge and expertise from different cultures. PHD PROGRAMME The TEEME consortium is committed to a structured, ‘needs-based’ approach to its doctoral programme, recognizing the necessity for formal, high-level generic and subject-specific training accompanied by personal development plans to enable doctoral candidates to pursue effective, independent and original research. Training and coursework are fully integrated in the organization of the programme which is built on the wide experience within the consortium of doctoral supervision, co-tutelle arrangements, and international postgraduate communities. Two of the consortium partners (Kent and FU Berlin) have Graduate Schools which provide a supportive and stimulating interdisciplinary environment for early career researchers. The Kent Graduate School offers a transferable skills development programme and further funding and study opportunities through links with research councils and other national and international organizations. All TEEME students will benefit from this in semester 1. The Dahlem Research School in Berlin provides a unique context for postgraduate students and a systematic training programme in disciplinary, transdisciplinary and transferable skills, as well as further career development measures. Porto and CU Prague have a longstanding tradition in producing top-class Humanities graduates and an excellent track record in research supervision. The dedicated interdisciplinary research centres listed in the research profile organize regular seminars, workshops and conferences throughout the academic year, often with the participation of international speakers. Opportunities exist at all sites to engage in research contexts not specifically dedicated to the early modern period. Students on the programme will be actively encouraged to expand their knowledge and research interests, make useful national and international contacts, and engage in cross-disciplinary debates, by participating in some or all of these activities throughout their three years of study. The programme is divided into six semesters. Each cohort will spend the first semester at Kent which will help to establish a sense of group identity. Kent has been chosen as the location for semester 1 because of the varied training programme offered by its established Graduate School, because the introductory module ‘TEEME: Theory and Practice’, taught through the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, relies on input by Kent and London-based associated partners, and because the local language, English, is also the language of tuition, shared by all students. All training and research activities will receive full recognition in the form of ECTS credits (ECTS: European Credit Transfer System). Over the three years of the degree students will acquire a minimum of 180 credits, split into 120 credits for research activities and work on the thesis (the ‘research strand’) and 60 credits for skills training, curricular elements and the work placement (the ‘skills strand’). Programme elements such as early teambuilding, electronic publication platform and annual conferences ensure a high level of peer support that will strengthen research quality and encourage collaboration across borders. Building on successful co-tutelle arrangements, the international supervisory team will consist of two TEEME staff, one each from the two chosen places of study. All compulsory research and training activities by students will count fully towards the final degree. Depending on the type of activity and/or nature of the taught elements, credits in the skills strand are awarded through certified workshop and seminar attendance, and through the assessment of coursework, exams, presentations, placement reports, or peer-reviewed publications. Credits in the research strand are awarded for research presentations, certified seminar attendance, progress reports, written sections of the thesis, and the thesis itself. The TEEME programme structure requires compulsory publication through the participation of all students in an online publication platform in semester 2. Facilities to enable virtual seminars (Blackboard, Moodle) will be provided through the programme website. Participation in the online workshop will attract credits, and students can obtain further credits through a series of three linked reviews or a scholarly article. All electronic publications will be peer-reviewed and formally assessed by members of the consortium universities. The consortium is committed to disseminating research outcomes in published form. It will reserve a section of the website for electronic publication and use existing links to publishers (including placement providers) to promote publication in hard copy. The research training at all sites will emphasize the importance of publication for the advancement of the subject. Graduates who have chosen FU Berlin as one of their degree-awarding institutions will be required to publish their thesis; all others will be strongly encouraged to do so, either through the TEEME website or through other means appropriate to the discipline. WORK PLACEMENT The institutions have agreed to offer work placements to TEEME students in semester 4 of the programme. Students are encouraged to contact TEEME staff to find out more about each placement. Individual arrangements will be flexible regarding duration and nature of employment. Students will work an average of 180 hours per placement over the course of semester 4. FELLOWSHIPS The EACEA (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency) have been funding the TEEME programme from 2011 to 2015, during which time 36 full Fellowships were financed by the Agency. Funding came to an end with the intake of the fifth and final TEEME cohort in September 2015. No further Fellowships will be offered by TEEME under the existing Framework Partnership Agreement with the EACEA. OTHER FUNDING OPTIONS Candidates who have been offered a place on the programme will be eligible to apply for partially or fully funded studentships at all four partner universities. Specifically, Kent offers a number of PhD studentships each year in all participating departments to both EU and overseas candidates and supports all research students with a minimum allowance for research expenses each year. The Dahlem Research School at FU Berlin offers a range of travel and mobility grants, as well as start-up and completion scholarships to postgraduate students, both EU and international. Porto participates in a variety of national funding schemes to which researchers can apply for small research grants, short-term scholarships and travel expenses. In Prague students will be able to apply for the grants offered by the Charles University Foundation (GAUK). In addition, students will receive support and guidance to apply for any further funding for which they may be eligible in their home countries. [-]

