The Berlage Post-master in Architecture and Urban Design focuses intensively on how architects and urban designers practice in a globalized world, concentrating on the complex development of the built environment within different contexts.
“To study at the Berlage is not only to learn how to understand the complexities of our contemporary build environment, but also how to operate and innovate within them.”
The practice of architecture is becoming more and more global. The spread of professional skills and new technologies around the world has expanded the market for design services in both developed and developing countries. It is tempting to view architects and urban designers as members of a global, cosmopolitan culture that transcends national boundaries and identities. Drawings, technologies, clients, and even workforces seem to flow easily between continents and cultures.
Explore the forces that shape the built environment
The Berlage provides the intellectual climate as well as material infrastructure to explore the forces that shape the built environment in the contemporary world. Subsequently developing, by means of design, alternative models and new insights to devise a transformative impact on the built environment. Its programmes insist on direct engagement with real-life conditions, as represented by public authorities, cultural institutions, and private entities with whom students, researchers, and other participants directly communicate and debate. This simultaneous commitment to research and reality prompts reflection, speculation, and an understanding of today’s architectural and urban challenges.
Collaborative and experimental
The study creates a context that invites its students to test and communicate models, insights, and principles that focus on architectural, urban, and landscape issues based in the Netherlands and relate them to a global perspective. As the built environment—and its ever more radical transformations become increasingly complex and ambitious, the architectural profession has tended to break down into distinct, sector-based specializations. The challenge for architectural education today is to directly engage with these transformations while simultaneously developing new types of architectural knowledge, inscribed in a galaxy of networked institutions.
The study is conducted in an in-depth collaborative and experimental setting, characterized by guidance and exchange with leading and emerging practitioners and scholars. Students participate in research– and design-based projects, theory seminars, fieldwork, and master classes. In addition, a series of public events complements the programme.
Composed of three terms of study, the year-and-a-half long programme includes an introductory seminar period, two studios, and a final collective thesis term. Students will work in studios of approximately twelve participants, each headed by a guest professor and assistant. The new programme continues to reflect the unique spirit of The Berlage, expressing its characteristic engagement with reality and producing new forms of operational knowledge in collaboration with high-profile tutors and guests.
The Berlage is a post-master programme for architects and urban designers who have already completed a master’s degree in architecture or an equivalent five-year degree. It is a primarily privately funded, one-and-a-half-year, English-language programme.
After successful completion of the programme, students will receive a Master of Science diploma*.
General admission requirements
The following is the general information regarding admission and application to the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment’s two post-master programmes, the European Post-Master in Urbanism (EMU) and the Berlage Post-Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design.
a.- Applicants must have distinguished themselves in their respective first professional degrees in architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, spatial planning, town or urban planning, or an allied discipline.
b.- Applicants must submit a motivation essay in English of 2,000-3,000 words, including the applicant’s goals, areas of design and research interests related to study, description of prior academic and professional experience relevant to study, career expectations for undertaking study, and suggestions for possible graduation/thesis topics.
c.- Applicants must submit two letters of reference in English.
d.- Applicants must submit an extensive curriculum vitae.
e.- Applicants must submit proof of identity.
f.- Applicants have:
– a two year master’s degree equivalent to a Dutch MSc degree in a main subject closely related to the post-master’s program; or
– a five-year BSc degree that is equivalent to a two year Dutch MSc degree in a main subject closely related to the post-master’s program;
– or four-year, or longer, university BSc degree with proof of qualification/registration entitling the applicant to practice architecture in home country plus a minimum of two years of work experience.
– Specific for the European post-master in Urbanism (EMU): Applicants from other disciplines might also be admitted to EMU when they have an MSc or MA, and 2 year design experience. This has to be proven in a portfolio and a personal interview. Students might also be asked to go through a prepatory period via TU Delft online education before the start of the programme.
g- Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken English (see this site for exact requirements).
h.- Additionally for the European post-master in Urbanism: A cumulative grade point average (CGPA) should be at least 75% of the scale maximum. Send a certified copy of your original academic degree and transcript in the original language (see this site for exact requirements ).
i.- Applicants must submit a portfolio showing representative academic or professional examples of design, planning or research projects or spatial surveys. (after you fill in the on-line application form, we will send you a password to upload your portfolio). See below for exact portfolio requirements and limitations for the EMU European post-master in Urbanism and for the Berlage Post-Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design.
The TU Delft requires all applicants to its post-master’s programmes to meet specific entry degree requirements. Eligibility for recognition and comparison of qualifications is determined via a series of international databases.
