Study options

Architecture - Architecture, Landscape architecture and Interior Architecture, Architect, Master of Science

Architecture is a field at the intersection of technology and art with strong social, cultural, environmental, and economic implications. The Major in Architecture aims at:deepening the students’ technical, scientific and artistic thinking as foundation for building a socially responsible and sustainable future.fostering creative exploration and experimentation as well as multi-disciplinary collaboration.
Masters degree in Architecture

Degree:

Master of Science (Architecture)

Application period:

1.12.2022 – 2.1.2023

Language of instruction:

Finnish
English
Swedish

Duration:

2 years, full-time

Eligibility:

Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Technology and Engineering

Credits:

120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Tuition fees:

For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/y (Master’s studies)

The next application period will open 1.12.2022 09:00 (UTC+2)

Applying to master’s programmes

Description

Architecture is a field at the intersection of technology and art with strong social, cultural, environmental, and economic implications. The Major in Architecture aims at:

  • deepening the students’ technical, scientific and artistic thinking as foundation for building a socially responsible and sustainable future.
  • fostering creative exploration and experimentation as well as multi-disciplinary collaboration.

After completing the degree, the students will have:

  • the ability to apply various design strategies in reaction to programmatic, technical, and aesthetic requirements.
  • an understanding of the main lines of development in history and theory of architecture and their contextual relevance for critical design thinking.
  • the ability of identifying systemic interactions and the transformation of these interactions into design operations for socially responsible and sustainable action.

The program offers an opportunity for individual development of skills and knowledge in a range of specialization fields such as wood construction, building design and the reuse of buildings, human-centered design and wellbeing, computational design, preservation or urban design and planning.

The program is accredited and in line with the professional regulations of the EU directives.

All directions of specialization within the program prepare the students to pursue a career in architecture or related fields within Finland or abroad and enables them to work as an employee in the private or public sector, as independent entrepreneur or as post-graduate researcher.

Language of instruction

The language of instruction in Architecture major is English. However, part of the courses in the field of Architectural History and Renovation are taught in Finnish. The degree can be completed in Finnish, Swedish or English.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Aalto University’s tuition fee for master’s programmes taught in English is 15 000 euros per academic year. Tuition fees apply to citizens of countries other than those of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

Aalto University has a scholarship programme to support non-EU/EEA citizens who study in a fee-charging degree programme. The scholarship may cover 100% or 50% of the tuition fee.

More information on tuition fees and scholarships at Aalto University is available at the Scholarships and Tuition Fees webpage.

Structure of studies

The key focus in master's programme education is on developing and deepening of skills and knowledge obtained during the bachelor's phase. The topics include the history and theory of architecture, building design and Finnish building art as well as urban planning and design. Course and design studio teaching is enhanced by means of multidisciplinary collaboration and advanced teaching methods. A number of courses are based on a learning-by-doing approach and the working on real design assignments often in collaboration with the local community. In addition, experimental and design research-oriented courses are offered that allow the in depth exploration of specialized topics and the development of an individual expression and voice as a designer.

For further details on the education content, see the  study guide for academic years 2022-2024

Chat with Aalto students

Are you wondering what it is like to study at Aalto University? Or what student life is like at Aalto’s vibrant Otaniemi Campus or at the Mikkeli Unit? Come chat with our students about all things Aalto!

Chat with students about their experiences in Aalto
Aalto students walking at campus during summer

Specialisations

The program offers an opportunity for individual development of skills and knowledge in a range of specialization fields such as wood construction, building design and the reuse of buildings, human-centered design and wellbeing, computational design, preservation or urban design and planning. The program is accredited and in line with the professional regulations of the EU directives.

Internationalisation

Studies provide the opportunity for internationalization through, for example, exchange studies and international student competitions and study trips. The internship that is an optional part of the degree can be completed abroad and students can also do field work outside Finland. Some of the department staff are international and lecturers and guests from international schools of architecture visit the department. The department has international research and teaching projects with different universities.

