SABRE Output 1

Creating a European core curriculum for PhD education in Architecture and the Built Environment

Criticality in Research Criticality as Praxis

This output will develop a core curriculum for doctoral education in Architecture and the Built Environment by means of sharing existing courses among the partner universities, by using high quality courses from other European universities, and if necessary by adding new courses. This core curriculum however is not intended to become compulsory: instead it should be understood as complementary to what happens already. PhD students and schools/faculties can use just the particular elements they need, or they can use the whole package. To facilitate participation throughout Europe, we will rework the content of the courses into new and open formats. This will involve making an inventory, combining the best of the best, adding what is missing, and translating into open formats. In this way, the output will deliver a core curriculum for doctoral education in the field.

Schools/faculties of Architecture and the Built Environment generally provide sufficient suitable courses already in regard to transferable skills (i.e. general skills like presentation and writing skills, or personal development skills). This is not the case in terms of research skills and discipline-related skills. Due to a lack of critical mass (i.e. not enough PhD students), schools/faculties of architecture often struggle in providing their PhD students with dedicated research and discipline-related courses in doctoral education. And because students (and their supervisors) have often been mainly trained as designers, not as researchers, there is a particular strong need for courses about theory and research methodology. This need is felt in all of the partner universities that take part in this research proposal. This need however exists also at other schools/faculties in the field. Although the critical mass to offer such courses may be lacking at individual institutes, across Europe as a whole there is clearly sufficient demand. To address this broader demand is hence the explicit aim of this output. The aim is to offer new course material in open (digital) formats that will allow schools/faculties across Europe to participate in and use them. The output will also initiate a series of international seminars (PhD days) offering specific courses within a condensed timeframe, which will offer PhD students the opportunity to network.

Elements of innovation

This output will develop for a first time a core curriculum aimed at a European vision about PhD education in Architecture and the Built Environment. The output will convert existing course material into MOOC and joint-seminar formats that enables institutions to pool their existing courses into a shared European core curriculum.

Expected impact

It will create a robust course base for PhD candidates where else the critical mass is lacking, as well as increasing exchange between institutions and PhD candidates across Europe. The aim is that PhD students will benefit from the same courses, being offered the best that is available. We expect that our course offering will raise the quality bar across Europe, thereby meeting the needs of PhD students, higher education institutions and the requirements of quality assurance agencies for higher education.

Transferability potential

The output will be transferrable to all European institutions that are aiming to provide high-quality doctoral education curriculum in the field. The MOOCs are intended to be open courseware for PhD students, and the same MOOCs can be provided to industry and government employees, for instance as post-Masters awards, or other forms of training. Chalmers, ETH Zurich, TU Delft, and TU Munich are all edX members, and so we will use the edX platform to disseminate the MOOCs and associated courses.

Reports & Evaluations

Please click on the cover images to access the SABRE Output 1 reports
as open access publications or have a look at the Erasmus+ Project Results Platform.

The creation of these resources has been (partially) funded by the ERASMUS+ grant program of the European Union under grant no. 2017-1-DE01-KA203-003574. Neither the European Commission nor the project’s national funding agency DAAD are responsible for the content or liable for any losses or damage resulting of the use of these resources.