The premaster program is a bridging program in which you develop the necessary additional skills to start your master program at the same level as academic bachelors.
We focus on the integration of artistic research methods in the development of your artistic or design practice, on the expansion of your practical skills, and on the further development of your theoretical and art historical knowledge.
The premaster is offered in Dutch or in English. After you have been admitted to the premaster program and have successfully completed it, you can start in the master program of your choice.
Admission requirements & registration
A professional bachelor’s degree in visual arts or a professional or academic bachelor’s degree in non visual arts with additional artistic qualifications, is required to start the premaster.
For candidates with a foreign diploma, approval has to be granted through the admission office. After you registered, the admission office will get in touch with you in order to verify the validity of your foreign degree.
2 Admission test
MOST IMPORTANT STEP – You start with the online registration
After approval of your foreign diploma by the admission office, we will invite you for an intake interview. You can have your intake interview while still studying in your final bachelor’s year, but you can’t enroll before you officially obtained your BA degree.
You will receive more detailled information about the test in an attached document that comes with the confirmation email of your online registration.
Admission interviews Premaster
10 March 2022 – Belgian diploma / Non-EEA nationality and non-EEA diploma
Deadline for registration: 1 March / deadline for handing in assignments: 3 March
9 June 2022 – Belgian diploma / EEA nationality + no Belgian diploma
Deadline for registration: 30 May / deadline for handing in assignments: 3 June
28 June 2022 – Belgian diploma & EEA nationality
Deadline for registration: 16 June / / deadline for handing in assignments: 21 June
The premaster program
- Premaster Studio – 30 credits
- Bachelor classes (practice-oriented workshops) – 4 credits
- Artistic research – 6 credits
- Theory – 24 credits
Premaster Studio – 30 credits
As a prelude to the master project, you will be supported in the premaster studio to learn to develop your artistic or design practice independently. You will be encouraged to determine your own contexts, content, form language and methods. To provide you with the best possible guidance, the premaster studio, just like the master programme, is organised per context.
Download the full premaster program here
1. Applied Context
Designing within an applied practice means that as a designer or artist you always design within a given context. That context can be commercial, sensitizing or informative. The reason for your work lies not within but outside yourself. You design in service of an assignment, a client, a message, etc.
You learn to communicate your own style and artistic vision to an audience and to present your research.
In the premaster studio you are given the space to learn how to start a research project and to determine a theme. In this, you are encouraged to experiment in a broad and diverse way. All of this can form thebasis for a research questionand project that you develop further in the master’s thesis.
Coaches: Reg Herygers, Jan Baert, Anne Kurris, Hugo Puttaert, Sam Vanbelle, Sander Van de Vijver
2. Autonmous Context
Fine arts track
The students’ individual studio work and personal development are the main points of departure during the fine arts track of the pre-masters in an Autonomous Context. Students are encouraged to develop a high level of independent thinking and making, where possible in collaboration with our campus workshops and facilities, providing them the means to construct a sustainable studio practice that will continue beyond the course. Through studio practice, regular coaching and group discussion, students develop their individual voice amongst their peers and critically engage with the role of artistic practice within contemporary society. Upon completion of the program students will be able to position themselves within contemporary art fields as independent artists and establish their own art practice. The program is open to interdisciplinary practices, defined by the evolving and plural conceptions of contemporary art.
Within this premaster context, students from more design- or illustration-related disciplines can also enter. They develop an autonomous design practice in which they determine the object of their research. This is done through individual and/or collective context and design research within a self-chosen specific domain, subject or social field. The chosen discipline preferably has its origin in a previously established practice. The objective and possible output of this design trajectory is the establishment of an independent design practice, possibly in cooperation with artists, curators, publishers, in which the designer can fulfil a leading or guiding role.
Coaches: Helen Dowling, Saddie Choua, Felicitas Rohden, Hugo Puttaert
3. Socio-political context
We offer a track to learn how to relate to the socio-political context. You will explore how your practice can contribute to themes such as (but not limited to) climate transition and sustainability, decolonizations, anti-discrimination and intersectional solidarity, social justice, grassroots imaginations, collective practices and civic democracy. How can your work bring insight and transformation to these social urgencies?
In the premaster studio, you will be given the space to explore your interest and engagement in art, design and/or image in the socio-political context. This exploration can form the basis for your master project. Intensive introductions to relevant and diverse professional contexts, practices and methodologies will support you in this (think of: socially engaged art, social design, participatory practices, artivism, speculative design, …) You collaborate with your fellow students to create a caring, participatory learning environment. You invest in a practice in which both methodology, process and output are developed as particular, valuable artistic forms and models.
