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Master of Fine Art | Graphic Design | AVANS UNIVERSITY

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Master of Fine Art | Graphic Design | AVANS UNIVERSITY

The field of graphic design is growing in importance every day, such as illustrations in textbooks and other publications, as well as making advertisements more appealing and effective. Therefore, the role of a graphic designer is central to any product and in determining how a successful a specific product will be in the market. Graphic design encompasses visual art, typography and illustrations and how to manipulate all these aspects to make the product as visually appealing as possible.

We invite graphic designers who seek a deeper understanding of the fundamental changes taking place within the profession and those who are eager to shape its future. The program relies upon and thereby cultivates, an independent attitude and personal initiative.

Your independent research and studio practice are at the heart of the program. You will be trained in media and graphic design theory, as well as the communicative skills and ethical issues essential to the visual interpretation of information in today’s technology-based society. Tutors and guest lecturers are professionals with diverse and active practices, which allows us to stay closely connected to developments in the ever-changing design world.

Your studies will take place within a diverse community of Master’s students from many different backgrounds and countries Studying with people from all over the world in a 24/7, multidisciplinary environment will enrich your practice and allow you to build a unique network of peers.


Starting date: August 26, 2019

You can apply until: May 31, 2019

Degree title: Master of Fine Arts and Design

Program intensity: Full-time

Program duration: 2 Years

Language: English

Program location: s-Hertogenbosch

Tuition fee per year: € 2.060


The curriculum offers design methods that correspond to the broad spectrum of design contexts and builds towards an increasingly self-driven approach. The focus lies on visual argumentation, analysis, teamwork and the testing of design proposals. Collaboration with other disciplines, both inside and outside the academy, is encouraged and facilitated.

Through a careful balance of autonomy and personal mentoring, you will develop the skills essential to the medium’s full range of professional contexts: collaborative work, assignments and self-directed projects. Our tutors and alumni work in a broad spectrum of platforms such as film, media, activism and curation.

The program is structured into three phases: the Orientation Phase, the Research Phase and the Graduation Phase. The first year consists of the Orientation Phase and the first component of the Research Phase; the second year consists of the second component of the Research Phase and the Graduation Phase.

In the first semester, you will align your study goals with the program. You will examine the development that you wish to undergo as a creator. You will explore yourself: what qualities and expertise do you already possess? You will explore your ambitions: what change do you envisage? You will explore your field of work: in which field do you want to work? Finally, you will explore your course: is this the right place for the development you envisage?

Once you have a view of how you want to develop as a creator, it's time to experiment. At the Master Institute, you will have the opportunity to try out new ways of working. You will arrive at different results within the work process and test out different roles, attitudes and forms of collaboration. Semester 2 will be a chance to broaden your horizon as a creator. 

In the first year you questioned and examined your positioning as a creator. You refined your ambitions. In the third semester, you will test your new positioning as a creator both within the Master Institute and your field of work. 

The last semester focuses on consolidating your new positioning as a creator. In your graduation project, you will show that you have positioned yourself in your professional field and have carried out relevant, well-considered visual research.

The Master of Graphic Design is a two-year, full-time program. One day a week is dedicated to practice, which includes presentations of work in progress and individual studio talks with your tutors. 1.5 days a week are dedicated to theory and General Academic Studies. An equal amount of time (2-3 days per week) is required for self-study.

All courses and examinations will be in English, so you need a good command of spoken and written English.

The level required for admission should be an equivalent of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 6.0 or higher, or TOEFL iBT score of 80 or higher, or diploma’s such as:

Cambridge Lower (FCE) Grade B (180-184)

Cambridge Advanced (CAE) Grade C (180 - 184)

Cambridge Proficiency (CPE)

The program is open to Bachelor of Graphic Design graduates and practicing professionals in the field of graphic design and in some cases also to applicants from other disciplines and backgrounds.

As par of the admission procedure you are require to supply: 

An Artistic Statement; a short essay on your motivations to join our master program, urgencies in your artistic practice and needs for contextualizing your practice in contemporary society (written only, min. 1A4).

A Research Proposal (Full personal study plan with a formulated research question, a theoretic framework & practice-led perspective).

Your documents will be evaluated by our admissions committee. The committee will determine if your artistic work, theoretical knowledge and academic goals match the Master’s program you have applied for.

The admission procedure starts the first of November. Selection for enrollment takes place in 3 rounds. You can upload the requested enrollment documents before the formal admission deadlines: 7 December 2018 - 15 March 2019 - 31 May 2019

The admissions committee will make a pre-selection after these deadlines. The selected candidates from the pre-selection rounds will be invited for an interview  (Skype, or at Avans University). Interview dates are planned on: 19 December 2018, 22 March 2019, 7 June 2019.

Finding accommodation in the Netherlands can take a significant amount of time (on average, at least a month), so we strongly recommend that you start your search as soon as you have been accepted into the program.

Avans University of Applied Sciences does not offer student accommodation, our  International Office functions merely as a mediator in your search for housing. There's no guarantee for finding you an accommodation. It is your own responsibility to arrange you accommodation during your stay.

We do however collaborate with housing associations and letting agencies to make sure our students find suitable housing. Our housing partners have furnished rooms available throughout the city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch and surroundings. These rooms vary in size, rent and location. But in all cases you will share a flat or live in a residency with other students, usually international students. Rental prices vary but you will pay no more than €510 per month maxium. This includes water, electricity, gas and in most rooms internet access.

As a student of Avans University of Applied Sciences in ’s-Hertogenbosch, you can also register with the housing corporation BrabantWonen. This website is unfortunately not available in English.

For more information and assistance in finding your right housing, please contact us on info@studyinholland.gr

The Master of Graphic Design prepares you for a future in a dynamic profession that demands strong reflective and adaptive abilities. In a critical and supportive environment, you will learn how to operate independently and as part of a team, on complex, research-based projects. Graduates leave Avans with a cohesive body of work and, more importantly, working methods upon which to build a sustainable, lifelong successful career in the field of design.

Your studies will take place within a diverse community of Master’s students from many different backgrounds and countries. Engaging with people from all over the world in a 24/7, multidisciplinary environment will enrich your practice and allow you to build a unique network of peers. Furthermore, frequent collaboration with professionals outside of the academy ensures that our students gain experience in a wide range of practices and establish a valuable network within the working field.

The Master of Graphic Design maintains strong connections with designers, publishers and institutions in the Netherlands and abroad. Our tutors and alumni work in a broad spectrum of platforms such as film, media, activism and curation.