Master of Design

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.

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.

Structure

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

Emne 2015 Høst 2016 Vår 2016 Høst 2017 Vår 2017 Høst 2018 Vår 2018 Høst 2019 Vår 2019 Høst 2020 Vår
70 110 GK1 Introduction to Design 20
80 112 GK1 Examen philosophicum 10
80 113 GK1 Writing Excersises
70 120 GK2 Design basics - part 2 18
70 IDE GK2 Material Technology 6
70 123 GK2 Design og samtid 6
70 131 GK3 Mechanics 6
70 141 GK4 Physical products and production methods 18
70 140 GK4 Production technology 6
70 162 GK6 Design-driven field research 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).

Level, duration and scope for the study program

According to national qualification framework for education, teaching on higher education takes place on three levels;

Bachelor; 1st level

Master; 2nd level

PhD: 3rd level

Master of Design is based on a five-year full time master’s degree program on level 2 equivalent to 300 credits (ects). The syllabus is 40 weeks with an expected weekly workload of approximately 40 hours.

Internationalization

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

The curriculum and specially its content may be changes from one year to another. This can impact students who do not follow a normal progression. Transitional provisions are stated in the AHO regulation of master studies §5-8.