Portfolio and motivation essay specifications for the post-master level
The digital portfolio should include samples of work from your educational and/or work experience. A portfolio should reflect the scope and variety of your previous training and experience with specific emphasis on your personal interests as well as your academic and practical skills particularly in drawing, writing and analysis. Neatness and clarity of presentation are extremely important as they reflect both your attitude towards your work as well as your ability to communicate your work in a comprehensive and deliberate manner.
What to include in your post-master level portfolio:
The portfolio cover should include your full name and contact information.
Number and nature of projects:
– Include a maximum of five projects, either from your previous education or practice. “Projects”: demonstrate your experience and capabilities, and might comprise examples of design or planning projects, extracts of written reports, publications, or research and analytical work such as spatial analysis or mapping.
– Include at least one single authored project.
– Include your final project (or include your most recent project).
– At least one of the projects included should clearly demonstrate your capabilities with respects to analytical and reasoning skills.
Please keep in mind that the admissions committee judges your individual skills. In general individual projects show your capacities better than group work. If you decide to add group projects, please indicate carefully what your contribution is. If this is not clear to the committee they can’t judge your personal skills and this might decrease your chances of being admitted to the post master programme.
The five projects can include (either A or B):
A. Design or planning projects:
– Concept sketches and/or diagrams, showing preliminary visual development of ideas, approaches and methods and showing how you organise your ideas;
– Finished drawings of original design or planning work;
– A written explanation (in English) of the problem, the goals and objectives of the project, overall concept, how the solution was reached and your contribution to team work;
B. Research projects, publications, or research and analytical work:
– Extracts of the material which give a good impression of the overall project including the problem, questions, the method of analysis and findings; which may include drawings, text, maps or other examples.
– A summary explanation (in English) of the objectives, findings and conclusions of the work and an explanation of your contribution.
Please note that for all projects shown we require you to include the name(s) of the author(s).
Per project define:
– name and location of the project
– if it is academic or professional
– if it is individual or group work
– your role in the process
– your exact contribution to the project
– the level of the project, if academic (year/semester of your study in which the project was carried out)
– date when the project was carried out
– name and email address of the supervisor of the project
The size of your portfolio
Please be aware that quality is more important than quantity. Note that portfolios are evaluated digitally and should be easily readable without zooming or scrolling. Therefore:
– The size of your portfolio should not exceed 20 MB.
– The size of the pages should not exceed A4.
– The number of pages should not exceed 30 A4 size pages.
– It is not allowed to show more than one A4 size page per screen
– It is not allowed to use the booklet format because that is two pages per screen
– The document format should be pdf.
– Be aware that a landscape layout suits our requirements best.
We will work strictly to these requirements. If you do not meet them, your portfolio will not be evaluated and you will not be given another chance to apply this academic year.
Please note: Though we take the utmost care with all submitted documentation, we cannot be responsible for files that have been sent either corrupted, incomplete, or beyond the maximum size accepted by our system. Therefore, we highly advise you to check and double check your PDF documents before uploading.
2. Motivation essay
Applicants must submit a motivation essay in English of 2,000–3,000 words, including suggestions for potential final graduation/thesis projects. The aim of this essay is to evaluate the applicant’s interests, as well writing skills, critical thinking ability, and reasoning capacity. Please note this is an extended requirement due to the post-master level of the application.
Be aware that the evaluation criteria for the portfolios and essays differ for the European Post-Master in Urbanism (EMU) and the Berlage Post-Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design, see specifications below.
Outline of the procedure
Step 1: Submission
Apply and upload all required documents
Step 2: Interview
Selected applicants will receive an interview invitation by email.
Step 3: Post-interview decision
Interviewed applicants will receive a final decision.
Step 4: Acceptance
Berlage students: If successful you will be asked to submit non-refundable deposit fee.
Step 5: Payment
Payment of the tuition fee, and if applicable the living expenses, is part of the admissions proces. The deadline for payment is 1 July (23:59 CEST) in order to be enrolled in the program. Information on tuition fee and finances can be found here. For the payment procedure of The Berlage, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
After reviewing your application, the admissions committee may invite you to interview. Interviews are by invitation only after all application materials have been received and initially reviewed by the admissions committee. If invited to interview, you will receive the invitation and scheduling information via email. Interviews are conducted over Skype; or, when logistically possible, held in person in Delft. Interviews are conducted by a member of the admissions committee, who will have thoroughly read your entire application package. The application process is based on rolling admissions so that applications are reviewed as they are completed.
Qualified applicants are invited to interview (both Berlage and EMU). Due to the exclusivity of the program, applicants are encouraged to complete the application process in a timely fashion.