Built Environment

4 years
Full time

Design your own future!

Our society is constantly changing. The call for a liveable and sustainable living environment is strong. The challenge we face is to design our cities, villages and infrastructure in the best possible way. In the Built Environment programme, you will learn to (re)develop urban and rural areas, create sustainable and innovative traffic and transport systems, and translate plans into spatial designs. Design your own future!

Why BUas?

  • Unique and integrated combination of mobility, urban planning and urban design
  • Real-life practical assignments in an informal learning community
  • Small-scale education with one-to-one coaching

The right choice?

Do you want to know if our professional bachelor's programme Built Environment is the right choice for you?

Within four minutes you will find out if this study programme is the right fit for you!

Take the quiz

Study overview

Learning community

In our learning community you will learn to come up with sustainable and innovative solutions for spatial and societal challenges in cities and urban regions. You will learn how to design attractive cities, manage urban planning efficiently, influence people towards making clever transport choices, and think and design strategically. To equip you for that, you will acquire theoretical and practical knowledge, and develop your professional skills. After an introductory phase, you will choose to specialise in Mobility, Urban Planning or Urban Design. 

Each semester, you will work in teams on a real-life practical assignment from the industry in our LAB. You will do two 20-week placements and will partake in various field trips in the Netherlands and abroad. In our learning community, you will have a lot of opportunities and freedom to choose courses and study activities to create your own professional profile within your field of expertise. 


An overview of the curriculum, study components, course content and learning objectives from years 1 and 2, can be found in the study guide. Below, we will explain what you can expect in each of the four years of the Built Environment bachelor’s programme. 

Year 1

In your first year, you will explore all aspects of the field of Built Environment and start building your knowledge and skills base, before you choose a field to specialise in. In semester one, you will take a course to introduce you to the field of Built Environment, providing you with sufficient insights and inspiring examples from around the world. You will 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 will visit urban projects and organisations that operate in the field. You will observe how your future profession literally shapes society!

You will choose one of the following specialisation areas that you will start in your second semester:  

  1. Urban Planning 
  2. Mobility
  3. Urban Design

More information about the specialisation areas can be found in the next tab.

In the second semester, there is a lot of focus on how to play a role in projects from your own specialism together with other specialists. 

BUas Curriculum Built Environment Year 1&2

Click to view pdf

Year 2

In your second year you will start developing your own individual profile in addition to your specialisation area. You will develop and fine-tune 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. Just think of options such as philosophy, sociology, 3D-design, Virtual Reality, traffic modelling or self-driving cars as topics you can add to your own individual profile.

You will apply all this knowledge and all these skills on a continuous basis to come up with even 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, one of which will be longer and further away in Europe.

Year 3

The third year starts with a half-year placement at a company, organisation or government authority of your choice. Based on your portfolio, you will look for a company and assignment that fits your profile. Of course, this placement can also take place 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 the Research and Business Innovation (RBI) programme 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, lecturers , and professionals from public and private sectors.  

The second half of the third year centres around a large integral, multidisciplinary, and complex project. From your own specialisation area 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 that you are, and allows the team to, together and independently, find solutions to the complex issues at hand. 

BUas Curriculum Built Environment year 3 & 4

Click to view pdf

Year 4

In the first semester of year four, you will take part in a minor programme of your choice. This can be diving deeper into your area of specialisation, or you may choose to broaden your horizon to areas outside of your own field of study. During 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; 
  • 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.


BUas offers its own pre-master's programme Strategic Business Management and Marketing (SBM). If your academic results are good, you will be offered the opportunity of attending this pre-master’s programme in your fourth year. 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, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. In this way, it will be possible for you to earn an academic master's degree within five years' time or, after having completed an accelerated three-year track, even within four years' time.

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

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


Specialisation areas

After the first semester of your first year of study, you will specialise in one of the following areas: 

1. Mobility

In the world of mobility, developments and innovations follow each other in rapid succession. Smart mobility, shared mobility, attention to active modes (cycling and walking), big data, new vehicle technologies and perception are a few examples. In our education, we help shape these developments and let students get to know and (co-)work on these themes. 

2. Urban Planning

Students work on spatial developments in a city and make sure they are coordinated with stakeholders. They incorporate social and technological developments in their plans and investigate trends in living, working and recreation. Finally, they coordinate whether everything is (financially) feasible and complies with all laws and regulations.

3. Urban Design

Students learn to make urban designs at different scales for new sustainable urban areas and inner-city redevelopments. They also work on strategic regional designs and designs in rural areas. Students design and build models in our design workshops.


Two and three-year tracks

With an associate degree (BE) - 2 years

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? 

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.

After a related mbo programme – 3 years

Did you complete one of these mbo programmes at level 4? 

  • Middenkaderfunctionaris bouw
  • Middenkaderfunctionaris infra
  • Middenkaderfunctionaris verkeer en stedenbouw/Urban Design

If so, you may qualify for the mbo-hbo transfer track. Based on one of these mbo programmes you can get exemptions for year 1 of the Built Environment programme (NL), upon successful completion of the track. As a result, you will be able to complete the degree programme in three years’ time. 

What does the mbo-hbo transfer track entail?

When you are in the last year of your mbo programme, you can take part in the mbo-hbo transfer track. Over a 16-week period, on Wednesdays, you will take several training sessions and courses and carry out a project. If you receive a positive recommendation after having completed this track, you will be able to enter the second year of the Built Environment degree programme. The transfer track always starts around mid-February and lasts until mid-June. Please download the brochure (see below) for more information. And feel free to contact the student counsellor to discuss the possibilities (studentcounsellorABEL@buas.nl). 

