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Masters Degrees in Architecture, Building & Planning, Belgium

We have 12 Masters Degrees in Architecture, Building & Planning, Belgium

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What is the Master of Urbanism and Strategic Planning about? . Read more

What is the Master of Urbanism and Strategic Planning about? 

The Master of Science in Urbanism and Strategic Planning (MaUSP) is a four-semester academic degree offered within the Faculty of Engineering Science by the Department of Architecture. The programme interacts with research conducted by the research groups active in the department.

The MaUSP programme is part of the European Postgraduate Masters in Urbanism (EMU), and students can apply to attend one or two semesters abroad at one of the partner universities - UPC Barcelona, TU Delft or IUAV Venezia - to obtain the additional European Postgraduate Master of Urbanism.

The joint EMU programme is a collaborative effort bringing together the best components of existing curricula, creating new courses and offering a top-ranking professional degree by combining the specificity and strengths of the participating universities. The consortium functions as a platform for promoting an exchange of knowledge, ideas, and research projects on current urban trends in Europe and the world.

Courses are organised according to the following set up:

  • Core courses
  • Design studios
  • Optional courses
  • Final design thesis

Design studios form the heart of the programme, a status reflected in their credit load. They are organised as two full days of work on Mondays and Tuesdays to provide an intensive and immersive working environment, as occurs in most professional practices. They also are courses where a balance between teamwork and individual contribution is developed, since students are subdivided in small but varied groups from inception.

Depending on the track students choose (urbanism or planning), certain optional courses become compulsory. 

Spotlight

  • Guest lectures and seminars form an important part of the programme. Most are compulsory. The programme benefits from the department’s worldwide contacts in the field of human settlements and urbanism. Professionals involved in teaching, design, and consultancy activities from different comers of the world reflect the international character of the MaUSP curriculum.
  • Study trips to various destinations are organised throughout the academic year. You will be able to see and experience the area studied and will have the unique opportunity to link your theoretical knowledge to daily practice and fieldwork. The trips include visits to sites, lectures by local experts, as well as a range of assignments. Recent study trips in Europe have been made to France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and the UK. Furthermore, one-day visits within Belgium are organised to support courses and provide an understanding of local current trends in urban transformations. As a key feature of the programme, a study trip and studio-related fieldwork sessions are offered in a non-Western context. You will be given the opportunity to travel to the non-European studio context for fieldwork and visits to best practices sites and other relevant sites for about two weeks.
  • Annual design workshops (EMU) are a compulsory and crucial activity offered by KU Leuven and the other three partner universities (IUAV Venice, UPC Barcelona and TU Delft). This weeklong exchange of ideas and exposure to four different school approaches intensifies and broadens the programme’s purpose. To date, students have had the opportunity to undertake design investigations in Conegliano (Italy), in the area of Pra dei Gai and the area around Venice.
  • Unique position within the educational landscape of Belgium and internationally, since MaUSP is the only English-language programme in the field of Urbanism and Strategic Planning in Flanders.
  • MaUSP continues to provide high-level education for candidates aspiring to positions as urban planners in Flanders, regardless of its international orientation.
  • Strong research-by-design basis, with an emphasis on space as a resource (in urban transformations) and as a medium of integration, hence the role of planning and design.
  • Diversity of incoming students, both in terms of geographic origin, and in terms of professional/educational backgrounds.
  • Strong network of alumni and a sound reputation despite its young age, which fosters an active system of collaborations supporting the selection of design studio topics, Master’s thesis topics, etc. (examples: T.OP Limburg; Leidal; T.OP Noord Rand; UN-Habitat; etc.).
  • Quality and quantity of visiting faculties and international speakers as a part of lecture series, studio jury's and showcase events such as World Urbanisms.
  • Synergy MaHS – MaUSP – EMU.
  • Interdisciplinary collaborations (e.g. European Module Spatial Development Planning, etc.). 

Career perspectives

 After successfully completing the programme, you will have acquired a thorough knowledge of urbanisation in different contexts. You will have learned to work on various scale levels, with an understanding of the interferences between scales. You will be able to conduct a critical analysis of spatial phenomena in relation to the social and economic forces driving them. Building upon such analysis, you can design strategic interventions that are politically and economically feasible, and that have a structural impact. You will have developed excellent communication skills, visually as well as textually, and you will be able to function in a research environment.

