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University of Antwerp

Faculty of Design Sciences

Belgium Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

The Faculty of Design Sciences of the University of Antwerp offers and develops outstanding education, research and design from chair to city, in the fields of product design, interior architecture, architecture, urban development and heritage studies. The Faculty incorporates interdisciplinary design expertise on all scales of time and space: its expertise consolidates design-based research on the micro, meso and macro scales and from the temporary and the ephemeral to the durable and the permanent. With a strong focus on contemporary social and urban agendas, the research advances material knowledge on our past, present and future: from heritage to sustainable urban development and product and process innovations. Moreover, the faculty benefits from, and therefore embraces, the strong interaction between theory, practice and policy-making. In this constellation of theory and practice over the full range of design fields, the Faculty of Design Sciences has strong assets to play an important role in the debate on sustainable (urban) development. Specifically, in closing the gap between (city) design, health and mobility, the Faculty of Design Sciences can make a difference.

International Role

The University of Antwerp is amongst the most respected young universities in the world (22nd in THE Young Universities 2019, 7th in THE Millennials 2019, and 18th QS Top 50 Under 50 2020). As such it strives for excellence in education, research and societal impact. The Faculty of Design Sciences adheres to the same principals of quality. 
The university is embedded in the following international networks: YUFE, Yerun, Aurora, Utrecht Network and Columbus. The Faculty of Design Sciences in a similar fashion operates in an international framework. Apart from Cumulus, members are linked to prestigious networks including AESOP, DOCOMOMO, EAAE, ICOM and ICOMOS, ISOCARP and SDN. The faculty also cooperates closely with internationally leading universities in the field of design sciences.

National Role

The University of Antwerp is one of the leading universities in Belgium. The Faculty of Design Sciences cooperates closely with its national peers. The faculty, however, is known to offer some unique programs in the Belgian educational landscape.

Main Focus

Design, Architecture, Conservation Restoration, Heritage, Interior Architecture, Product Development, and Urbanism and Spatial Planning

Faculties and Departments

The Faculty of Design Sciences is 1 of the 9 faculties of the University of Antwerp. The Design Sciences are further subdivided in 4 research groups:

  • ARCHES (Heritage and Conservation Restoration sciences) 
  • Henry van de Velde (Architecture and Interior Architecture) 
  • Product Development
  • Urban Development

Bachelor Level Programs

  • BA Architecture, 3 years (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/study/education-and-training/ba-architecture/profile/ ) 
  • BA Conservation Restoration, 3 years (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/study/education-and-training/ba-conservation-restoration/programme-info/ ) 
  • BA Interior architecture, 3 years (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/study/education-and-training/bachelor-of-interior/programme-info/ )
  • BA Product development, 3 years  (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/study/education-and-training/ba-product-development/programme-info/ )

Master Level Programs

  • MA Architecture, 2 years (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/study/education-and-training/e-master-in-de-archite/programme-info/ )
  • MA Conservation Restoration, 1 year (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/study/education-and-training/e-master-in-de-conserv/programme-info/ ) 
  • MA Heritage Studies, 2 years (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/study/education-and-training/master-heritage-studies/programme-info/ ) 
  • MA Interior Architecture, 1 year (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/study/education-and-training/e-master-in-de-interie/programme-info/ ) 
  • MA Product Development, 2 years (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/study/education-and-training/e-maproductontw/programme-info/ )
  • MA Urbanism and Spatial Planning, 2 years (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/study/education-and-training/ma-urbanism-spatial-planning/programme-info/ ) 

Research Activity and Main Areas

The faculty of design sciences has 4 research groups:

  • ARCHES (Heritage and Conservation Restoration science): This research group focuses in particular on the key research domains urban history and materials research. In particular, it aims to develop advanced, non-invasive investigation and treatment methodologies, studies historical techniques and materials, provides a critical theory on heritage, and initiates innovative forms of collection preservation, management and curatorship. (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/research-groups/arches/ )
  • Henry Van de Velde (Architecture and Interior Architecture): The Research Centre Henry van de Velde performs multi- and interdisciplinary research and community service regarding processes of sustainable transitions of the built environment. Its operations cover both movable and immovable assets, from furniture to buildings, from the city to the countryside. The activities involve the design-based, cultural, historical, social, economic and technical aspects of the different spatial scales. In addition, the research group works around related issues on a meta-level, meaning it also investigates the methodology of design, the nexus research and education, and assessment frameworks. (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/research-groups/henry-van-de-velde/ ) 
  • Product Development: This research group actively conducts research along four research lines: design for sustainability, human centred design, strategic design and technology driven design. These research domains are interconnected and re-enforce each other. As such they jointly address human well-being in a comprehensive way, ensuring quality interactions, meaningful and sustainable products/services and adaptations of technological innovation. (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/research-groups/product-development/ )
  • Research Group for Urban Development: This research group contributes to the development of knowledge for the sustainable transformation of cities and urban regions. It has 4 research tracks: spatial governance, infrastructure & mobilities, climate & resilience, and the metropolitan legal lab. (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/research-groups/center-for-urban-development/ )

Doctorate Level Programs

  • PhD in Architecture
  • PhD in Conservation Restoration
  • PhD in Heritage Studies
  • PhD in Interior Architecture
  • PhD in Monuments and Landscape Conservation 
  • PhD in Product Development
  • PhD in Urbanism and Spatial Planning

Subject Areas for Exchange Students

Exchange students at the Faculty of Design Sciences of the University of Antwerp are able to participate in all its Bachelor and Master programs. We thus welcome everyone interested in studying the fields of architecture, interior architecture, heritage and conservation, product development, and urban and spatial planning. The faculty also organizes regular summer schools. For up to date information please see https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/study/international-mobility/antwerp-summer-university/ . 

Teaching Languages

Dutch, limited programs in English

Semester Dates

  • 1st semester: late September to January
  • 2nd semester: February to June
  • Exam retakes (both semesters): late August to early September

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)

The monthly costs of living are estimated to be around €1,000. This includes courses and books, accommodation, food, healthcare, public transport and other miscellaneous costs. For more information see https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/student-life/budget-social-facilities/cost-of-studying/ . Note that the cost associated with study materials can be substantially higher for courses in the design sciences, and may be as high as a €1,000 per academic year.


Bachelor: 1000
Master: 700
Doctorate: 40

Exchange Students

Incoming: 50
Outgoing: 60

Teaching Staff

Professors: 20
Lectures: 65

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