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Architecture and Urban Design (B. A.)

Fachbereich STADT | BAU | KULTUR
Modell eines Gebäudes aus dem Studiengang Architektur und Städtebau

City architecture is the central theme of the degree program in architecture and urban design at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. Starting with architectural design, the bachelor's program teaches you technical and cultural fundamentals as well as design methods for responsible work as an architect. The  eight semester Bachelor's program provides for a close relationship between design, theory-history and design. The goal is to enable students to develop an independent critical and historically reflected architectural attitude towards the current topics and questions of today's architectural and urban development.

Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Type:
Full time
Course language:
German
Standard study period:
8 semesters full-time, incl. 10-week internship
Start of study:
Winter semester
Registration for the qualifying examination:
bis 15.07.
Application deadline:
25.05. – 15.07. (NC degree program)
Admission requirements:
General university entrance qualification/technical college entrance qualification/equivalently recognized prior vocational training, participation in the aptitude test
Credits:
240 ECTS credit points
Modulhandbücher & Ordnungen
The Study at a Glance

Design, Theory-History and Design

The bachelor's degree program in architecture and urban design provides for a close relationship between design, theory-history and design. The study enables you to develop an independent critical and historically reflected architectural attitude towards the current topics and questions of today's architectural and urban development. You will learn to develop a coherent design concept for a district or a building, taking into account all influencing factors. 

The aim of the first year of study is to define and convey the concepts of space, architecture and city in their fundamental meaning. In the second year of study, the focus is on the house with all its details, inside and out, as part of an urban whole and, conversely, on the urban structure as an assembly of urban houses. The third and fourth years of study each offer a wide range of design topics, which you are free to choose. 

International projects, workshops and interdisciplinary seminars round out the program. Between the 3rd and 4th year of study there is the possibility to complete an internship semester. We strive to promote exchange between universities through existing international contacts. A semester abroad can be integrated into the course of study.

Profile

Urban Architecture

City architecture is the central theme of teaching in the degree program Architecture and Urban Design. It is closely related to two leitmotifs of teaching: firstly, the strategy of building in, building on and rebuilding, and secondly, the complementary interrelationship of the city and the landscape.

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Tradition and Present

Potsdam and Berlin are still characterized by a classical understanding of architecture. At the same time, Berlin is the capital of classical modernism. The heritage of this tradition is not least the ideal of an overarching architectural order in the appearance of the buildings and the urban structure. To do justice to this heritage through a demanding teaching of architecture oriented to international standards is the common goal of all teachers in the department.

Design as Synthesis

Architecture is primarily neither construction technology nor construction planning, neither art nor social technology. Architecture is the art of synthesis. The architectural design as its result is equally the representation of a solution to a problem as well as an independent aesthetic product.

Thinking Path - Thinking Workshop

Just as the design thinking of architects is always directed at a plurality of references to existence and action, architecture and urban planning can only be taught in holistic structures.

Bachelor-Master

The program is divided into two phases, an eight-semester bachelor's program and a two-semester master's program.

Is this course of study a good fit for you?

Architects work very creatively. To study architecture and urban planning, you should have a basic interest in technical issues in addition to design skills and a spatial imagination. During your studies and in the working world, the ability to work in a team is one of the most important qualities, as many architectural projects are realized in a team and only succeed through a good exchange among the individual team members.  

Students Podcast

Mara and Nicole share insider knowledge about the course of study architecture and urban planning, explain the special features of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam and everything about the application and aptitude test.

Podcast of the Campus Specialists

Contact

The colleagues at the Central Student Advisory Service provide information to prospective students, first-year students, parents, teachers and students on all general questions concerning the study program. If you have specific questions or concerns about the Architecture and Urban Planning program, please contact the Student Advisory Service: architektur@fh-potsdam.de

Career prospects

Career Prospects

As a graduate in Architecture and Urban Design, you can expect a project-based working environment in which you will supervise the planning and construction of buildings and structures, depending on your specialist orientation. This can be done on a design level as well as on a functional, technical or economic level. 

