Harvesting synergy between engineering and architecture

The master programme in Architectural Engineering trains designers to harvest the synergy between two disciplines: engineering and architecture. The programme provides students with an advanced level of knowledge and insight, and encourages them to be creative and inventive when integrating their knowledge into a complex architectural design. Our goal is to combine the challenges and inventiveness of the modern building industry with a flair for originality and creativity.

All of this is combined with management training, aimed to thoroughly train students to lead architectural projects. An architectural engineer designs complex, sustainable buildings and large-scale architectural projects, and helps shaping the world around us. We offer this programme with cutting-edge, scientific research integrated, optimally preparing you for a wide range of careers.

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Educational Quality

Here at VUB we put great care and effort in the quality of our education. Transparency is key. Information on the educational quality of each programme is public, e.g. describing its strengths and actions.

Public info on the quality of the programme

Architecture and construction engineering intertwined

The Master’s programme in Architectural Engineering combines structural engineering and architectural studies with management training. The programme trains you to design large-scale architectural projects that add value to complex, mainly urban, situations. You’ll be working in a design studio,  where a variety of aspects related to your task come together: analysing a historical, architectural and urban context, setting up a programme and designing a pleasant building complex with adequate materials, an efficient structure equipped with sustainable techniques. This synergy is to be expected, given the complex and advanced nature of architectural design at Master level. The university manages the interaction between these disciplines and combines it with a scientific attitude. This means you’ll receive a scientific education of a high level,  that optimally prepares you for the job market.

Study credits

ECTS (European Credit Transfer System): 1 credit represents 25-30 hours of study activity

Programme structure

The design studio takes up more than one quarter of the Master’s programme and lies at the heart of the teaching project. The compulsory programme comprises courses in architecture and construction sciences: history and theory of architecture, construction and urbanism, structural engineering, design of building equipment, construction management and training in engineering research methods, which allow for the development of the specific features of this training. The optional courses allow students to specialise in a specific scientific field. The programme is complemented with a Master thesis.

Availability of an internship embedded in a specific pedagogical framework

The 60-days internship is an opportunity for students to develop their technical and scientific skills through professional experience in the company or external research centre of their choice, in Belgium or abroad. It’s a chance to explicitly analyse the organisation of the professional world, to develop soft skills (such as communication and interaction), and improve self-awareness, criticism and reflexivity to be better prepared to evolve professionally.The internship opens up opportunities for the master thesis, too: this can be carried out with the same company or research institute. However, during training, activities related to the thesis research should be secondary, as the main focus of the internship lies elsewhere.

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes describe the intended knowledge and understanding, skills and attitudes that you must master after completing your studies. Do you want to know more about the specific learning outcomes of this programme? Click here for more information.


A master degree opens doors in many different branches and sectors. You will be able to work in the private sector, (non-) governmental organisations, or continue your academic career as a PhD researcher. Not sure what your next step should be? The VUB helps you with your first steps on the job market.

Career center

The VUB helps you to make your first step in the job market with workshops, networking events, job fairs, tips ‘n tricks for job interviews. All an ambitious student needs!

First step in the market


If you want to continue your academic career, you can apply for a PhD position at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. All you need is a promoter, research subject and sufficient funding. Are you up for this challenge?

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Job opportunities

Architectural engineers have access to specific job opportunities, distinct from those open to architects and civil engineers. Large construction projects require a project leader who is able to integrate and coordinate the aesthetic, programmatic, structural and technical aspects. The evolution of the building industry and the equipment of contemporary architecture projects make this synthesis ever more complex and require an integrated knowledge of heating, ventilation and airconditioning, the physical behaviour of materials and structures and the principles of sustainable building. The programme prepares students to a wide range of job profiles such as:

  • architect and structural engineer
  • project manager
  • consultant
  • employee or executive in an architectural or engineering office
  • supervisor of the built heritage
  • policy maker for urban planning
  • researcher

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Language requirements

Prospective students can provide proof of sufficient knowledge of English as language of instruction by meeting one of the following criteria. Please find here an overview of the criteria.

Academic requirements

  • I have or will soon have a Bachelor's degree in Engineering Sciences of at least three years, or consisting of at least 180 ECTS credits or equivalent (such as 130 US credits or semester contact hours)
  • I have an overall degree above average, which in the US grading means level B+ or a GPA of minimum 3.33 out of 4. For conversion to the US grading system please consult this page.
  • I have obtained a minimum of 15 ECTS or equivalent in mathematic courses, and 15ECTS in other fundamental science courses such as chemistry, physics and mechanics. 
  • I have obtained a score above average for the mathematics courses, which means a score of minimum 3.2 out of 4, 15 out of 20 or equivalent B+ level.
  • I have obtained a minimum of 30 ECTS or equivalent in architectural design studio or equivalent.
  • I have obtained a minimum of 10 ECTS or equivalent in courses related to the history and theory of architecture.
  • I am or will be able to prove my knowledge of the English language.

Direct admission

Bachelor in Engineering (VUB)

Admission process

Admission of students from other institutions is evaluated through a complete application file. Students with a bachelor in the same field of study have direct access after the evaluation of their application file. Holders of another engineering degree must be approved by the curriculum council.

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Studying abroad

The curriculum of the first master year can be replaced by an alternative program of 30 to 60 ECTS at a university abroad. This international mobility offers you extra opportunities to tune the content of your curriculum with international courses, internships and research projects without delaying your study progress. Possible destinations are Milan (Italy), Cottbus (Germany), or Göteborg (Sweden).

Application deadline

Prospective students are advised to apply as soon as possible, even if they have not yet obtained their degree. Applications can only be submitted through our website www.bruface.eu

  • Students who require a visa (non-EU/EEA nationals) need to submit their pre-application before 1 April 2021
  • Students who do not require a visa must submit their pre-application before before1 September 2021
  • Note: if the proof of English proficiency or APS certificate is not ready before the deadline, you can always submit it later instead of missing the deadline

For more details on admission requirements and application

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Tuition fees

Students pay the tuition fee at the institution at which they enrol, in agreement with the institution’s legal requirements. The tuition fee for the non-EU students is recalculated yearly and jointly by both institutions, taking into account the legislation in both regions.A detailed overview of the tuition fees can be found on www.bruface.eu