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MAS ETH ARCH Course Program

Since the Fall Semester 1992/93, the Faculty of Architecture has been offering Post-Graduate Studies in Architecture (NDS [Nachdiplomstudium] Architektur) and since 2004/05 a Master of Advanced Studies in Architecture (MAS ETH ARCH/Housing).

The MAS ETH ARCH/Housing programme has been offered in individual form since WS 1992/93; since WS 2000/01 it has been directed by Prof. D. Eberle and the lecturer S. Gysi. Beginning with the 2008/09 academic year, the MAS ETH ARCH/Housing programme has been directed by Prof. D. Eberle and the lecturer Dr. M. Glaser.
Since WS 2003/04, it has been implemented in classes with 8-10 students. Thus far, 63 international students have participated in the Housing programme. The programme is based on one year of full-time study.

The two-semester elective lecture course Housing or the seminar Housing in the Cultural and Social Context of Urban Development represents the link with MAS ETH ARCH/Housing programme.



Prof. Dietmar Eberle
Dr. Marie Glaser
Søren Linhart


Teaching and Learning Objectives

The MAS ETH ARCH/Housing programme is designed to train architects to become critical experts in the socially relevant market segment of housing. As communicators, they become competent in cross-discipline collaboration between the academic field and actual practice. The MAS programme's interdisciplinary approach leads to an understanding of the complex cultural, social, technical, and economic connections in the field of residential architecture. This is achieved by means of the staffing of the teaching team (architecture, cultural studies). The programme connects the subfields of housing and urban and housing development.
With the background of an introduction derived from theory but with a praxis-oriented method, the job-related abilities and skills of the students are extended and deepened in discussions and collaboration in the areas of conceptualising, analysing, interpreting, implementing and written and oral communication.
The course of study is not designed to produce generalists – rather, issues addressed and the methods used by the students should be generalist and interdisciplinary. This ensures the qualitative advantages of a cross-disciplinary approach.


Audience and Admission Requirements

The MAS ETH ARCH/Housing programme is intended for graduates with a university degree or an equivalent level of education in the field of architecture or fields relevant to housing. Professional experience and proof of in-depth consideration of housing issues are required.

Language requirements: German B1, English B2
As a rule, lectures at the Faculty of Architecture are given in German.


Duration and scope of the course of study

The MAS ETH ARCH/Housing programme begins in the Fall Semester. The courses are held on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the semester. The course of studies includes a total of approximately 600 hours of supervised events and the MAS final project.


Didactic Principles

The MAS ETH ARCH/Housing programme focuses on knowledge and praxis. Various forms of learning are offered, such as knowledge transfer, self-study, knowledge exchange, discussions and practice lectures Students are expected to participate actively in courses. The amount of information conveyed should be secondary to self-defined, task-oriented, cooperative learning.


Teaching Programme

The MAS ETH ARCH/Housing is divided into four modules:

The individual modules include:

Individual guidance from the team can also be arranged during university vacations.


Additional Offerings

The semester week on issues of urban development and housing, organised by D. Eberle's chair during the Fall Semester, is an integral part of the MAS Housing programme. MAS students are required to participate. Participation in one Seminar Week in the Spring Semester is recommended for MAS students. Students are free to choose the organiser and destination.

The Faculty of Architecture, the other faculties of the ETH, the Collegium Helveticum, the Universität Zürich and other universities in the city of Zurich have additional offerings which can chosen to meet students specific interests. We wish to call special attention to the elective subject offering of the Faculty of Architecture. Students are required to attend at least three additional one-semester lecture series or seminars of their choice.


About the Teaching Programmes

Lecture Course on Housing

This weekly two-hour lecture course offered as part of studies for a diploma or Bachelor's/Master's degree provides the basic material for the four modules. General conditions, examples and major players, primarily represented the Swiss context, are discussed and placed in the international context as far as possible.


In the seminar, the topics covered in the lectures are explored in greater depth thematically, expanded to cover additional standpoints and placed in the context of circumstances and examples from abroad. The objective is to encourage exchange and collaboration among the students: in small groups, they analyse texts selected each module. They give an oral presentation of and commentary on the texts, provide written summaries and lead the discussion that follows.
In two meetings, current elective subject projects are presented by the elective subject students.


In the workshops, proposals for and interim reports on MAS projects are discussed with Prof. D. Eberle or external experts. The objective is to supplement the stances and competencies of the team and provide students with additional input to provide them direction. The MAS projects are discussed individually and in comparison on the level of method and of content.


The guidance consists of the working method, individual guidance and group guidance.

The objective of the working method is the introduction to research practices and the most important instruments and methods for qualitative social research.

The objective of individual guidance is to support the students with both content and methodology as they conceptualise, implement, write up and design their MAS final projects and to provide access to relevant sources. These meetings are scheduled with the team by individual appointment.

The objective of group guidance is to reflect on the material presented in the workshops, to discuss how to proceed and to provide general hints on the conception and methodology of the MAS projects.


The objective of the excursions is to get to know and learn to understand current examples of new or renovated residential buildings or neighbourhood open areas in their urban planning, economic and social context.

In addition two Seminar Weeks offered by the D-ARCH represent an integral component of the MAS ETH ARCH/Housing programme.

Study Groups

Study groups of two students each are formed for the duration of a semester. The goals are to encourage exchange and collaboration in a study group, to make one's own competencies available and to support one another in the learning process.


Measures of Achievement and MAS Final Project

Seminar presentations, lecture course certificates, interim results, the final presentation and the finished MAS final project serve as measures of achievement.

The thematic focus and form of the MAS final project are proposed by the students – e.g. reading or empirical (research) work, analysis and design proposal on an urban them. Methods appropriate to the selected focus – e.g. analyses of the literature or of data, interviews, observations, video recordings and designs come into play. The study topic can also be an autonomous contribution to one of the research focuses of the ETH Wohnforum - ETH CASE.


Degree Awarded

The requirements for awarding the Master of Advanced Studies ETH in Architecture, Specialising in Housing (MAS ETH ARCH/Housing), which is recognised and registered by the Swiss federal government are: successfully passing the measures of achievement, a minimum of 66 of the 72 ETCS credits listed in the Diploma Supplement and an approved MAS final project (Master's thesis).