Graduates will be able to provide professional architectural and/or urban design experience to design offices, consultancy firms, or work as public servants. Urbanism is closely related to current and rapid social transformation and there is a continual need for professionals capable of elaborating new interpretations, strategies and designs in response to emerging trends. MaUSP graduates are highly valued in urban design offices, consultancy firms for urban development and management, real estate agencies that develop public-private partnerships and the public sector.



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The Master in Human Settlements addresses rapid urbanization in the developing world and contemporary urban transformations within the scope of sustainable development. Read more

The Master in Human Settlements addresses rapid urbanization in the developing world and contemporary urban transformations within the scope of sustainable development. The programme aims to provide insight into the problems of human settlements as related to rapid change and to the interaction between modernity and tradition, formal and informal city-making.

What's the Human Settlements about? 

Architecture, urbanism and spatial planning are the core disciplines of the programme. Contributions from economics, geography and anthropology, among others, complement this core.

The structure is organised around:

  • Introductory courses
  • Core courses
  • Design Studios
  • Optional courses
  • Master's thesis (research- or design-based)

Design studios form an important part of the programme, a status reflected in their credit load. They are organized as two full days of work on Mondays and Tuesdays to provide an intensive and immersive working environment, as occurs in most professional practices. They also are courses where a balance between teamwork and individual contribution is developed, since students are subdivided in small but mixed groups from inception.

Core courses are related to the studios themselves, whereas for students selecting a more research-oriented trajectory in line with the programme's profile supporting courses are organized for the elaboration of a research Master's thesis.

International

Study trips to various destinations are organised throughout the academic year as a compulsory part of the MaHS programme. You will be able to observe and experience the area being studied and will have a unique opportunity to link your theoretical knowledge to daily practice and fieldwork. The trips include visits to sites, lectures by local experts and a range of assignments. Recent study trips in Europe have been made to:

  • Paris-Lyon (France)
  • Amsterdam-Rotterdam (the Netherlands)
  • Zürich-Frankfurt (Switzerland/ Germany)
  • London (UK)

 In addition, one-day visits within Belgium (Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent) are organised to support courses and provide an understanding of current trends in Belgian urban transformation. Moreover, as a key feature of the MaHS programme, a study trip and studio-related fieldwork sessions are offered in a non-Western context. You will be given the opportunity to travel for a two-week period to a non-European studio context for fieldwork and visits to best practices sites and other relevant sites.

Spotlight

  • The programme is taught by professors belonging to as well the Department of Architecture as the Faculty of Engineering Science. They cultivate research in the fields of architecture, urbanism and urban design, conservation, and spatial planning.
  • The Postgraduate Centre for Human Settlements, renamed the MaHS MaUSP Centre in 2005, is known by specialists worldwide and has a remarkable history spanning over more than 40 years. Its activities have been broadened to coordinate both the Master of Science in Human Settlements and the Master of Science in Urbanism and Strategic Planning. Other activities include a doctoral programme, capacity-building projects and consultancy on human settlement policies and projects.
  • The programme occupies a unique position within educational landscape of Belgium and internationally, including a long tradition and 40-year jubilee.
  • It has a strong research basis, with an emphasis on the scientific underpinning of the discipline of human settlements, the central role given to space as a resource (in urban transformations) and as a medium of integration.
  • The MaHS knows a diversity of incoming students, both in terms of geographic origin, and in terms of professional/educational backgrounds.
  • There is a broad network of alumni and a sound reputation fostering an active system of collaborations supporting the selection of design studio topics, Master's thesis topics, etc. (examples: UNRWA; UN-Habitat Asia + Arcadis Shelter Program; etc.) and a credible reputation as international research partner.
  • The quality and quantity of visiting faculty and international speakers as part of lecture series, studio jury's and showcase events such as World Urbanisms, provides one of the strengths of the programme.
  • Synergy between MaHS - MaUSP - EMU
  • Interdisciplinary collaborations with anthropology, geography, etc.

This is an Advanced Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Career perspectives

The programme produces interdisciplinary graduates capable of understanding and managing the complexity of urban development as well as promoting sustainable territorial transformations. Graduates of the MaHS programme find employment in numerous and widespread areas. Many alumni work as civil servants in urban development agencies in cities or national governments. Others are independent professionals in the field of urban design, planning, and community development. Some join private architecture offices or take on in leadership and policymaking positions in regional, national, and international human settlements institutions, such as UNCHS or UEPP. A small number of graduates continue on to an academic career by obtaining a PhD, and some become professors.



