Curriculum

Of the three hundred applications received, some ninety students enter the graduate program. The range of experience, culture, and interest makes graduate school at DIA a truly unique experience. Classes, seminars, and studios are small and therefore intense and individualized. Students in their graduate career have ample opportunity to find their own way and to gain exposure to intense and critical examination. The personal studio critique and the public review are the main forums of studio-based education at DIA. In the spirit of the Bauhaus, such studio-based education is rather atypical in Europe today.

The Master of Architecture program, leading to an MA in Architecture degree, is offered to individuals who possess a bachelor’s degree. Students follow a course of study in the following areas of the curriculum: Design; History, Theory, and Criticism; Urbanism; Computing, Logic, and Representation. These areas of study comprise groups of courses from which students may choose offerings according to the requirements of their particular program. Strong emphasis is given to developing skills, logic, and imagination through an intensive series of design studio courses. The curriculum fosters an understanding of architecture as a social, cultural, political, and economic activity, as deeply embedded in contemporary issues and concerns as it is aware of its own historic construction.

All MA candidates are required to develop a thesis in fulfillment of graduate degree requirements. Students are asked to demonstrate their ability to independently undertake research and analysis, as well as develop a hypothesis and demonstrate their thesis thoroughly. This must take the form of either a research thesis (Written Thesis) or a thesis with a design demonstration (Design Thesis). Both thesis formats must address architectural consequences that may be derived from within or outside conventional boundaries of the architectural discipline. Thesis preparation begins in the 3rd semester with an option studio leading to the submission of a thesis proposal and the selection of a thesis director and one faculty member as reader. While the thesis is independent work carried out by the student under the direction of a chosen advisor, it is organized as a studio in the 4th semester of the program. The thesis studio provides a support setting for both formal and informal review processes throughout the thesis semester. At the end of the 4th semester, thesis projects are reviewed by a panel of guest critics and publicly presented at DIA. The best thesis project is annually awarded with the Robert Oxman Prize. On completion of the program, students will be awarded a qualification that has EU-wide recognition in the profession of architecture. The language of instruction is English.