- Universities for Architecture: Which University is the Best?
- Studying Architecture without NC: Requirements at a glance
- Study contents of the Architecture degree programme
- Dual study programme in Architecture: Bachelor's degree & work experience at the same time
- Study Interior Design privately: Study contents & possibilities
- Distance learning in Architecture at the IU: Requirements, contents & costs
Architecture degree programmes are also attracting a great deal of interest at private universities. Unfortunately, there are currently only a few private universities of applied sciences that offer Bachelor's and Master's degrees in architecture, such as the IU International University of Applied Sciences, the SRH University of Applied Sciences Heidelberg and hochschule 21. Here, I present all of the attendance courses as well as part-time and dual study programmes.
In addition, I will show you all the options for studying Interior Design at private universities such as the AMD Academy Fashion and Design at Fresenius University of Applied Sciences or the Berlin International University of Applied Sciences.
Overview of all Courses
We have a total of 15 courses in the field of Architecture.
Universities for Architecture: Which University is the Best?
To date there are only few private universities that offer Bachelor's and Master's degrees in architecture. In addition to SRH Heidelberg, hochschule 21 and Alanus Hochschule with their full-time degree programmes, IU International University of Applied Sciences offers a part-time Bachelor's programme as well as a dual study programme in Architecture, which, however, only just started at the end of 2021 - so there's not much feedback on that yet.
Unfortunately, I can't give you a definite answer as to which university is the best for your architectural studies. But I recommend that you consider these criteria when choosing a university:
- Location: Where is the university located? IU is the only university that offers its degree programme at many different locations. Most of the other universities are located in rather small Cities or Towns in Germany, for example in Heidelberg or in Alfter.
- Study content: The study contents and possible specialisations should also be decisive in your decision for or against a degree programme. If necessary, also ask for the module handbooks. In the module handbook you will find the descriptions for the individual study modules as well as the examination forms with which the modules conclude.
- Cost: Of course, the costs are an important reason for deciding for or against a course of study. Particularly favourable: distance learning courses at private universities. Currently, for example, IU offers the only distance learning programme in architecture. On average, you will pay about 3000-5000 euros per semester at a private university.
Here is a brief portrait of the universities of applied sciences for architecture:
IU International University of Applied Sciences: With over 100,000 enrolled students (winter semester 2022/2023), IU is one of the largest private universities of applied sciences in Germany and the largest private distance learning university in Germany. The university is based in Erfurt, but IU also offers its campus study programmes in Berlin and many other locations in Germany. In addition to the campus programmes, the university offers more than 80 distance learning programmes as well as a variety of part-time and dual study programmes in all major cities in Germany. IU currently is the only German university to offer a distance learning programme in Architecture.
SRH University Heidelberg: SRH University Heidelberg is a private, state-recognised university of applied sciences based in Heidelberg. The university was founded in 1969, and in the winter semester 2019/2020 a total of 3,494 students were enrolled at the university. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, SRH Heidelberg also offers a Master of Arts in Architecture.
hochschule 21: hochschule 21 is a private, state-recognised university of applied sciences based in Buxtehude/Lower Saxony. The university was founded in 2005 and a total of 1,058 students were enrolled in winter semester 2019/2020. All degree programmes at hochschule 21 are dual degree programmes. In addition to dual study programmes in civil engineering and building services engineering, hochschule 21 also offers a dual Bachelor's degree in Architecture.
Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences: Alanus University is a state-recognised, private university of art and music based in Alfter/North Rhine-Westphalia. The university was founded in 1973, and in the winter semester 2019/2020 a total of 1,750 students were enrolled at the university. At its Faculty of Art and Architecture, the university offers, among other things, a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Architecture.
AMD Akademie Mode & Design: The AMD Akademie Mode & Design was founded in 1989. Since 2013, AMD has been part of the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences as the design department, making it the largest private presence university in Germany. Around 2,200 students were enrolled in the department in winter semester 2020/2021. The Bachelor and Master programmes are offered at a total of 5 locations, in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Düsseldorf and Wiesbaden. The university currently offers a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design.
Studying Architecture without NC: Requirements at a glance
There are no admission restrictions in the form of an NC for most of the Architecture degree programmes I present to you here. Some universities, such as the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences or hochschule 21, limit the size of the study groups, while other universities, such as the IU International University of Applied Sciences, accept unlimited participants.