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The programme is co-organised by Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), offering students the possibility to obtain a double master's degree at the end of the programme. Read more

About the programme

The programme is co-organised by Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), offering students the possibility to obtain a double master's degree at the end of the programme. The first year of courses is taught at the ULB Engineering Campus in Brussels, while the second year is taught at VUB.

The Master of Science in Architecture trains designers to realize the synergy between the engineering and the architecture disciplines.

The programme provides students with an advanced level of knowledge and insight and makes them proficient in the creative and inventive use of the engineering and architectural knowledge in a complex architectural design.

The training is characterized by the integration of scientific research in education. The design studio acts as a crystallization point in the application of knowledge with respect to architectural design, structural design, installation techniques and urban planning. Given the complex and more advanced nature of architectural design at Master level, it requires the interaction between various disciplines combined with a scientific attitude.

The programme prepares students to a wide range of job profiles such as architectural and structural engineer, project manager, consultant, employee or executive in an architectural or engineer office, supervisor of the built heritage, policy maker for urban planning, researcher and others.

The programme consist of a fixed number of compulsory courses and a number of optional courses . The second year also includes a master thesis. In this master thesis it is requested to realize a synergy between a research study and an architectural design.

Curriculum

Available on http://www.vub.ac.be/en/study/architectural-engineering/programme

Tuition fees

• €837 per year for EEA students
• €2500 per year for non-EEA students (student who require a student visa)

Student profile

You are looking for a career which is creative, challenging and fulfilling
You are driven by architectural and constructional design
You are looking for an engineering degree which combines the challenges and inventiveness of the modern building industry with a flair for originality and creativity
You are interested to study in an international environment

Admission requirements

Applicants should have acquired the following knowledge during their undergraduate studies:

For architectural science: to be able to make use of the knowledge concerning architectural theory and history in project proposals and to discourse on architectural subjects in a reasoned and critical way;

For engineering sciences: to posses the more specialized knowledge for the calculation and simulation of all technical aspects related to the execution of a project, ranging from the stability of structures, foundation techniques, building physics, building acoustics, heating, durability, lighting to the use of new materials, lightweight constructions, the re-use and renovation of existing buildings and the 4D-design;

For design: to have insight into complex problems, to be able to formulate and define a problem, to integrate multi-disciplinary knowledge in the design, to justify the steps taken in a design process, to implement design insights on a distinctive way and to present and communicate, including critical reflection.

Additionally, applicants should be proficient in English

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The Master of Geography programme is a two-year advanced study organised by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the K.U.Leuven. This interuniversity master’s programme provides the students with comprehensive training in spatial approaches to social and/or natural phenomena. Read more

About the programme

The Master of Geography programme is a two-year advanced study organised by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the K.U.Leuven. This interuniversity master’s programme provides the students with comprehensive training in spatial approaches to social and/or natural phenomena.

The programme provides a deeper understanding of geographical problems and methods, knowledge to augment the theoretical debate within the discipline, and training in the use of geographical research techniques.

The global aim of the master’s programme is to generate geographers that can play an active role in contemporary society.

3 specializations to choose from

The programme has been recently redefined. From 2014-2015 the following specializations will be offered:

- Earth and Climate
The Earth and Climate track focuses on terrestrial ecosystems and environmental changes, emphasising timely and relevant research topics in the geosciences like global warming, ice climate interaction, soil and water conservation, natural hazards
and risk assessment. In this specialisation you will gain a deep understanding of land surface and atmospheric processes shaping the physical environment and acquire quantitative skills for analysing and modelling the dynamics of these processes. You will also learn to independently define and carry out research projects in geosciences and develop a synthetic vision on environmental issues, at local, regional and global scales.

- City, Society and Space
In a strongly urbanised world there is a growing need to better understand social, economic, cultural, and political dynamics of urban areas. The City, Society and Space track focuses on the multifaceted issues that cities are experiencing in the current era of globalisation. During your study, you will be introduced to key urban social and economic theories and become familiar with critical views on urban development. In the interdisciplinary spirit of urban studies, you will have the chance to engage with and integrate insights from key debates in urban planning and design, housing and real estate markets, tourism and regional development, and many more. Moreover, you will be trained in qualitative and quantitative research methods that will allow you to analyse contemporary urban dynamics in a synthetic and rigorous way.

- GIS and Spatial Modelling
In the GIS and Spatial Modelling track you will become acquainted with new approaches and techniques for acquiring, managing, analysing and mapping spatial data. Based on your skills in spatial data handling and your background in both natural and human
sciences, you will be trained in analysing complex interactions between man and environment and in the application of spatial decision-making mechanisms. As an expert in geodata processing and spatial modelling you will get the opportunity to improve your knowledge in important application fields of geo-information science, including natural resource management, spatial planning, mobility and transportation. Alternatively, you can also opt to include a 2-month GIS internship in your study programme.