Department of Architecture has international students, both degree students and exchange students. Teaching is provided partly in English and all students study in the same courses.

Further study opportunities

Doctoral programme in Arts, Design and Architecture Arts, Design and Architecture or other universities in Finland and abroad Arts, Design and Architecture - Doctoral Programme in Arts, Design and Architecture - Into (aalto.fi)

Career opportunities

All directions of specialization within the program prepare the students to pursue a career in architecture or related fields within Finland or abroad and enables them to work as an employee in the private or public sector, as independent entrepreneur or as post-graduate researcher.

The majority of architects work as project architects in a company or as entrepreneurs in their own architectural agency, working with new or renovation projects. The public sector is another important employer, with job titles including zoning architect, permit architect, cultural environment manager, museum director and municipal architect. Architects work as academic researchers or teachers, such as professors or lecturers. Architects can also be construction managers, project designers or experts in the property field; senior inspectors or specialists in the environmental field or exhibition architects and curators in the field of art. The duties of an architect are steadily expanding from traditional design tasks to other fields that require comprehensive vision and creative problem-solving ability.

Duties of an architect

• Project planning

• Building design in all scales

• Construction, property development

• Urban design, urban planning/zoning of regional entities

• Museum work

• Building history inventories and surveys

• Administrative, teaching, management and research duties, expert tasks

• Furniture design, interior decorating, design, exhibition design

• Architectural graphics, IT, multimedia

Research focus

The research done at the Department of Architecture produces knowledge about architecture, landscape architecture, urban studies and planning, design practice, the role of architecture in society and the future of construction. We also study architectural history and conservation. Furthermore, our focus areas include construction in the social and health sector, construction for a sustainable future, computer-assisted design methods, and humanitarian architecture. Our research profile covers both basic research in architecture and applied research answering the needs of the industry and public sector.

The research relates to multidisciplinary research areas at Aalto University, especially the human-centred living environments, supported by the Living+ Platform.

SOTERA is the research group for Health and Wellbeing Architecture
Sotera – Research group for Health & Wellbeing architecture (aalto.fi)

Aalto WiT (World in Transition) LAB WiT LAB – World in transition
Group X Group X | Aalto University (groupxaalto.fi)

Co-operation with other parties

-

Ellen Heikkilä, student of architecture

“Design and planning are human-centric, which inspires me."

Read Ellen's story
My Story Ellen Heikkilä

Study-option-specific Admission Procedure and Evaluation Criteria

Applicants meeting Aalto’s general eligibility criteria for Master's studies will be evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria that has been decided in advance for each study option. The applications to Master´s Programme in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Interior Architecture - Architecture will be evaluated based on the following criteria

Phase I

Artistic and/or design practice

What is evaluated

Demonstrations of artistic and/or design work or assignments

What we look for in an applicant/admission requirements

 

Applicants should demonstrate

  • their communication skills that is the ability to use visual means of representation of the discipline in order to communicate your design idea and its architectural expression.
  • their technical skills that is the ability to translate your concept into an adequate material system and coherent construction logic.
  • their understanding of context that is the ability to relate the architectural project to its physical, social, cultural and political environment.
  • their understanding of space-making that is the ability to translate the architectural concept into an adequate spatial experience and spatial dynamics.      

 

Method of demonstrating competence

Portfolio (max 20 pages, pdf-format)
Maximum size for the portfolio is 100 Mb. No links to additional information outside of the pdf will be considered.
Name the file as: Portfolio-surname-firstname.pdf

 

Relevance of previous studies

What is evaluated

Content and quantity in relation to the applied study-option-specific requirements

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Bachelor in Architecture or equivalent degree

Method of demonstrating competence

degree certificate(s)

 

 

Phase II

Suitability

What is evaluated

Motivation for studies at Aalto University

What we look for in an applicant/admission requirements

The applicant should clarify the reasons for applying to Aalto University and the expectations and goals for studying in the programme.

