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Professional Title: PhD in Architecture
3 years / 6 semesters
180 ECTS
Languages: Serbian and English

As an institution with a long tradition in higher education in architecture and urban studies, the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Belgrade draws on a wealth of historical achievements while striving to train professionals whose ideas and innovations forge new paths of advancement in architecture, arts and design, humanities and urban sciences.

The Faculty of Architecture of the University of Belgrade makes continuous advancements to its teaching and pedagogical practice, following contemporary trends in leading world universities. The Bologna Process allowed the Faculty to introduce new operation methods and new teaching practices. In addition to the traditional form of ex cathedra teaching, the Faculty of Architecture strives to introduce modular teaching with multiple types of workshops and research projects, aiming to encourage students to take the initiative in shaping their personal education profile. These efforts have been validated by the Faculty’s accession to the network of RIBA validated schools. Further, closely adhering to the latest innovation in education has allowed the Faculty to maintain a high ranking in the European educational space.

Therefore, PhD studies at the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Architecture offer a unique doctoral program, an opportunity to make an original contribution to the field, and should not be seen only as the next step in the education of architects. The program also combines advanced research in both scientific and design studies with a broader educational agenda, preparing graduates for practice in global academic, research and professional environments.

Doctoral studies aim to train candidates for independent and critically-oriented research, encouraging and supporting connections between architecture and other fields of knowledge and practice. They provide a semi-autonomous educational structure based on studies of architecture and urbanism as well as other, related disciplines. Scientific work by nature diversifies the field of architecture, deepening and spreading its disciplinary framework into a broader intellectual arena. Therefore, connections between architecture and other fields of knowledge and practice are encouraged and supported.

Doctoral studies courses are heterogeneous in form, dynamic in content and flexible in their effort to encompass new, rising knowledge. Engaging established experts from myriad areas and visiting lecturers from other schools – in addition to activities complementary to the core curriculum, such as active series talks, seminars and conferences – raises the standard of studies and provides a solid foundation in theoretical and methodological discourses, with sufficient flexibility to allow the development of individual research agendas. In addition to their being up to date, the goal of PhD studies is uniqueness, requiring the curriculum to be amended and developed according to current needs and demands of the discipline. Thus, it is no surprise that flexibility within the university curriculum is a highly valued asset.

The study program allows students to conduct exhaustive individual research into an area of their own choice and definition. Candidates attend selected courses and seminars while developing their own research proposals. The range of potential research is broad, but must fall within the field of architecture and urbanism.

Great importance is placed on originality of information unearthed, creativity of interpretation given, as well as the regional character of the research.

Doctoral Studies

The doctoral studies program is mainly research-based, meaning that most study time is spent on research leading to the final dissertation. Studies last 3 years / 6 semesters, amount to 180 ECTS, and are offered in Serbian and English.

The program of studies is split into two concentrations – scientific and design-oriented. The scientific-oriented concentration is directed towards a text-oriented thesis, and focuses on the traditional framework of research-based topics or issues, with an emphasis on analytical and critical thinking. This concentration is intended for students already holding M.A.’s in architecture or other disciplines who wish to pursue careers in an academic environment.

The design-oriented concentration focuses on research of substantiated practices in which practice becomes a research tool or a source for identification of problematic fundamental aspects of the thesis proposed. It encourages the development of research through a combination of design and writing. This concentration is intended for students already holding M.A.’s in architecture or other disciplines who wish to pursue research through architectural and urban design. In practice, there is considerable overlap and engagement between the two concentrations, making for dynamic studying.

Over the course of the three years of study, candidates deal continuously with the research related to the specific topic of their doctoral dissertation. In the first three semesters of a three year course of study, candidates attend required and elective courses; in their fourth semester, candidates decide upon their specific area of expertise. The third academic year is dedicated exclusively to independent research: the fifth semester is focused on thematic research related to the doctoral thesis, while the sixth semester is for the completion of the doctoral dissertation.

Doctoral Study Programmes

Click following titles to view curriculums for each academic year:

No. Course S T ECTS
1 Contemporary Context Of Architecture, Urbanism And Construction
The objective of the course is to present students areas within which it is possible to explore the complex and current topics relating to architecture, urbanism and construction, developing the ability to understand the impacts of contemporary built environment – buildings, cities, past and contemporary social communities and the broader global issues; history and theory of architecture and urbanism, history of ideas and related disciplines in the arts, cultural studies and architecture, as well as their application in critical debate.
1 C
2 Study Unit: General Research Methodology
Study unit is one course, having one final grade acquired by attending three compulsory segments of theoretical instruction (2.1. Research Methodology of Architectural and Urban Design; 2.2. Scientific Research Methodology in Urban Planning; 2.3. Research by Design Methodology) and one elective seminar paper.

General Research Methodology Study Unit is about mastering of a range of research methodology and acquisition of competences and development of skills for critical thinking while using literature and sources, the use of information and communication technologies, research and acquisition of knowledge in the relevant fields, taking a methodological approach to research, and independent research relating to the doctoral dissertation topic.

