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Structure of the programmes

Bachelor’s programmes

Propaedeutic and main phases

The Bachelor’s programmes consist of a propaedeutic phase and a main phase.

The propaedeutic phase amounts to 60 ECs and consists of all the components in the first academic year. This propaedeutic phase has three functions:

  • orientation: the student acquires a good understanding of the content of the programme and professional practice and the opportunities offered by this;
  • selection: during this phase, both the student and the Academy assess whether the student is suitable for the programme; 
  • referral: on the basis of academic progress in the propaedeutic phase, the student is given a recommendation on the continuation of the programme. 

At the Royal Academy of Art The Hague, students study their chosen discipline from the first year onwards (ArtScience, Fine Arts, Photography, Graphic Design, Interactive/Media/Design, Interior Design and Furniture Design or Textile and Fashion). The student becomes familiar with the many aspects of the discipline and professional practice, and is challenged to experiment a great deal and try things out. The programme also includes theoretical modules that are partly shared with students from other departments. A fixed component of the propaedeutic phase is the academy-wide propaedeutic project week.

Usually at the end of the first semester, but no later than the first week of the fourth block, all first-year bachelor students receive provisional interim recommendations concerning their study progress. At the end of the first year, students are given a binding study recommendation on the continuation of their studies. If their academic results are inadequate, this may be a negative binding study recommendation (see Article 15 of the Education and Examination Regulations on the provisions of a negative binding study recommendation).

The main phase amounts to 180 ECs and covers the second, third and fourth years of the programme. This phase focuses on the further deepening, positioning and professionalisation of the student within their own discipline. The artistic development of the student lies at the heart of the study programme. In addition, considerable attention is paid to theory and professional skills. The main phase concludes with the final examination. Once all credits have been obtained, the student is awarded the degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA).

Practice, theory and preparation for the profession

Roughly three main components can be distinguished in the education: practice, theory and preparation for the profession. These are sometimes offered in separate courses, but elements of different components can also be identified in many courses. Every department offers one or more courses by combining theoretical and practical teaching, meaning that the theory doesn’t remain ‘dry material’, but is linked directly to artistic work. In other modules, artistic work is not only created, but also presented in a public setting, meaning that professional preparation and practice go hand in hand. In this way, our education foreshadows professional practice as far as possible.

The Individual Study Track (IST)

The Individual Study Track (IST) forms part of the fulltime Bachelor’s programmes and the Master’s programme in ArtScience. Part-time students are also allowed space for the IST in their schedules, although this depends on whether the programme is mandatory for the department in question. In all fulltime Bachelor's programmes, a total of 36 ECs is allocated for the IST; for the Master’s in ArtScience and part-time programmes, the number of ECs for the IST varies and is announced in the credit point overviews for each of the particular programmes.

The IST is an individual study programme that focuses on students’ own interests and preferences. It is important for students to discover their personal potential and ambition and to be able to tailor their studies accordingly. In addition, competence-based education requires students to learn to set their own learning objectives (e.g., for self-study). The IST plan offers an excellent opportunity for students to customise their studies.

The Individual Study Track includes the following possibilities:

  • The KABK’s Research Labs (see also Focus Issues > Research
  • The KABK’s Material Labs 
  • Electives from Leiden University  
  • Practicum Artium classes (painting, drawing, graphic design and photography) 
  • Self-initiated projects 
  • Projects from outside the KABK 

Master’s programmes

One-year (Type and Media)

The Master’s programme in Type and Media amounts to 60 ECs and has a duration of one year. In the first semester, the programme covers the history and theory of letter design, and students are introduced to various techniques and skills (analogue and digital). Students also do a research project on this. In the second semester, students work on their graduation project, which generally involves designing their own font.

Two-year (MIA, MAR, MAS)

The Master's programmes in Interior Architecture, Artistic Research and ArtScience all amount to 120 ECs and have a duration of two years. Due to their advanced nature, they differ quite a bit in structure, catering as much as possible for individual research and project plans from students as possible within the overall framework of the programme. Please see the respective pages (Master Interior Architecture, Master ArtScience and Master Artistic Research) for more details on each of these programmes.

All education at the Royal Academy is initially in English, and communication is also in English. If it turns out that all of the students and teachers are Dutch-speaking, then the classes and the communication are held in Dutch.

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Last updated: 2016-09-06

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