Masters at a Technical University in the Netherlands


I have graduated with a BA in Architecture (RIBA Part I) from a UK school and have 2 years professional experience in the UK. My undergraduate was humanities-oriented and project/studio based education. I am due to start my Masters in September and I am interest in architecture graduate programs that have a more technical focus.

I have looked into the two technical universities at the Netherlands, TU Delft and TU Eindhoven and I am highly interested in:

-MSc Architecture - Building Technology track at TU Delft

TU Delft Curriculum 

-MSc Architecture - AUDE track at TU Eindhoven.

TU Eindhoven Curriculum 

Both programmes are offered in English and the tuition fees are 2,000 euros/year which is significantly less than what I am going to pay at a UK university for an MArch (£9000/ year).

In terms of academic interest I would like to study subjects like construction, facade engineering, climatic design, building energy performance, acoustic / lighting design and apply this knowledge to design projects. Both programs cover some of the above subjects in their curriculum and also have design projects.

In other terms, I want to get a more comprehensive education on how to put a building together to complement my existing education and thus become a more well rounded architect.

I am more drawn to TU Eindhoven's programme as it is multidisciplinary and also looks more comprehensive while also allowing you to take electives from other disciplines like etc structural design. It also has courses in procurement or project management which I find interesting.

The issue is that I intent to practice in the UK, where a RIBA/ARB accredited MArch can allow me to later directly sit the Part 3 exam and register as an architect . On the other hand, doing a MSc in one of the TUs is 5 times cheaper (!) but would require me to sit the Part II and Part III exam in order to then register in the UK.

I am also concerned that moving to another country for 2 years could alienate me from my existing professional network in the city I currently work in the UK.

Do you think it's a better choice in the long term to go for a professional MArch degree in the UK as opposed to the above programmes?

Also do you believe that a technically focused Masters would be beneficial at this stage or could the above subjects be covered through self-directed study?

Thank you in advance for your time.

Dec 2, 18 8:55 pm

I think you had already said it all, and its a personal decision. I would study in the country that I plan to work. 

Dec 3, 18 9:57 am

Depends how hard it is to be able to do the part 2 exam. I recall having the part 2 recognized (at least for australians) as being really hard in the UK and that ppl had to pay the ARB 10k to do it- but I am not sure about this. Can´t you just do the last 2 years of a diplom in Netherlands? That should be recognized as a part 2 degree or is it not? I guess you would know.  Other then the part 2 obstacle having to pay an extra 9k a year is a rip off and prolly you will still have your connections when you get back to the town you are from once you are done with your studies.

Dec 3, 18 10:49 am

Can't you study in NL and do an exchange to the UK?

Dec 3, 18 11:02 am

Hi, I understand you are Dutch? Would you recommend Eindhoven over a UK school? What are the strongest and weakest points of the school in your opinion? I understand its focus is very technical and that's exactly what I am after.


It's technical if you want it to be, it's not a one stop shop. Take a look at the Dutch Archiprix nominations for example:


Is this the equivalent of UK president medals? I can see more entries from Delft. I have read in forums that Delft is more friendly to foreign students as a programme compared to Eindhoven which only recently changed its programmes to English. Is Rotterdam the centre of the architecture industry in the Netherlands? Do firms there generally recruit from Delft or Eindhoven as well?


They’re the Dutch submissions for the International Archiprix, the best graduation projects (not sure European or global). And I think Delft is bigger than Eindhoven and academies combined (not sure), so it makes sense to see more of their students. And next to universities (Eindhoven and Delft) there are also academies, where people with different backgrounds (e.g. art school) can study to become an architect. At those academies you need to work 4 days in an architecture office and go to school in the evenings and one day a week. So that’s also an option if you want to have 4/5 years of working experience (and exhaustion) under your belt when you graduate. 

And yes, Rotterdam is the centre of the architecture industry (together with Amsterdam) because there was a lot of building to be done in R’dam after WWII and it has big name offices such as OMA, MVRDV. When recruiting I don’t think they prefer Delft over Eindhoven, they simply look at your portfolio and CV, and if you live in the city even better (no travel expenses and more time to spend in the office).