1 C / E
3 Studies In Architecture
The objective is to instruct students in special research areas of architecture as a complex cognitive structure where creativity, historical, social and cultural content of architectural oeuvre intertwine. In doing so, a special emphasis is placed on the transcultural context of architectural creation, as well as on the interdisciplinary nature of the creative process.
2 C
4 Study Unit: Distinct Research Issues In Architecture And Urbanism
Study unit is one course, having one final grade acquired by attending two compulsory segments of theoretical instruction (4.1. Social sciences and humanities; 4.2. Art and technical and technological sciences) and one elective seminar paper.

The study unit course should enable students to articulate scientific arguments and identify the main argumentative positions in the approaches to architecture which are characteristic of humanities and social sciences, and furthermore to articulate the historical contextualization of architecture, to shape their analytical skills in the reading of the architectural structure and to adequately conceptualize their research.

2 C / E
5 Elective Course*
2 E
No. Course S T ECTS
6 Textuality Of Architecture
Introducing students to the foundations of interpretation of architecture and visual arts through two interpretive perspectives: 1) architecture as an indoor and outdoor sign system; 2) architecture as an integral part of the production, exchange and consumption of knowledge in society and ideological construction of identity. The objective is to observe, critically examine and interpret architecture as a textual phenomenon in the diachronic and synchronic perspective and different social and historical contexts.
3 C
7 Study Unit: Research Discourse
Study unit is one course, having one final grade acquired by attending two compulsory segments of theoretical instruction (7.1. Philosophy; 7.2. Sociology; 7.3. History; 7.4. Arts; and 7.5. Economics) and one elective seminar paper.

The study unit’s objective is the development of students’ ability to understand and critically evaluate philosophical, sociological, historical, and economic aspects of social development, and their links to other aspects of social life; and mastering of the techniques of discourse research of art and their application to the analysis and research of interdisciplinary relationship between art and architecture.

3 C / E
MODULE: Scientific studies

8 The Science Of Space
Presentation of thematic units relating to critical reassessment of space manufacturing: theory and criticism of space (postmodern, post-Marxist, feminist, postcolonial, post-socialist, etc.), critical theory, theory of practice, transdisciplinary approach and method; which should result in the capability of scientific research of architecture from transdisciplinary aspects of space science and unitary theory of space which includes consideration of social and spatial practice, conceptualization and representation of space and the experience of space and the environment, as well as the critical analysis of contemporary processes of space production in parallel with the development of the methodology through the establishment of transdisciplinary research framework.
4 C
9 Research Seminar – Architecture:

• Contemporary Architecture
Introduction to the research problem leading to the PhD thesis. Comparative history and theory of modern and contemporary architecture in the world and in Serbia and the wider region of former Yugoslavia.

• Architecture And Politics
Introduction to the research problem leading to the PhD thesis, acquisition of knowledge and critical analysis of the ideological content and political role of architecture in different historical and social contexts.

• Preservation And Revitalization Of Architectural Heritage
Introduction to the research problem leading to the PhD thesis. General history and international theoretical foundations, recommendations, principles and concepts in the study and protection of cultural heritage.

• Architecture – Technology – Environment
Introduction to the research problem leading to the PhD thesis. Research of the sustainable relationships architecture-materials-technology-environment, impacts of technology on the development of architectural thought and in this context on the science-based integrative design strategies used to achieve a high level of comfort, resource conservation and environmental protection, meet the needs and challenges of the new visual expression, understanding the impact of the relationship architecture-nature on the development of concepts of adaptive, energy-efficient and dynamic architectural structures and components of their materialization.

• Construction Technology, Utilities And Management
Introduction to the research problem leading to the PhD thesis, recognizing the importance and impact of technology of construction, installations and management in architecture.

• Specific Issues Of Architectural Structures
Introduction to the research problem leading to the PhD thesis. Consideration of the various possibilities for structural solutions in order to find optimal structural solutions for an architectural structure. Solving practical and theoretical problems in the field of architectural engineering.

• Structural Systems And Spatial Structures In Architecture
Introduction to the research problem leading to the PhD thesis. Theoretical foundations of complex issues of structural systems and spatial structures in architecture, research methods, including the techniques of their analysis, selection and design – construction.

4 E
10 Elective Course M-A*
4 E
11 Elective Course M-A*
4 E
MODULE: Scientific studies

8 Contemporary Urban Studies
Introduction to contemporary trends in the study of cities, urban society, their transformation and development. Emphasizing the multidisciplinary approach, teaching is focused on understanding of the city and metropolitan regions, as well as a number of processes that accompany their development and transformation. The historical perspectives, as well as the latest trends that are generated by the process of globalization are used as a starting point for studying the phenomena in a contemporary city – from the distribution of power and growing inequality, control mechanisms, management and exploitation of urban space, to problems related to urban systems, social dynamics, identity and institutions.
4 C
9 Research Seminar – Urbanism³

• Urban Morphology And Typology
Introduction to the research problem leading to the PhD thesis. Understanding of the phenomena of morphology and typology of the city, as well as on a number of processes that accompany their development and transformation.

