Academy of Architecture
Hanze University of Applied Sciences
Groningen, NL
Academy of Architecture
Hanze University of Applied Sciences
Academie van Bouwkunst

N 53° 12' 54.69'', E 53° 12' 54.69''
 Angélique van Werd  

t: + 31 50 595 4668
 Berit Ann Roos 
Head of School
Degree programmes
Master of advanced Studies
Faculty profile

The Academy of Architecture Groningen offers a masters program in architecture. The Academy of Architecture follows up on a bachelor's degree programme in building techniques and trains students to practice architecture with an academic level of working and thinking. Graduates are capable of working independently on architectonic assignments. The Master’s degree awarded by the Academy gives graduates direct entry to the Register of Architects. Graduades carry the title of Master of Architecture.
The Academy of Architecture is characterized by the strong relation between study and practice:
half of the course consists of design education, the other half consists of acquiring working experience in a relevant part-time position at an architectural firm. This combination of education and professional training, where the student's job activities are considered an essential part of the study, is called 'concurrency education'.
The study programme’s objective is to train people to become architects who are familiar with both the theoretical as well as the practical side of the profession and have learned to adopt a critical attitude towards both. They also have knowledge of the cultural and social context of architecture and take their professional responsibilities seriously.

The Academy of Architecture is situated in the centre of Groningen. The building is the result of an architectural competition held in 1998 and designed by students. This exceptionally building inspires the students and staff in their daily work and education. The Academy of Architecture holds a strong position in the cultural life of the city and the northern region of the Netherlands.

50 students (0 Bachelor, 50 Master, 0 PhD), 5% of foreign students.

60 staff members (0 full-time and approx. 60 visiting lecturers and critics).

Student Activities

The Academy of Architecture offers a various program of lectures, (international) workshops and exhibitions.


Computing service
Conference auditorium
Exhibition hall,
Extensivemodelling workshop
Printing facilities


To find your way through rules and regulations, from applying for the study programme until finding accommodation in Groningen, obtaining a work permit and planning your journey, the International Student Office (ISO) of our University will assist you from start to finish.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for students who want to follow the complete course:
The course is open to those who have previously obtained a bachelors degree in architecture and building engineering. Degrees obtained at a foreign institute of higher education or university are compared with the admission requirements by the NUFFIC, the Netherlands Organisation for International Co-operation for Higher Education. Every diploma student is expected to have sufficient command of the Dutch language to effectively participate in the programme of education.

Admission requirements for students who want to follow parts of the course (exchange students):
As regards the study programme that the Academy of Architecture Groningen offers, the ateliers in the 2nd/3rdyear are accessible to foreign - English speaking - students. In that case education can be combined with a temporary job at an architectural firm in the Northern region of the Netherlands. Please contact the Academy about the possibilities and conditions.

Application / enrolment
Admission is possible for students who have submitted a portfolio of recent work and who have supplied a written motivation to attend the course. If necessary this will be followed by an interview.
An application form can be obtained from the administration of the Academy of Architecture. Applicants will be informed whether they fulfil the admission requirements and are eligible for the selection procedure. Further information can be obtained from the administration:

Tuition fees

ca. € 1725 per year

Application Deadline

May of each year

Master of advanced Studies, Master of Architecture, concurrency education, 4-year programme part-time, Master, 240,

Structure of the Study

In-school part
The in-school part of the programme offers a range of ateliers (design-studios), and a programme of courses where skills are trained and lectures stimulate the development of a knowledge basis and critical thinking on topics like architectural history and theory and actual themes concerning architecture and society.

Practice part
During the 4-year study the students develop their professional position and responsabilities and tasks in the architectural firm where they work. From a focus on the more technical aspects in the beginning they develop during their Academy-period to project manager and in the end (junior) architect. This development is a crucial part of the programme and monitored by way of a portfolio.

The programme is divided into three periods: basic skills (year 1), developing/deepening professional knowledge (year 2 and 3) and graduation (year 4). The annual program of study runs for a period of 42 weeks, during which students are expected to spend a minimum of twenty hours a week on their study. The activities in the School of Architecture take place on Thursday evening and Friday during the day working at the Academy on the various projects, lectures and practical assignments.

