Master of Interior Architecture

Why study Master of Interior Architecture at UHasselt?

One year (60 ECTS) • English programme

  • An international master's programme in (interior) architecture with the focus on adaptive reuse.
  • Ideally positioned in a region full of historical sites with various identities.
  • Our design studio focuses on the study, transformation and adaption of existing buildings and sites.
  • Be part of two research seminars, study visits, workshops,...
  • Strongly embedded in the ongoing research on adaptive reuse by Trace, part of the research group Arck of our faculty.
  • Get to know Hasselt University.
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About the programme

Exploring Spatial Potentialities & the Poetics of the Existing

The Faculty of Architecture and Arts welcomes applications for an innovative international master’s programme in (interior) architecture with a focus on adaptive reuse.

It is safe to assume that (interior) architects will have to deal increasingly with the transformation and adaptation of the built environment. Today, the role of architecture is being re-defined due to demographic, economic and ecological challenges. Transition and reuse take centre stage in the practice and theory of the profession.

This academic master’s programme is innovative as it considers preservation through the act of adaptive reuse instead of mere conservation and restoration. Rather than relying on an archaeological perspective, it emphasises a designerly approach to give new and unexpected energy to buildings. Therefore, the programme seeks to train students who explore and activate the rich potential of existing sites through design supported by research and theory.

Ideally positioned in a region full of historical sites with various identities (cultural, artistic, religious and industrial), the faculty is in close geographic proximity to a rich laboratory of potential cases that span 600 years. Students are taught to conceive of these sites as palimpsests rather than monuments. They are encouraged to explore the beauty, memory, hidden qualities and broader potentialities of the sites handed down by our predecessors.

The master’s programme departs from the conventional understanding of the ‘interior’ as a quantifiable spatial category by underlining its richer artistic and ethical dimensions as Public Interior.

Course outline

One year programme

The one-year master’s programme consists of three major components: design studio, theory module and master’s thesis and project.

  1. The design studio focuses on the study, transformation and adaptation of existing buildings and sites. Representative examples could be: transforming a 17th-century monastery, a concrete office tower of 1970, or a 19th-century prison with a panoptical plan. During this process, considerable attention is paid to heritage value, atmospheric qualities, construction details and spatial characteristics that no longer correspond to the new buildings. In this context, two research seminars hinge on the design studio and the theory module. One seminar concentrates on reading spaces by means of various techniques such as hand drawing, photography and model making. The other seminar explores the changing meanings of spaces, as their functions are transformed. In this way, the programme explores both the material and immaterial values of the built environment. 

  2. The theory module introduces students to the emerging theory and frame of reference related to adaptive reuse by studying relevant texts and recent case studies. It offers a historical, philosophical and artistic approach required in order to gain a profound insight into the spatial and conceptual dimensions of the interior. Study visits to several historical cities and adaptive reuse projects in the Euregio are part of the master. A traditional trip to the richly layered city of Rome forms a cultural introduction and is included in the programme.

  3. Preceded by a two week workshop, the master’s project and thesis conclude the programme, consisting in a personal and original work of design on an existing building and its surroundings. A written and/or graphical thesis presents the research supporting the design. Students will be invited to consider sites that are part of ongoing research projects but may also propose sites from their own home countries.


The programme is strongly embedded in the ongoing research on adaptive reuse by TRACE, part of the research group Arck of the Faculty of Architecture and Arts, Hasselt University. Our ambition is to actively involve the international students in this research.

Ongoing and finished doctoral research on adaptive reuse deals with very diverse typologies such as mining sites, monasteries and churches, as well as post-war detached houses. While research is always related to design output, we develop potential strategies and programs for buildings and sites without ready-made answers. This is the case when, for instance, a building is a listed monument and its reuse would involve strong spatial adaptations. Finally, we analyse the material and immaterial qualities of sites, especially when the latter reveal exceptional atmospheric conditions that are valuable in the transition process.

Course overview

You can find all information regarding the study programma in the study guide.

How do ECTS credits work?

The university decree for Flanders is built around a credit point system that is based on the principles of ECTS (European Credit Transfer System).

Each year of a full-time degree programme counts 60 ECTS. Ideally, these credits are equally spread over two semesters: 30 ECTS per semester. One credit represents a study load of 25 to 30 hours. This includes time spent in class, personal work and exams.

Career prospects

Our graduates have found interesting jobs in the area of architecture and interior architecture and in locations all over the globe.

Many of them have gone on to work for universities and research centers, as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Admission and enrolment

Diploma requirements

The international master of Interior Architecture with focus on Adaptive Reuse focuses on bachelors or masters in Architecture and/or Interior Architecture with a strong interest in adaptive reuse and the cultural aspects of (interior) architecture in a broad sense.

Hasselt University will assess students individually on the basis of their portfolio and previous academic record and qualifications. General requirements imply diploma requirements and language requirements. The Examination Board of the programme evaluates each application individually with regard to the applicant’s portfolio and academic record, with specific attention to projects dealing with a complex and historical context.

Language requirements

Candidates have to demonstrate a good command of English, both written and spoken. English language skills need to be confirmed, by a recent score on the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) or any recognized proficiency test.

