The Doctoral School of Architecture
at the Faculty of Architecture
of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Fields of education at scientific (granting a PhD, i.e. a Doctor of Philosophy degree) and artistic (granting a DLA, i.e. a Doctor of Liberal Arts degree) doctoral schools are dissimilar. The curriculum of a scientific doctoral school is generally centred around scientific research, while artistic doctoral schools persistently focus on creative artistic activity. The Doctoral School of Architecture therefore focuses on architectural creation. This creative work is supported and complemented by research. Thus, research at the Doctoral School of Architecture can only be defined in context of the creative work, with research being a tool to support the latter. In general, the educational objective of the BME Doctoral School of Architecture is to train cultured, responsible architects capable of creating architectural pieces of the highest level. The charge of training includes laying the proper cultural foundations, cultivating the student’s creative (artistic) abilities on these fundamentals and guiding the ethical implementation of the above in the professional practice. Creating cultural fundamentals means developing profound and widespread knowledge with extensive literacy, expanding one’s creative abilities requires persistent creative work, and an ethical attitude is the obligate way of conduct for a responsible, serving intellectual. The educational intent of the BME Doctoral School of Architecture is dual. On the one hand, it trains professionals to fulfil their calling on the highest level, and on the other hand, it schools a supply of teachers of architecture in higher education.
In the course of the three-year long doctoral training, the nature of research at the artistic doctoral school differs from those of the scientific ones. The study carried out during a PhD curriculum mainly concentrates on a narrow field, within which a specific matter is examined and further expounded during the process. Scientific research can only lead to success when properly specialised and focused. In the artistic doctoral school, the constantly transfiguring, creative artistic work is best supported by a diversified set of subdivisional researches concerning various fields and topics. Versatility instead of specialisation and thematic diversity as opposed to a single subject-matter characterise these studies. The means to achieving this is the system of thematic years, during which specified themes unify research and artistic work. A determining feature of the educational system at the Doctoral School of Architecture is the thematic academic year, an entity meaning that each year has a specific programme, summarisable with one brief motto. This programme constitutes the artistic and research activities of the two semesters of that given year. The programme, preferably a comprehensive notional matter, deals with a current architectural issue, while concurrently expressing the firm educational objectives of the doctoral school. Each academic year is concluded with an exhibition and the compilation of a publication, documenting the work carried out during the two semesters.
The two prerequisites of attaining a doctoral degree at the Doctoral School of Architecture are a portfolio certifying high-standard creative work and a dissertation. The portfolio displays the qualitative creative works, and represents the candidate’s professional achievements so far. The requirement for acquiring a DLA degree is the documentation of at least one materialised building and at least one prise-winning architectural competition entry. Candidates have to denominate one of their portfolio’s items as their so-called masterwork. The dissertation can be of two sorts. In one case, it relies on the portfolio, thus presenting the personal artistic methods through the works included. In the other case, the written discourse’s sole role is to present the results of the personal research independently from the portfolio or the masterwork. One of the profession-specific characteristics of the graduation process at the Doctoral School of Architecture is the arrangement of an exhibition linked to the dissertation defense. All items in the candidate’s portfolio are displayed, and so are any other freely chosen works. The exhibition is public, opening two or three days before the viva voce and closing right afterwards.