Learning to design
Central to the course is architectural designing. A majority has been taught during the previous bachelor course; the student is familiar with constructions and building techniques, has an insight into the functional and programmatic requirements, knowledge of compositional characteristics and the history of architecture and its cultural context. While studying at the Academy of Architecture, the student learns how to use that knowledge within the complexity of (architectural) designing.
The task of the educational programme is not only to broaden and expand the knowledge that already exists but to also apply that knowledge specifically within an architectural design that integrates all those aspects.

Ateliers as most important learning instrument
Architectural designing consists of a complex series of actions that relate to the technique, the design and the programme. Anticipating to that, the design education is constructed in a very coherent manner in the form of ateliers. ‘Atelier’ is our word for ‘studio’. Within the atelier all the different aspects and complex actions of the design process are integrated. It consists of a complete range of didactical work forms that are a combination of doing and thinking: practical design work, creative and research activities and theoretical study are alternated. The objective of the ateliers is to develop all necessary design and research competences (knowledge, skills and understanding).
The atelier professor is a practicing architect and experienced teacher – selected for his or her knowledge and experience with the current topic of the course. The atelier professor is responsible for the general coordination of the various activities. Within the framework established for the course visiting lecturers are encouraged to add their own accents during their atelier’s activities and select a specific working method. New lecturers are recruited every year from the architectural or professional practice.

Three ateliers are offered per semester. Two of them take 7 to 8 weeks and focus especially on the phase in which a bearing idea (concept) becomes an architectonic object, in terms of space, material and technique. The emphasis lies on the ‘practical’ design research; the designs are worked out in detail. The assignments for these ateliers have a more urban oriented character.
One atelier each year takes 15 weeks and focuses especially on the phase preceding a design. Assuming a theme derived from the main assignment, a more theoretical approach to the issue is linked to the design. Based on more ‘theoretical’ research a (speculative) architectural design proposal (concept) is developed. In this case the assignment has often a more rural oriented (be more oriented on landscape) character.
All atelier assignments are, on the basis of more permanent learning objectives, renewed each year. This continuous updating of the curriculum corresponds to questions and discussions that come up in professional practice.

Architecture and Landscape theme
The Academy aims to establish a clear link with actual spatial assignments in the Northern region of the Netherlands in the courses. Design assignments are selected specifically in which a systematic reflection (design research) is possible on the relationship between the building and its environment. This theme, also called ‘Architecture and Landscape’, will also be discussed in various theoretical classes and laboratories.

Education and research
The main focus of the design assignments is to help develop design skills. The assignments that are given in ateliers – and workshops – are not fictitious but actual assignments. Therefore, studies that Academy students carry out within the scope of the design assignments can also be types of research. Precisely because students are not bound to daily restrictions and problems, they can freely research the hidden possibilities of an assignment while carrying out their designs. In this way they clarify the choices that can be made. At the same time they discover the architectural limitations, without reproducing what already exists. Therefore, when a student is capable of giving more than one answer to the question posed, – in other words – if he is also capable of giving it an exciting interpretation in his design, then it becomes interesting. In cases like these, the final results can also be important outside the educational context, for example as regards the practice and discipline.

Stimulating study climate
Most of the lectures and tutors are practicing architects. This way the students and staff continuously gain up-to-date knowledge and experience from everyday practice. The courses are taught in small groups. Therefore we can say that the Academy of Architecture Groningen is a place where students are not identified by their number as is a common practice in bigger schools, but are treated as individuals. The Academy, hence, is not one of those present-day educational factories but a real community of learning, an academy in the real sense of the word.

The student’s personal development is central in the programme. Students are given a large degree of freedom and personal responsibility to determine their direction within the profession. The development of their own architectural view is the red thread that runs through the course.

The Academy of Architecture itself is multiform and does not impose opinions. By taking this approach, it recognises the multiformity of the profession. In fact, the clash between different opinions and design methods is essential to the Academy’s study climate! An essential aspect of studying at the Academy of Architecture is the direct contact between teacher and student. The fact that the Groningen Academy of Architecture operates on quite a small-scale is an important condition for this individualistic approach.

The degree certificate qualifies architecture graduates to register at the Architects Register (Stichting Bureau Architectenregister ‘s Gravenhage (SBA)). Registration entitles graduates to use the protected title of architect. The exit qualifications of the study program are determined by EU Directives. Graduates can therefore work in the profession of architecture throughout the European Union.