The masters thesis is the modern equivalent of the medieval apprentice’s journeyman’s piece: it shows what the student has learnt. It combines a design project, which includes research work, with related areas of art, the humanities and social and natural sciences. At the end of the course, students can demonstrate their newly acquired abilities and competencies independently and in depth, and apply these concretely to a complex architectural project. Each student frames a question on an architectural theme and then spends a semester scrutinising and pursuing it strategically. The student is responsible for each step, from analysis to implementation, the inclusion of elements of research, the final presentation and the involvement of external experts.
The thesis requires an entire semester for full-time students. Part-time students may extend this to one year. The theme is formulated autonomously by the student, is refined with input from lecturers and anchored with a binding timetable. Students start to look for suitable themes and issues and tackle the basic texts and methods in the Profile Search modules from the very beginning of the course. During the rest of the course, this search is part of the continuous preparation for the final thesis.