PhD in Egyptology

Campus Full time Part time 3 years October 2017 Czech Republic Prague + 1 more

The applicant is admitted if he/she obtains a minimum of 30 points in the entrance examination and, at the same time, scores enough points to place among the maximum number of students admitted to the respective programme (refer to the Admission Procedure Specifications applicable to the individual degree programmes). [+]

Description of the entrance examination and evaluation criteria Entrance examination: one-round examination, interview 1) Discussion of the project of the PhD dissertation: 0–30 points; 2) Assessment of the Applicant’s previous research and other academic activities: 0–15 points; 3) Assessment of the Applicant’s knowledge of secondary literature (based on the list submitted by the Applicant): 0–15 points. The Programme Board does not suggest or impose particular PhD topics, but allows applicants to suggest research projects according to their personal preferences. Suggested PhD topics must be consulted beforehand with the Chair of the Programme Board. Chair of the Programme Board (Programme Director): prof. PhDr. Miroslav Verner, DrSc. Important notice: Fees are charged for the study “in English”. See The Dean's Provision No. 16 /2015 “Procedures for Assessment of the Tuition Fee for the Study in a Foreign Language and its Use at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague”. Conditions for admission The applicant is admitted if he/she obtains a minimum of 30 points in the entrance examination and, at the same time, scores enough points to place among the maximum number of students admitted to the respective programme (refer to the Admission Procedure Specifications applicable to the individual degree programmes); admissions will be granted to all applicants who score the same number of points as the applicant who comes last in the ranking of admissions. In programmes offered in both the full-time and combined forms, the maximum number of admissions is defined as a total number to be shared by both forms. Applicants cannot be admitted without supplying, no later than on the enrolment day, evidence of their prior education. [-]

PhD in English and American Literature

Campus Full time Part time 3 years October 2017 Czech Republic Prague + 1 more

The graduates are highly qualified specialists in literary and cultural studies focused on English-speaking countries. [+]

The graduates are highly qualified specialists in literary and cultural studies focused on English-speaking countries. They have a good command of theoretical and methodological approaches, are able to conduct independent research and to teach literary and cultural history of the United Kingdom, USA, Ireland and other English-speaking countries at tertiary level. They can participate in team research projects and work in international research teams. Czech graduates have a good command of the terminology and style of the discipline in their mother tongue and possess basic knowledge of the reception of Anglophone literatures in Czech culture. Conditions for admission The applicant is admitted if he/she obtains a minimum of 30 points in the entrance examination and, at the same time, scores enough points to place among the maximum number of students admitted to the respective programme (refer to the Admission Procedure Specifications applicable to the individual degree programmes); admissions will be granted to all applicants who score the same number of points as the applicant who comes last in the ranking of admissions. In programmes offered in both the full-time and combined forms, the maximum number of admissions is defined as a total number to be shared by both forms. Applicants cannot be admitted without supplying, no later than on the enrolment day, evidence of their prior education. [-]