Coaches: Robin Vanbesien, Annelys de Vet, Ann Laenen
4. Digital Context
By combining technology, design and art, we provide an incubator for innovative ideas and groundbreaking projects. We consider technology not only as a creative tool but as a completely different medium with its own guidelines for design and storytelling.
In the premaster studio you get the space to start a research and determine a theme, starting from personal interests or a current topic. This theme can form the basis for the research question and project that will be developed in the master. The research within the premaster will be developed into a number of experiments, in which the (digital) techniques and materials can be determined freely.
In the premaster we strive for a balance between the technical, artistic and creative aspects of digital media. We guide work that ranges from the practical to the whimsical, artistic and creative.
In preparation for your trajectory in the premaster studio, a number of technical workshops are organized with the students of the master at the beginning of the year. The aim is to learn the tools, technologies and methodologies needed to make work in the digital medium.
Coaches: Frederik De Bleser, Werner Van dermeersch
5. Jewelry context
In your artistic practice, you will investigate the specificity of jewelry. You do this through a process-oriented way of working where research and experimentation are sources of inspiration. Analysis and ref lection, the further development of practical skills and the theoretical discourse on what is alive within the field, contribute to the development of your own research methodology. An articulated, multidisciplinary elaboration is encouraged as a result. In addition, you determine in which cultural- social environment your jewelry functions and you know how to capture the references from which this specific, subject-related context derives its meaning. Ideally, you will take up your own position in this context.
In preparation for your master project, you will have the opportunity in the premaster studio to optimize the content of your artistic practice as well as to continue your experimentation with materials and techniques. You will receive close guidance in this, while at the same time you will be given the space to work self-initiatively around a theme/research of your own choosing.
In the master’s thesis, the internship abroad is a central training component that has a great impact on your professional development. It takes place at an international institute, gallery or museum that matches your artistic practice. The internship is already prepared in the premaster studio: you look for a suitable organization or exhibition platform where you will be part of the existing team for a few weeks. It is an excellent opportunity to gain insight into the communication and all business and organizational aspects that “publishing” a piece of jewelry or object – in any form – entails. In addition, you will build an international network that is necessary to further professionalize your own artistic practice in the future.
Coaches: Hilde De Decker
Bachelor classes – 4 credits
In these practice-based workshops, you will develop your manual and technological skills to support your artistic practice. We focus on technique, but also go beyond it. You do research in which the process is just as crucial as the outcome. ou blend problem-solving and conceptual development in your work. You experiment, pushing your limits along the way, and as a result, you get better processed outcomes. You will learn to take a critical stance toward your own and others’ work through discussions with the teacher and your classmates.
Artistic research – 6 credits
What is to be understood by the term ‘artistic research’? Is it purely an academic issue, or does it reach beyond those limits? What kind of knowledge formation is implied in artistic production, and how to address it? Do we need a uniform model or is it a matter of singularity? And how to surpass the theory/practice divide?
In the past years, there has been an increasing focus on research in cultural production at large (the so-called “research turn”), giving rise to interdisciplinary practices that are challenging the boundaries between art and science. In this course you will look into the stakes of this critical debate and the lessons that can be drawn from them. Feeding back to your own practice, you will learn to scrutinise the methods, topics and conditions that come into play. The aim is not so much to provide any conclusive answers as to unravel the question of artistic research in its full complexity. During this course, you will be guided through the reseach process. You will write an essay that is connected with your premaster project, you will will discuss the progress with your peers and evaluate the chosen research methods.
Theoretical courses – 24 credits
You compose your own theoretical program for a total of 24 credits from this list:
Kunst, design en context
Antropologie van de kunsten
choose three theory courses from BA2 or BA3
Popular visual culture
Ethics of Artificial Intelligence
Creativity & self-organisation
If you meet all admission requirements, you can finally enroll.
We will contact you after the results of your admission test/intake interview in order to make an appointment for the final enrollment.
You will need to bring the following documents :
- your identity card
- your bank card: you must pay your tuition fee at the time of your enrollment
- copy of the degree in order to be registered
- the statement of admission to higher education (only for foreign qualifications outside the EU)
- your proof of right to an allowance from the Flemish Agency for persons with disabilities (if applicable)
- Proof of admission from the Admissions Office service if you have a foreign language degree in secondary/higher education or if you don’t have a secondary degree.
Our tuition fee for the 2022-2023 academic year for a full programme (60 credits) is:
€1277 (fixed amount) + €85,1 per credit
€253,6 (fixed amount) + €12,1 per credit
EEA or non-EEA?
European Educational Area: including all 27 EU-member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
Who teaches in the premaster?
Hilde De Decker
Do you have any questions? You can contact Robin Vanbesien, coördinator of the Premaster.
Lecturer for Master of Visual Arts