You can be exempted if your knowledge of the English language (academic level) can be proved otherwise (e.g. native speaker or if you have already successfully completed (a part of) a programme taught in English).

  • TOEFL-score report (paper based: score 550 or more, computer based: score 213 or more, internet base: score 79-80). For more information about the TOEFL, go to Students who take in the test are required to indicate institution code 9005, so that the results are transmitted to Hasselt University directly.
  • IELTS-certificate (min. overall band score 6.0). For more information, go to On the day of the test, Hasselt University can be selected as the institution to which the test result should be sent, with reference to the contact person of the programme for which you wish to apply.
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) or C2 Proficiency (CPE) certificate.

How and when to apply?


  • Non-EEA citizens: 1 May 2024.
  • EEA citizens: 1 September 2024 (however, it cannot be guaranteed that applications which are submitted after 15 August will be processed before the start of the academic year).
  • Master Mind candidates: 1 March 2024 (cf. 'Scholarships', when interested immediately contact Els Hannes).

Application process:

In order to hand in a complete application for the Master in Interior Architecture, you need to follow and complete every one of the following steps, before the deadline applicable to you:

  1. Online pre-registration
  2. Document verification
  3. Sending your portfolio, motivation letter and overview of studies for evaluation, on which you will need to gain approval

We cannot stress enough the importance of all of the above steps, which need to be completed as soon as possible, each on its own and as a whole. Do not wait on the confirmation/completion of one step to start another. Your application will only be processed when all parts of the application process have been completed.

For eligible Master Mind Scholarship applicants, there is an additional step in the application process: contact Els Hannes before 1st of March 2024 and complete the Master Mind Application Form before 15th of March 2024.

  • At the level of the admissions office of UHasselt, you will need to complete:

1. Online pre-registration

You must pre-register online at Hasselt University and have to submit required documents to our student administration. To know which documents are needed, please thoroughly check the “Application Checklist” at the top of the previously mentioned page.

Pre-registration by no means implies acceptance or rejection to our University. It's just our system to collect all the necessary information for your file.

2. Document verification

Your documents need to be verified. You can do this in one of two ways:

  • Request a digital verification
  • Sending in your certified hard copies

More information on these options can be found on this webpageFor more information in regards to the above two steps, please mail to

  • At the level of the Faculty of Architecture and Arts, you will need to complete:

3. Sending your portfolio, motivation letter and overview for evaluation

You will need to gain approval from the Faculty of Arts and Architecture, based on the evaluation of a portfolio.

We require you to send a portfolio (in pdf, max. 50Mb), a motivation letter (in pdf, max 300 words), and an overview of your studies to

In your portfolio we want to see a selection of your work that shows:

  • Your experience in the field of (interior) architecture, urban design and/or landscape design.
  • Your interest in cultural heritage and adaptive reuse.
  • Your architectural drawing skills (floor plans, sections, facades, axonometric views, …).
  • Your presentation skills (hand drawings, sketches, models, montages).
  • Your knowledge of materials and architectural detailing.
  • Your personal understanding of the conceptual complexity of spatial design in the context of an existing building or site.
  • The aesthetic quality of your portfolio and its content.
  • Other interests that can be relevant (artistic experience, literature, history of art and architecture, …).

The overview of your studies should be a separate and simplified document with a clear and concise overview of your study programme and the disciplines you were taught in order to achieve the relevant diploma for acceptance to this master. This document should only include

  • The years you have studied,
  • the names of the disciplines you've followed in English, and
  • the ECTS or equivalent study points per discipline per year, to reach a total of 180 ECTS (or more).
    For more information on ECTS, please refer to the website of the European Commission.

The admission board will come together at regular intervals to evaluate all the applications. You will be informed shortly thereafter about the outcome. A negative evaluation means we cannot continue with your application. Of all the applications we receive, we can only accept a limited number per year.

For more information in regards to the above step, please mail to

For more information about the general application process, please follow the link below.

Take me to the admission procedure

Scholarships and funding

Tuition fees, study costs 

Information about the tuition fee, study costs and scholarships can be found here:


Master Mind scholarship is a scholarship programme by the Flemish Government.
Only international students with a high standard of academic performance can apply for this scholarship. Check if you are eligible for a Master Minds scholarship.

The Master Mind Scholarship includes:

  • Grant of €9,600.
  • Tuition fee waiver per academic year of 60 ECTS.

For eligible Master Mind Scholarship applicants, there is an additional step in the application process:

At the level of the International office of UHasselt (DIOS) you will need to:
Complete the Master Mind Application Form

About studying in Hasselt

Why study in Hasselt?

Hasselt is known for its hospitality, making international students feel right at home.

  • Located in the heart of the EU-region.
  • Ranked 47th best university under 50 years.
  • 15% international students from 75 different countries.
  • 550 PhD students.

Map showing where UHasselt is located

New to Belgium?

Are you new to Belgium and still finding your way?

UHasselt has a specific website to help international students get around campus and the city of Hasselt.

Where to find us?

  • Campus Diepenbeek, building E.
  • Easy accessible by train, bike, bus and car.
  • 20 minute bike ride from Hasselt City center.

Campus Diepenbeek

Gebouw E 03
Agoralaan, 3590 Diepenbeek

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