The programme offers

• Comprehensive coverage of spatially explicit approaches for analysing social and natural phenomena and how these interact
• Hands-on training in the use of qualitative and quantitative geographical research techniques
• The opportunity to study in Brussels, the capital of Europe
• The option to include a one-semester stay in another European country in your study programme

Curriculum

Details available on http://www.vub.ac.be/DGGF/PDF/Geography_2014_2015.pdf

Student profile

You are interested in:
• Developing analytical skills to unravel complex interactions between man and environment
• Contributing to the debate on major societal challenges linked to environmental change, globalisation, urban growth, social
inequality
• Working towards feasible solutions for sustainable planning and development

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The European Euromaster in Urban Studies (4Cities) is a unique two-year interdisciplinary and international programme. 4Cities takes students to Brussels, Copenhagen, Vienna, Madrid and a number of surrounding cities. Read more
The European Euromaster in Urban Studies (4Cities) is a unique two-year interdisciplinary and international programme. 4Cities takes students to Brussels, Copenhagen, Vienna, Madrid and a number of surrounding cities. The European Euromaster adds a European perspective to the field of Urban Studies: it wants to break up and to open the national perspective on urban problems. The growing importance of globalisation and the shift towards a world of flows calls for a new approach in important fields of urban policy like culture, economy, planning.

Programme focus

 Globalisation - the processes of globalisation and localisation - as a general context leading to a renewed importance of the city and urbanity in the 21st century. The city is considered a nodal point in post-national developments.
Europe as the unit of analysis: Europe and the European unification process is seen as part of and a reaction to this globalisation processes. Our scope is Europe seen through its cities and urban networks.
 Interdisciplinarity and internationality as a surplus value. The Unica master is a thematic masters programme focused on transdisciplinary approaches and transdisciplinary practices (not the least bridging urban planning and urban sociology, geography, etc) with a focus on the socio-spatial analysis of cities.
An education build on strong cases: Brussels (capital of EU, small global city) – Copenhagen (the Scandinavian mode of regulation), Vienna (metropolis at the centre of Europe: gateway to the East), Madrid (the Mediterranean cities) and a number of surrounding cities.
The importance of fieldwork: research experience in each city and comparative or transnational research as the basis for a final masters thesis.
 A number of excursions and visits: a central attractor will be that we incorporate well prepared excursions in each block. Each excursion will incorporate a socio-spatial introduction to the city (a city walk) and an institutional visit with a focus on certain aspects of policy or management. Moreover a number of projects and institutions will be visited.

Program structure

During a period of two years, students take part in an interdisciplinary programme and study in four cities: Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid and Vienna. Students live in each of the cities for one semester, except for the first block (Brussels) which takes a few weeks longer and the last block which consists of a short intensive stay in Madrid. Students spend most of the last semester in a location of their choice, where they are able to work on their master thesis.

In each city the programme consists of:
 academic courses
 fieldwork
 excursions & visits
 exams

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What is the 'Master of Architecture' all about?. This Master's programme focusing on "Architecture. Resilient and Sustainable Strategies" explores architecture from a . Read more

What is the 'Master of Architecture' all about?

This Master's programme focusing on "Architecture: Resilient and Sustainable Strategies" explores architecture from a research-by-designand design-by-research perspective. Students are educated and trained in a multicultural and international context. The programme combines an academic approach with creative- experimental approach. It is characterised by a fully-integrated design methodology, providing students with solid skills in the contemporary discipline of architectural design and research.

The Master of Architecture programme is organised at both of the faculty's campuses in Brussels and Ghent, though each campus offers a different orientation:

  • Campus Brussels - Architecture: Urban Projects, Urban Cultures
  • Campus Ghent - Architecture: Resilient and Sustainable Strategies

This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis. The programme consists out of a minimum of four semesters.

International

The Faculty of Architecture takes its international dimension as the basis for its own quality assessment. It positions itself squarely within the international field of qualitative academic education. The faculty's international activities are extensive and diversified: student mobility and staff exchange on a European and intercontinental level, internationally oriented programmes for incoming students, international workshops and competitions, international research projects, international internships, development cooperation, etc.

The faculty continues to build on its tradition of academic integration of teaching and research to maintain and enhance its standard of quality and international standing.

