AAR4993 - M.Sc. Thesis in Sustainable Architecture


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Master thesis
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Master thesis 100/100

Course content

A Master thesis is to a large extent an independent work where the candidate(s) demonstrates his/her ability to develop an architectural design project or a research report on a specific topic in the field of sustainable architecture.

Hence, there are two different routes towards a Master of Science diploma in Sustainable Architecture:

1) Architectural design project (drawings, models, text) or

2) A research based work or anthology (written report).

Learning outcome


The candidate

  • has advanced knowledge of sustainable architecture as a field of knowledge; its theory and history as well as its technical, scientific, social and cultural basis, and can apply this knowledge in his/her own architectural design- or research work.
  • has advanced aesthetic and technical understanding and can apply this knowledge in own architectural work or in research articles.
  • has advanced experiential knowledge of the relationship between architectural representations at different levels of abstraction, and built architecture, cities and towns that are in use over time.
  • has advanced knowledge about bioclimatic design, passive climatization strategies, life cycle assessment, zero emission buildings, and Integrated energy design.


The candidate…

  • is able to give form to architecture and/or neighbourhoods at a high international architectural level through artistic and scientific investigations, concept development, and architectural design in relevant formats
  • is able to structure and develop a scientific research work relating to state of the art knowledge and ongoing research activities.
  • is trained in the use of architectural methods, tools and expressions, and can apply these in architectural design, urban design and/or research, in a targeted, professional and experimental manner.
  • is able to critically assess and recognise quality in architectural works, cities, projects and urban plans, including in his/her own work, and make use of such assessments in his/her own architectural work.

General competence:

The candidate...

  • takes independent responsibility for his/her own learning and professional development and is able to apply his/her knowledge in new fields.
  • is able to reflect critically and ethically on his/her own architectural design or research work, create new frameworks for understanding, and depart from conventions after critical consideration.
  • is able to communicate architectural work, both design and research, including his/her own and others work to specialists as well as to the general public at a professional level and in an academic context.
  • relates his/her professional competence and involvement to key societal issues.
  • can independently and critically use the knowledge acquired throughout the master programme in research or architectural design projects.

Learning methods and activities

Individual work with guidance from a supervisor. Workshops and intermediate group presentations accompany the process.

Further on evaluation

The master's thesis can be done:

1) Individually

2) In groups of two students with individual assessment

3) In groups of two students with a common assessment.

All students have the right to complete the Master thesis individually. In the assignment type 2, each student's contribution needs to be clearly identifiable. Students are allowed to choose assignment type 2 or 3 provided that they themselves organize the group and that the supervisor for the group approves this.


As a general rule, the master's thesis must be written in English. Norwegian as language can exceptionally be used, upon application to the program leader and upon agreement with the student's supervisor.

All candidates are required to submit a master thesis contract with their main supervisor before starting the master project. In the case of a group assignment, the partnership will be noted in this contract.

An external sensor will read and go through the delivered material in the weeks between the delivery date and the final presentation.

In presenting their work students can follow a standard outline including a brief introduction of the topic, including a brief state of the art analysis, an explanation of the thesis scope and the methodologies used for reaching results that are presented and discussed before the conclusion.

During the exam, the moderator will ask the external sensor to start an academic discussion in dialogue with the student, involving the internal sensor and other teachers. The sensors should provide feedback on the students work and give him/her the possibility of replying to concerns and questions related to the work.

After the presentations, external and internal sensors will meet to discuss and grade the thesis. Both sensors determine the grade together, but the external sensor has the last word. The external sensor is responsible for writing a small feedback and justification for the grade given.

The evaluation committee adopts the NTNU grading scale in the evaluation.

Specific conditions

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Sustainable Architecture (MSSUSARC)

Required previous knowledge

All required courses in the previous semesters in the MSc programme in sustainable architecture must have been passed (90 ECT). The faculty may accept that a maximum of one courses of 7.5 ECTS that course is not considered essential for starting the work with the master thesis.

Course materials

NTNU master thesis templates and other material helping in conducting a master's thesis

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  30.0 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2024

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Architectural Design, History and Technology
  • Architecture


Examination arrangement: Master thesis

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn UTS Master thesis 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Master thesis 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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