One-Year Postgraduate Programme


SAC’s Advanced Architectural Research Programme (AARP) offers students with an advanced standing to spend one year conducting in-depth, advanced research on a select topic related to architectural design.  ​The AARP researchers conduct their work under the principle and close guidance of the candidate’s chosen, main advisor among the SAC faculty. To be accepted to the programme, applicants must present a research proposal that must be adopted by the main advisor. This may include admission to the programme pending revisions to the research proposal.

AARP offers unique opportunities for acquiring advanced, architectural expertise for careers in practice and/or academia. Over the last few years, the need for such expertise has increased exponentially in architecture and shows no sign of abating. While partly driven by an intense influx to architecture of processual, material and constructional technologies, the situation also presents an acute call for reasserting architectural design agendas in the midst of this technological incursion. SAC's AARP provides this opportunity.

AARP is specifically tailored to equip its candidates with higher qualifications for applying to PhD programmes, which in their competitive nature, require candidates to be equipped with individual research and disciplinary knowledge and skills. AARP provides this on the basis of practical research combined with theoretical training and endows its graduates with the necessary abilities to carry out independent research and become experts within their chosen area of interest.

While open to applicants with a Master degree in architecture or the equivalent, AARP specifically offers its most recent graduates a unique opportunity to extend a personal research commitment in architecture and pursue this with intense, personal guidance and consultancy from SAC faculty members and specialists within SAC’s academic, research and professional network.

Upon the successful completion of the programme, the research candidate is awarded SAC’s Advanced Architectural Research Programme Certificate.


AARP tutelage takes place on a bi-weekly basis and provides continued theoretical and practical training that includes advanced technical training in research methodology and appropriate technical and design methods.

The development of the research is monitored by the main advisor and SAC’s Research Committee which comprises SAC’s Programme Director and its specialisation leaders. The candidate is encouraged to establish the closest possible links for consultancy to all of SAC’s faculty, reflecting the idea of the integrated expertise that defines the programme. The progress of the research is monitored in bi-monthly reviews attended by the candidate, her or his main advisor and members of SAC’s Research Committee. The reviews can include external advisors or consultants when the research calls for it.

Pending the nature of the research, the work may be conducted in collaboration with an associated architecture or engineering firm or an institute at another university. The candidate may spend up to three months of the year in the associated firm or institution. The visiting research position is un-paid and shall contribute directly to the research. In each individual case, a research internship depends on an agreement between the research candidate, SAC and the firm or institution in question. SAC’s supplies an extended network of collaborators that AARP researchers can draw on for association to an external firm or institution. Pending the nature of the specific research projects, SAC will actively promote research collaborations and research internships.


AARP candidates must deliver and present a research portfolio at the end of the academic year. The precise content and structure of this are defined by the candidate in collaboration with the main advisor.
In addition to the portfolio of work, the candidate must deliver a written paper, 8.000 words long, reporting the research process and the findings in an appropriate format.
The candidate is encouraged to write scientific papers during and after the research period and submit these for publication and presentation at peer-reviewed journals and conferences.


At the end of the one-year research period, a public review takes place in conjunction with SAC’s Master thesis reviews.
​The candidate presents her or his research and findings to the review panel. The review of the research and its results is conducted by SAC’s Research Committee with, at least, one invited member.


The cost of participating in the programme equals SAC’s tuition fee for the academic year in question. For 2016-17 this is €7.500. Costs of materials and equipment come in addition to the tuition fee.
Research periods as a visiting fellow in associated firms and/or institutions will incur additional costs.

SAC will make every effort and provide assistance for the candidate to apply for grants to finance the research. In addition there may exist opportunities to integrate the research in other, funded research projects, thus aiding the candidate in meeting with tuition and living costs. However, SAC does not provide financial aid nor any guarantee that external financial aid will be available for a candidate.


To apply to AARP, one must present a research proposal to SAC naming the preferred main advisor amongst SAC faculty. The research proposal is reviewed by SAC's Research Committee and, if conditionally approved, passed on to the designated advisor. The proposal may at this point be returned to the applicant with requests for revision. Revised proposals must be re-submitted for final acceptance.

If accepted to the programme, the candidate works with her or his main advisor to elaborate and detail the research programme in an appropriate manner. Upon acceptance to the programme, the research period lasts one academic year and culminates with the final presentation during the End-of-Year Reviews at SAC in July.