Possible areas of application

  • Architecture firms
  • Planning offices
  • Town planning
  • (Interior) architecture firms
  • Property management
     
Study Contents

Course of Studies & Topics

The standard period of study for the full-time program in architecture and urban planning is eight semesters and concludes with a Bachelor of Arts degree. The Study Plan gives you a detailed overview.

 

1st – 3rd semester

Design and Representation, Design, Urban Planning, Construction, Engineering, Science, Law, History, Theory
4th – 5th semester Design and Representation, Design, Urban Planning, Construction, Engineering, Science, Law, History, Theory, Elective Module
6th semester Design and Representation, Design, Urban Planning, Construction, Engineering, Science, Law, History, Theory
7th semester

Design, urban planning, construction, engineering, science, law, history, theory, elective module

8th semester Engineering, Science, Law, Elective Module, Bachelor Thesis

The study of architecture in Potsdam focuses on the work and development of design from the very beginning. The aim of the first year is to define and convey the concepts of space, architecture and city in their fundamental meaning. In individual exercises, fundamental questions are opened up:

  • Architecture and identity
  • Construction and space
  • Design strategies - The fluid and the contained space
  • Space and the city
  • Figure and Ground 

The subjects of design accompany and complement this process. The subject Fundamentals of Design will reflect and deepen as a complementary questions of design.

Fundamentals of Free and Geometric Drawing and Fundamentals of Model Making will find their basis in two workshops introducing the study: Construction Recording Workshop and Model Making Workshop.

The analog approach in the first year of study aims to teach spatial imagination directly without intermediate abstracting steps and to work out aesthetic principles experimentally and playfully. Structural conceptual thinking forms the background of all activity.

Parallel to the introduction to the classical architectural history of antiquity in the subject History of Architecture and Urban Design, examples of architecture and texts of classical modernism are critically examined in the design studios and in the subject Fundamentals of Design. The goal here is to trace the roots of modernism back to antiquity and to discover and interpret the dependence and transformation of historical models in modernism.

In the second year of study, which begins with the design of a small townhouse and concludes with an urban design for an entire urban neighborhood, the goal is to convey the house with all its details (interior and exterior) as part of an urban whole and, conversely, the urban structure as an assembly of urban houses. The direct relationship between historical models and design is deepened via individual thematic focal points: 

  • The urban house in Europe
  • Construction and space
  • The urban structure
  • Urban space and urban life

The lecture "Elements of Urban Architecture" systematically prepares the subject of urban architecture in parallel with the design. Architectural theory and architectural history develop the historical and conceptual framework of the second year of study. The introduction of the history of garden art completes the historical focus.

Complementing the individual design topics, the subject of building construction develops constructive and material-oriented fundamentals and supports the practice-oriented design teaching of the course.

In the second year of study, there is a targeted transition from analog drawing techniques to the mastery of digital drawing methods. The aim is to achieve harmony and balance in the drawings beyond conventional forms of expression.

The 3rd and 4th years of study offer a broad spectrum of design topics. In addition to urban planning and construction emphases, designs are offered for public buildings, buildings for housing, building in a historical context/protection of historical monuments, and landscape designs. Students have free choice. They can choose their own focus and deepen it over several semesters, or they can take advantage of the wide range of offerings and learn about different design approaches.

The overarching and unifying goal of all design professors* is to deepen the idea of URBAN ARCHITECTURE. This means that in every case the urban integration of the building in the context is decisive for the development of a design. It also means a critical attitude towards classical modern urbanism and demands a further development beyond postmodern, reconstructive trends. For all professors, the European city with its wealth of different historical layers and spatial structures forms the basis of a generally binding teaching with regard to architecture and urban planning in Europe.

International projects, workshops and interdisciplinary seminars round out the program. The Potsdam University of Applied Sciences is one of the winners of the "Competition for Excellent Teaching, the joint initiative of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany and the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany. As part of the award-winning project "InterFlex-Promoting Interdisciplinarity and Flexibility to Integrate Research, Knowledge and Technology Transfer into Undergraduate Teaching," new forms of teaching and interdisciplinary engagement are being tested in courses at Potsdam UAS. The goal is to transfer selected and particularly successful teaching forms and methods of individual courses of study to the breadth of the university and to offer students and teachers the opportunity to experience "interculturality of subject cultures" in addition to their subject-specific orientation.

