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Study guide 2023-2024

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Programme details
Study load15 ECTS
PeriodSeptember - January / January - June
Application Online form
TeacherJos Rijs

Would you like to become an architect and are you considering a Master in Architecture at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture? Follow our compact and inspiring pre-master Architecture & Technology, in which architecture and the architectural practice form the basis. This pre-master is intended to bring technical knowledge to the required standard so that students with a different entry level in structural and technical fields can begin the Master’s in Architecture at the Academy of Architecture. You can register if you have a Bachelor’s degree in architectural design or interior architecture. 

Why this pre-master?

  • You will be introduced to general architecture based on short thematic presentations about specific architectural topics. We link a drawing exercise to each topic.
  • You will increase your insight into the relationship between the design and the load-bearing structure of buildings.
  • You will increase your knowledge of building physics, so that you know how to improve the living and working climate of buildings.
  • You will learn to substantiate your own designs technically and practically in various materials with details that are based on architectural principles.
  • You will learn to understand external and internal forces within the interplay between structure and structural members and to visualise these.
  • You will take on practical challenges: you will conclude the pre-master with a design exercise in which you will design integrally with technical knowledge and skill.
  • You will be inspired by excursions and fascinating lectures from professionals from the practice about their field of specialisation or about their fascination for an element of architecture.

And: when you have successfully completed the pre-master Architecture & Technology, you will be very well prepared for the Master in Architecture at the Academy of Architecture. You will have more chance of being directly admitted to the Master’s programme.

Practical teaching method
At the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam, we believe in ‘learning from experiences’ and ‘applying theory into practice’. Our way of teaching is adapted to these elements. The combination of studying and concrete practise is an essential part of this pre-master.

The dates of the start of the upcoming pre-masters are not yet known. It will be announced here, as you will also find the application form with the deadline for registration here soon (probably around the end of February). Due to visa regulations, NON-EER / EU students can only participate in the pre-master in the second semester of each academic year (from January/February to June).

During the pre-master, you will work on the following learning objectives:

1. Increasing your general architectural basic knowledge, as a result of which more insight into how buildings are made will arise: from building systems in various materials down to the detail.

2. Knowledge and insight into mechanics and structure; skills in understanding external and internal forces within the interplay between structure and structural members.

3. Increasing your (building) physics knowledge of buildings in relation to the design process.

4. Independently learning to make detailed architectural drawings of various parts of building.

5. Various skills in terms of presentation techniques with which you will communicate your design.

Which prior education do you need for the pre-master Architecture & Technology? You can register if you satisfy the following conditions:

You have a Bachelor’s degree (Dutch HBO) in Architectural Design or Interior Architecture, Spatial Design, Urban Interior Architecture, Public Space (or similar). Other prior qualifications within the domain of Urbanism, Architecture and Construction Engineering, Constructional Engineering or the Visual Arts will be assessed on the basis of a portfolio, motivation letter and (if needed) an interview.
You have a command of mathematics A (wiskunde A) and English at least at Higher General Secondary Education (Dutch HAVO) level or mathematics C (wiskunde C) at least at pre-university education level (Dutch VWO). 
​​​​​​​You have level B2 in the English language

The language of instruction of the course is English. 

In order to be admitted to the pre-master Architecture & Technology, you must send us your CV, your motivation letter, your portfolio, your diplomas and your grades. Based on this, we will assess whether you are suited to the course.

Motivation letter
In your motivation letter, you will clearly indicate why you want to follow the pre-master Architecture & Technology. What is the goal you want to achieve with this pre-master?

Your portfolio is a succinctly designed document, in which you show which design and drawing experience you have gained up until now. 

- Please limit your portfolio to a maximum of about twenty pages.
- The portfolio must be accessible via a link to a digital online repository such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
- The portfolio must in any case be accessible until 1 September
- Make sure it is publicly accessible to us, without the use of login codes or registration procedures.
- For a good portfolio, you can check our Portfolio Tips & Tricks

We offer the pre-master Architecture & Technology two times per year: 
•    In the first semester: from September up to and including January;
•    In the second semester: from January up to and including June; 

The application for the pre-master for the second semester 2023-2024 is closed. For the first semester 2024-2025 you can apply from early February 2024. You will find the applicationform here on the website. The deadline for application for the first semester 2024-2025 is the first week of April 2024. 

