Sep '04 - Nov '04
I finally got the time to post on how things work for post-graduate master students here in Delft.
Basically, if you come from abroad, you'll enroll in the so-called 'International MSc Programme', which has two subdivisions: architecture and urbanism.
Let's say it basically works as an M.Arch 2 programme. It lasts for 2 years and you can get licensed in NL, and therefore in the EU, afterwards.
However, it has a 'pot-professional' nature for us, international students, and a 'professional' one for Dutch students.
Before continuing, I need to explain something...
The EU is making an effort to make as uniform as possible its higher education system, as agreed in the Bologna Act (I'm not really sure if it's Bologna...if it's not, it's another Italian city for sure). The EU is doing that to increase mobility and attract more non-EU students.
For that, they created what they call the Bachelor-Master system (Ba-Ma), which is starting to be implemented by most of the universities around here. It means that, from now on, EU students will have a 3-year portion of their education called Bachelor and the other 2 years are called Master.
Up to now everything seems normal and, actuallly, rather nice!
The problem is...international students need to have a professional degree to come here (meaning a 5-year B.Arch or Dip.Arch, whatever), and when we get here we're surprised by the information that we'll be treated as 4th-year students.
Yeah yeah...this information let everybody down among my class-mates.
Most of us have already graduated in our home-countries, worked for more than a year, and suddenly we're back to 4th-year.
However, there's no need to cancel applications. Things are not happening literally that way.
The international Masters are still treated separatelly from the regular Master students. We have a more independent study routine.
Now, let me explain how the programme is...
The first year here is mostly dedicated to course-work and studios. Since the beginning of the programme you're supposed to have an overall idea of the thesis you will develop throughout the programme, which you have to detail in the end of the 1st year.
Studios work differently from US and UK universities. Usually, they're organized around a central theme or area on which all groups will work. Then, each tutor will have the freedom to set his/her way of teaching, approach and etc. It's done that way so funding via the universiity or the gevernment can be arranged for site-visits, lectures and etc.
Sometimes we have the option for independent studios, with their own theme. However, they will not have the same benefits, as funding, from the others.
In the second year you'll be completely devoted to developing your thesis. According to your research subject you have to join what is called here 'graduation laboratory'. Also in the beginning of the 2nd year you'll have to present your thesis proposal for aproval of the graduation comitee. Upon approval, you can go on normally. Within the laboratories you'll have a set of theoretical courses to help you develop your thesis. You'll have to choose three mentors for your thesis - two from your department and an outside one from a related discipline.
Basically, the 2nd year is composed of one semester of course-work + mentoring sessions / independet study, and the last semester you spend developing your thesis.
Unlike some universities in US we don't ave the option to skip the thesis and replace it for studios or courses.
Well well, any further questions about it, just ask me!
By the way...things will change a lot here for the Urbanism MSc.
Delft will start a joint-programme with the Istituto Universitario di Venezia (IUAV), Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura de Barcelona (ETSAB-UPC) and Leuven University. It means that applications, fees and scholarship opiotn will be unified. You'll also have the chance to spend a semester or two in any of the participating universities. I'll post more news on that!