Skip to content
Main menu hidden.

Master's Thesis, Master of Fine Arts in Architecture and Urban Design, 30 Credits

Swedish name: Examensarbete, konstnärlig masterexamen i arkitektur och stadsbyggnad

This syllabus is valid: 2019-08-26 and until further notice

Course code: 5AR522

Credit points: 30

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Architecture: Second cycle, contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)

Grading scale: Pass course only, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Umeå School of Architecture

Revised by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2019-03-11


The degree project enables students to integrate the knowledge, skills and abilities they have acquired during the programme and apply them to an extensive design project. The project stresses the goal of establishing, explaining and defending the student's own position as a future professional. As part of the project, students apply the contextual, historical, technical and design research conducted in "Seminar Course 3a" and "3b", as well as "Synthesis Course 3", to construct an ambitious, sophisticated design project.

Students will be expected to put together fully resolved design for a complex architectural proposal, including its physical, historical and social framework, along with its structural, construction, environmental, material and sustainable characteristics and impact. 

While the master's thesis inevitably leads to a complex architectural project, it may focus on urbanism, landscape, social and participatory processes, technical and material innovations, etc. The project must meet the intended learning outcomes for the course, but students who define a specific research agenda and their own professional areas of interest will be rewarded accordingly. 

Working with contexts other than Umeå is encouraged. Students who wish to locate their project in a developing country, another institution or city, etc., will receive assistance from the school in obtaining local assistance and remote supervision. Such students will be required to regularly visit Umeå during the project as agreed with the supervisor.

Expected learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to: 
  • exhibit independent ability to proceed from a previously identified position and research agenda to plan, accept and solve advanced creative problems using suitable methods, carry out ideas from a personal vision, and contribute to the creation of knowledge by means of a critically deliberative approach within pre-established time constraints.
  • demonstrate the ability to use appropriate architectonic methods and syntheses to develop, undertake and evaluate an original exploration of a specific research, issue, agenda, speculation or hypothesis of personal professional interest, in a fully resolved design for a complex architectural proposal including its physical, historical and social context, structural, constructional, environmental, material and sustainable qualities and impact.
  • demonstrate the ability to clearly present and critically discuss and evaluate his or her issues, work conclusions and design proposal and the knowledge and reasoning on which they are based in speech, writing, images and models and so contribute to the development of the profession and professional practice.
  • exhibit the expertise, knowledge and personal responsibility required to work independently in a professional capacity, as well as identify personal needs for additional knowledge and on-going skills development.

Required Knowledge

Admission to the course requires the completion of a minimum of 270 ECTS credits or equivalent, including the courses "5AR525 Synthesis Course 3", "5AR526 Seminar Course 3a" and "5AR527 Seminar Course 3b".

Form of instruction

The course is studio-based, consisting of both tutorials and a degree project.

Examination modes

The course will be graded through a final presentation, written report, portfolio and a final exhibition. A panel will assess and grade the portfolio at the end of the semester. 

A grade of Pass (G) or Fail (U) is awarded for the course. All mandatory oral, written and practical assignments must be finished and approved before the course can be successfully completed. 

Additional examinations are arranged for students who did not pass the original one. A student who fails two exams in a course or component is entitled to have another examiner appointed unless there are extraordinary grounds for not doing so (Chapter 6, Section 22, Higher Education Ordinance). The request for a new examiner shall be turned in to the director of the programme. 

Complementary assignments
A student who does not meet the requirements to pass an examination can, if decided by the examiner, be given a complementary assignment to reach the requirements to pass the examination. The complementary assignment should be individually modified to the specific requirements that the student has failed to reach. The complementary assignment should be finished within two weeks after the result of the first examination is announced. 

Academic credit transfer
Students have the right to request that previous studies, or equivalent knowledge and skills acquired in a professional, work-related capacity, be validated and transferred into credits on an equivalent course or programme at Umeå University. Applications for credit transfer should be addressed to Student Services/Degree Evaluation Office. More information can be found at the Umeå University student web site ( and in Chapter 6 of the Higher Education Ordinance. Appeals may be made to the Higher Education Appeals Board (ÖNH) against a decision by the university not to approve an application for credit transfer (Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 12), even in cases where only a part of the application has been rejected.

Other regulations

This course may not be used towards a degree, in whole or in part, simultaneously with another course of similar content. If in doubt, consult the study counselor at Umeå School of Architecture.

Examination based on this course syllabus is guaranteed for two years after initial enrolment in the course.


The literature list is not available through the web. Please contact the faculty.