All degree programmes require at least a higher education entrance qualification such as the Abitur. The following table lists the prerequisites for Bachelor's degree programmes in Architecture in detail:
|Study programme||University||Requirements||Numerus Clausus|
|Architecture, B.A. |
|SRH University Heidelberg|| ||no NC|
|Architecture, B.A. |
|Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences|| ||no NC|
|Architecture, B.A. |
|Berlin International University of Applied Sciences|| ||no NC|
Study contents of the Architecture degree programme
In the Architecture degree programme, you systematically deal with recording, designing, shaping and constructing our built environment. You learn how to plan, realise and modernise buildings. In current degree programmes, you will also deal with topics such as smart building or sustainable building.
When choosing your Architecture degree programme, you should take a closer look at the course content. There are module handbooks for all degree programmes, which you can request from the student advisory service of the respective university. The module handbooks list all modules in detail and also show the type of examination with which the modules are completed.
The specialisations offered are also important. Compulsory electives enable you to set certain focal points during the Bachelor's programme and to work on topics according to your own personal interests.
In the following, I will show you a typical study plan in the study of architecture using the example of the B.A. Architecture at the IU International University of Applied Sciences:
- Semester 1: Building Construction - Fundamentals, Fundamentals of Building Materials, Representing: Fundamentals, Design: Residential Construction, Design: Fundamentals and Building Theory
- Semester 2: Introduction to scientific work, building physics, seminar: architectural theory, collaborative work, building history
- Semester 3: Intercultural and ethical action skills, Representing: Model making, construction business management, construction systems, project: concept and model design.
- Semester 4: Building Construction - Timber Construction, Illustrate: CAD, Design: Public Buildings, Building Construction - Finishing and Facade, Design: Office and industrial buildings
- Semester 5: Project: Housing concept, Urban planning, Project: Office and industrial building concept, Cost and schedule planning, Project: Cultural building concept
- Semester 6: Building technology, private and public building law, surveying, project: structural engineering and dimensioning, landscape planning
- Semester 7: Elective subject A, elective subject B, Bachelor thesis
In the course of your studies, you will delve into a total of two of these elective subjects: Interior Design, Facility Management, Architectural Competition and Public Relations, Interdisciplinary Professional Excursion, Building Information Modelling, Smart Building, Sustainable Building, Real Estate Law.
Dual study programme in Architecture: Bachelor's degree & work experience at the same time
A dual Bachelor's programme in Architecture is currently offered by two private universities: IU International University of Applied Sciences and hochschule 21. I will briefly introduce both programmes here.
IU International University of Applied Sciences
The dual Architecture degree programme at IU lasts a total of 7 semesters full-time and is offered at the following locations: Berlin, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne, Mannheim, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart. Those who do not have a location near them can also study via the so-called Virtual Campus - the courses then take place exclusively online. At most locations, the programme starts in the summer or winter semester.
The IU helps students find a suitable training company. To this end, the IU works together with numerous companies throughout Germany. Important to know: You do not necessarily complete vocational training with your practice partner. This means that in the dual study programme at IU you will not necessarily acquire a vocational qualification in addition to your Bachelor's degree.
Particularly interesting: Students in the dual study programme at IU do not pay tuition fees - the tuition fees are paid in full by the practice partner.
hochschule 21 offers a dual course of study in Architecture leading to a Bachelor of Engineering degree at its location in Buxtehude/Lower Saxony. The programme lasts a total of 8 semesters. The number of places is limited, applicants go through a three-stage admission procedure.
The university's practice partners are architecture and planning offices, building construction companies, project companies in the real estate industry and construction departments in companies and municipalities. The university looks for a fitting training company together with the students, so a training contract at the beginning of the programme is not a prerequisite.
After two years of professional experience, the Bachelor's degree in Architecture DUAL from hochschule 21 qualifies for entry in the list of architects (chamber eligibility).
Study Interior Design privately: Study contents & possibilities
You can currently study Interior Design at a total of three private universities: the Berlin International University of Applied Sciences, the AMD Akademie Mode & Design of the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences and the IU International University of Applied Sciences.