The faculty works hard to consolidate and enrich its network of cooperative associations with professionals and universities all over the world and strives to leverage this international network for students' benefit. Its international dimension is a strong catalyst for creativity and an added value to students' future professional career.

Objectives 

"The intended academic quality, is the core of the program (architecture, urban planning), i.e. academically based 'professionalism'.

The broadening of the profile focuses on basic disciplines (architecture and urban planning), however without compromising the appropriate focus on the professional profile of the architect (in multiple forms).

In the profile of master, one should obtain extreme concentration and specificity (however, no specialisation).

On the one hand, the master focuses on the content and area-specific level of the bachelor phase, and on the other hand on the acquirement of access to the professional or doctoral field (advanced masters, PhD,...).

The core competences of the master are:

  • the intellectual development and broadening of the competences acquired in the bachelor;
  • a research attitude (for solutions)
  • the specific, disciplinary knowledge (architecture, urban planning)
  • the interdisciplinary skills (also as to recognize the limits of the own scientific discipline).

The master program should guarantee the acquirement of scientific depth. The offered frontier disciplines focus on the current state of research and development within the competence field. The technical qualification to be acquired, focuses on the high quality problem solving of complex tasks.

Curriculum framework campus Ghent: Architecture: Resilient and Sustainable Strategies

At our campus in Ghent, the International Master of Science in Architecture is concerned with the current theory and practice of architecture and sustainability.

The Brundtland report (United Nations, 1987) defines sustainable development as 'development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'. The United Nations in 2005 referred to the 'interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars' of sustainable development as economic development, social development and environmental protection.

Translating these three pillars for sustainable architecture, they would entail: providing access to high quality and healthy living and working environments for all, finding ways to create socially sustainable environments at different scales and a wise use of natural resources. Technical considerations, together with more conceptual or strategic issues, are dealt with in this two-year program about architecture and sustainability.

Central in the program of the International Master of Science in Architecture is a critical reflection about architecture and its social, cultural or environmental role for society.

Based on a highly interdisciplinary learning process of integrated research and 'research by design', students are expected to determine a theoretical stance on current issues with particular emphasis on how aspects of sustainability, universal design, urban ecology and energy-efficient technologies may contribute to the development of more sustainable human settlements.

Apart from the theoretical courses, the program includes 3 design studios (during one semester) and 1 final master dissertation studio (during one year). Each semester, there is a focus on a specific attitude, related to the main theme of the programme. All studios are organised through a pool of studio groups (Academic Design Offices and Design Studios) where the teaching staff provides a series of specific themes, methods and intervention areas for the students to develop an architectural project:

Themes sem 1

  • social sustainability and architecture
  • modest heritage and suitability
  • urban emergent processes
  • architectural concept, materiality and detail

Themes sem 2 (specific focus on the city of Ghent)

  • architectural concept, materiality and detail
  • limited resources, re-use and integration
  • urban emergent processes

Themes sem 3

  • architectural materiality and detail

Themes sem 4

  • social sustainability and architecture
  • modest heritage and suitability
  • urban emergent processes
  • architectural concept, materiality and detail
  • limited resources, re-use and integration

Career perspectives

Graduates are trained to lead multidisciplinary teams of engineers, interior architects, landscape architects and artists. In addition to working as independent (self-employed) architects, our graduates also work as professionals in government agencies and international design firms. Some graduates go on to roles as researchers serving local or international governance bodies, NGO's or other institutes.



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Want a programme with true pedigree? Try the Master of Conservation of Monuments and Sites, run by the RLICC (Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation), founded by Raymond Lemaire. Read more

Want a programme with true pedigree? Try the Master of Conservation of Monuments and Sites, run by the RLICC (Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation), founded by Raymond Lemaire. The RLICC has more than 40 years of experience in training, research and consulting in the field of preservation of constructed heritage. Its advanced international and interdisciplinary study programme in the conservation and restoration of historic monuments and sites is a three-semester programme.

Structure 

The Master of Conservation of Monuments and Sites, 90 credits, is a three-semester, research-based academic degree spread over two years. The first academic year consists of theoretical courses, seminars and project work. 

The first semester is chiefly dedicated to the establishing of a common theoretical framework, providing students from different backgrounds with a common basis, according to the interdisciplinary character of the programme. Optional courses offered by the other Advanced Master’s programmes of the Department of Architecture, and project-based education oriented towards building archaeology, documenting and surveying heritage, and larger-scale urban sites and landscapes, complete his semester.