Please note: Only students of the programme middenkaderfunctionaris verkeer en  stedenbouw/Urban Design of Koning Willem I college in 's-Hertogenbosch will qualify for transfer into the second year of the Urban Design specialisation area.  

Is it for you?

The transfer track is meant for you to find out whether education at hbo level suits you and whether you can handle education at this level. If you are going to follow this track, you will be enrolled as a course participant at Breda University of Applied Sciences. You do not yet pay any tuition fee, but you can make use of our student facilities. Just come and visit us on one of our open days, so you can get a taste of the atmosphere of studying at an hbo institute, and you will have the opportunity to talk about the transfer track with our student counsellor.  

How and until when can you apply?

To apply for the mbo-hbo transfer track, please go to Studielink. You have until 29 January to apply for this track. 

Want to know more?

Do you want to know more about this track? Please contact the student counsellors of this programme, Minke Snels and Lizanne Hessels: studentcounsellorABEL@buas.nl, telephone (076) 533 2600, or download the mbo-hbo transfer track brochure (in Dutch).

After vwo – 3 years  

If you are interested in a three-year track, you should study the course material of year 1 yourself, so you master the basics of Built Environment. To be able to complete this four-year programme in three years, you must have a range of abilities in addition to your vwo diploma, for instance:  

  • Plan your studies well;
  • Work and learn independently;  
  • Take responsibility for your studies;  
  • Know what you want;  
  • Enjoy working together with other people.  

The track consists of three years, each year comprising 60 ECTS credits, adding up to 180 ECTS credits in total. You will start your first year in the regular second year, which will be your propaedeutic year. After that, you will attend the regular third and fourth years.

How can you apply?

If you want to take part in this track, please follow the regular application procedure and indicate, in Studielink, your preference for the three-year track.  

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about this three-year track, please contact the student counsellors of this programme, Minke Snels and Lizanne Hessels: studentcounsellorABEL@buas.nl, telephone (076) 533 2600.

After hbo or wo – 3 years

If you are in possession of a hbo / wo degree or propaedeutic certificate, please contact the student counsellors of this programme, Minke Snels and Lizanne Hessels: studentcounsellorABEL@buas.nl, telephone (076) 533 2600.



Exchange programmes

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 could complete part of your studies abroad at any place in the world, for example in Graz (Austria) and in Cape Town (South Africa). 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.


At BUas you are trained to become an entrepreneurial professional. In all the professional bachelor’s programmes, you are given the opportunity to develop your entrepreneurial skills. Alongside your studies, you can join BUas Startup Support, BUSS. BUSS organises (networking) events and connects student startup entrepreneurs, there is even the possibility to apply for guidance from your own startup coach.

You can also graduate within BUas with your own company! Every academy offers this opportunity, though a selection process may apply. Maybe, by that time, you already have a small profitable business or have plans to start one? BUas Startup Support can help you.   

More information on how to start your own business.

Zoom in on Built Environment

Programme content

Built Environment LAB

'I like the combination between mobility and urban planning'

Study trips and work placements

Student city Breda

Campus favourites

Project : City Skyline

Eye-catchers Built Environment


To be admitted to this degree programme, you need a havo or vwo diploma with an appropriate profile, or an equivalent of these Dutch diplomas. You can also be admitted with a level-4 mbo diploma. 

  • Check out the complete admission requirements and the possibilities if you do not meet the requirements
  • Additional requirements have been set for the 3-year track.

Application and selection

If you meet the admission requirements, you are invited to apply for this programme. Please check out the application procedure

Study costs

In the academic year 2024-2025 the statutory tuition fee for bachelor programmes is €2,530. In addition to the tuition fee, you will need to take into account additional costs for participation in the introduction week and the purchase of study materials such as textbooks and excursions. 

Rachel Chisholm - Built Environment - BUas

Make a positive social and environmental impact

I chose this study because I want to make a positive social and environmental impact, and cities are the perfect place to facilitate meaningful change. 

Tips for students who still have to make a choice? Follow Your Road to Buas 


Rachel Chisholm

Second year student Built Environment

Integral thinking is key

For me, the most important aspect of the Built Environment programme was the integral mindset. During the study programme we explored a wide variety of themes beyond traditional planning. It teaches you to see the broader picture in each project. That is a valuable skill that I use every day in my work as an Urban and Landscape Designer at Arcadis Design & Consultancy.

Inge Noten

Graduate | Currently working for Arcadis in Amsterdam

You need to understand people and their context

To be a good specialist within any discipline of the Built Environment domain, I believe you need to understand people and their context. It is not easy ‘to learn here about there’ and that’s why I always try to expose students to as much international case studies as possible. In this way, I help them develop the skill they need to identify and understand cultural differences and improve their competency of operating in an international context, which is a valuable skill for all!

Zhan Goosen

Lecturer Zhan Goosen

Your career

As a bachelor of Built Environment you are trained to optimise living environments and to design functions and accessibility of areas or locations on the international market. Career examples are: strategic designer, urban planner and manager of sustainable urban mobility at international companies and organisations. Possible employers are multinationals, government services and consultancy agencies and you will likely be working on urban development challenges in multidisciplinary teams.

Like to know more? After your bachelor Built Environment