The concurrent model: studying and working simultaneously
Acquiring relevant professional experience is part of the study programme at the Academy of Architecture. Practical work experience is gained simultaneously with the study: the so-called concurrent model.
During your master's programme at the Academy, you are obliged to complete a minimum number of professional practice hours (4 x 840 hours) at a workplace relevant to the study programme. That can be an (landscape) architecture firm, but it also possible to work for other employers, such as an urban planning agency, a research bureau or to work temporarily abroad. The student discusses this with the practice coordinator before the start of the activities.
You can also work for numerous employers as a freelancer. You are allowed to combine your study at the Academy of Architecture with work on your own projects or at your own bureau, under the supervision of a mentor and only after the prior approval of the course directors. The course directors will first assess the quality of the work and the mentor before approval.
The professional experience obtained must lead to a situation where the students, at the end of their study, have the knowledge, insight and skills that are described in the exit qualifications for the architecture, urban design, garden and landscape architecture disciplines of the Bureau Architects Register (BA).
The expectation with regard to the workplace is that designs are made and projects realised there and that the student will be actively supervised in his or her activities by a mentor that has been registered with the Dutch Register of Architects for at least three years. It goes without saying that is should be a stimulating and challenging working environment with sufficient opportunities, so that the student can develop into an adequate designer. The professional situation must enable the student to come into contact with all parts of the planning and building process, from design to completion, during the study time and enable him or her to acquire insight into the relationship between those various parts of the process. A balanced relationship between study and work means a working week of no more than four days. The Fridays must be available for the study programme.
Frequently asked questions
A minimum of 840 hours. An academic year consists of 42 weeks. Students work a minimum of 20 hours a week during 42 weeks.
Most students work 4 days of 8 hours, a total of 32 hours, a week. You cannot work on Fridays, since you have lessons at the Academy.
For an Architecture student a job at an architecture firm or a comparable professional environment. For an Urbanism student a job at an urbanism firm or an urban planning department. For a Landscape Architecture student a job at a firm for landscape architecture or a department with an environmental design focus.
Preferably you will have one of the following types of employment:
- Employment on the basis of a temporary or permanent contract.
- Freelance work for multiple employers within the student’s field of study.
- On the basis of certain conditions students are allowed to combine their Master’s with their own company or firm. On condition that the student hands in a written request beforehand in which the tasks he/she conducts, the amount of time spent on these tasks and the professional qualifications that are being developed are defined and an external assessor who supervises the student’s work is appointed. Furthermore, the student has to motivate how and why the employment situation meets the qualitative requirements as set by the Academy. After approval from the Academy, the student can include this professional experience in his/her practice documents for the yearly assessment.
The Academy does not interfere with the form of contract and the employment contract that the employee / student agrees with the employer.
The quality of the work must meet the conditions set in the external curriculum and the associated appendix 1, exit qualifications. If the work meets these requirements, it is highly productive work that does not meet the legal requirements for an internship.
It may be that due to certain circumstances (prior education, nationality) a student has too little knowledge and skills to be used productively immediately. In that case, a short internship of several months is an option to acquire the missing knowledge and experience.
No, the job does not have to be approved by the Academy. The requirements for the professional experience and what the student should learn in practice are described in the External Curriculum (see study guide). It is the responsibility of the student to obtain the required professional experience. The Academy assesses at the end of the academic year whether the student obtained sufficient professional experience.
If you have doubts about whether your job meets the requirements, you can ask for advice from the coordinator of professional experience, Nico van Bockhoove. You can ask your questions by email, or make an appointment via the study secretariat.
In principle, students are responsible for finding a job. If desired, we can help with the motivation letter or the composition of a portfolio. Furthermore, employers regularly send us vacancies on the basis of which we advise students to apply for these jobs.
There are several websites on which vacancies are posted for architects, landscape architects and urbanists:
Furthermore, the Academy has its own website on which vacancies for students are posted:
On this website you can also create a profile (cv and small portfolio) Employers can take a look at these profiles when looking for new employees.
To access this website, you need to register. This is possible when you have a student number.
The Academy also has a list of employers and firms where our students work or have worked. You can take a look at the websites of these firms to check whether they have vacancies or are open to direct letters of application.
In principle the Academy does not interfere with the employment contract between student/employee and employer, so neither with the amount you should earn. For your study at the Academy, it is important that you obtain the proper knowledge, the amount you earn does not matter. Employers of architecture firms need to comply with the collective labour agreement.
You can also find the salary scales of the agreement on this website.
Preferably you already have a job when starting your studies at the Academy.
The combination between study and work and the interaction between both brings about an inspiring and stimulating form of education. This is considered the core quality of the study programmes by the Academy.
Sometimes it is difficult to find a job before starting your studies. For example, because you are an international student living abroad which makes it hard to have job interviews. If you find a job later and you work 32 hours a week, it is not a problem. In that case, you can still obtain the required 840 hours of professional experience.
The Academy can only admit a limited number of students from outside of the European Economic Area. These students can work without a work permit, however, there are several conditions to comply with:
- Students are employed with the objective to acquire the professional experience necessary during the Master’s programme according to the concurrent model of the Academy of Architecture;
- Employment takes place on the basis of a employment contract which includes the amount of hours per week, the length of the contract and the salary;
- Also a three-party agreement is signed between the Academy, the employer and the student according to the model of the Ministery of Social Affairs and Employment referring to the employment contract;
- Both the three-party agreement and the employment contract are in the possession of the employer as well as the educational institution;
- The labour contract is registered with the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency) in advance via the notification form of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment;
- The student is paid in compliance with the collective labour agreement.