PhD in Logic

Campus Full time Part time 3 years October 2017 Czech Republic Prague + 1 more

This programme is for students wanting to attain in-depth knowledge of the methods and trends in modern logic and specialise in one of its aspects – pure mathematics, linguistics and informatics, or exclusively philosophical aspects of logic. [+]

This programme is for students wanting to attain in-depth knowledge of the methods and trends in modern logic and specialise in one of its aspects – pure mathematics, linguistics and informatics, or exclusively philosophical aspects of logic. Students develop the ability to undertake independent scientific research by publishing the results of their work, attending and conducting seminars and taking part in national and international conferences. Ph.D. graduates are trained for professions in research and teaching at tertiary level at institutions specialising in any of the many listed disciplines. Conditions for admission The applicant is admitted if he/she obtains a minimum of 30 points in the entrance examination and, at the same time, scores enough points to place among the maximum number of students admitted to the respective programme (refer to the Admission Procedure Specifications applicable to the individual degree programmes); admissions will be granted to all applicants who score the same number of points as the applicant who comes last in the ranking of admissions. In programmes offered in both the full-time and combined forms, the maximum number of admissions is defined as a total number to be shared by both forms. Applicants cannot be admitted without supplying, no later than on the enrolment day, evidence of their prior education. [-]

PhD in Musicology

Campus Full time Part time 3 years October 2017 Czech Republic Prague + 1 more

The individually designed attestation system of the doctoral programme provides graduates with an insight into the current state of research and methodology of the subject, especially in the field of the selected topic and closely related disciplines. [+]

The individually designed attestation system of the doctoral programme provides graduates with an insight into the current state of research and methodology of the subject, especially in the field of the selected topic and closely related disciplines. During the course, the graduate has also probed into philosophical issues connected to the doctoral subject and topic and passed a foreign language exam. The doctoral dissertation is a scientifically valuable contribution to the exploration of the topic and its findings are usually published as a monograph or summarising study in a scientific journal. Conditions for admission The applicant is admitted if he/she obtains a minimum of 30 points in the entrance examination and, at the same time, scores enough points to place among the maximum number of students admitted to the respective programme (refer to the Admission Procedure Specifications applicable to the individual degree programmes); admissions will be granted to all applicants who score the same number of points as the applicant who comes last in the ranking of admissions. In programmes offered in both the full-time and combined forms, the maximum number of admissions is defined as a total number to be shared by both forms. Applicants cannot be admitted without supplying, no later than on the enrolment day, evidence of their prior education. [-]

PhD in Translation Studies

Campus Full time Part time 3 years October 2017 Czech Republic Prague + 1 more

The Ph.D. graduate in Translatology is able to conduct independent scientific and research work; he/she is capable of presenting the research results in three languages to a specialised audience and to engage in a technical discussion in these languages. [+]

Languages: English, French The Ph.D. graduate in Translatology is able to conduct independent scientific and research work; he/she is capable of presenting the research results in three languages to a specialised audience and to engage in a technical discussion in these languages. In his/her dissertation and other publications or public presentations the graduate has proven the ability to conduct independent scientific and research work. The graduate has been trained for independent scientific and research work, for a career as a tertiary level teacher of translation, interpreting and translatology subjects, as an expert assessor of translation and interpreting performance (e.g. court expert), or in the development of new technologies used in translation and interpreting. Conditions for admission The applicant is admitted if he/she obtains a minimum of 30 points in the entrance examination and, at the same time, scores enough points to place among the maximum number of students admitted to the respective programme (refer to the Admission Procedure Specifications applicable to the individual degree programmes); admissions will be granted to all applicants who score the same number of points as the applicant who comes last in the ranking of admissions. In programmes offered in both the full-time and combined forms, the maximum number of admissions is defined as a total number to be shared by both forms. Applicants cannot be admitted without supplying, no later than on the enrolment day, evidence of their prior education. [-]

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Charles University in Prague

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Faculty of Arts
Charles University in Prague
Jan Palach Square 2
116 38 Prague 1

Prague, CZ
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