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PhD in Architecture
The programme leading to a PhD degree at the Royal Danish Academy of fine Arts, School of Architecture, is set up with the purpose of training researchers within the field of architecture at international level in interplay with the international research world.
The PhD degree in architecture is awarded to candidates who have successfully completed a PhD programme, and have demonstrated, through a publicly defended dissertation, a capacity to carry out a scientific project involving independent use of scientific methodologies and hereby furthering research at the level equivalent to the international standard of PhD degrees within the field of architecture. The programme is aimed at meeting present and future needs for researchers to carry out scientific work and teaching tasks at universities and private and public institutions.
The PhD programme is corresponding to three years full-time study, equivalent to 180 points in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). It is however possible to make an agreement for part-time studies, normally not less than half-time studies.
A PhD project at the School of Architecture must be related to the field of architectural research and the PhD dissertation must meet international standards for results carried out as an academic discipline within the framework of a doctoral education. It is necessary to distinguish between the architectural practise on the one hand, and research as an academic discipline relevant for a PhD study, on the other. Doctoral studies are aiming at making the student able to carry out research in the field of architecture in relation to the established norms for scientific academic work. The educational background and creative and innovative competence of the professional architect is valuable in a lot of scientific work, but it is necessary to underline that the artist or the architect when solving architectural problems is not obliged to explain himself or to relate his work to the existing stock of knowledge.
Admission to the PhD programme
Admission to a PhD programme is based on a Master's degree course. The applicant must have attained the professional expertise necessary to complete a research education in the field of architecture.
Enrolment as a PhD student has to be financed by:
a scholarship financed by the School of Architecture announced as either a pre-specified topic, or a topic chosen freely by the applicant, or
a national or international scholarship, or
a scholarship co-financed by one or more external parties with or without participation of the School of Architecture
Financing by the School of Architecture
PhD scholarships financed by the School of Architecture are allocated on the basis of a public announcement. The School of Architecture covers costs of salaries, supervision, education, office and running expenses, including fees for courses, travel, short and long term stays at other institutions, assessment and printing of the dissertation.
Scholarships financed by external parties
Enrolment on the basis of externally financed scholarships is either announced publicly or approved by the Board of Research by application if the student already has been allocated the necessary resources by external parties. The School of Architecture has in any case to approve a PhD plan and to be able to offer adequate supervision. Externally financed PhD students are yearly charged a fee of DKK 126.000.00 (2004). The fee is to cover education, supervision, office and running expenses, including costs of courses, travel, short term stays at other institutions, assessment and printing of the dissertation. The fee can be reduced if a PhD student covers some of the costs or is applying for a short term enrolment at the school - fees for guest PhD students are typically reduced to DKK 53.000 per year (2004). However the School of Architecture always has to ensure that adequate resources are present and equal conditions exist for all PhD students.
Co-financing by agreement between two or more parties
Enrolment and financing can take place in a co-financing agreement between external parties with or without participation of the School of Architecture. If the School of Architecture does not participate students are normally employed by one of the external parties.
Applications are to be sent to:
Kunstakademiets Arkitektskole
att: Rektor
Philip de Langes Alle 10
1435 København K
Applications have to be received in accordance with the deadline indicated in the announcement. Applications arriving later will not be considered. Applications for enrolment on the basis of external financing are not subject to specific deadlines and will be continuously evaluated by the Board of Research.
Application requirements
Applications have to be written in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish or English. There is no application form. The applicant must provide information in accordance with the announcement in order to make it possible to assess the relevance of the project. Especially whether it is possible to provide relevant courses and supervision.
An application must include:
a project description giving account for subject, problem and area of study, as well as hypotheses and method expected to be used, and the anticipated results. Max. 12.000 characters, approx. five A4 pages, including spacing and notes.
an interim time schedule and study plan
a curriculum vitae, max. en A4 page
a list of publications
copies of relevant examination certificate(s)
If relevant, the following information can be enclosed:
special requirements for equipment and/or facilities
budget requirements for travel and stays at other research institutions
requests for specific supervisors
copies of recommendations or the like
In case of external financing the following information must be enclosed:
information of potential external financing – if a contract is already in place, documentation must be included.
The above mentioned documents have to be posted in five copies.
If relevant, one copy of books, projects, models etc can be enclosed and will be returned.
Assessment and enrolment of applicants
For the assessment of internal and co-financed scholarships, an expert committee consisting of two members, professors or full time associate professors, will assess the qualifications of the applicants. Another committee typically consisting of the leader of the relevant research institute and a professor or associate professor representing the chosen field of research will on the basis of the assessment of the expert committee make a recommendation to the Rector Applicants with external financing are assessed by the Board of Research. The recommendations made by the board must be approved by the Rector. The applicants chosen are given letters of enrolment. Any special agreements on financing or fees will be attached as appendices.
