The Chalmers School of architecture fosters a humanistic view of architecture and emphasises an explorative orientation and research by design approach in order to unfold the professional profile, skill and scope of the architectural design professions. The ambition is to promote convincing joint future visions for the development of the built environment. We also emphasise the integration of research in education, the respect for existing built structures as cultural, social and economic resources and interdisciplinary co-operation.
The pedagogical approach is to support you in developing your design skills through a series of design studios, dealing with complex design tasks in very different situations and contexts e.g., neighbourhoods and municipalities in Sweden, informal settlements in developing countries, and technical and social challenges of sustainable building and transformation.
This approach challenges and develops your ability to analyse and situate local situations in relation to broader contexts. Design studios contain experience-based learning, fieldwork, tailored lectures, literature studies, seminars, workshops, design project work, and exhibitions. A common thread through the studios is the use of a systems approach to design although both problems and potential solutions will vary significantly.
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.
The subjects of applied architecture development and design project are fundamental areas in the Architecture and planning beyond sustainability master’s programme. The courses included in the programme plan handle topics such as construction, suburbs-design and sustainable development.
Master's programme structure
The master's programme runs for a duration of two years. During each year, students can earn 60 credits (ECTS) and complete the programme by accumulating a total of 120 credits. Credits are earned by completing courses where each course is usually between 15 and 22,5 credits. Some courses can also be worth 7.5 credits. Each semester consists of a combination of courses and design studios.
- A course is mostly based on lectures, literature and seminars, but may also contain shorter assignments.
- A design studio focuses on the development of a design project. It is normally case study based.
The programme offers a selection of courses and design studios, distributed over the fall and spring semesters. These courses and studios should be seen as options, from which the individual professional profile is shaped during two years.
Compulsory courses year 1
During the first year the programme starts with one compulsory course, worth 7,5 credits.
- Sustainable development and the design professions
Compulsory courses year 2
In the second year you must complete a master's thesis in order to graduate. The thesis may be worth 30 credits or 60 credits depending on your choice.
Compulsory elective courses
To get a MSc. diploma degree you must at least take one compulsory elective course. You will also need to take one studio within Master’s programme during year 1 and for a MSc diploma degree you will need minimum 2 design studios within the master’s programme during year 1 and 2.
- Design systems
- Crash course: Beyond sustainability
- Managing design projects
- Building design lab
Planning and design for sustainable development in a local context
The thematic of the studio is planning and design for sustainable development in a small or medium-sized municipality in Sweden.
Design and planning for social inclusion
Gives knowledge about the significance of the social dimension of sustainable development, focusing on urban development in suburban areas built in the 1960s and 70s in Sweden. Public participation of citizens and processes of co-creation are central aspects.
A real-life project in Sub-Saharan Africa, for students of different disciplines. Reality studio is simultaneously made of student projects and real projects where the students act as consultants and researchers to improve the quality of daily life. (This studio is may not be offered every year).
Architectural heritage and transformation
Aims at introducing you to the field of architectural and urban conservation and transformation in a historic and contemporary context and to test new knowledge in a critical and reflective way.
Spatial morphology design studio
Operates through the understanding of how urban form and the physical structure of cities provides a framework and creates conditions for various urban processes (social, economic, and environmental).
Sustainable architectural design
Introduces the concept of “sustainable building”, both as principles and as chosen elements in concrete design assignments. Integrates the environmental issues of sustainable building into an architectural project, combining functional and aesthetic qualities with low environmental impact. Cultivates a deeper understanding of selected issues of sustainable building and how to develop these issues into a thoroughly elaborated design proposal.
Sustainable building competition
The aim is to practice design for sustainable building, to introduce findings from design for energy and environmental efficiency, to promote cooperation between architects and engineers and to implement this knowledge in a competition.
The fourth and last semester is assigned for the Master’s thesis. The aim is to display knowledge and capability for independent work, and related to the students' undergraduate profile, within the field of architecture and planning beyond sustainability.
You will also be able to select courses outside of your programme plan. These are called elective courses. You can choose from a wide range of elective courses, including the following:
- Master's thesis preparation courses
- 7 different courses in History, Theory, and Method:
- History, theory and method 1: Building climatology for sustainable design
- History, theory and method 2: Design research / practice-based research
- History, theory and method 3: Emergent media and representation
- History, theory and method 4: Light and color theory
- History, theory and method 5: Urban planning and design theory
- History, theory and method 6: Norm-critical design
- History, theory and method 7: Reality studio preparation
- all students have personal desks and storage spaces in studio spaces with 24/7 access. Studio spaces are equipped with workstations, printers and large scale plotters, as well as Wi-Fi.
Chalmers Architecture Library
- has an extensive collection of printed volumes, journals and magazines within the fields of architecture, urban design and planning, and a special focus on design for sustainable development.
- houses workstations with software for CAD-drawing, 3D-modelling, desktop publishing, video editing, and GIS.
- 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, CNC Mill and CNC Foam cutter.
- 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.