Students who hold a Bachelor’s degree or “Diplom” qualification in architecture can enrol in the Master’s programme. The Master’s programme builds on the Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (BAA) programme and is open to graduates from other universities who have obtained this qualification. The Master’s programme lasts four semesters. Students who hold a “Diplom” degree can apply to have credits they have earned recognised and shorten the programme by up to one semester. Following three semesters with project workshops and advanced courses, the final semester is dedicated to writing the Master’s thesis, thus completing the Master’s programme. Comprising six semesters in the Bachelor’s programme and four in the Master’s programme, the consecutive course of studies lasts 10 semesters altogether. The Master’s programme can also be completed over a longer period of time alongside working. The Master’s programme concludes with a “Master of Arts in Architecture” degree.

Course focus

The Master’s programme is designed to give students the opportunity to consolidate their knowledge and focus on different subjects and areas of specialisation, while also schooling interdisciplinary competence.
The focus of the Master’s programme is on the scientific and artistic study of urban spaces and the architectural and structural design of commercial projects. Particular consideration is given to the position of the architect in a time characterised by structural and demographic change and conversion of society.
The course is intended to support students’ development as independent personalities characterised by an interdisciplinary, cooperative and creative way of thinking and acting.

Basic structure of the Master’s programme

The Master’s programme takes a project-based approach. Design is taught as a core competence. Consequently, most of the teaching takes place in project workshops, supplemented by lectures, seminars and tutorials. The course contents are modular and are intended to complement or consolidate the work done in the workshops. Students can choose an area of specialisation from a range of optional subjects. Thematic focuses include conversion, urban spaces, architecture, construction and art.

Interdisciplinary and international orientation
The Master’s programme prepares students for an internationally recognised academic degree, which paves the way for graduates to continue studying or work abroad. The project-based course of study is enhanced by interdisciplinary and interna- tional cooperation with other local, regional and trans-border higher education establishments. Long-term cooperation projects exist with the Hochschule für Bildende Kunst (HBK Saar), Saarland University and the Ecole d’Architecture de Nancy.

Career opportunities and prospects
The Master’s degree is a prerequisite for registration with the Chamber of Architects. It is awarded after a standard study period of 10 semesters and therefore complies with the UIA validation system. Graduates are thus qualified to:

• Register with the Chamber of Architects after two years of practice in the profession
• Admission to the senior civil service
• Admission to PhD studies in cooperation with a university, for example Saarland University, which cooperates with the htw saar in this field.

The high practical relevance and interdisciplinary orientation of the Master’s programme enables graduates to start work immediately in architectural firms, construction companies or other sectors.

Structure of the programme


Before enrolling in the Master’s programme, candidates must complete an internship of at least 12 weeks in an architectural firm. However, at least 10 months’ work experience is recommended.

The design projects in the Master’s programme have three thematic focuses and can be completed in any order.

Core curriculum

Focus 1 | Conversion and urban spaces
In line with the profile of the Schule für Architektur Saar, design projects focus on converting the way public spaces are used. The key topics may relate to urban, rural or landscaped spaces. The SarLorLux region offers plenty of areas of application for converting former brownfield sites. The objective of this semester is to develop architectural strategies for dif- ferent forms of conversion.

The project workshop Conversion and urban spaces focuses on the demographic development of society and the industrial and social structural change. The SaarLorLux urban and rural landscape offers a multitude of possibilities that can serve as examples here. In the context of the structural and demographic change taking place in our society, the conversion of urban and landscape spaces in this region formerly dominated by industry is leading to interesting examples of sustainable regional development. With the help of urban development analyses, the lighthouse project in this semester is aimed at developing creative concepts that can pave the way to new problem-solving approaches in a variety of urban and landscape projects. Implementation of the project is flanked by advanced project work in the areas of landscape and open space planning, infrastructure, supply and waste disposal as well as transport. This is supplemented by elective subjects that can be chosen from the catalogue of electives in the categories theory, represen- tation and technology. The Master’s programme is offered in cooperation with the Hochschule für bildende Künste des Saarlandes.