Practical semester

Between the 3rd and 4th year of study there is the possibility to complete a practical semester.

Semester abroad

The study program strives to promote exchange between universities through existing international contacts. A semester abroad can be integrated into the course of studies, among other things with the help of Erasmus scholarships.

After successful completion of the basic studies, students register for the bachelor thesis in the summer semester. The thesis involves working on a design topic chosen jointly for all students with a parallel thesis seminar. The topic, which is newly determined each year by the design professors, reflects conceptual and spatial ideas of the European city. The elaboration proceeds from the urban scale to the conceptual/constructive detail. In this final draft, the students work largely independently and are only supervised from time to time by the experts in a fixed rhythm. After their public presentation, the best works are shown in an annual exhibition.

Study Contents

Teaching Formats

Students have a choice of various lectures and seminars in the individual modules, in which they deal with individual topics in detail. An important part of the study program is also the learning of practical skills. This is realized in the study of architecture and urban planning in small study groups in the form of design work. Joint excursions, special lectures and interdisciplinary seminars round off the program and serve to broaden the students' horizons. 

  • Lectures and seminars in five modules
  • Draft work in small study groups
  • Lecture series "Thesis Lectures"
  • Individual and group consultations
  • Joint field trips
  • Interdisciplinary seminars at the university

Designing and Representing

In the Design and Representation module, students learn all the important craft techniques such as drawing but also model making. The practical training forms the basis for creating their own designs.

  • Fundamentals of design
  • Descriptive geometry
  • Architectural representation
  • Free drawing / nude drawing
  • Color theory
  • CAD
  • Film and photography

Design, urban planning and construction

The module area "Design, Urban Planning and Construction" provides basic knowledge on the subject of design.  Students learn which parameters play a role in the design of building drafts and should be taken into account. 

  • Historic preservation and building in the historic environment
  • Construction of space, type and context
  • Design and material identity
  • Constructing and structural order
  • Structural design - city
  • Landscape architecture and heritage gardening

Technology, science and law

In addition to the craft teaching and knowledge transfer in the field of construction, students also receive a basic education in the field of technology, science and law, such as the legal regulations around construction and also the physical, geological aspects that must be considered in the construction planning. 

  • Structural Engineering
  • Building technology
  • Construction maintenance/restoration, building recording/surveying
  • Building physics
  • Building materials technology/materials science
  • Planning and construction organization
  • Building law
  • Construction organization
  • Planning management
  • Establishing a business/entrepreneurial thinking

History, theory

In the History and Theory module, the field of architecture and urban design is viewed from a theoretical, scientific perspective and students gain insight into architectural history and theory. 

  • Theory
  • Architectural Theory
  • Architectural and urban planning history
  • Art history
  • Potsdam urban history
  • City development
  • Methods in historic preservation/history of historic preservation
  • Garden monument preservation
  • History of construction

General cultural basics

Architecture and urban planning are seen in a context with culture – it is precisely this that is examined in more detail in the module Cultural Foundations and students deal with sociological and cultural aspects.

  • Aesthetics/Theory
  • City Culture
  • Culture and regional development
  • Sociology
  • Life Culture
  • Communication/Presentation
  • Supplementary seminars from other colleges: arts, humanities, science, foreign languages, etc.

Elective module

You choose additional courses for individual focus from the individual modules. 

Internship

The study includes a ten-week internship, e.g. in an architectural office. 

Thesis

  • Independent writing of a bachelor thesis

Topics

The study of architecture in Potsdam focuses on the work and development of design from the very beginning. The aim of the first year is to define and convey the concepts of space, architecture and city in their fundamental meaning. In individual exercises, fundamental questions are opened up:

  • Architecture and identity
  • Construction and space
  • Design strategies - The fluid and the contained space
  • Space and the city
  • Figure and Ground 

The subjects of design accompany and complement this process. The subject Fundamentals of Design will reflect and deepen as a complementary issues of design.

