The graduate school is organised within the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering
Director of Graduate Studies: Krystyna Pietrzyk
Administration: Lena Högberg
Web administration: Lotta Särnbratt
(approved by the Pro-Vice-President on May 17, 2005. Ref. nr. C2005/604)
(revised September 1, 2007)
(revised February 27, 2013)
1. Description of subject and objectives of programme
1.1 Description of subject
The subject of the doctoral programme is Architecture.
Architectural knowledge is the basis for giving form to the physical
environment and its development. Architecture deals with artifacts and
places, their spatial qualities and use as well as systems, processes
and methods related to buildings, interior space, built environment and
development. This includes
- architectural form and technique, e.g. spatial design and architectonic expression, material and construction;
- building design and urban design, and correspondences between these two fields;
- development of the built environment, including regions, cities and
systems of movement and traffic as well as housing and premises and
their adherent issues on planning processes, management, use,
- architectural theory and history;
- design theory and design methodology, including knowledge on and through design thinking;
Central questions within the subject of Architecture deal with
architectural theory and history, design theories and design
methodology, relations between man, artifact and physical environment,
cultural aspect of architecture, and knowledge on sustainable
development integrated in the totality of architectural work.
With its background in design thinking and methods used by
architects, architectural research often deals with complex problems
based in specific situations. This research mainly uses integrated
methods related to traditions of the humanities, social sciences,
technical and natural science, and design-based and artistic production
of knowledge. Architectural research methodology includes case studies,
simulations, investigative architectural projects, analyses and
interpretations, reflection and argumentation.
The subject of the doctoral programme is named Architecture.
The subject may also be more precisely defined according to the
following alternative designations:
- Architectural History and Architectural Theory
- Sustainable Development and Urban Development
- Management and Building Processes
- Building Technique and Materials
- Built Environment and Renovation
1.2 Objectives for the doctoral programme
The objective of the doctoral programme in Architecture aims at
educating architectural researchers as well as architects and other
professional within the field of architecture to become qualified in
research. The programme trains abilities to independently carry through
and present research and advanced development work within the field of
architecture. It aims to give highly qualified architectural research
competence, including developing theories, methods and analyses,
formulating research problems, and to compile, analyze, systematize,
critically examine and produce knowledge supporting architectural
professionals and actors within architecture and planning in a long-term
sustainable development. Founded on design-based research, the doctoral
programme also aims to develop innovation of ideas, design strategies
and artifacts within the field of architecture.
The doctoral programme shall be executed with high demands on
historical and theoretical awareness, relevance for problems of
contemporary society, and with a strong perspective towards the future.
The education keeps in active contact with essential regional and
international building and planning issues, and aims at an active
exchange of knowledge with connected research fields at Chalmers and
Göteborg University, and to further develop collaboration with the
Nordic and international state of the arts.
A close exchange between the doctoral programme, research, and
undergraduate studies is an important condition for the
research-integrated architectural pedagogy that is the profile of
Chalmers Architecture in an international context. The doctoral
programme is seen here as an important link between research,
undergraduate education and society.
2. Qualification Requirements
To be accepted for the doctoral programme at the Department of
Architecture, the applicant shall have a professional degree in
Architecture according to requirements of the EU Directive (85/384/EEG).
Applicants with other Master degrees must prove to have qualifications
and degrees with a close connection to the research subject of the
doctoral studies. In these cases, the research subject shall be given an
appropriate designation (see 3). Applicants who do not fulfil the
qualification requirements will be dealt with according to Chalmers
general rules of procedure for doctoral studies.
3. Curriculum and designations of the doctoral programme
Doctoral study in Architecture is carried out in one of five integrated research profiles:
- Form and Technology
- Space and Activity
- Conservation and Transformation
- Urban Design and Development
In dialogue with main supervisor and examiner each doctoral student compiles an individual syllabus.