• Urban Studies
Introduction to the research problem leading to the PhD thesis. Understanding of the city and the metropolitan region, as well as of a number of processes accompanying their development and transformation. Historical perspective, as well as the latest trends related to the field of urban studies are viewed through the most important ideas, concepts and theories related to urban development and urban society.

4 E
10 Elective Course M-U*
4 E
11 Elective Course M-U*
4 E
MODULE: Scientific studies
PRIMARY RESEARCH AREA: Architecture And Urbanism

8 Methodology And Philosophy Of Architectural And Urban Design
The course is based on devising methods of comparative critical analysis, which is used in scientific research as a tool to detect implicit and explicit intentions and authorship positions in the design of the built environment, and the consideration of the profession and the process of architectural and urban planning design in relation to contemporary developments, the cultural and historical perspective, the dominant philosophical discourses of certain periods and dynamic and diverse socio-political context.
4 C
9 Research Seminar – Architecture And Urbanism

• Architectural Design
Introduction to the research problem leading to the PhD thesis. The syllabus is directed towards the theoretical and methodological understanding and resolution of problems in the process of architectural design. Teaching includes inter/ multi/ trans-disciplinary studies in the field of architecture, art, philosophy, technology and biotechnology, in the light of modern developments of architectural theory and practice.

• Socio – Cultural Context Of Architectural Production: Aesthetic Readings
Introduction to the research problem leading to the PhD thesis. The selection of relevant examples from the fields of architecture and demonstrative, aesthetic analysis of the context of their socio-cultural significance and development. The context of the comparative analysis of examples belonging to different cultural matrices is underlined, which indicates the importance of transcultural aesthetic context of contemporary architectural practices.

4 E
10 Elective Course M-AU*
4 E
11 Elective Course M-AU*
4 E
No. Course S T ECTS
12 Thematic Research (Introduction To The PhD Thesis)
Development of a research thesis defining the possible scope and an initial outline of a dissertation, leading towards the doctoral thesis.
5 E
13 Doctoral Thesis Statement
Development of a significant, original thesis as a proposal of the doctoral dissertation including the proposal of the Committee to be submitted and approved by the Faculty members.
5 E
14 Doctoral Dissertation
Development of the doctoral dissertation – formal document arguing the previously approved doctoral thesis extended to the state of scientific knowledge and presenting an original contribution to knowledge in a given field. Oral presentation to the Committee.
6 E

* List of elective courses is updated every academic year. The list for academic year 2017/18:
– On Architectural Space – Culture Of Architectural Landscape;
– Methodical Practicum;
– Design Research;
– Culture And The City;
– Cultural Contexts Of Architectural Heritage;
– Urban Patterns;
– Contextual Architecture;
– Cognitive Processes Of Urban Planning Of Sustainable Development;
– Contemporary Treatment Of Materials In Architecture;
– Functional And Formal Potentials Of Wood In Contemporary Architecture;
– Impact Of Advanced Technologies On The Architecture Of Contemporary Glass Façade And Media Façade;
– Green And Energy-Efficient Architecture.


For detailed information on the Doctoral Studies (PhD in Architecture) programme please read the following documents:

Doctoral Studies – PhD in Architecture Book Of Courses

Professional Title

Students are awarded the professional title of PhD in Architecture.

To complete the degree it is necessary to pass all the courses included in the program and complete a pass-grade thesis worth 60 ECTS. International protocols designate this degree as Doctor of Philosophy (PhD – in Latin, Philosophiae Doctor). At each level of study, the diploma is complemented with an addendum containing all the pertinent information regarding the course of study to which the diploma testifies.

Faculty And Research Practice

The doctoral studies teachers are largely research-oriented in both the scientific and design-oriented concentration, but there is also a significant number of practicing architects and artists, as well as visiting lecturers from other faculties and universities. Therefore, a development component is changed every three years and objectives are reviewed annually, providing for a dynamic process.

The PhD studies program within the Faculty of Architecture is an integral part of research projects with other universities and institutions within the framework of our own and other universities, as well as other companies and businesses. Students have a high level of autonomy in their work, and are included (depending on the year of study) in research projects with the faculty. The link between research projects and PhD studies is more direct than at lower levels of study. Students may participate in a number of projects in order to maximize the use of what is of interest to them.

Research projects allow students to familiarize themselves with expert knowledge in a broader range of areas of interest. In this regard, during the course of their study, students are required to produce or be part of research projects that are of a sufficient quality to be published. They are also required to produce at least one paper for a conference in the field of their expertise and one article in Thompson Reuters referenced Journal list on the topic of their PhD dissertation.

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