Fundamentals of Free and Geometric Drawing and Fundamentals of Model Making will find their basis in two workshops introducing the study: Construction Recording Workshop and Model Making Workshop.

The analog approach in the first year of study aims to teach spatial imagination directly without intermediate abstracting steps and to work out aesthetic principles experimentally and playfully. Structural conceptual thinking forms the background of all activity.

Parallel to the introduction to the classical architectural history of antiquity in the subject History of Architecture and Urban Design, examples of architecture and texts of classical modernism are critically examined in the design studios and in the subject Fundamentals of Design. The goal here is to trace the roots of modernism back to antiquity and to discover and interpret the dependence and transformation of historical models in modernism.

In the second year of study, which begins with the design of a small townhouse and concludes with an urban design for an entire urban neighborhood, the goal is to convey the house with all its details (interior and exterior) as part of an urban whole and, conversely, the urban structure as an assembly of urban houses. The direct relationship between historical models and design is deepened via individual thematic focal points: 

  • The urban house in Europe
  • Construction and space
  • The urban structure
  • Urban space and urban life

The lecture "Elements of Urban Architecture" systematically prepares the subject of urban architecture in parallel with the design. Architectural theory and architectural history develop the historical and conceptual framework of the second year of study. The introduction of the history of garden art completes the historical focus.

Complementing the individual design topics, the subject of building construction develops constructive and material-oriented fundamentals and supports the practice-oriented design teaching of the course.

In the second year of study, there is a targeted transition from analog drawing techniques to the mastery of digital drawing methods. The aim is to achieve harmony and balance in the drawings beyond conventional forms of expression.

The 3rd and 4th years of study offer a broad spectrum of design topics. In addition to urban planning and construction emphases, designs are offered for public buildings, buildings for housing, building in a historical context/protection of historical monuments, and landscape designs. Students have free choice. They can choose their own focus and deepen it over several semesters, or they can take advantage of the wide range of offerings and learn about different design approaches.

The overarching and unifying goal of all design professors* is to deepen the idea of CITY ARCHITECTURE. This means that in every case the urban integration of the building in the context is decisive for the development of a design. It also means a critical attitude towards classical modern urbanism and calls for further development beyond postmodern, reconstructive trends. For all professors, the European city with its wealth of different historical layers and spatial structures forms the basis of a generally binding teaching with regard to architecture and urban planning in Europe.

International projects, workshops and interdisciplinary seminars round out the program. The Potsdam University of Applied Sciences is one of the winners of the "Competition for Excellent Teaching, the joint initiative of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany and the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany. As part of the award-winning project "InterFlex-Promoting Interdisciplinarity and Flexibility to Integrate Research, Knowledge and Technology Transfer into Undergraduate Teaching," new forms of teaching and interdisciplinary engagement are being tested in courses at Potsdam UAS. The goal is to transfer selected and particularly successful teaching forms and methods of individual courses of study to the breadth of the university and to offer students and teachers the opportunity to experience "interculturality of subject cultures" in addition to their subject-specific orientation.

Practicum

Between the 3rd and 4th year of study there is the possibility to complete a practical semester.

Semester abroad

.

The study program strives to promote exchange between universities through existing international contacts. A semester abroad can be integrated into the course of studies, among other things with the help of Erasmus scholarships.

After successful completion of the basic studies, students register for the bachelor thesis in the summer semester. The thesis involves working on a design topic chosen jointly for all students with a parallel thesis seminar. The topic, which is newly determined each year by the design professors, reflects conceptual and spatial ideas of the European city. The elaboration proceeds from the urban scale to the conceptual/constructive detail. In this final draft, the students work largely independently and are only supervised from time to time by the experts in a fixed rhythm. After their public presentation, the best works are shown in an annual exhibition.

