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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Jury Bachelor

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.

Research

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 www.toefl.org. 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 www.ielts.org. 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?

Admission deadlines:

  • Non-EEA citizens: 1 May 2022.
  • EEA citizens: 1 September 2022 (*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 2022 (*cf. 'Scholarships', Master Mind, Step 1. Contact = Els Hannes).

Admission procedure:

In order to receive formal permission from the examination board, you have to be in order with two things:

  • You need to receive a positive evaluation on your portfolio (more information below).
  • You need to be in order with your administration.
1. Your portfolio:

We require a portfolio (max. 30Mb), which can be sent in pdf by email (or WeTransfer) to architectuur@uhasselt.be, together with a short motivation letter (max. 300 words). 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, …).

When this information has reached us in time and your registration was completed successfully before May 1st/September 1st, the admission board will evaluate your application and inform you about the outcome.

2. Your administration:

While your portfolio awaits evaluation, there are things you can do in preparation, for administrative purposes. You must pre-register online at Hasselt University and have submitted some documents to our student administration. In case your portfolio gets approved, it will be easier to continue your registration at our University. 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.

Information about the tuition fee, study costs and scholarships can be found here: www.uhasselt.be/tuition-fees-and-scholarships.

For more information about the admission and enrolment procedure, please follow the link below.

Take me to the admission procedure

Scholarships and funding

International students can apply for a scholarship to the Master of Statistics and Data Science.

Master Mind scholarships

Master Mind scholarship is a scholarship programme by the Flemish Government

The Master Mind Scholarship includes:

  • Grant of €8,200.
  • Tuition fee waiver per academic year of 60 ECTS.

Check if you are eligible for a Master Minds scholarship.

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
Location
Agoralaan, 3590 Diepenbeek

More info?

Nikolaas Vande Keere

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Fotoshoot Internationalisering 2017 Diepenbeek 70