N 50° 51' 47.07'', E 50° 51' 47.07''
t: + 32 16 321361
f: + 32 16 321984
Head of Department
The department of Architecture is part of the faculty of Engineering, one of the 9 faculties within the Katholic University of Leuven, founded in 1425. The university as a whole counts almost 36.000, the Engineering faculty almost 4.000, architecture almost 800 students. The department is located in the Castle of Arenberg, build in 1562. K.U.Leuven has a long research tradition, which during the last 40 years also has pervaded the department of architecture resulting in a consistent PhD program with currently more than 60 PhD students. Being embedded in the university means a research based education. Being part of the engineering faculty means a substantial engineering based approach to architecture, in full breath and depth without reducing architecture to an engineering problem. Staff is composed of full time research members and part-time practitioners.
The department of Architecture is located in the Arenberg castle (1562) at the outskirts of the mediaeval town of Leuven in the Arenberg park. The city is known for its gothic townhall (1448), its gothic St-Peter church (1425), its Beguinage (12th-18th century), the old market, the age-old university colleges. The city of Leuven is 22 km distant from the centre of Brussels.
760 students (400 Bachelor, 300 Master, 60 PhD), 20% of foreign students.
62 staff members (12 full-time and approx. 50 visiting lecturers and critics).
Student centre, students association, student activities (architecture visits, Existenzmaximum week,..), ombudspersons, student counselling service for first year students.
Blackboard learn platform
CAD - Lab
Digital Fabrication Lab
K.U.Leuven rents rooms, labels private rooms, has special housing facilities for foreign students and researchers
For Bachelor degrees: diploma of higher secondary education.
For Master degrees: Bachelor degree. For advanced Masters programmes please contact the school for more information.
see degree programmes
May 1, for foreign students
Bachelor degree in architecture as a prerequisite to admission to the Master in architecture degree. Title: Bachelor of engineering: architecture. Enrolment: +- 180, success ratio 50% Tuition fee: EU/EFTA nationals: 524 Euro per year (60 credits). Dutch taught programme.
Bachelor, Master of engineering: architecture, 2-year programme, Master, 120,
Architectural design, Urban project, Building technological design. Title: Master of engineering: architecture. Enrolment: 60 – 70, success ratio 90% Tuition fee: EU/EFTA nationals: 524 Euro per year (60 credits). All 3 options give access to registration as an architect. Partially taught in Dutch, partially in English.
Bachelor, Master of Advanced Studies, 1- and 2-year, Master, 60,
Master in conservation of buildings and towns. Enrolment: 20-25 mostly foreign students. Title: Master in Conservation. Tuition fee: 2.800 €/y. English taught programme. 120 ECTS.
Master in Human Settlements. Enrolment: 40 foreign students Tuition fee: 5.000 €/y. English taught programme. 60 ECTS. Master in Urbanism and Spatial Planning Enrolment: 25 Tuition fee: 5.000 €/y. English taught programme. 120 ECTS.
The department of Architecture, Urbanism and Physical planning offers one 3 years bachelor course, followed by a 2 years masters subdivided in 3 design oriented options giving access to the profession of an architect: architectural design, urban project, building technology design. These programs are mostly taught in Dutch. Students graduate on a fi nal year project or on a written thesis. Apprenticeship during the curriculum is optional, because in Belgium graduates have to perform 2 years of apprenticeship after graduation in order to have access to the profession of an architect. This is not a requirement for those who work as engineers after graduation. The department also offers three English taught Master after Master degrees: a 2 years Master in Conservation of buildings and a 1 year Master of Human Settlements as a part or not of a 2 years Master of Urban and Strategic Planning.
The 3 years bachelor track provides a basic and fundamental education in architecture and leads straight away to the masters programme at K.U.Leuven. The programme consist of 3 almost equivalent components: architectural sciences (architectural theory, history, typology, design methodology, Computer Aided Architectural Design), engineering sciences and its exact sciences foundations (mechanics, physics, chemistry, stress and strain, material science, building construction,..), architectural design ( a design project per semester). It stresses the fundamentals of academic learning: knowledge, insight, application capabilities, communication and learning capacities. Training in (re-)presentation skills, manual as well as digital, is integrated in the design curriculum. Design operates as integrator of all course components. The bachelor programme is a common programme for every student. All students have access to TOLEDO, the electronic learning and testing platform of K.U.Leuven based on Blackboard. Bridging programmes are tailored to the needs of students following an a-typical trajectory. Language: Dutch.
