Content of the programme

At TCL, you learn how to thoroughly analyse trends. And then how to translate these insights into new, creative, and future-proof concepts. We teach you how to visually present your research results and how to shape, test and improve concept designs. In the first two years, you do this for seven lifestyle sectors: Food, Living, Appearance, Health, Human Movement, Leisure and Work.

Ambience photo Fontys

Concepting model

The concepts that you develop as a student all have the same purpose: improving the quality of life of a specific target group. See the concepting model developed by TCL below. This model serves as your blueprint throughout your studies.

Ambience photo Fontys

  • Course description

    The first year is divided in four quarters. In each you work with a team on an assignment, leading to a presentation of your professional product to the client company.

    Workload per week

    16 hours project
    9 hours skills
    6 hours inspiration
    9 hours knowledge

    In percentages

    Theory 35%
    Selfstudy 25%
    Practice 40%

  • Propaedeutic: year 1 (Orientation)

    Project: professional product

    The first year is divided in four quarters. In each you work with a team on a project. The end result is a professional product, usually a trend report and/or concept for a company in the professional field. The very first months of the programme thus immediately introduce you to the two most important professions for which you are educated:

    • Trend researcher
    • Concept designer

    Skills, knowledge, inspiration

    Creating a professional product requires specific skills, knowledge and inspiration. You develop these skills by working individually or in a team during various modules. The necessary knowledge is provided through the courses/classes and meetings with experts, while you also study relevant literature. Inspiration is sought – and found – at the expositions and other events you visit yourself. Along the way, you gradually learn to master the various tasks that you will need as an educated professional.

    Lifestyle sectors

    The first year also introduces you to the various lifestyle sectors:

    • Health (sports/exercise/fitness)
    • Food
    • Leisure
    • Appearance (fashion/beauty)
    • Living (Housing and home environment)
    • Work


    During all your learning activities, you gather the so-called evidence materials. These are concrete examples of everything you have achieved and learned. You collect feedback on these materials among fellow students, teachers, client companies, and others. By presenting this evidence material during an assessment (demonstration), you prove that you master the desired level of practical skills, knowledge and creativity. The first year consists of two assessments: one mid-year and one at the end of the academic year. Each assessment can offer a maximum of 30 study credits. To gain your propaedeutic degree (completion of the first year) you need 60 points, with a minimum of 54 to pass on to the main phase. There are no knowledge tests. You are free to decide yourself how to prove you acquired the desired knowledge level. Of course, you are thoroughly coached and guided throughout that process.

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    Ambience photo Fontys

  • Main Phase: year 2 (Immersion)


    The second year is again divided in four quarters. The first three are structured as in the first year: in each quarter you create a professional product, always combining several core tasks and various lifestyle sectors. Year 2 is all about in-depth exploration, both of the sectors and of the professional tasks of concepting and trend research.

    International experience

    Gain international experience by working on international assignments, and during a study trip focused on an assignment for a company abroad.

    The Idea Factory

    In the last quarter of year 2, you team up with your fellow students to establish your own Lifestyle Company. On the basis of trends, you design a concept together, create it, test it, and introduce it on the market. The various Lifestyle Companies present their concepts during the Idea Factory: a special event where prospective employers are also present.

    The Idea Factory

    Ambience photo Fontys

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  • Main phase: year 3 (Immersion)


    The third year consists of a minor and an internship period.

    The internship is an important part of your studies: this is the time to put into practice everything you learned in the first two years.

    The internship mostly offers an opportunity to gain practical experience as concept developer.

    We encourage you to do your internship or minor abroad.

    Ambience photo Fontys

  • Graduation phase: year 4 (Specialising)

    Large selection of specialty modules

    In the last year of your studies you choose a specialty, focusing on two sectors of your choice. Additionally, you can choose from a large number of specialty modules, while you further specialise your skills within the core tasks of trend research and concepting.

    Mastery test

    Your Mastery test also starts in the fourth year. Here you apply the knowledge that you gained in the specialty modules by designing a concept. You can freely choose the company for which you will design. In the Graduation show, you also present your final Mastery test to future employers.

