Skip to main content

Study guide 2023-2024

Download pdf

Are you interested in the layout of the Netherlands of the future? In this pre-master of the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, you will be introduced over a short space of time to the challenging fields of Urbanism and Landscape Architecture. The pre-master is suitable for students from art schools or other relevant study programmes and for professionals. You will learn the most important professional knowledge and develop an essential foundation in terms of design skills.

Programme details
Study load15 ECTS
Periodend of August - January / January - June
Language English
Applicationonline application form

Why this pre-master?

  • You will be introduced to historical and contemporary ideas about city and countryside.
  • You will increase your insight into the profession of urbanist and landscape architect.
  • You will learn through practical challenges; you will design and experiment a lot yourself.
  • You will get inspired by fascinating teachers and excursions.
  • And: when you have successfully completed the pre-master, you will be better prepared for a possible Master’s degree at the Academy of Architecture.

Unique in the Netherlands
What is unique to this pre-master is that we combine the fields of urbanism and landscape architecture. The Academy thinks that it is important that urbanists, landscape architects and architects think and work in an interdisciplinary manner.

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 premasters 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 expertises and skills:

1.    Knowledge of soil, plants, ecology and Dutch landscape.
2.    Knowledge of the fields of urbanism, physical planning and public housing.
3.    Design skills - technology and design.

What prior education do you need for the pre-master Urbanism & Landscape Architecture? You can register in one of the following cases:

•    You have completed a study programme at an art school (Dutch level HBO).
•    You are a professional who wants to do a Master’s degree in Urbanism or Landscape Architecture, but you are lacking important professional knowledge or design skills.

The language of instruction of the pre-master is English. You have level B2 in the English language.

In order to be admitted to the pre-master Urbanism & Landscape Architecture, you must send us your CV, your motivation letter, your portfolio, your diplomas and 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 Urbanism & Landscape Architecture. 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 Urbanism & Landscape Architecture 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 July;

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 Urbanism & Landscape Architecture starts with an intensive design workshop. This workshop lasts three days from 09:30 to 22:30.

The rest of the pre-master has three fixed times for lessons per week:
·        Tuesday from 19:30-22:30
·        Thursday from 19:30-22:30
·        Friday from 09:30-16:30

In addition, we occasionally organise activities at other moments in the week.

Which subjects and programme components will you do?
The pre-master Urbanism & Landscape Architecture consists of the following five main components. They all help develop your design skills.

Workshop 1: Hidden places
This workshop is about observing and taking note of the city. Through drawing sessions at different locations, students are introduced to typologies of spaces in the city. The workshop is linked to learning presentation skills with computer programs like Illustrator and Photoshop.

Lectures 1 
The main focus of the Lectures 1 is building up theoretical knowledge about the fields of urbanism and landscape architecture. On the basis of examples, the development of the Netherlands in terms of urbanism and landscape architecture is explained in chronological order.

Exercises 1 
In Tools 1, ideas from landscape architecture and urbanism are explored by means of exercises and excursions. 

Studio 1 - Landscape Architecture
The main focus in the studios is the skill of designing. In Studio 1, conceptualisation, fascination and stance are practised in particular and the translation hereof into words and images. Discovering and giving substance to design concepts, such as composition, contrast, temporality and transformation.

Workshop 2: Connection
Learning by doing. Go through the design steps of a project by means of making models.

Lectures 2
In the second series of lectures, the contemporary practice of landscape architecture and urbanism will be the main focus. In addition to a number of lectures about the themes that are currently playing a role in the field of landscape architecture, the current practice of urban design assignments at this time will be explained further.

Exercises 2
In Tools 2, basic knowledge about the building blocks of design in landscape architecture and urbanism will be explored by means of exercises and excursions. 
Attention will be devoted to the layers in the landscape, layers in the urban construction, a short introduction of plant sciences, urban typologies, construction of public space underground and above-ground.

Studio 2 - Urbanism
The main focus in the studios is the skill of designing. In Studio 2, technique and the craft are practised in particular. The studio includes a first introduction to the urban design toolbox.

Final test
In addition to the lessons, the student will work in his/her own time on the final test. This homework assignment is of a design-based nature, but knowledge elements are incorporated herein based on the gaps, which are established for the student in the first half of the pre-master. The assignment made by the student is presented to the coordinator (and possibly a visiting critic) and assessed just like the studios on the basis of the Academy of Architecture’s assessment forms. During the presentation, a statement of a problem, formulated assignment, analysis, design, plus the most important details (10 min.) must be shown. The manner of presentation is free.

Have you passed the pre-master? In that case, you can register for one of the Master’s programmes at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture.

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

Your skills will be assessed during the pre-master at a number of moments. The assessment will be done on the basis of an assessment form on which the feedback from the lecturers is specified.

Assessment will be given for:
•    Studio 1
•    Studio 2
•    Tools 1
•    Tools 2
•    Final test

Attendance obligation for:
•    Lectures 1
•    Lectures 2
•    Workshop 1 
•    Workshop 2

Have you successfully completed the pre-master Urbanism & Landscape Architecture? You then have an increased chance of being selected for a Master’s degree at the Academy of Architecture.

Would you like to do a Master’s degree after completing the pre-master?

•    Pass this on to the secretariat before the registration deadline.
•    After completing the final project of the pre-master, you will be given the opportunity to submit a definitive portfolio.
•    The assessment committee will subsequently assess all registrations.

If you are admitted, you will receive personal advice from the course coordinator and teachers about your preparation for the first academic year.

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

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

Download pdf