NON-EER/EU students can only participate in the pre-master in the second semester from January to June, due to visa regulations. 

Minimum number of participants
The pre-master takes place with a minimum of eight participants. Six weeks before the start of the pre-master you know whether it will definitely start.

-The course fee for the pre-masters in the first semester of the academic year 2023-2024 is € 1.157.
-The course fee for the pre-masters in the second semester of the academic year 2023-2024 is € 1.157.
These costs exclude additional sums for study materials, excursions, literature and food and drinks during workshops.

What will your timetable look like?

The pre-master Architecture & Technology has three fixed times for lessons per week:
Monday from 19:30-22:30
Wednesday from 19:30-22:30
Friday from 09:30-12:30 and from 13:30-16:30

In addition, we also occasionally organise activities during the day on Tuesday and on Wednesday.

Which subjects and programme components will you do? 

Technique - Tools 0
During the Tools 0 course, you will gain architectural basic knowledge based on theory lessons linked to architectural drawing exercises. On the basis of architectural examples, we will deal with themes like building systems, detail, material and drawing technique. You will complete the exercises during the lesson as much as possible.

Technique - Structural Design
The series of 9 lessons form the introduction to the Structural Design course. It is an introductory course in which the focus is on gaining knowledge and insight about the relationship between the load-bearing structure (applied building and construction technology) and the design (architectural concept); be able to transform architectural principles into a load-bearing structural diagram; acquire and apply the structural-technological conceptual framework.into the field of mechanics. During the lessons, you will be given teaching materials during lectures, and you will do exercises and self-study.

Technique - Building physics
The Building Physics course provides you with insight into building-related (building) physics aspects in relation to the design process. You will develop basic knowledge about the thermal, hygric and acoustic properties of a building, and about natural lighting, energy consumption, electrical and mechanical engineering, and sustainability.

Design - Design assignment 
During the pre-master Architecture & Technology, you will be given a small-scale design assignment based on criteria determined in advance. The result: a fully-fledged, clear and focused architectural design that you will present on the basis of drawings, visual material and scale models. In this way, you will learn to translate an idea into an architectural design, you will develop a feel for scale, proportions and use of space, and you will learn skills to communicate your design. 

Inspiration - Excursion
Together with the lecturers of the pre master Architecture & Technology, you will visit a building under construction in Amsterdam together with an architect, a user, a resident and someone else who is closely connected with the project and can talk about it enthusiastically.

Inspiration - The architect and the building
During a series of excursions, we will visit architectural firms where a project will be explained on the basis of drawings, scale models and stories. We will subsequently visit the project together with the architect. 

When will you receive a pass for the pre-master?

You will end the course with a pass when you have passed all examinations, both on the theory and design components.

In addition, if you receive a positive recommendation from lecturers, you will have an increased chance of being directly admitted to the Master in Architecture at the Academy of Architecture. 

Have you successfully completed the pre-master Architecture & Technology and received a positive recommendation from the lecturers? In that case, you will have an increased chance of being directly admitted to the Master in Architecture at the Academy of Architecture.

Our Master’s programme will train you to become a skilful and authentic spatial designer. You will learn to clearly (re)formulate design assignments and form powerful conceptual ideas. You will know how to translate these into concrete spatial design proposals. In addition, you will learn how to present a plan in an attractive way and how you should enter into debate about your design considerations.

Please note: if you pass the pre-master Architecture & Technology, this does not mean that you will automatically be admitted to the Master in Architecture. As is the case with other Bachelor’s students, we will assess your definitive admission on the basis if your portfolio and motivation letter.

Are you doubting whether you meet the admission requirements? Have you got questions about the registration? Do you have any other questions?

Feel free to send an email with your question to us via




Study guide 2023-2024

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