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  • Knowledge and skills


    The professional field needs trend researchers and concept developers with a broad orientation. During your education, you therefore develop knowledge and skills about different subjects. The various courses also offer the same broad scope:

    • Trend research
    • Concept development
    • Creative thinking
    • The seven lifestyle sectors:
    1. Appearance
    2. Food
    3. Leisure
    4. Health
    5. Human movement
    6. Living
    7. Work
    • Lifestyle research (such as target-group studies among youngsters)
    • Marketing & communication
    • Expand your power (presentation skills and more)
    • Ethics
    • Project management
    • Design-oriented research
    • Visual language (e.g. Adobe Photoshop / InDesign / Illustrator)
    • Pretotyping and prototyping
    • Trend support
    • Study & career coaching
    • Professional communication (reporting, copywriting, English)
    • Networking
    Ambience photo Fontys Ambience photo Fontys

  • Coaching during your studies

    Personal contact with your study coach

    A study coach offers personal guidance throughout the full programme. He or she knows your personal strengths and weaknesses, and offers dedicated personal attention to you and your study progress.

    In the first year, you and your study coach regularly get together to formulate your goals for the coming period. During practical assignments, you receive further guidance from the expert coaches.

    Personal development is important. For this, you receive various general trainings during your studies. For instance, you learn how to present yourself and how to build a network.

    Ambience photo Fontys
    Throughout your studies, you work under supervision of your coaches on your professional language skills in English.

    Special needs

    We believe in creating opportunities. In looking beyond what seems possible at first sight. In enhancing the strengths and talents of our students. But what if getting an education is something you cannot take for granted? What if a (physical) disability is hindering your study progress? Then TCL is still open to you, offering a range of extra support and facilities for your special educational needs. Starting from your capabilities, we can look together and see what you need to successfully complete your education. All for a confident and well-prepared entrance to the labour market. For more information, please see the page ‘studying with a disability’. Any questions? You can always direct them to and we will get back to you.

  • How to prepare

    Naturally, you want to make the most of your time at Fontys Academy for Creative Industries. If you choose for the English-taught programme, you will need to have a reasonable proficiency of the English language.

    For domestic applicants, we expect a minimum level of B1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference.

    For foreign nationals, we require proof that you have attained a minimum IELTS score of 6.

    Ambience photo Fontys
    The professional fields demands that you can communicate professionally in English. Many students struggle with their writing skills. An English language proficiency test, along with a language advice, is therefore part of the intake procedure.
  • Internship and graduation

    Third-year internship

    The internship is an important part of your studies: this is the time to put into practice everything you learned in the first two years.

    The internship in the third year offers the chance to gain hands-on experience as trend researcher and concept designer.

    We encourage you to do the internship or your minor abroad.

    Graduation project

    Your Graduation project puts you to work as an independent trend researcher for a company of your choice. Your research serves as the basis for your concept design, which you visualise and test. You also advise your client company on how to realise this concept. The Graduation project matches with one of the lifestyle sectors you chose as specialty.

    Watch the videos of our Graduation Expo's in 2018 and 2017 below.

    Ambience photo Fontys

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  • Typical for this programme

    Learn to develop lifestyle concepts on the basis of trends

    • Learn how to visualise research results and designs
    • Are educated to think both creatively and commercially
    • Work for external clients throughout your studies
    • Primarily focus on personal development
    • Get to realise your maximum potential
    • Are taught by teachers who are practical professionals
    • Can join an excellence programme in year two and four
    • Can start your own company while you are still a student
    • Can be yourself
    • Work together with others in a creative atmosphere
    • Get loads of international experience


    International Lifestyle Studies always partners up with actual companies from the various lifestyle sectors. Trend research and concept development are still new fields of expertise, and both in high demand. Because the professional practice is dynamic, a flexible attitude is a must for students.

    TCL is a unique programme in the Netherlands. While studying, you develop your ideas for new products and services that improve quality of life for people, based on social developments and trends.