Detailed course description and requirements
The degree of ‘Master of Science in Architectural Engineering' aims at educating people who can practice architecture and technology both in the professional as well as in the academic world. The academic degree is embedded within BRUFACE (Brussels Faculty of Engineering) and it is characterised by a close relationship with the scientific research. The programme prepares students for a wide range of job profiles such as architectural and structural engineer, construction management, project manager or leader, consultant, employee or executive in an architectural or engineering office, supervisor of the built heritage, policy maker for urban planning, scientific researcher and others.
More specifically the programme of ‘Master of Science in Architectural Engineering' aims for an advanced level of knowledge and analysis in scientific work in general and in the field of engineering and architectural sciences in particular, the acquisition of a broad scientific training in the creative and inventive approach to the basic sciences, engineering sciences and architecture, and the adoption of an attitude of lifelong learning.
The programme aims to develop general skills in the field of communication (graphic and linguistic skills), social skills (teamwork and social awareness), academic skills (reasoning, critical reflection and logical thinking based on the principle of free inquiry) and professional skills (organization and management, leadership, problem solving, delegating).
The main objective is to implement the interaction between the architectural and engineering culture through architectural design.
The learning outcomes relate to the reasoning, evaluation and communication, with the additional capacity for synthesis and imagination. The project serves as a reference and focal point in the use of specific knowledge to provide an architectural solution at the level of architectural design, structural design and urban planning. The architectural concept requires professional ingenuity and mutual influence of the sciences in architecture and engineering. Given the interdisciplinary nature of architectural design, it requires intervention in a social context and communication between various parties such as designers, experts, clients, administration, residents and users.
It is expected that appropriate knowledge can be brought to a synthesis through design strategies. These design strategies should lead to an executable architectural project that is based on ecological, social, societal, economic and political arguments. Design strategies comprise three core competencies: (1) design: the creation and renovation of the built and non-built space, development of processes of change; (2) execute: designing systems that lead to socially adequate solutions in the realisation of artifacts and buildings, materialising the designed systems and thinking in concepts of performance, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
This implies the ability to direct or coach construction teams and the independent drawing up of implementation strategies, (3) research: the study of the social relevance of the building and the built environment. This includes the analysis of the cultural significance, the ethical value and sustainable environment in the past, present and future. This is based on several routes in the architectural thinking, formulating a problem, the independent acquisition and processing of theoretical understanding, the ability to do data research, process knowledge in terms of an objective and formulate a response to the architectural problem at hand. Experience in research by design is a prerequisite.
The subject-specific minimum requirements are acquiring basic knowledge in the involved disciplines: architectural sciences, engineering and design: (1) the architectural sciences involve the knowledge of the history of architecture, architectural theory, the social context in which an artifact is created and critical interpretation of the architectural discourse; (2) in terms of engineering it involves the knowledge of construction methods and technologies, as well as more specialised knowledge for calculating and simulating all technical aspects related to the execution of an artifact, ranging from acoustics, stability of the structure, foundation engineering, building physics, heating, lighting, material properties, the use of new materials and lightweight structures, reuse and renovation of existing structures and the design of structures with a transformation capacity; (3) for the design it is expected that the student acquires knowledge and methods to integrate this extensive knowledge and resources and to communicate and integrate them in space and time.
The following competencies are required: understanding, creative application of knowledge, critical reflection on existing knowledge and the generation of new knowledge. Additionally, the following skills are required: (1) ability to reason and argue in a logical manner; (2) spatial and historical awareness at different scales and in a context that bridges the gap between history and future developments; (3) social skills, attitude of lifelong learning, dialogue, awareness of teamwork as a critical catalyst and source of innovation in a multidisciplinary context; (4) scientific attitude that aims to achieve a balance between deep and pragmatic knowledge, between horizontal expansion and vertical deepening; (5) being able to formulate a problem statement and subject it to scrutiny.
These skills are acquired through academic, professional, social and reflective integration. Attitude formation involves the ability to relate to both personal character as well as to a societal challenge. Being able to take responsibility in order to contribute to sustainable transformations in a rapidly evolving society based upon strategic insight is an important objective.
The above criteria are linked to the list of learning outcomes to accomplish as stipulated in the European directive 855/CEE/384 of 21/08/1985. The programme consists of a fixed number of compulsory courses and a number of optional courses. The assessment of learning outcomes is done through log and portfolio evaluation and the successful completion of a master thesis in the second year. In this master thesis it is requested to realise a synergy between a research study and an architectural design.