The examiner has overall responsibility for the doctoral programme
in a specific subject and shall ensure that the doctoral programme for
the research subject satisfies the quality requirements with regard to
research tasks and other elements.
The education is divided into two parts. The first is completed
with a licentiate degree, and the second with a doctoral degree
according to the Chalmers Rules of Procedure.
The doctoral programme is constituted by department based
courses, faculty courses, individual courses and research work with
supervision, resulting in a text for licentiate examination and a
doctoral thesis with a dissertation. The programme also requires that
the doctoral student actively participates in seminars at the department
and attends guest lectures etc relevant for the subject.
Doctoral students may also to a limited extent take part in the
undergraduate education or other work relevant for the personal
pedagogical and research development. See courses, below.
For the licentiate degree in Architecture courses are required to
an extent of minimum 45 credits and for the doctoral degree courses are
required to an extent of minimum 60 credits.
Generic and Transferable skills (GTS) aims to give doctoral
students at Chalmers professional and individual development, and is a
program of activities/courses not directly linked to the respective
areas of research. The graduate student is required to take at least 15
credit points out of the GTS program before receiving a PhD degree.
Chalmers offers a range of activities/courses as part of the program.
9 credit points in the area of GTS are expected to be obtained
before the licentiate degree examination. Another 6 credit points are
expected to be obtained before PhD degree examination. Mandatory courses
for the licentiate degree are: “Teaching, Learning &Evaluation”,
“Research Ethics & Sustainable Development” and “Career planning -
Your Personal Leadership”. 1,5 credit points are optional (from GTS
activities/courses). The 6 credit points after licentiate degree are
also optimal and selected according to the student´s need.
The optional activities within GTS do not necessarily have to
be taken from Chalmers´ central activities or courses. The activities
can be obtained from other providers, after suggestion from the examiner
or supervisor, and approval by the deputy head of the department in
consultation with the director of studies of the research school. As an
example, GTS could include related activities or courses given at the
In addition to the courses within Generic and Transferable
Skills, the student is also required to participate in the introduction
day for doctoral students (before the licentiate examination, at
latest). Further requirements are an oral popular science presentation
to be performed prior to the PhD thesis defence and a written popular
science presentation to be published on the back of the PhD Thesis.
The 15 credit points in GTS are mandatory for doctoral students admitted after September1, 2012.
Get more information:
The doctoral programme in Architecture has a basic set of three courses provided in sequence over one and a half years:
- Forms of knowledge and research methods (2 credits)
- Academic writing in Architecture and Design (2 credits)
- Architectural theories and Design theories (2 credits)
ResArc: Swedish Research School in Architecture, is carried out in four recurrent courses: http://resarc.se
- Tendencies in Architectural Research (7,5 + 2,5 hp)
course is about important and challenging issues in contemporary
architecture research and provides opportunities for doctoral students
to achieve an overview of trends, approaches and practices in
- Approaches (7,5 + 2,5 hp)
The course is devoted to
an introduction to and training in generic and transferable research
skills specific for Architecture, Design and Arts. It consist of an
orientation and positioning in broader knowledge landscapes, developing
and arguing for own research design, assessing and disseminating
scholarly assessment in relation to architecture in the making and in
the making disciplines.
- Philosophies (7,5 + 2,5 hp)
The course investigate
theoretical tools for a critical and projective societal analysis of
architecture, planning and design by addressing key texts from
philosophy and matching this with architectural theoretical material.
- Communications (7,5 + 2,5 hp)
The course focuses
on how image and text production can communicate different kinds of
cultural values in order to develop a dialogical, professional and
political understanding of different communication devices. The seminars
consist of theoretical material, lectures and design exercise in
relation to individual thesis.
A suitable combination of courses is decided together with the examiner and main supervisor.
Minor pedagogical and corresponding work will be considered as
courses and can be given a maximum of 7,5 credits in the research
education; this will not affect the time of employment for the doctoral
student. All pedagogical work that the doctoral student accomplishes
shall be approved and documented by the main supervisor. Pedagogical
work exceeding 7,5 credits shall, before they begin, be approved by the
director of studies.
