Master of Science in Architectural Engineering Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Join Our Online Info Sessions!
Are you interested in one of our English-taught programmes and want to know more about studying in Brussels at VUB? VUB organises general and programme specific online info sessions. Book your timeslot today!
This master is jointly organized by Vrije Universiteit Brussel in collaboration with Université Libre de Bruxelles, leading to a joint master's degree.
The Master’s program in Architectural Engineering combines structural engineering and architectural studies with management training.
The program 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: analyzing a historical, architectural, and urban context, setting up a program 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 the 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 at a high level, that optimally prepares you for the job market.
The subject-specific minimum requirements are acquiring basic knowledge in the involved disciplines: architectural sciences, engineering, and design:
- the architectural sciences involve the knowledge of the history of architecture, architectural theory, the social context in which an artifact is created, and critical interpretation of the architectural discourse;
- in terms of engineering, it involves the knowledge of construction methods and technologies, as well as more specialized knowledge for calculating and simulating all technical aspects related to the execution of an artifact, ranging from acoustics, the stability of the structure, foundation engineering, building physics, heating, lighting, material properties, the use of new materials and lightweight structures, reuse and renovation of existing structures and the design of structures with a transformation capacity;
- for the design, it is expected that the student acquires knowledge and methods to integrate this extensive knowledge and resources and to communicate and integrate them in space and time.
The following competencies are required: understanding, creative application of knowledge, critical reflection on existing knowledge, and the generation of new knowledge. Additionally, the following skills are required:
- ability to reason and argue in a logical manner;
- spatial and historical awareness at different scales and in a context that bridges the gap between history and future developments;
- social skills, the attitude of lifelong learning, dialogue, and awareness of teamwork as a critical catalyst and source of innovation in a multidisciplinary context;
- the scientific attitude that aims to achieve a balance between deep and pragmatic knowledge, between horizontal expansion and vertical deepening;
- being able to formulate a problem statement and subject it to scrutiny.
The design studio takes up more than one-quarter of the Master’s program and lies at the heart of the teaching project. The compulsory program 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 specialize in a specific scientific field. The program is complemented with a Master's thesis. In this master's thesis, it is requested to realize the synergy between a research study and an architectural design.
Overview of the Study Plan
The standard track in the Master of Science in Architectural Engineering (BRUFACE) (120 ECTS) is built up modularly:
- Compulsory Courses (75 ECTS)
- Electives (21 ECTS)
- Master Thesis (24 ECTS)
Each of the modules should be successfully completed to obtain the master's degree. The student must respect the specified registration requirements. The educational board strongly suggests the student follow the standard learning track. Only this model track can guarantee a time schedule without overlaps of the compulsory course units.
The curriculum of the first master's 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).
The degree of Master of Science in Architectural Engineering’ aims at educating people who can practice architecture and technology both in the professional as well as in the academic world. The academic degree is embedded within BRUFACE (Brussels Faculty of Engineering) and it is characterized by a close relationship with scientific research.
The learning outcomes relate to reasoning, evaluation, and communication, with the additional capacity for synthesis and imagination. The project serves as a reference and focal point in the use of specific knowledge to provide an architectural solution at the level of architectural design, structural design, and urban planning. The architectural concept requires professional ingenuity and mutual influence of the sciences in architecture and engineering. Given the interdisciplinary nature of architectural design, it requires intervention in a social context and communication between various parties such as designers, experts, clients, administration, residents, and users.
Program Tuition Fee
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 air conditioning, the physical behavior of materials and structures, and the principles of sustainable building. The program prepares students for a wide range of job profiles such as:
- architect and structural engineer
- project manager
- employee or executive in an architectural or engineering office
- supervisor of the built heritage
- policymaker for urban planning