Appointment of supervisors
The Board of Research provides for each PhD student a principal supervisor among the professors or full time associate professors and a project supervisor (if suitable the same person), as well as one or more project supervisor(s) for the PhD student. The project supervisors should have similar qualifications in their specific areas of expertise and can be found externally. The PhD student can ask for a specific supervisor in their application or during the course of studies, but final decisions are made by the Board of Research.
Course participation
PhD students enroled at the School of Architecture are expected to join courses and other educational programmes equivalent to half a year - 30 ECTS points - during their PhD education. In addition to participation in the school’s own courses, the student is supposed to take part in courses and seminars according to the individual PhD plan.
Basic PhD courses
A basic PhD course at the School of Architecture is normally given every year. The School of Architecture is co-operating with a number of doctorate schools at other universities:
• KLIK - Forskerskolen for Kultur, Litteratur og Kunstfag - The Copenhagen Doctorate School in Cultural Studies, Literature and the Arts
• KAF - Kulturarvens Forskerskole - The Doctorate School of Cultural Heritage
• Forskerskolen ved Arkitektskolen Aarhus - Doctoral School at Aarhus School of Architecure
The learning aim of the basic courses is to give a fundamental insight into the following topics:
philosophy and aesthetics
theory of science and methodology
architecture and the context of architecture
The course modules are developed through literature studies, lectures and seminars and incorporate presentations by the students. Teaching is normally in Danish, but several courses and seminars offered by doctorate schools are given in English.
Individual courses
The individual or project specific course programme is decided upon in agreement with the supervisors and the party responsible for the school research courses, and is approved by the principal supervisor and incorporated into the study programme in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System. Where the courses do not have an ECTS specification, the principal supervisor will make an estimate. The supervisors and the doctorate school will be of assistance in the identification of relevant project specific courses.
Semiannual evaluation
The progress of the PhD student is assessed every six months to ensure the student meets the requirement of the PhD plan and, if necessary, in order to make adjustments to the plan. The assessment is based upon a report from the principal supervisor and the PhD student’s notes on activities within the six-month time frame. Periods of illness or approved leaves are taken into consideration. In the case of co-operative agreements with other institutions or companies, a copy of the approved report will be forwarded to the applicable parties. A PhD student not able to meet the requirements of the PhD plan will be given a three months period to retrieve the situation. However this does not result in an extension to the project deadline. Alternatively, the enrolment is terminated. In addition, enrolment can be terminated if the PhD student does not comply with the regulations stipulated by the School of Architecture and/or those established by agreements on study regarding other institutions or companies.
The School of Architecture informs the employer, if any, about the dismissal of the student.
The PhD dissertation
Upon completion of the study, the PhD student submits a dissertation for assessment. PhD dissertations can only be accepted for assessment if the PhD plan has been satisfactorily completed as stated by the principal supervisor.
The dissertation may include articles previously published or to be published in scientific journals, but the material must be presented in a form suitable for assessment. The dissertation has to be written in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish or English. Following submission, and the termination of enrolment, students no longer have the right to use facilities at the school and borrowed equipment must be returned.
Awarding the PhD degree
The assessment committee
Immediately after the PhD dissertation has been submitted the School of Architecture appoints an expert assessment committee of three professors, full-time associate professors or persons with corresponding academic qualifications. One of the members is appointed by the School of Architecture to chair the committee. At least two of the members must come from outside the school, preferable from the international community of architectural researchers.
The preliminary assessment of the PhD dissertation
Before the public defence can take place, the expert committee must submit a preliminary recommendation as to whether the dissertation fulfils the requirements for the award of a PhD degree. In case the recommendation is negative the committee has to decide whether or not to give the student a possibility to make a major revision of the dissertation within a period of at least three months.
The public defence
The PhD dissertation shall be defended publicly. Time and place for the defence are decided when the assessment committee has made its preliminary recommendation no later than four months after submission of the dissertation. The dissertation is open to the public at least two weeks before the defence at the public research library at the School of Architecture.
The award of the PhD degree
Immediately after the public defence, the assessment committee shall make its recommendation as to whether the PhD degree should be awarded or not. Based upon the recommendation of the committee the School Council makes the final decision as to the awarding of the PhD degree. The PhD degree is awarded on the basis of a positive recommendation by at least two members of the assessment committee. If only one of the members recommends the award it may be decided by the Council that the dissertation is to be assessed by a new assessment committee if the author so requests within a period of at least one week.
The final decision of the Council can be expected within no more than five month from the submission of the PhD dissertation providing the preliminary assessment given by the committee is positive.
PhD diploma
The School of Architecture issues a PhD diploma of the award of the PhD degree. The diploma is written in Danish and English and contains information about the title and the members of the assessment committee.
PhD students who are not recommended for the award of the PhD degree will be given a certificate stating the satisfactorily completed parts of the PhD study programme as well as the ECTS points achieved for these.

Royal Danish Acad. of Fine Arts
6 Semesters
€ 0
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