Built Environment

Do you want to find out how you can keep your country and cities accessible in the future? Want to map out problems in disadvantaged districts? And would you like to design the ideal residential area of the future? Built Environment is the programme for you.

Shaping society

Why choose BUas?

  • Unique and integral combination of mobility, urban planning, and urban design 
  • Lecturers have part-time positions in the industry, ensuring that professional practice is brought into education 
  • Small-scale degree programme in an informal learning community with one-to-one coaching 

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Study overview

This programme trains you to seek sustainable and innovative solutions for spatial and societal challenges in cities and city regions. You will learn to contribute to urban life becoming more sustainable and pleasant. To equip you for that, you will start with a broad basis of knowledge of the built environment and throughout your course of study, you will have opportunities to specialize. Various aspects relating to urban -areas and mobility will be dealt with: behaviour, design, planning and research. You will learn how to design safe cities, manage urban planning efficiently, influence people towards making clever transport choices and think and design strategically. 

Most importantly, each semester you will work in teams on a real-life project (-known as LAB) with actual clients and experts from the field. Next to the LAB’s, courses will provide theoretical knowledge and skill development in order to help you become a true professional in the field. You will go on placements and have various field trips, both in the Netherlands and abroad.

Within the study programme, you will have a lot of room to make choices so that your personalized study programme suits your interests and future ambitions. To help you navigate through the options and opportunities, you will be coached by teachers. 

Below, we explain what you can expect in each of the four years of the Bachelor Built Environment study programme, detailed information about planning, courses and projects can be found in the course catalogue of Built Environment (pdf).

Year 1

In your first year, you explore all aspects of the field of Built Environment and start building your knowledge and skills base, before you choose a field to specialize in. In semester one, you will get a course to introduce you to the field of Built Environment to provide you with sufficient insight and inspiring examples from around the world. You learn the theory and practice of people and society, how cities work, how you can research them, analyse them and (re-)design them. A field trip is usually also part of each semester and you visit urban projects and organizations that work in the field. You will observe how your future profession literally shapes society!

In your second semester, you start your specialization, for which you choose one of the following: 

  • Urban Planning 
  • Mobility
  • Urban Design

In this second semester you focus on how to contribute from your own specialty within projects along with other specialists.

Year 2

In your second year you will start developing your own individual profile next to your specialization. You will develop and finetune your own role within projects by broadening or deepening your knowledge within the field of Built Environment. You can choose courses that we offer, or you can work on research projects that we have running at the academy. One can think of options like philosophy, sociology, 3D-design, Virtual Reality, traffic modelling or self-driving cars as topics you can add to your own individual profile.

All this knowledge and skills you continue applying to come up with ever better solutions and designs, presented in a professional manner. You add such products to your portfolio in which you display your own personal and professional development.

In the second year, you will also go on field trips, of which one will be longer and further away in Europe.

Year 3

The third year starts with a half year placement at a company, organization or government of your choice. Based on your portfolio, you will look for a company and assignment that fits your profile. Of course, this placement period can also be abroad, which enables you to also learn more about different cultures (and often also about yourself!). Completing a placement abroad is something that we strongly encourage you to do. 

Instead of a placement at a company, you can also choose to use that half year to work on research projects within Research and Business Innovation (RBI) of our academy at BUas. In what we call ‘Learning Communities’, we design innovative solutions and work on the future of urban life in close collaboration between students, teachers, government and private practice. 

The second half of the third year centres around a large integral, multidisciplinary, and complex project. From your own specialization and personal profile, you will join a team of other specialists and you will need to bring everything you have learnt to the table, working on creating a sustainable and liveable urban society. Your practical experience from the placement enables you to act as the future professional you are, and allows the team to, together and independently, find solutions to the complex issues at hand. 

Year 4

In the first semester of year four, you will join in a Minor programme of your choice. This can be diving deeper into your specialty, or you may choose to broaden your horizon to areas outside of your own field. The second semester you will work on your graduation project. As with your placement, the graduation assignment will be at an international company in the Netherlands or abroad. 

Some examples of possible graduation assignments are: researching travel time estimations in traffic jams with the help of GSM signals; designing for better quality of life in spontaneous settlements; research into leisure-related traffic in spatial development; and planning for water management in coastal cities. Any topic within Built Environment fitting to your own individual profile is possible. You will write a thesis on your findings and defend it in your final exam presentation session.

Pre-master

In your fourth year you can also opt for a pre-master programme of a Dutch research university to gain direct access to their Master programmes. 

Besides that, BUas also offers our own pre-master's programme Strategic Business Management and Marketing (SBM). Successful completion of this track will give you direct access, after Breda University of Applied Sciences, to various Master of Science programmes in business-related studies in management and marketing at several partner universities. A few examples are the universities of Maastricht, Tilburg, Brussels (B) and Warwick (UK). This pre-master's programme also links up directly to the academic master's programme of Master of Science Leisure and Tourism Studies of Breda University of Applied Sciences. In this way, it will be possible for you to earn an academic master's degree within five years' time or, after having completed a three-year track, even within four years' time. 

Study load

Average hours of study are 32 hours per week. How many hours a week you actually spend studying depends greatly on how motivated you are and how challenging the subject matter is. The study load also differs per week. The last weeks of a term and the examination weeks are relatively busy.

 

Studying abroad for a while gives you the opportunity of broadening your horizons. You live in an international environment, meet people with different cultural backgrounds and learn a lot. In addition, you can considerably enhance your command of modern foreign languages. The long and the short of it is that studying abroad is a wonderful opportunity... Why not seize it?
In the fourth year you can complete part of your studies abroad at any place in the world, for instance Graz, Cape Town; Breda University of Applied Sciences has built partnerships with a large number of universities all over the world who will be happy to accommodate your exchange.

In your third year you will complete a half year work placement at a company, organization or government of your choice. Based on your portfolio, you will look for a company and assignment that fits your profile. Of course, this placement period can also be abroad, which enables you to also learn more about different cultures (and often also about yourself!). Completing a placement abroad is something that we strongly encourage you to do. 

Instead of a work placement at a company, you can also choose to work on research projects within Research and Business Innovation (RBI) of our academy at BUas. In what we call ‘Learning Communities’, we design innovative solutions and work on the future of urban life in close collaboration between students, teachers, government and private practice.

In your fourth year you will complete a graduation placement, again at a company, organization or government of your choice. This placement will be your final project, showing you are a professional ready to start working in the field of Built Environment.

With an associate degree in Built Environment or Spatial Planning and the right specialisation area, you will qualify for admission into our bachelelor’s programme in Built Environment, both the English-taught and the Dutch-taught variants. The duration of our bachelor’s programme is 4 years, however, with an associate degree already in your pocket you can complete our bachelor’s programme faster. 

After completing your associate degree, you will follow another 2 years of education (120 ECTS credits) at Breda University of Applied Sciences. After earning all your credits, you will have obtained your Bachelor of Science degree.

Want to know more about further study after your associate degree? 
Do you want to obtain more information about moving on to further study after your associate degree? If so, please contact the student counsellors of this programme, Minke Snels and Lizanne Hessels: studentcounsellorABEL@buas.nl.
 

Admission

After your bachelor

You are trained to optimise living environments and to design functions and accessibility of areas or locations on the international market. Career examles are: strategic designer, urban planner and manager of sustainable urban mobility at international companies. Possible employers are multinationals, government services and consultancy agencies.

After successful completion of the Built Environment degree programme you are entitled to the degree of Bachelor of Science.

Like to know more? After your bachelor