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Howest University of Applied Sciences

Howest creative courses

Belgium Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

Howest is an entrepreneurial University of Applied Sciences known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education and research, and its close collaboration  with industry, business and the social profit sector.  

Committed and supportive lecturers embody Howest’s core values “serve – empower – care” which stimulate an open, pluralistic and international outlook on education, research and service to society.    

International Role

Several of our students from various programmes received international awards in product design, game design and digital design over the past few years.  

Howest is ranked #21 in the 2020 Princeton Review’s Top 50 of Game Design Undergraduate programmes. In 2021, Howest was ranked as best school in the world to learn game art and development by The Rookies and Grads in Games, after previously being #1 in 2018 and 2017.  

National Role

Howest continuously adapts its curricula to include new areas of knowledge and to put the latest research into practice.  Creativity and entrepreneurship are part of the Howest DNA.  Field-driven assignments and on-the-job training are key components of each programme. That is how we meet the changing needs of today’s society and arm our students with future-proof skills.    


Main Focus

A-typical & practice-oriented undergraduate curricula in Design, Technology & Arts.  

Faculties and Departments

The faculty Design, Technology and Art clusters 3 English-taught undergraduate programs.

Bachelor Level Programs

Industrial Product Design  

This very hands-on programme combines state-of-the-art technology, technical skills and a solution-oriented approach together with creativity. In the Industrial Design Center, Belgian’s biggest makerspace, students and their lecturers experiment with a wide range of techniques: wood, metal and textile processing, 3D printing, laser and water jet cutting, welding, ceramics and more. In that makerspace and studios, people grow step by step into a true creator who invents ideas, makes and test prototypes, and fine-tunes a design until it is ready for production. Industrial Product Designer at Howest master each step of the design process. They are prepared to immediately start working in companies, design agencies or as a freelancer. Some of them are more of an aesthete driven by form and function. Others are a change agent / solver of world and everyday problems. At last we have the techies mainly interested in producing a design. For all of these 3 product design profiles, we offer 3 in-depth specialization trajectories focusing on a different context: industry (Design for Industry), the end user (Design for Identity) or society (Design for Impact) 

Devine (digital design & development)  

At Devine students are trained to use their design, development, and research skills to create near- and far-future online experiences. The curriculum of Devine is based on these 3 up-to-date industry-proved skills. Digital design reveals topics ranging from visual design, where you acquaint yourself with branding iconography and typography, all the way to motion graphics, where your animations set everything in motion. 

Creative Development 

The beauty of being a Deviner is that you have every skill you need to work on a project from start to finish. You have the perfect balance of skills to design and code your ideas. 

UX Research 

People love digital products that love people. Creating digital products that are valuable to the end user is essential. That's why we continue to check the user experience to study the problems and behaviors we perceive around us.  

In the digital area Devine is the go-to for top talent people. Once you graduate you can immediately start as an Experience Designer/ Front-end Developer/ Interaction Designer/ Motion Designer/ Full Stack Developer/ Mobile Developer or shortly put: a Deviner. 


Dae (digital arts & entertainment)  
Do you often fantasize about 2D or 3D worlds which do not yet exist? Do you consider yourself to be creative, ambitious, resourceful and above all passionate about games, films and special effects? Do you wish to experiment and create content with state-of the art technology and software? Do you want to become a professional game developer, a game or VFX Artist, a 3D animator or a Sound Designer for games, or even start your own game company?  

If so, then Digital Arts & Entertainment is the educational programme for you! 

Our industry is built on passion, commitment and hard work. You will need all these 3 qualities if you want to succeed. It’s about allowing yourself to be shaped into an industry professional with the right work attitude and flexibility to be able to keep up with the growing demands of this field. You shouldn’t just study DAE to graduate and get your degree: you should study it in order to get exceedingly good at what you love to do, and to express that through your portfolio. This is what’s going to get you a job at your dream company. 

Students who choose for DAE become part of an international acclaimed bachelor programme which will prepare you for the challenging world of game development and movie design. At DAE, you’ll have to make a choice from a menu of 6 study majors. Depending on the major you pick, you will primarily be taught technical or artistic skills. 