The subject of the dissertation can be of theoretical and/or
experimental character with a basis in architectural design methodology.
The doctoral thesis may be constituted as a monograph or,
preferably, as a collection of previously published articles by
candidate, with summary. The licentiate thesis is preferably to be
included as part of the doctoral thesis. The licentiate thesis as well
as the doctoral thesis should preferably be written in English.
6. Requirements for the licentiate and doctoral degree
The licentiate degree (120 credits) requires a total amount of
courses to the minimum of 45 credits including faculty courses, and an
accepted research thesis of minimum 60 credits.
The doctoral degree (240 credits) requires a total amount of
courses to the minimum of 60 credits including faculty courses, and an
accepted research thesis of minimum 165 credits
Supervision includes consulting connected to the thesis work,
supervision connected to courses, and general supervision concerning
planning, organization etc. of the research.
The main supervisor has the overall responsibility for the
supervision. Within courses, the teacher in charge has the
responsibility for supervising included exercises and assignments.
The main supervisor shall have academic competence of associate
professor (docent) and be employed at, or be closely connected to the
Department of Architecture at Chalmers. Exceptions may be admitted by
the director of studies.
Examination of courses shall be specified in the course brief. Results shall be given the marks of Passed or Not Passed.
8.1 Examination, licentiate degree
In order to obtain the licentiate degree, the graduate student must
carry out research work and write a licentiate thesis which describes
the work. The licentiate thesis may have the form of a monograph, or of a
compilation with a number of scientifically reviewed
articles/conference papers. In the latter case, these articles are to be
connected by a so-called ’kappa’ which interrelates the contributions
as well as discusses and draws conclusions from the entire work. The
individual articles may have been written together with the main
supervisor, another supervisor or other persons. The licentiate thesis
should maintain such a level that articles/conference papers (or revised
parts of the monograph) could be accepted for publication in an
international scientific journal/ conference proceedings with a referee
procedure. The licentiate thesis must be presented in English or Swedish
at an open seminar. At the licentiate seminar, the thesis is reviewed
by an independent opponent appointed by the examiner and approved by the
director of the Graduate school. The licentiate thesis is assessed by
the examiner, and given the mark Passed or Not Passed.
A licentiate thesis dissertation may be replaced by a 50%
seminar with examination of research work corresponding to 50% of a
completed doctoral degree, i.e. that licentiate level of competence is
shown. The difference to a regular licentiate examination is that at the
50% seminar, a finished licentiate thesis is not presented and the
doctoral student will not receive the degree. For all doctoral students,
who do not wish to take out a licentiate degree, a 50% seminar is
strongly recommended. The seminar can be proposed by the examiner and is
decided by the director of the Graduate school.
8.2 Examination, doctoral degree
At the latest five months before the planned disputation date,
there shall be a final seminar where an external, independent and highly
qualified opponent will review the thesis work of the doctoral student
and give advice for the completion of the thesis. At the final seminar,
an academically qualified, independent researcher from within the
department should also participate in reviewing the thesis work. The
reviewer/opponent at the final seminar may be included in the evaluation
committee for the thesis.
For each doctoral thesis dissertation, the staff meeting will
propose members of the evaluation committee, which will then be decided
by the head of the doctoral programme. The evaluation committee will
judge the thesis and the dissertation with the mark passed or not
9. Designation of degree
The degrees in the doctoral programme are named licentiate and
doctoral degree in Architecture. Depending on the graduate degree,
subject etc., the licentiate/doctoral degree in Architecture may be more
precisely defined as above according to 1.1
Name and designation of the degree will in each case be proposed by the examiner and decided by the director of studies.
10. Other instructions
General rules of procedure other than specified here are regulated
by Chalmers Rules of Procedure for the doctoral programme, Dnr C