Programme details
Study load15 EC
Periodend of August - January / February - July
Language Dutch / English
Applicationonline application form
TeachersMarijke Bruinsma, Gloria Font Parducci

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.

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 in practice’. Our way of teaching is adapted to this. The combination of studying and concrete practise is an essential part of the course.

Attach your start portfolio, letter of motivation and degree certificate in the online registration form (as PDF files). The deadline for the pre-master starting in the second semester of 2019-2020 is 8 November 2019. NON-EER/EU students can only participate in the pre-master in the second semester from February to June, due to visa regulations.

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

1.    Knowledge of soil, vegetation, ecology, Dutch cultural landscape and the field and the professional practice of landscape architects.
2.    Knowledge of urban programmes, functional systems, living environments, urban typologies and the field and the professional practice of landscape architects.
3.    Research and design skills in terms of cultural, programmatic and technical aspects.
4.    Research and design skills in terms of planning, details and materialisation.
5.    Skills in terms of conceptual and academic thinking and debating, communication and presentation techniques.


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.
•    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 both Dutch and English.

In order to be admitted to the pre-master Urbanism & Landscape Architecture, you must send us your CV, your motivation letter and a ‘start portfolio’. Based on this, we will assess whether you are suited to the pre-master.

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?

Start portfolio
Your start portfolio is a challenging assignment. You make a compactly designed document in which you demonstrate what your ideas are with regard to city and landscape.
You may choose between two ways of doing this. You describe the city or the landscape:

•    where you grew up and the way in which this has changed in recent years;
•    where you live now and your favourite places there.

Use all the resources that you need. Work, in particular, with images, maps, drawings and photos or words. Or think about a special way or presenting your city or landscape. It is important that we see your personal signature. Therefore, opt for a combination in which you can, in any case, demonstrate drawings or sketches.


We offer the pre-master Urbanism & Landscape Architecture two times per year:
•    in the first semester: from the end of August up to and including January;
•    in the second semester: from February up to and including July;

NON-EER/EU students can only participate in the pre-master in the second semester from February to July, due to visa regulations. You can register via our online registration form.

Deadline for registration
•    You must register no later than 8 November 2019 for the second semester in 2019-2020.
•    You must register no later than 1 May 2020 for the first semester in 2020-2021.

The tuition fees for the pre-master are € 950. This amount is excluding costs for study material, excursions, literature and lunches during the 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 22:00.

The rest of the pre-master has three fixed times for lessons per week:
·        Tuesday from 19:30-22:30
·        Wednesday 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: Invisible Cities
How do people experience space? This workshop is about the perception of space. You learn to use your senses in order to understand certain situations in the city. Your final product is a story in combination with a scale model.

Studio 1: Landscape
The first studio is focused on the landscape in the vicinity of Amsterdam. The aim is to get to know the rich stratification of the Dutch landscape and to find out how you can use this as a designer. In the first four weeks, you will learn to look and analyse on the basis of local and historical context. Following an excursion to a specific location, we will ask you to make a design proposal that ties in with your personal findings and preferences. You will ultimately create a master plan and you will develop part of your project further into a design. You will present your results on A1 posters.

Studio 2: Urbanism
The second studio will begin with a three-day workshop. You will work with a specific location in the city of Amsterdam. After a site visit and various lectures, you will make a design proposal. You will develop this proposal further over the course of eight weeks. You will present your results on A1 posters.

Workshop 2: Museum gardens
This workshop takes up several weeks and begins with lessons about soil, plants and shrubs and the influence thereof on the Dutch landscape. After various excursions to city gardens and parks, you will make your own design for a museum garden. You may choose the theme and location yourself. During the conceptual process and the translation thereof into a planting scheme, you will receive intensive guidance from teachers. You will present your results on A1 posters.

Final project
In the last three weeks of the pre-master, you will develop your final project. You will choose a project yourself and develop that. The aim is to demonstrate your autonomy in the design process. On the basis of your final presentation, the course coordinator and the heads of department will assess whether you have passed the pre-master.

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

Extra lessons and excursions
In addition to the main components of the pre-master, you will take extra theoretical lessons, lessons about design tools and excursions. This programme is intended to reinforce your design choices.

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

At the end of the pre-master, you will receive a certificate if you meet the following requirements.
1.    You were present for all main components.*
2.    You completed each main component with a pass. During the pre-master, you will receive an assessment form with notes for each assessment. In this way, we support your development and your independence in the design process.
3.    Your final project and the presentation thereof is assessed with a pass by the assessment committee. The assessment committee consists of the coordinators, supplemented by guest lecturers and/or the heads of the study programmes. They will draw up your final assessment together.

*You may be absent a maximum of one time for each main component. However, you must report your absence in advance to the student secretariat and the coordinators and have a good reason.

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 Mareke Geraedts / of the Academy of Architecture.