– Visual Effects (VFX) 

– 3D Animation 

– Game Graphics Production 

– Game Development 

– Independent Game Production 

– Sound Design 

Advanced Bachelor of Bio-informatics  

Applied Computer Science  

Master Level Programs

European Master in Sustainable Energy System Management

Discover all other educational offer at www.howest.be/en 

Research Activity and Main Areas

Research at Howest’s  Industrial Design Center (IDC).  

IDC conducts research & development within the field of industrial product design. The overall goal is to support professional designers in manufacturing companies and organizations with their innovative design activities, and as a result increase the quality of their integral design process. In each stage of this creative design process, we use and develop context-specific and personalized tools to facilitate professional designers and their stakeholders to create valuable and qualitative products in an efficient manner. 

In addition, IDC also focuses on initiating design competences with non-designers, to address social relevant challenges and to approach them by stimulating open and multidisciplinary collaborations.. 


Every research project contains an iterative ‘research through design’ philosophy. Our main instrument is case-based research to study a contemporary phenomenon within a specific context. We place every project in a real-life environment and design and build new knowledge and insight through the interaction with prototypes. 
The synergy between industry and education leads to the materialization (digital or tangible) of research results and opens up opportunities for new services towards a network of companies, organizations and their designers. ​

Design strategy, architecture and sprints 

IDC invests in the design of an open metho-dology, that allows for personalization for/by the product designer and at the same time allows all stakeholders to communicate in the same language during the project. 
Within IDC there are three areas of expertise that can be applied throughout the roadmap: 

  • Design thinking & Applied creativity 
  • Prototyping & Technology materialization 
  • Human & Sustainability driven innovation 


Research at Digital Arts and Entertainment (DAE) 

Scientific expertise and resources 

Our applied research group of 15 FTE researchers is associated with the multi-award-winning educational bachelor program Digital Arts & Entertainment (DAE) at HOWEST, University of Applied Sciences West-Flanders. Over the past 6 years we have been experimenting, implementing & valorising state-of-the-art game technology into experimental set-ups and (early) proof of concepts. We typically validate these “applied” games in a relevant environment where we prove possibilities and technical feasibility, always in close collaboration with local industries and organizations. 

Our expertise domains & current research topics : applied games, immersive technology (VR/AR/XR), exergames, improving pipelines and workflows with game engines, procedural 3D, photogrammetry, motion & pose tracking, conversational AI & NLP, data driven animations, hybrid raytracing, computer vision, …   

At The Level, our campus at HOWEST Kortrijk, we have a dedicated XR lab space fully equipped with recent VR/AR hardware, a sound studio, a green key studio equipped with motion capture technology (Optitrack, Rococo & Xsens). 

Subject Areas for Exchange Students

Howest constantly develops its course offer in English in order to position Howest as an attractive academic choice for students from abroad. At present, we have 28 programmes for English-speaking students available, ranging from full bachelor degrees to English-taught semesters to postgraduate certificates. We warmly welcome degree-seeking students as well as semester-exchange students from our Erasmus and overseas partner universities. 



Application Deadlines

The Howest application form has to be submitted by: 

  • June 1st for study in Autumn Semester. 
  • May 1st for nationals from outside the European Economic Area AND for traineeship in Nursing or Psychology. May 1st is the only yearly deadline for traineeships in Nursing/Psychology, also for Spring of the academic year to follow. 
  • November 30th for study in Spring Semester. 
  • October 31st for nationals from outside the European Economic Area 

Teaching Languages

Howest has either English or Dutch as teaching languages.  
Five undergraduate programmes are offered fully in English.  

Semester Dates

Semester dates are:

  • Mid-September till the end of January for the Autumn Semester. 
  • The beginning of February till the end of June for the Spring Semester. 

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)

Approximately €850/month.  


Bachelor: 6692
Master: n.a.
Doctorate: n.a.

Exchange Students

Incoming: 118
Outgoing: 279

Teaching Staff

Professors: 210
Lectures: 580

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