In the second semester, the theoretical framework is dedicated to the technical and policy aspects of heritage. On the project level, its backbone consists of interdisciplinary project work integrating all aspects of conservation, based on a group work format, this is completed with a workshop abroad.

The third semester consists mainly of the Master’s thesis, i.e. individual research work in the field of conservation, supported by an ad hoc study programme. This semester concentrates on research training with seminars, including a thematic week (open to first and second year’s students), supporting the writing of the Master’s thesis. It is completed with a professional internship, which aims to introduce students to the world of heritage practice.

Objectives

The master after master programme offered by the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation aims at educating young professionals in the conservation and restoration of immovable heritage (buildings, structures and sites), both into the tradition of the discipline and into the new scientific methods.

Graduates of the MCMS have acquired and developed skills that allow for the necessary interdisciplinary research, communication and collaboration between the various disciplines involved in the restoration of architectural heritage as for example : archaeology, history, urbanism, architecture, engineering, human sciences, conservation and restoration sciences, .... They have learned to use relevant source material, to approach a problem in a scientific way, to understand the approaches and possibilities of other disciplines than their own, and they have developed the necessary common terminology, methodology and skills to carry out research and to prepare jointly restoration studies, projects, and long-term programs. They have learned to reflect critically about ongoing concepts and debates on heritage preservation. Based on the above they have acquired the necessary common language and they master with a critical attitude the research methodologies and practices used in conservation of monuments and sites, as reflected in international guidelines, charters and literature. They have obtained knowledge and experience (through project works) that strengthens them to be part of interdisciplinary research and to communicate in a restoration team.

Career perspectives

Employment options for graduates from the RLICC are numerous and wide-spread. Alumni are currently working as independent professionals in conservation and restoration of architectural heritage all over the world. They display highly appreciated professional experience in private architecture and restoration offices as well as in leadership and policymaking positions in regional, national and international conservation institutions such as UNESCO, ICOMOS and the Council of Europe. All levels of the heritage administration, be they regional, national or international, count RLICC alumni among their ranks.



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What is the 'Master of Architecture' all about?. This Master's programme "Architecture. Urban Projects, Urban Cultures" explores architecture from a . Read more

What is the 'Master of Architecture' all about?

This Master's programme "Architecture: Urban Projects, Urban Cultures" explores architecture from a research-by-design and design-by-research perspective. Students are educated and trained in a multicultural and international context. The programme combines an academic approach with a creative-experimental approach. It is characterised by a fully-integrated design methodology, providing students with solid skills in the contemporary discipline of architectural design and research.

The Master of Architecture programme is organised at both of the faculty's campuses in Brussels and Ghent, though each campus offers a different orientation:

  • Campus Brussels - Architecture: Urban Projects, Urban Cultures
  • Campus Ghent - Architecture: Resilient and Sustainable Strategies

This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis. The programme consists out of a minimum of four semesters.

International

The Faculty of Architecture takes its international dimension as the basis for its own quality assessment. It positions itself squarely within the international field of qualitative academic education. The faculty's international activities are extensive and diversified: student mobility and staff exchange on a European and intercontinental level, internationally oriented programmes for incoming students, international workshops and competitions, international research projects, international internships, development cooperation, etc.

The faculty continues to build on its tradition of academic integration of teaching and research to maintain and enhance its standard of quality and international standing.

The faculty works hard to consolidate and enrich its network of cooperative associations with professionals and universities all over the world and strives to leverage this international network for students' benefit. Its international dimension is a strong catalyst for creativity and an added value to students' future professional career.

Objectives

"The intended academic quality, is the core of the program (architecture, urban planning), i.e. academically based 'professionalism'.

The broadening of the profile focuses on basic disciplines (architecture and urban planning), however without compromising the appropriate focus on the professional profile of the architect (in multiple forms).

In the profile of master, one should obtain extreme concentration and specificity (however, no specialisation).

On the one hand, the master focuses on the content and area-specific level of the bachelor phase, and on the other hand on the acquirement of access to the professional or doctoral field (advanced masters, PhD,...).

The core competences of the master are:

  • the intellectual development and broadening of the competences acquired in the bachelor;
  • a research attitude (for solutions);
  • the specific, disciplinary knowledge (architecture, urban planning);
  • the interdisciplinary skills (also as to recognize the limits of the own scientific discipline).

The master program should guarantee the acquirement of scientific depth. The offered frontier disciplines focus on the current state of research and development within the competence field. The technical qualification to be acquired, focuses on the high quality problem solving of complex tasks.

