The Basicyear is the first year of the four-year bachelor programme in Fine Arts and Design. At the Gerrit Rietveld Academie all students enter the Basicyear before commencing a specialisation. The Basicyear is the first year of the four-year Bachelor's degree programme in Fine Arts and Design. At the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, students complete the Basicyear before they begin to specialise in a particular discipline. It is a general, formative year that offers a broad and coherent programme, of which all components are mandatory. The curriculum aims to provide an intensive introduction to numerous different perspectives, concepts and working methods, with a view to linking these to students' own interests and potential.

A joint first year provides insight into the diversity of talent and potential among students, which leads up to the extensive academy-wide idea-sharing and collaboration in the later years. The Basicyear lays the foundations to enable students to work independently. From the outset, the required level and pace are high, demanding serious effort. At the same time, this year offers the appropriate amount of stimulation and encouragement for up-and-coming artists and designers who have an adventurous, receptive and inquisitive attitude. A critical eye and a willingness to cooperate with others are essential preconditions for ensuring that students get the most out of the programme.