Focus 2 | Conversion and commercial buildings
This module looks at complex building designs. Students have the possibility to choose their own areas of focus either in the field of constructional or creative de- sign. The objective of this semester is to develop architectural strategies for sol- ving complex architectural problems with a hands-on approach.

The Conversion and commercial buildings project workshop focuses on developing a building concept from the artistic aspect of design or the more technical aspect of construction. This is supplemented by elective subjects that depending on the respective project can be selected from the categories theory, representation and technology.

Focus 3 Public design
This semester allows students to define their own priorities within their study project. On the one hand it examines ar- tistic and architectural interventions in public spaces, and on the other it analy- ses the impact of structural and demo- graphic change on the urban landscape. The goal in this semester is to re-exami- ne how architectural and artistic strate- gies are applied in urban spaces.

Project Workshop “PUBLIC DESIGN”
The Public design project workshop is concerned with topics related to the interpretation and design of public spaces. Different project workshops, frequently in cooperation with the Hochschule für bildende Künste, offer students the possibility to explore possibilities for transforming urban and landscape spaces with an emphasis on design or urban development. The choice of elective subjects is tailored to the contents.



Thesis semester
The Master’s programme concludes with a final semester devoted to independently preparing and writing the Master’s thesis, leading to the final qualification. The thesis consists of an architectural project that allows candidates to demonstrate the wide range of acquired competences with the aim of providing an innovative solution to an urban and architectural brief.

The fourth semester of the Master’s programme is entirely devoted to preparing and writing the Master’s thesis, which completes the course of study. This is an unsupervised course assignment that is flanked by a number of advanced courses. After completion of the Master’s thesis students are awarded the academic degree of Master of Arts (M.A.).

Structure and organisation of courses on the Master’s programme

Project workshops
Students on the Master’s programme are divided into three workshop groups. Each group is led by a workshop supervisor, who in consultation with his or her teaching colleagues determines the contents and the objectives of the workshop, as well as the associated subjects taught. A team of mentors supervise the project workshops. These are either designated by the workshop supervisors according to criteria relevant to the specific discipline or may be freely chosen by the students. These mentors teach specific (mostly technical) aspects related to the respective theme of the project within the scope of lectures, seminars and tutorials and may either be appointed from among the faculty teaching staff or teaching staff from other higher education establishments, or be freelancers from the scientific and artistic community who have accepted a teaching assignment.
The entire curriculum is presented to the students at the beginning of each semester in an introductory session. Afterwards the students opt for the project workshop of their choice.

Pool of free elective subjects
During the first three semesters of the Master’s programme, free elective subjects are assigned to the different project workshops. These correspond to the subject matter of the workshops, but do not necessarily have to be integrated into the projects. Taken from the various topic areas, these free electives are taught in the form of draft projects, lectures, tutorials and other teaching methods. The topic areas they are taken from are theory, representation and technology.

Intermediate review, attestations and end-of-semester report
For the design projects with a thematic focus, weekly correction rounds and reviews take place within the scope of the project workshops with the respective workshop supervisor and mentors. In addition, joint colloquia are organised at which teaching staff and students give a critical appraisal of the results. Here, the faculty strives as frequently as possible to invite guest reviewers to attend individual modules.

Project week: Workshop & Excursions 
Each semester, a project week alternating with an excursion week provides an opportunity to study specific topics from the various fields of study in depth or to discover places of particular architectural interest. These courses take place in the form of block seminars, workshops or excursions. The project and excursion weeks are also organised in cooperation with the Hochschule für Bildende Künste des Saarlandes and the partner universities in the region and in other European countries.

htw saar
Hochschule für
Technik und Wirtschaft
des Saarlandes

University of
Applied Sciences


Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft
des Saarlandes
Goebenstraße 40
66117 Saarbrücken

Telefon: (0681) 58 67 - 0
Telefax: (0681) 58 67 - 122

Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes

Folge uns