Method of demonstrating competence

Motivation letter (max 400 words, pdf-format)

 

Relevance of previous studies

What is evaluated

Content and quantity in relation to the applied study-option-specific requirements

What we look for in an applicant/admission requirements

Applicant should demonstrate a thorough knowledge comparable to the Bachelor education in architecture at Aalto University

Method of demonstrating competence

Transcript(s) of records

 

 

Other areas of competence

What is evaluated

Work experience and other acquired knowledge/achievements e.g. publications, non-formal education, competitions

What we look for in an applicant/admission requirements

The applicant should reflect on their understanding of architecture and its relevance for the future of society.

Method of demonstrating competence

Letter of self-reflection (max 600 words, pdf-format) with  curriculum vitae, letter of references, proof of employment, publications or other relevant material attached as appendix.

 

Evaluation process

The applicants will be first evaluated based on Aalto’s general eligibility requirements. Applicants meeting the general eligibility criteria for Master's studies will be evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria that has been decided in advance for each study option.

The selection process for applicants who meet the general eligibility criteria comprises of two phases: 

Master’s Programme in Architecture does not include an interview.

Phase I

In Phase I, the applications are evaluated based on the following criteria

  • Artistic and/or design practice
  • Relevance of previous studies/degree

The applicant´s portfolio is reviewed independently by at least three selection committee members and graded according to communication skills, technical skills, understanding of context and understanding of space-making. The final grade for phase I is achieved by averaging out the grades of the various reviews by the selection committee members. Only the applications who fulfill the requirements in the preliminary evaluation will be evaluated in phase II in the selection process.

Phase II

In Phase II, the evaluation is based on the following criteria

  • Suitability
  • Relevance of previous studies/transcripts
  • Other areas of competence

The selection committee members will review the motivation letter, transcripts and letter of self-reflection and evaluate it according to the given criteria.

After the evaluation conducted in Phase II, the best applicants will be selected based on the joint evaluation from Phases I and II.

Study-option-specific documents requested

The documents requested from all applicants are listed on the Aalto University website (https://www.aalto.fi/en/study-at-aalto/applying-to-masters-programmes). In addition, applicants to this study-option are requested to provide the following study-option-specific documents:

Portfolio

The portfolio should demonstrate the academic excellence of the applicant with respect to the criteria listed above of the evaluation criteria. A coherent layout and consistent quality of drawings and images is expected. The size of the portfolio should not exceed 20 pages (max A3) and in case of team work the contribution of the applicant should be clearly stated. The portfolio should include a CV of the applicant and the motivation letter.

Maximum size for the portfolio is 100 Mb. Name the file as: Portfolio-surname-firstname.pdf

CV

The CV should be maximum 1 page and include at least information on previous studies, work experience, software skills and prizes. The CV should be included in the portfolio.

Motivation letter

The motivation letter max 400 words should state clearly the reason for studying architecture and the relevance of studying at Aalto University for development of applicant’s career plan. The motivation letter should be a maximum of two pages and included in the portfolio.

Letter of self-reflection

In the letter of self-reflection the applicant should reflect on his/her understanding of architecture and of the relevance of architecture for the future development of societies and the world we are living in. The letter should be of a maximum of 600 words and can use the curriculum vitae, letter of references, proof of employment, publications or other relevant material as support material.    

Language of application documents

Application documents should be submitted preferably in English but applications in Finnish or Swedish are accepted too.

Complementary studies

The student may be required to take complementary studies (max. 20 ECTS). These studies will be determined individually at the latest in the beginning of the studies while making the personal study plan.

Contact information

Learning Services at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture

For enquiries regarding programme-specific application documents orstudies in the programme, please contact Aalto ARTS Learning Services.

[email protected]alto.fi

Admissions Services

For enquiries regarding the application process, obligatory application documents or English language proficiency, please contact Admissions Services.

[email protected]

The next application period will open 1.12.2022 09:00 (UTC+2)

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