I understand that both universities are well reputed in the NL. In the UK people don't know Eindhoven but I like the fact that it is a smaller school, which means more contact time with teaching staff. However, I am concerned as to how organised things are. I read somewhere that some of their staff barely speak English. On the other hand their curriculum seems intensive with 10 modules per semester. In regards to registration in the Netherlands do you need to pass an exam like RIBA part 3 after completing 2 years of internships? Also do you think it's viable to work in dutch firms without fluent Dutch? I have worked at some reputable firms in the UK, so portfolio and CV is not a problem; just the language.



you can easily work with just english...or you can learn dutch...

TU Delft is better than Eindhoven - why do you need extensive contact with teachers?


Thanks for these links. I did my BA at a school with a large student body. Tutorial groups were crowded and tutors spent very little time with the students. It was a teaching style 'learn it all by yourself' and it felt like the school was only interested in taking our money. I want to try a smaller school and I think both TUs seem like good options.


Student - teacher ratio will be roughly the same at all of those, including the academies, difference is 10-15 students per studio in Delft just means more studios to choose from, while that could be all the students of an entire year at the academie.


The building technology track that I am interested in at Delft offers 2 studios only, but I now noticed that it doesn't allow you to register as an architect. In general, is there a large body of international (non Dutch) architects working in the Netherlands much like there is in the UK?


Not really, there's a lot of non-Dutch interns that simply leave after their Erasmus scholarship runs out, some stick around as junior architects and only a couple manage to stay longer and develop into job running project managing architects, mostly if the office they work at does international projects. Problem is, that unless you're an English native speaker or the projects are in your native tongue that there's usually a double language barrier holding people back. You'd hardly see non-Dutch architects managing and running projects involving Dutch clients and municipalities, they always play 2nd fiddle unless they really learn the language.


I visited Delft & Eindhoven this week. I loved Delft as a city and the school is great, including facilities, studios and student work. Eindhoven however will be offering from next year a dual masters in Architecture & Structural design which I am very interested in. I am applying to both and I am slightly confused regarding admission requirements. Both universities require 7.5 GPA. I have a UK first class degree from a Russell Group university. A first is awarded for +70%. How is it possible that Dutch universities require +75%?


Because they can? , maybe they don't want any average foreign students lowering the bar...or screwing with their percentages.


I think you read this the wrong way. In the UK, an architecture school's very best student scores 75%. There must be a difference in the equivalency of UK degree classification vs Dutch GPA. I will sent them an email to clarify.


You just need 75% of the maximum score, so apparently that means 75% of 75% for the UK? maybe it's a metric vs imperial thingy :)


Brexit is throwing all rules out the window.  I hope UK stays in.  Looking closer today.

TU Delft is a great choice and I would do it - Perhaps look at a longer view plan of getting qualified in NL, working 2 years then with full reciprocity to return as a qualified architect.  

If UK leaves EU - is better to be on that side of the pond.  

(Personally, Delft is much better than any Uni in the UK) 

Dec 3, 18 11:36 am

Hi TED. Thanks for the reply. Do you perhaps know why the GPA requirement for these universities is that high(+75%)? 75% is the maximum you can probably achieve at a UK architecture school. I have a first class degree from Manchester and wonder whether this will put me in a good position against other applicants.


Also, why are you saying it's better to be on the EU side?


75% is the grade under their system but it states (delft): A bachelor honours degree with Upper Second or First Class. Your documents must clearly state that you have obtained/will obtain an honours degree. If this is not stated on your degree, an official letter from your university indicating that it’s an honours degree needs to be uploaded with your diploma.


I think the UK is heading for a deep recession/depression. So if you can gain residency or right to live in NL you will be far better off to work across EU over the next 10 years.


Hello everyone!

Having successfully spent the last one year understanding the Part 1 examination process and constructing my portfolio in accordance with the 33 criteria listed by the ARB. I am currently in the process of formulating an interactive guidance programme to help people looking to give their Part 1 exam. The programme would consist of individual and group meetings, reviewing all of your material, segregating the evidence according to the criteria and identifying loop holes and developing ways to fill in the gaps in order to satisfy all the criteria listed in the comparative matrix. I would also be showing you my Part 1 portfolio and comparative matrix.

Anybody interested in the programme can email me at

Feb 8, 19 9:36 am

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