In study

On the pages of the CITY | BUILDING | CULTURE Department you will find further useful information and documents about the study program bundled together, for example on the study organization, the course catalog and class schedules. In addition, our teaching and staff are presented there.

CITY | BUILDING | CULTURE Department

Qualifying Examination & Enrollment

Qualifying Examination & Enrollment

For the degree program Architecture and Urban Design (B. A.) the application is always possible from 25.05. to 15.07. to the next winter semester. Applications to a higher semester are possible until 15.07.
 

Admission Requirements

To enroll in the locally restricted admission bachelor's degree program in architecture and urban planning, you need a university entrance qualification in accordance with Brandenburgisches Hochschulgesetz.
This university entrance qualification comprises the general higher education entrance qualification or the advanced technical college entrance qualification or a previous professional training recognized as equivalent.
A further prerequisite for the study program is the participation in the architectural-artistic aptitude test. This is only possible after prior timely application in the online portal.

If you meet the entry requirements and have passed the aptitude test, you can apply via the MyCampus university portal of the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences. For this, please note the following, course-specific information:

Application

Application is made online in the MyCampus university portalof the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

Only in exceptional cases are additional documents to be submitted in paper form. For this, be sure to read your personal checklist, which is available at the end of the online application in the MyCampus university portal. This lists all the supporting documents that you must submit in paper form based on the information you provided in the online application. In addition, the checklist contains information on the rest of the procedure. To submit supporting documents, please use the supplementary sheet "Application documents to be submitted" on the last or penultimate page of the checklist.

For the online application as well as for the submission of documents, the date of the application deadline (receipt of mail at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam) applies.

Suitability test

The course-related architectural-design aptitude test consists of an aptitude interview based on the following documents:

  • Applicants Questionnaire for Suitability Interview
  • Letter of motivation (1/2 pages)
  • A portfolio with at least five of your own artistic works on paper or in the form of photographs (maximum DIN A3): spatial drawings, photographs with a focus on architecture / city / landscape, photographs of sculptural works / models 

For more information on the aptitude interview, please see our Invitation.

Rating

The criteria of evaluation of building artistic-design aptitude are artistic aptitude, aesthetic sensibility, spatial imagination, perceptual ability, representational ability and motivation.

If you have already successfully passed an aptitude test in the last two years, please contact studien-service@fh-potsdam.de 

Selection Procedure

Applicants who meet the admission requirements take part in the procedure for the allocation of study places.
In the allocation procedure for the first semester of study, the following are deducted in advance from the number of study places to be allocated:

  • All applicants who could not accept an earlier admission due to service and all applicants* with a membership in the national squad of a national sports federation of the German Olympic Sports Confederation
  • 11 % for applicants with a foreign university entrance qualification
  • 3 % for applicants for a second degree
  • 3 % for applicants to be considered according to hardship

The remaining study places are allocated 80 % according to the result of a university selection procedure and 20 % according to waiting time.

The study places in the university selection procedure are awarded according to the result of the aptitude test in accordance with Section 9 (3) of the Brandenburgisches Hochschulzulassungsgestz.

Approval

Following the university selection procedure, the award procedure is carried out. Applicants with a correspondingly high ranking will receive a time-limited offer of admission in the MyCampus university portal, which you must actively accept. After accepting the offer of admission, you will find your notification of admission in the MyCampus university portal. If you do not accept the offer of admission by the deadline, the ranking list will continue to be processed and the study place will be reallocated.

Enrollment

The enrollment application is submitted online in the MyCampus university portal of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam and must then be submitted in paper form together with the following documents:

  • University entrance qualification

If you need to submit any additional documents, please refer to the enrollment application. For the submission of documents, the day of the enrollment deadline (receipt by mail at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam) applies.

General information on application and enrollment procedures

There are various application procedures at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. General information on application and enrollment procedures as well as information on part-time studies, guest auditorships, and second degree studies can be found on the general application pages.

More information about the application

International applicants

You would like to apply for studies from the first or a apply for a higher semester and earned your high school diploma and/or college degree abroad? Then you can have degrees and achievements obtained abroad recognized and study with us.

International applicants

Contact