These degree programmes focus on the conception, design and planning of spaces and spatial objects. At AMD, for example, the study programme is structured as follows:
- Semester 1–3: Introduction, Manual and Digital Drawing Techniques I, II, III, Visual Communication I, II, III, Fundamentals of Spatial Design I, II, III, Cultural History of Design I, II, III, Design with Digital Media I, Narrative Spaces, Elective Module
- Semester 4: Design with Digital Media II, Design in Context, Theory of Architecture I, Elective Module
- Semester 5: Internship
- Semester 6: Theory of Architecture II, Marketing, Technical Development, Spatial Concept
- Semester 7: Bachelor Phase, Exhibition Documentation
Here are all the degree programmes in Interior Design at a glance:
|Interior Architecture / Interior Design, Bachelor of Arts |
|Berlin International University of Applied Sciences||Berlin||6 Semester||from 26820 € total|
from 745 € monthly
|Interior Design, Bachelor of Arts |
|AMD Akademie Mode & Design||Berlin, Munich, Hamburg or Düsseldorf||7 Semester||from 31500 € total|
from 750 € monthly
|Interior Design, Master of Arts |
|Berlin International University of Applied Sciences||Berlin||4 Semester||from 21480 € total|
from 895 € monthly
|Interior Design (not currently chamber eligible), Bachelor of Arts |
Distance learning program
|IU International University of Applied Sciences||online||6 Semester||from 14739 € total|
from 239 € monthly
Distance learning in Architecture at the IU: Requirements, contents & costs
The IU International University of Applied Sciences is currently the only private distance learning university in Germany to offer an online studies or distance learning in Architecture (currently not chamber-eligible). The study programme lasts 6 semesters in full-time, and between 8 and 12 semesters in part-time study.
The only prerequisite for admission to the architecture distance learning programme at the IU is a higher education entrance qualification, i.e. a baccalaureate, a professional baccalaureate or subject-related entrance qualification. In addition, it is also possible to enter the study programme without an baccalaureate with completed vocational training or with completed advanced training.
In full-time studies, the distance learning programme costs a total of 13,623 euros, the tuition fees are paid in monthly instalments of 359 euros each. In part-time studies, students pay a total of 15,531 euros, 309 euros per month. Part-time students pay a total of 15,747 euros, 209 euros per month.
The full-time curriculum is structured as follows:
- Semester 1: Building Construction - Fundamentals, Introduction to Scientific Work, Fundamentals of Building Materials Science, Representing: Fundamentals, Design: Fundamentals and Building Theory, Project: Concept and Model Design
- Semester 2: Building History, Representation: Model making, Seminar: Architectural theory, Collaborative working, Design: Housing, Project: Housing Concept
- Semester 3: Structural engineering, building construction - timber construction, building physics, presentation: CAD, Design: Public buildings, Project: Cultural building concept
- Semester 4: Surveying, Building Construction - Finishing and Facade, Urban Planning, Intercultural and Ethical Action Skills, Design: Office and Industrial Building, Project: Office and Industrial Building Concept
- Semester 5: Building technology, project: structural engineering and dimensioning, construction management, cost and schedule planning, private and public building law, landscape planning
- Semester 6: Elective subject A, elective subject B, Bachelor thesis
In the course of their studies, students specialise in two subjects of their choice. They choose one of these scientific specialisations: Sustainable Building, Smart Building, Building Information Modelling. In addition, they choose one of the following functional and industry specialisations: Foreign Languages, Facility Management, Advanced Leadership, Applied Sales, Human Resources, Project Management, Real Estate Law.
Important: The programme is currently not eligible for the Chamber of Architects: You will acquire professional competence, but you are not allowed to use the protected professional title of architect. To obtain this professional title in Germany, you need to be registered in the list of a Chamber of Architects. As a rule, you can only apply for admission to the chamber after completing a four- or five-year degree in Architecture with corresponding professional experience of at least two years. Some state chambers require additional qualifications. The responsible Chamber of Architects of the respective federal state decides on the entry in the list. Many chambers currently state that they do not accept applicants who have completed their Bachelor's degree in Architecture by distance learning. Classroom attendance is usually still considered essential. Even the addition of a recognised Master's degree programme cannot currently guarantee admission to a Chamber of Architects.