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As an Architecture student at the Master’s level at ArtEZ, you will combine working in the professional field with studying in a small-scale and open-minded environment. The curriculum provides plenty of opportunities for experimentation and going off the beaten path. It is designed to challenge you to keep a pioneering attitude. With research and design education as pillars, the Master course offers a unique environment for you to develop your own design methodology: your own way of bringing a fully-fledged design into completion.

Photo: Rachelle Stoffels

Course curriculum

The academic year consists of two semesters. Each semester has a core part of 15 weeks, consisting of design education (Friday from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.) and a programme of lectures and exercises (Saturday from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.). From Monday to Thursday, you work in the professional field.

  • Design education is the common thread of the course. On Friday and Saturday, you will learn about architectural history, urban planning, landscape and cultural philosophy. These subjects provide knowledge and tools to enrich the design process – which you also immediately put to use during the course.

    The course curriculum of the Master Architecture at ArtEZ has a different focus for every year of study. In the first year of study, the emphasis is on basic skills (drawing, documenting, publishing) and lectures. In the second and third year, you go into more depth, in part through design workshops, into building analysis in the second year, and into research skills in the third year. On average, the study load per semester is 4 ECTS.

  • In addition to the educational activities you do, your work in professional practice will also be assessed. You will work 20 to 32 hours a week at an architectural firm where you can apply what you have learned during the course. Professional practice is an integral part of the master. All relevant work gives you study credits (a total of 30 ECTS per year). During the course, your development in the domain of professional practice will be tracked by means of portfolios made up of your work and peer reviews.

  • Two special course activities are scheduled to take place at the beginning of the year and in the summer. The month of January is dedicated to Plein: a programme of workshops organised around different themes or special assignments. In June, the academic year concludes with individual reflections (the “Koersbepaling”) and a short field trip (the last weekend of study, called the “closing weekend”).

  • You will conclude the first three academic years of your master course with a self-reflection called a “Koersbepaling.” This is an opportunity for you to determine which direction you want to take, with regard to your fellow students, the master course, and your professional practice. This will allow you develop a strong and unique vision for what you stand for as an architect. In the third year, you will use the Koersbepaling to create a proposal for a graduation project in the fourth and final year.

  • The fourth and last year is entirely devoted to the graduation project. There is a lot of space to design your own project: you coordinate the subject, choose your own mentor and tailor your design method to the topic of your choice. The starting point is a social or professional issue that you want to explore thoroughly; something you feel strongly about and to which you want to contribute your expertise. After completing the Master Architecture at ArtEZ, you can have yourself registered as an architect in the Dutch Architects Register and may use the title of architect.

At the Academy, you can experiment. During the course, you acquire several design tools, which you then take with you into the workplace. Within the professional practice component, you grow from an engineer into an architect. It’s very nice to work and study at the same time. The practice portfolios allow you to grow professionally and learn in a more targeted way.


Integral design

As a Master of Architecture student at ArtEZ, you know that people perceive and respond to the spaces around them in different ways. That is why here, you will always work from a wide-ranging design idea and approach your projects in an integrated way. It's not just about the building you are designing, but also about the place it occupies in its spatial and social context – and the influence the two have on each other. That places a great social responsibility on you as an architect. You not only design the building but must also take into account public and social safety, sustainability, and changes in function and use.


Research and design are closely interwoven with each other: designing requires analysis and research, the results of which can be assessed and applied in practice. (This is what we call “design-based research.”) Every year, the curriculum includes research-based educational activities. In the third year, you will work on understanding a new, complex task in the subject Research Skill, such as in urbanisation with health in mind or developing regional food systems. In your fourth year, you will also conduct research, which will form a part of your graduation design project.

Doing research through design leads to something that I call 'informed speculation': we explore what something could mean, how it could work, what it would take to get something off the ground.


Curious? Check out the publications of Plein and past excursions at the library. 

Photo by Rachelle Stoffels

Field trips and collaboration

Experiencing architecture on site is a must if you want to become an architect yourself. Of course, there is already a lot of information to be found online. But if you really want to get a good impression and form an opinion on a building or place, it is essential to visit the site physically as well.

As an architect, you combine information from several different fields of knowledge into your design, such as structural knowledge, installation, legal regulations, procedures and structural engineering. Sometimes, it is also valuable to work with relevant or similar disciplines when it comes to design. That is why urban development and landscape architecture are covered in the Master, and you will work together with students from other ArtEZ art courses during your studies.

  • During the first year of the course, you will go on an autumn field trip and a sketching excursion. The autumn field trip is a short trip to a European city, for which the students put together the itinerary for the trip, supervised by two lecturers. During the trip you will get to know each other better and experience how architecture is both a spatial and physical experience.

    The sketching excursion happens over a long weekend. This weekend ends at a unique destination which will be documented using different kinds of drawing techniques. Observation, selection and hand-eye coordination will be the focus of this practice.

  • In the second year, you will visit a European city as part of the architecture field trip. Together with your fellow students, you will prepare both the organisation and content of the trip.

  • The first, second and third academic year conclude with a closing weekend: a short trip to a city where interesting transition processes are taking place. In recent years, this has included cities such as Manchester, Lyon, Wolfsburg, Leipzig and Frankfurt.

  • In addition to exploring other disciplines, you can also venture outside the framework of your course by attending a Summer School programme abroad. The Summer School will be organised from 7 to 11 July 2022 in Strasbourg by the INSA and ENSAS architecture courses. Other participating architecture schools include institutions in Konstanz, Karlsruhe, Darmstadt and Rome. This year's edition will focus on transforming Strasbourg's old port into a new city district. New urban spaces are currently being developed to connect Strasbourg with the Rhine River.  

    Photo by Rachelle Stoffels


Pre-master and minor

Are you keen to take the Master Architecture course but do you still need some design experience? If so, you can apply for the Architecture pre-Master course first, or take the minor in Architecture. If you still need some more technical knowledge, you can apply for the Structural Engineering pre-Master course first, or take the Structural Engineering minor. You can register for a pre-Master via the Kies op Maat platform. For more information, please visit the admission page.