The department organises one 2 years master programme leading to the degree of “Master in Engineering: architecture” giving access to the profession of selfemployed architect. The programme is subdivided in 3 options: architectural design, urban project, building technology design. Each option consists of compulsory courses, electives and an architectural design project per semester. Independent work increases along with the years. Each of the 4 semesters accounts for 30 credits. The 24 credits graduation project in semester 3 and 4 is either a dissertation either a final year design. As a rule this programme is taught in Dutch, with English inputs. Students can spend one semester abroad, as a rule the 5th one, at partner universities and schools. Students who spend 1 year abroad choose the bi-diploma formula. All three options have a 26 credits core on engineering subjects in common. The other 94 credits are option specific, including the graduation thesis or project work.
1. Architectural Design The theme for the design project in semester 1 is a complex new building like a museum, a bathhouse, a mausoleum, a crematorium. The second semester is devoted to a complex renewal project like a library, a town hall, a fitness centre. The third project of the first year focuses on building technical aspects of the two previous design programmes. In the third semester students elaborate an interior design focussing on furniture and lighting design.
2. Urban Project The design theme for the first semester is the urban tissue and urban project comprising tissue design and a design on the scale of a building block. The project work in the second semester is about utility building in a peripheral location like a science or an industry park. The third design is the technological elaboration of parts or aspects pertaining the 2 previous design assignments.
3. Building Technology Design The first design in this option is a structural design for infrastructure like a pedestrian bridge, a station canopy, a sports tribune. In semester 2 students design a building where structure and equipment are important design determinants. The third design project pertains the building technological design of the structure or an integrated façade in (one of) the two previous designs.
The department has a long tradition in granting a doctoral degree in architecture. Because of being embedded in the faculty of engineering, this doctorate is named: “Doctor in engineering: architecture”. In order to be admitted the doctoral programme one must have obtained a Master’s degree with honours. Subjects eligible for PhD, fit the research topics of the research groups in the department and have to be discussed with a promoter before starting the procedure to be admitted to doctoral research.
It takes minimum 2 years, usually 4 to 5 years of research work. The doctoral programme also includes a number of courses and seminars. Foreign students can start a PhD via a pre-doctoral track, or via the first year of one of the postgraduate programmes and switching after one year to the pre-doctoral test. Financing is done by the university on a highly competitive basis or via external funding. The doctoral degree is granted after public defence of an original thesis. This thesis is a study pushing back frontiers of knowledge and scientific insight.
http://www.asro.kuleuven.be , press button EN for the English version.
Advanced Master Programmes
1, Master in Conservation of buildings and historical sites (MCMS) is the master’s degree offered by the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for the Conservation (RLICC). The programme is a specialisation in the field of conservation and restoration of monuments and urban and rural historical sites. Students from different disciplines are accepted: architecture, engineering, archaeology, art history. The programme is to a large extent taught by invited specialists from all over the world. The first year is a generalist approach to conservation, interdisciplinary and international. The second year is almost completely devoted to the thesis.
Admission conditions, tuition waivers and scholarships: http://www.asro.kuleuven.be/rlicc
2, Master in Urbanism and Strategic Planning (MaUSP) is a 4-semester academic degree. It is an internationally oriented programme that addresses critical understanding of contemporary conditions of cities and urban regions. Three semesters are devoted to successive themes: urban tissue, urban region, urban void. The fourth semester is dedicated to the final thesis, which is a written thesis or a design project. Each of the first 3 semester consists of a dominant design studio and compulsory courses, to be completed by 25% optional courses.
Admission conditions, tuition waivers and scholarships: http://www.asro.kuleuven.be/mausp
3, Master of Human Settlements (MaHS) is a 2-semester academic degree offered by the Postgraduate Centre Human Settlements (PGCHS), which has from its origin 30 years ago co-operated with the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements. It addresses rapid urbanisation in the developing world and contemporary urban transformations within the scope of sustainable development.
Admission conditions, tuition waivers and scholarships: http://www.asro.kuleuven.be/mahs
The department of ASRO has established 4 permanent research groups financed on competitive basis:1) urbanism and architecture (OSA) researching urban history and urbanism and architectural theoretical subjects, 2) architectural history and conservation researching subjects from renaissance till 20th century architecture, 3) planning and development researching planning in developing countries, strategic planning and structural planning , 4) building and design methodology researching design cognition, CAAD, building economic subjects and building methods. The department thus counts 50 full-time researchers.