Teaching methods

A module is a “package” comprising several classes that cover related content.All parts must be completed; students are awarded an average grade (“cumulative”) or they complete a final examination. Each module has a number (B01 etc.). A module may take place over one or two semesters.
Design projects
The design projects are at the heart of the study of architecture and related disciplines. They take various forms and provide students, working individually or in groups, with an opportunity to put the knowledge they have acquired into practice, and to acquire analytical and design skills. Design project work also includes improvisation exercises. At least three design topics, of which one must be completed in the area of urban planning, are offered. Each student taking the Master’s programme must produce a design in the area of building construction and one in urban planning during the first year of study. A design project is usually worth 12 credit points, i.e. 360 hours of work.
Students following the Bachelor’s programme are gradually introduced to the completion of highly complex design tasks using this form of instruction. Design tutorials usually encompass a few ‘small’ room schedules and focus on an individual aspect or a relatively superficial level of presentation. Tutorials are also provided in subjects covered by non-design departments, such as tutorials on drawing, statics calculation and the development of load-bearing structures.
The basic transfer of knowledge takes place in weekly lectures, the content of which is then tested either in tutorials or in final examinations. With the exception of the interdisciplinary lecture series for Master’s students, attendance at lectures is not generally compulsory.
Seminars are provided in both compulsory and optional subjects. Depending on the subject group, a seminar may combine lectures and presentations and written papers or small design projects.
Compulsory subjects
Compulsory subjects provide specific in-depth knowledge of the course subjects, systematically develop knowledge and skills, and, by incorporating all subject groups, define the particular profile of the Master’s degree course.
Optional subjects
The optional subjects give students the option of studying areas that relate to their particular interests and skills in detail. In the spirit of providing a comprehensive university education, students in Darmstadt are encouraged to select subjects covered by different faculties. At least one course offered by a different faculty must be chosen, with a maximum of three from a single faculty or external provider. The optional subjects may also involve research-based learning, i.e. participation in research and development studies.
An improvisation is a very basic design produced in a short time with a strong focus on the concept. It is intended to foster the development of design rigour in the students.
Excursions both within and outside Germany are frequently combined with other forms of teaching – often as a prelude to a design project or conclusion of a seminar. They involve subject-related projects carried out on site and often involve further work and completion on return to the university.