Master of Design


The study plan is accredited by the AHO committee for education xxxxx 2014


General description

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) is an autonomous and specialized university college offering professional master’s degree on the highest level in architecture, design and landscape architecture as well as PhDs and three post-professional and experience-based masters in urbanism, architectural conservation and landscape architecture. AHO was established in 1945 and is highly ranked internationally.  AHO comprises about 700 students and 120 staff.

AHO is located in the former Oslo power plant at Maridalsveien 29 situated in a revitalized former industrial area near the river, Akerselva. Recent newcomers in the immediate vicinity include the University College of Art, Westerdal’s School of Communication and Mathallen, a cluster of food shops, delis and restaurants.

Master of Design is a professional degree that encompasses a curriculum of the widest range of relevant subjects demanded and requested in the profession. The curriculum includes eleven fulltime terms including six obligatory basic semesters, three eligible terms on the masters level and one last term, the tenth, for designing and writing of the Master’s Thesis.


Target goal

The master’s programs at AHO are designed and developed for you in urban design, space, and architecture. You are fascinated by the built environments of cities and environments or concerned about caring for historic buildings and building traditions. To attend the studies at AHO you should be critical and constructive, creative and innovative. You are intent on attaining complex and relevant knowledge in addition to embracing the importance of cultural context and social conditions.


Technical and other conditions

The education is ICT supported. To monitor the study and the studio courses basic skills in coping with digital tools are needed. Access to a private PC /Mac is also required.  Adequate program training is offered as well as access to relevant licenses.

Digital communication Moodle in addition to internet is used throughout the study. The Moodle platform handles schedules, study plans, handing in assignments, lectures, literature lists etc. Moodle is the digital communication tool between faculty and students. The AHO students are also given a special AHO e-mail address that is mandatory as a communication source between AHO and students throughout the whole study and a private file for storing information, etc.


Admissions requirements and ranking

Admission to AHO is determined in Regulations for Admissions to Higher Education. Admission is applied through Norwegian national coordinated admission, in Norwegian designated as Samordna opptak.

To qualify for an application to the masters programs at AHO a general study competence is required in addition to passing an audition and an admissions test. The applicants are ranked in relation to a combination of the formal Regulation for Admissions (§§7-1 to 7-13) and the admission tests according to AHO’s Regulations. The admission tests are implemented in two steps; a home assignment and a school assignment.

Applicants already holding a three-year bachelor in architecture can apply directly for admission to the master’s level at the 4th year. This application is done via the application web: SøknadsWeb.  Admission is based on documented certificates and portfolios.



Even though the master’s curriculum is composed as a full five-year study, it is for practical reasons divided into a three-year basic education counting 180 credits (ects) and one-and-a-half years on masters level, 90 credits (ects) in addition to a master’s thesis (diploma) counting for 30 credits (ects).

The three years of basic education is mandatory and composed of several courses during each term. While the term-wise studio courses on the master’s level are elective, students may also select minor courses of specialization. The Master’s Thesis is an independent and self-selected task.


Master of Design

Course 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2014 Fall 2015 Spring 2015 Fall 2016 Spring 2016 Fall 2017 Spring 2017 Fall 2018 Spring
70 130 GK 3 Interactive products 18
70 131 GK3 Mechanics 6
80 130 GK3 Architecture and Design history 2 6
70 141 GK4 Methods and technology in the designprocess 18
70 140 GK4 Production technology 6
70 141 GK4 Design Theory 1 6
70 152 GK5 Design and Identity 24
70 162 GK6 Design-driven field research 6
70 161 GK6 Design in a System 24
Elective courses 2016/2017 Elective Master Courses Design 2016 Fall - 2017 Spring 30 30
70 700 Pre Diploma Design 6
12 802 Diploma Design 30

Elective Master Courses Design 2016 Fall - 2017 Spring

Course 2016 Fall 2017 Spring
70 501 Industrial Design 1: Technoform 24
70 502 Interaction Design 1: Tangible Interactions 24
70 503 Service Design 1: Methods and Tools 24
70 504 Systems Oriented Design: “Design for Democracy“ 24
70 505 Design studio 24
40 301 Body and Space Morphologies : Architecture and Film 6
40 307 Architectural Tools 6
60 302 Landscape Architecture's Themes and Concepts 6
70 302 Design Management 6
70 303 Digital fabrication, technologies and processes 6
80 301 Norwegian Architecture 6
80 302 Norwegian tectonic building traditions in wood 6
80 307 Rethinking the Architecture Board 6
70 600 Industrial Design 2: ProtoHype 24
70 601 Interaction Design 2: Screens 24
70 602 Service Design 2: Service Design futures 24
40 406 Places, objects, tools 6
60 401 Landscape Urbanism in Practice 6
60 402 New Urban Theories 6
60 404 Landscape Architecture, Space Light and Landscape 6
70 401 Interactive Spaces and Environments 6
70 403 Rethinking Development and Sustainable Design 6
70 404 Aesthetics in Physical Context 6
80 407 Images of Egypt 6
80 408 Material History: Reading and Design of Structures 6

Working, learning method and form of assessment

Our pedagogical approach is based on problem solving through exploration, conceptualization and design followed by solution oriented lectures of a wide range, enhancing the students’ capability to decode, analyze and solve the challenges.

During the education the students are given written assignments linked to theoretical subjects and tasks. The pedagogical approach also includes discussions, presentations, critiques, literature studies and project assignments.   

The teaching is research- based and some of the studio courses are closely linked to AHO’s research projects. This implies that the students relatively early in the education have to be familiar with scientific writing, articles and literature. Research process, ethics and results are explained and demonstrated as an integrated part of the teaching. Special emphasis is given on teaching processing, decoding and interpreting of texts and literature, engaging in source criticism and use of references. Research and Development (R&D) run by the AHO academic staff is highlighted through teaching and tutoring.


Specific recognition

To shorten the study students admitted through AHO’s ordinary and annually admission procedure for a five-and-a-half-year full master’s program may apply for accreditation of equivalent education from abroad. Such recognition may be approved for a maximum two terms in the basic education at bachelor level or at the master’s level. Applications for recognition and exemption are regulated by the Norwegian University and College Law §3-5 and are approved by the AHO Committee for Access and Recognition (OGU).



Upon completing the basic education (bachelor level) the students are offered the opportunity to spend a period as exchange students. AHO has a wide variety of formal exchange and cooperation agreements which the students can choose among like the European: Erasmus+ and the Nordic: Nordplus. Separate agreements are also possible to arrange although they must be pre-approved by the Committee for Access and Recognition (OGU) in order to be accredited as an inclusive part of the study.


Qualification / diploma

Completion of the whole study program leads to a Master of Architecture degree. The certificate is issued when the final thesis/diploma is passed. The international Diploma Supplement is issued along with the certificate/diploma.


Transitional arrangements