Architecture and Urban Design, MSc

120 credits (2 years)

The field of Architecture and Urban Design is closely linked to some of today’s most pressing societal, environmental and cultural challenges. It encompasses a wide range of capabilities, from design and technology to critical thinking. 

Architecture and Urban Design master's​ at Chalmers

The Master’s Programme in Architecture and Urban Design provides the skills and knowledge needed to practice professionally. The programme emphasises a research-oriented approach in order to anticipate future challenges for architects and urban designers. Its profile is design-led and practical, as well as academic and theoretical.

A majority of the coursework is project-based and it takes place in design studios led by experienced architects and researchers. These studios function as lab environments that target current specializations within the field. Studios are supplemented with course modules that focus on history and theory, design and technology, as well as leadership and professional practice.

The Department of Architecture at Chalmers houses an excellent infrastructure in the form of studio spaces, an architecture library, model workshops and digital fabrication, a robot lab and several research groups and centres. A national and international network is provided through collaborations and partnerships with external practitioners, researchers, stakeholders and industry.

Location: Campus Johanneberg

urban design planning masters


Professional qualification

There are some qualifications that lead to a specific profession, for example, architecture and engineering. In many cases, you must have completed a specific programme (five years at Chalmers) in order to be licensed to work in your profession. These qualifications are called professional qualifications. The professional degree Master of Architecture/Arkitektexamen, 300 credits, is awarded to students completing the five-year programme at Chalmers. In exceptional cases, a student with a Bachelor degree from another university may be eligible for a professional degree after a thorough assessment of his/her academic merits. Recognition of a Bachelor degree and different courses from another educational provider which corresponds to our bachelor programme can be used as part of a Chalmers degree.

Research facilities

Studio spaces - all students have personal desks and storage areas in studio spaces with 24/7 access. Studio spaces are equipped with workstations, printers and large scale plotters, as well as Wi-Fi.

Architecture Library - has an extensive collection of printed volumes, journals and magazines within the fields of architecture and urban design.

CAD-lab - houses workstations with software for CAD-drawing, 3D-modelling, desktop publishing, video editing, and GIS.

A-Workshop - is a fully equipped architecture workshop with wood, plastics and metalworking equipment. It also contains a number of computer-controlled (CNC) machines for model building and rapid prototyping, including Laser cutter, 3D-printers (2), CNC Mill and CNC Foam cutter.

Robot Lab - is a research facility that investigates robotic technology in architectural design. Equipment includes three robotic arms.

Centre for Healthcare Architecture - conducts research and graduate studies and encourage education and training within the field of physical environments for care.

Centre for Housing - is a national platform for the transfer of knowledge, debate, development and research in the field of residential housing.

Mistra Urban Futures - is a centre for sustainable urban development with the ambition to become a world leader in the field in the near future.

The Spatial Morphology Group - is engaged in urban research within the fields of urban morphology, space syntax and design theory.

Other Master's programmes that might interest you
Architecture and Planning Beyond Sustainability, MSc
Design and Construction Project Management, MSc
Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering, MSc
Structural Engineering and Building Technology, MSc​​​​​


Curriculum Architecture and Urban Design, MSc

The curriculum consists of design studios, courses and a master's thesis project. Current design studios focus on topics such as advanced design of specific typologies, including healthcare architecture and housing buildings; the relationship between design, materials, manufacture, environment and context, including emerging technologies; as well as urban design and morphology, including the relationship between architecture and the city. 

Courses provide expertise in sustainable building and planning; in digital design and prototyping; in the history and theory of architecture; as well as in leadership and professional practice. Both studios and courses have an international profile and benefit from guest lectures, workshops and reviews with practicing architects.

The curriculum culminates in a semester long master's thesis project where students individually formulate a design project in relation to design and research expertise within the department. Almost all courses are electives, giving students the opportunity to construct their own programme of study.

 Please note that the above schematic view corresponds to the academic year starting in the previous year. Minor changes may occur.

Programme content in detail, incl. syllabus and description of the courses

Career and research Architecture and Urban Design

A master’s degree in architecture and urban design offers a wide range of career opportunities, from practice to research. Graduates work in architecture and urban design offices, city planning offices and governmental bodies. The field of work is highly international and graduates often find employment in leading offices in Sweden as well as abroad. Additionally, a master’s degree in Architecture and Urban Design is an excellent foundation for PhD studies at Chalmers and worldwide. An increasing number of students pursue this option.

Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Student interview

"I have learned to be bold and to challenge myself"

Ayoub Chkairi, Morocco/Italy, Architecture and Urban Design 

Why did you choose this programme?
–I was looking for a programme that was more practical and research-oriented to gain more design experience. It provides several design studios that allow you to get a real idea of what it means to work on a project, with a brief and all the constraints that come with it. 

What have you been working on?
– We have brief group projects, but we also work individually or together with a company. Recently I have been working on ways to develop the parking houses in Gothenburg to make them more sustainable and valuable for the people that live close by. I have also been working on a new auditorium in Götaplatsen where the challenge was to merge the site with all the different cultural centres in that area. 

What do you like the most about your programme?
– The fact that there is no wrong or right answer on the project you are developing, it’s a constant ongoing discussion with your tutor, guest lecturer and classmates. This allows you to develop your critical thinking in the sense that you don’t get too attached to your ideas and learn to kill your darlings. It also encourages me to be bold and challenge myself and not to play it safe with my ideas. 

What do you want to do in the future?
– With this programme I will be able to do so many things, everything from making skyscrapers to designing small pieces of furniture. My dream is to work somewhere where there is freedom to experiment and where I can work internationally on open-source projects.

​St​udent Blogs​

Published: Sat 07 Nov 2020.