Burgdorf offers studios in two
focus areas


Focus area Architecture & Wood
Constructive design with renewable resources


With its focus area Architecture & Wood, the Master program in Architecture from the Bern University of Applied Sciences occupies a unique position in Switzerland's higher education landscape. The course of studies benefits from close proximity to the domain Wood of the Bern University of Applied Sciences in Biel, which enjoys an internationally distinguished reputation for its research and teaching.

Architecture & Wood is much more than mere wood architecture. The focus area Architecture & Wood – constructive design with renewable resources – will explore questions of sustainable construction and, using the example of wood, will search for future-oriented architectonic solutions. In addition to structural, technical and material aspects, we will also consider spatial, atmospheric and social features.

Three topics characterise a semester each:

  • Renovating Existing Structures, in its project work, focuses strongly on contextual approaches and on a constructive and dialogic design of the existing structures and new interventions.
  • Space und System deals with spatial design and perception as well as complex hybrid construction, using digital planning & design and manufacturing processes.
  • Construction and Craft completes the broad spectrum of the focus area and allows students to test their designs with 1:1-prototypes – as both analogue handiwork and digital construct.

Regional, trans-disciplinary and international cooperation form a hotbed for exciting projects of curious students of architecture.


Focus area Architecture & Areal
Conceptual design in the built environment


The focus area Architecture & Areal of the Master program in Architecture will tackle one the most pressing concerns of future designers and architects. The course of studies is based on the manifold areas of expertise of the faculty of Architecture in the fields of spatial planning and urban design, real estate project development and sustainability. Current research topics will be addressed together with the Institute for Urban Development and Infrastructure, in particular the area of competence Dencity – Urban Development and Mobility.

Three topics characterise one semester each:

  • Renovating Existing Structures focuses on the contextual design in built space, on integral analyses of location and on aspects of monument renovation.
  • Space and Infrastructure deals with the interface of spatial-urban and infrastructural buildings as well as with participation and planning processes.
  • Areal Development seeks sustainable strategies amongst the tensions generated by space, society and the market.



If desired, the course of studies may be completed with a supplement in one of the focus areas Architecture & Wood or Architecture & Areal. The supplement requires 70 ECTS of the total 120 ECTS.

Students choosing a supplement may attain the required ECTS for example as follows:

  • 2 supplement-oriented design studios (26 ECTS)
  • 2 supplement-oriented theory seminars or optional modules (6 ECTS)
  • 1 module Profile Search (2 ECTS)
  • Thesis preparation (8 ECTS)
  • Master Thesis (28 ECTS)

For the remaining 50 ECTS, students can freely select the modules from among those offered by the three partner universities in Burgdorf, Fribourg and Geneva as well as from the Erasmus-Program of the European Union.

The Master Program can also be completed without the choice of a focus area. Attending the modules of both focus areas will result in a thorough thematic exploration of the topic of architecture.