Curriculum framework campus Brussels: Architecture: Urban Projects, Urban Cultures

In the field of Architecture and Urban Design, a global awareness is growing, questioning established development and settlement patterns regarding future societal needs and ensuing planning strategies and architectural interventions.

The current fast-forward global development increasingly strains the Western and European model, inducing a whole range of urban planning and architectural challenges to update the academic and professional practice.

Facing the consequences of a changing society and a post-industrial and knowledge-based economy, Western developments stand in stark contrast with rapidly developing economies and a still expanding population worldwide. Instigating important and unchartered societal shifts, our conception of urbanity and the city is fundamentally affected.

Traditional urban planning methods and architectural strategies might not offer the necessary tools to recognize and address these future challenges and therefore need to be reconsidered.

Within these changing context and transition processes, the Urban Projects, Urban Cultures Programme seeks to research, develop and teach alternative architectural and urban design tools, not so much aimed at reinventing urban landscapes, but as it were to edit the given condition from within.

A critical and coherent attitude towards recent urban phenomena is considered the base for research and design at different levels.

Apart from the theoretical courses, the program includes 3 design studios (during one semester) and 1 final master dissertation studio (during one year). Each semester, there is a focus on a specific attitude, related to the main theme of the programme. All studios are organised through a pool of studio groups (Academic Design Offices and Design Studios) where the teaching staff provides a series of specific themes, methods and intervention areas for the students to develop an architectural project:

Themes sem 1

  • multiple readings of the urban landscape

Themes sem 2 (specific focus on the city of Brussels)

  • learning from brussels

Themes sem 3

  • urban projects at the intermediate scale

Themes sem 4

  • urban projects at the intermediate scale
  • multiple readings of the urban landscape
  • learning from brussels

Career perspectives

Graduates are trained to lead multidisciplinary teams of engineers, interior architects, landscape architects and artists. In addition to working as independent (self-employed) architects, our graduates also work as professionals in government agencies and international design firms. Some graduates go on to roles as researchers serving local or international governance bodies, NGO's or other institutes.



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IMRD, part of the Erasmus Mundus scholarship programme, is a joint degree which offers you the opportunity to study rural development in its diversity of international approaches and applications. Read more
IMRD, part of the Erasmus Mundus scholarship programme, is a joint degree which offers you the opportunity to study rural development in its diversity of international approaches and applications. The 2 year master programme (120 ECTS) is jointly organized by 12 institutes leading in agricultural economics and rural development from all over the world. IMRD offers a combination of basic and specialized theoretical and practical training in technical, economic and social sciences. This competitive master programme has a high extent of international student mobility, making it possible to learn from specialists worldwide.
-Study each semester at a different university and compare international views on rural development.
-Gain practical experience through a 1 month case study in Italy or Slovakia.
-Several scholarship opportunities: Erasmus Mundus, IMRD consortium, ICI-ECP.
-1/3 of our graduates start a PhD; others work at UN, FAO and in the agribusiness industry
-Obtain a joint MSc in Rural Development.
-European and US students can combine this degree with a MSc in Agricultural Economics (University of Arkansas, US) and obtain a double degree at the end of the programme. Choose the ATLANTIS learning path.
-European and South-Korean students can combine this degree with a Master of Arts in Economics (Korea University, Seoul National University). Choose the EKAFREE learning path.
-Study in Europe, the US, South-Korea, India, South Africa, Ecuador or China, depending on the learning path you choose.

IMRD offers you the opportunity to study rural development in its diversity of international approaches and applications. Depending on the focus and mobility track you choose, you can study at one or a combination of our 12 partners in Europe, India, South-Africa, Ecuador, China, the US or South-Korea.

Learning path IMRD >> International MSc in Rural Development: study 2 years at the IMRD - Erasmus Mundus programme, possibly supported by an Erasmus Mundus scholarship. At the end you obtain the Joint IMRD Diploma. Study at one or a combination of our partners in Europe, India, South-Africa, Ecuador or China.

Learning path ATLANTIS >> MSc in Rural Development and MSc in Agricultural Economics: European and US students can combine this degree with a MSc in Agricultural Economics (University of Arkansas, US) and obtain a double degree at the end of the programme.

Learning path EKAFREE >>MSc in Rural Development and MA in Economics: European and South-Korean students can combine this degree with a Master of Arts in Economics (Korea University, Seoul National University).

