Frequently asked questions on the professional experience

August 2020

Students of the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture acquire professional experience next to their studies at the Academy. They receive half of their study credits for the professional experience.
Below you will find the answers to frequently asked questions about the professional experience.
Do you have a question about working in practice which is not answered here? Please send an email to

How many hours do I have to work?

Minimum 840 hours per year.
An academic year consists of 42 weeks. Students work a minimum of 20 hours a week during 42 weeks. Mostly students work 4 days of 8 hours, a total of 32 hours, a week. You cannot work on Fridays, since you have lessons at the Academy. .

What is relevant work?

For an Architecture student a job at an architecture firm or a comparable professional environment.

For an Urbanism student a job at an urbanism firm or an urban planning department.

For a Landscape Architecture student a job at a firm for landscape architecture or a department with an environmental design focus.

What kind of employment should it be?

Preferably you will have one of the following types of employment:

Employment on the basis of a temporary or permanent contract.

Freelance work for multiple employers within the student’s field of study.

On the basis of certain conditions students are allowed to combine their Master’s with their own company or firm. On condition that the student hands in a written request beforehand in which the tasks he/she conducts, the amount of time spend on these tasks and the professional qualifications that are being developed are defined and an external assessor who supervises the student’s work is appointed. Furthermore, the student has to motivate how and why the employment situation meets the qualitative requirements as set by the Academy. After approval from the Academy the student can include this professional experience in his/her practice documents for the yearly assessment.

Can it be an internship?

The Academy does not interfere with the form of contract and the employment contract that the employee / student agrees with the employer.
The quality of the work must meet the conditions set in the external curriculum and the associated appendix 1, exit qualifications

If the work meets these requirements, it is highly productive work that does not meet the legal requirements for an internship.

It may be that due to certain circumstances (prior education, nationality) a student has too little knowledge and skills to be used productively immediately. In that case, a short internship of several months is an option to acquire the missing knowledge and experience.

Does the work have to be approved by the Academy in advance?

No, the work does not require prior approval by the Academy, unless you have your own practice (see above).
What the student must learn in practice and the requirements that the professional experience must meet are described in the external curriculum and the associated appendix 1, exit qualifications. It is the student's own responsibility to acquire the appropriate professional experience. At the end of the year, the Academy checks whether the student has acquired the correct professional experience.

If you are unsure whether the work you are doing is sufficient, you can ask for advice from the coordinator professional experience (Nico van Bockhooven).
You can ask questions by email ( or make an appointment through the study secretariat.

What is the role of the Academy in finding work?

In principle students are responsible themselves to find a job.
If desired, we can help with the motivation letter or the composition of a portfolio.
Furthermore, employers regularly send us vacancies on the basis of which we advise students to apply for these jobs.

How can I find a job?

There are several websites on which vacancies are posted for architects, landscape architects and urbanists:

In addition, employers also post vacancies on this site and you can also post a profile on this site (CV with small portfolio).
Employers check these profiles when they are looking for people.
You must log in to view the vacancies and post a profile. For that you have to register first. This is possible if you have a student number.

This site also contains a (non-exhaustive) list of employers where students of the Academy work / have worked. You can visit the sites of these agencies to see if they have vacancies or submit an open application. When you are logged in, you will find this list under the pull-down button 'menu '.

What can / should I earn?

In principle the Academy does not interfere with the employment contract between student/employee and employer, so neither with the amount you should earn.
For your study at the Academy it is important that you obtain the right knowledge, the amount you earn does not matter.

Employers of architecture firms need to comply with the collective labour agreement (CAO). This can be found on the site of the SFA
This site also contains information about positions and the salary tables associated with the CAO.

Do I have to have a job when I start my studies at the Academy?

Preferably you have a job when you start at the Academy. The combination of study and work and the interaction between the two provide an inspiring and stimulating form of education, which the Academy regards as a core quality of the study program.

Sometimes it is difficult to already have a job when you start your study. For example, because you are from abroad and it is difficult to apply remotely and you cannot conduct job interviews.
If you find work a little later and you work 32 hours a week, it is no problem to acquire the minimum required 840 hours per year of professional experience.

I am from outside the European Economic Area (the EEA), what should I take into account?

The Academy accepts a limited number of students from outside the European Economic Area.
These students are allowed to work for a maximum of 32 hours per week without a work permit, but this is subject to a number of strict conditions

Click HERE for more information and the conditions.