Structure

Structure of the programme:
-General Entrance Module - Semester I 30-35 ECTS - UGent.
-Advanced Module I - Semester II 15-40 ECTS - any partner university or thesis partner university.
-Case Study - Summer Course 10 ECTS - Nitra University or Pisa University.
-Advanced Module II - Semester III 15-40 ECTS - opposite choice of semester II.
-Thesis Module - Semester IV 30 ECTS - thesis partner university.

Learning outcomes

Our programme will prepare you to become:
-A trained expert in integrated rural development specialized in agricultural sociology, economics, policy and decision making, with a competitive advantage on the international job market.
-A master of science with a unique international theoretical knowledge in development and agricultural economics theories and policies, combined with a practical based comparative knowledge of different approaches to rural development
part of an international network of specialists in agronomics and rural development.

Other admission requirements

The English language proficiency can be met by providing a certificate (validity of 5 years) of one of the following tests:
-TOEFL IBT 80.
-TOEFL PBT 550.
-ACADEMIC IELTS 6,5 overall score.
-CEFR B2 Issued by a European university language centre.
-ESOL CAMBRIDGE English CAE (Advanced).

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Applicants are eligible for the Master in Urban Studies if they have completed a 180 ECTS academic bachelor degree or its equivalent in geography, planning, architecture, history, criminology, political science, sociology, demography, media and communication studies, cultural studies, or a similar discipline. Read more

About

Applicants are eligible for the Master in Urban Studies if they have completed a 180 ECTS academic bachelor degree or its equivalent in geography, planning, architecture, history, criminology, political science, sociology, demography, media and communication studies, cultural studies, or a similar discipline. Additionally, proof of fluency in English is required and should be sought well in advance of the application window.

Programme structure

The 120 ECTS curriculum combines the attractiveness of a flexible, modular and interdisciplinary programme that allows you to focus on your own interests within the domain of urban studies with a common core of compulsory courses to ensure that you develop the necessary urban skills and competences.

Common core

The common core contains a course on Brussels, one on the European dimension of cities and urbanisation, and a number of theoretical courses introducing you to the field of urban studies. By using Brussels as a unique case study in the programme and by organising various site visits in and around Brussels and excursions to cities in Europe, we benefit from our location in the centre of Europe. The common core also contains two modules introducing you to various urban methods and research approaches.

The core consists of the following courses:

Geographies of a Globalizing Europe (VUB, 6 ECTS, Bas van Heur)
Urban Social Geography (VUB, 6 ECTS, David Bassens)
Urban Economic Geography (ULB, 5 ECTS, Mathieu Van Criekingen)
Urban Sociology (ULB, 5 ECTS, Martin Rosenfeld)
Urban Sustainability and Circular Economy (ULB, 5 ECTS, Ahmed Khan)
Global City-Region Brussels (VUB, 6 ECTS, Joost Vaesen)
Urban Analysis I (VUB, 3 ECTS, Eva Swyngedouw)
Urban Analysis II (ULB, 5 ECTS, Corentin Debailleul)
Excursion I (VUB/ULB, 3 ECTS)
Excursion II (VUB/ULB, 3 ECTS)

Elective modules and courses

Before starting with the Master in Urban Studies, you are expected to choose two elective modules. The elective modules have a disciplinary and/or thematic orientation: this will allow you to specialise within subdomains of urban studies, while at the same time ensuring interdisciplinary training on the level of the overall programme.

We currently offer six elective modules, incorporating a large variety of disciplines from across the social sciences and humanities:

Urban History (18 ECTS)
Urban Criminology (15 ECTS)
Urban Geography (12 ECTS)
Urban Architecture (15 ECTS)
Urban Planning and Mobility (14 ECTS)
Urban Design (16/18 ECTS)
Besides the elective modules, we also offer a wide range of individual elective courses.

Internship

You can also choose to replace one elective module with an internship (15 ECTS), allowing you to gain experience in a working environment that is relevant to urban studies, such as an NGO, local government administration, consultancy firm or European network or institution. If you want to pursue a PhD following your Master education, you can also choose to do a research-oriented internship by working in a university department or another research institution.

Semester abroad

In the second year of your studies, it is possible to go abroad for a semester and study at one of our partner universities.

Master thesis

30 ECTS of your 120 ECTS programme is dedicated to the Master thesis. In the first year of your studies, you will choose a topic and develop your research design, whereas in the second year you will conduct most of the empirical research and write the actual thesis. Throughout the two-year process, there will be various moments of collective and individual supervision.

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