Masters in Architecture

Tianjin University

Program Description

Masters in Architecture

Tianjin University

School of Architecture

School of Architecture

School of Architecture, Tianjin University is composed of four teaching departments, namely Architecture, Urban and Rural Planning, Landscape Architecture, and Environmental Design, and several research centres, e.g. Institute of Architectural History & Theory, and Institute of Architectural Technology. We have 157 staff members including 146 faculty members. There are 44 professors and researchers and 53 associate professors. Among them, there is one Academician of the China Academy of Science, one Distinguished Teacher in Higher Education National Teachers Award, and four foreign professors.

After the assessment by the National Board of Architectural Accreditation of China in 1992 and 1995, the school obtained the first batch of National Excellent Teaching Qualification in Architecture undergraduate and master programs. Urban and Rural Planning program was assessed by the National Board of Urban Planning Accreditation of China in 2000 and achieved an outstanding accreditation in 2004. Landscape Architecture program was founded on the basis of landscape architecture institute in 2012.

Competition awards

Nomadism Revolution

1st Prize, 2015 US D3 Housing Tomorrow Contest, “Nomadism Revolution, New Tank-dwelling of Sea Gypsies”

Tianjin Heal in the Rain

1st Prize, 2013 Annual AIM Contest, “Heal in The Rain”

Tianjin Life in the Ropeway

1st Prize, 2013 D3 Housing Tomorrow Contest, “Life on the Ropeway”

Mountain Band-Aid

2nd Prize, eVolo 2012 Skyscraper Competition, “Mountain Band-Aid”

International Communications

Tianjin Uni

Our school has established teaching and research partnership with over 40 foreign universities through visiting scholar, joint studio, research cooperation and academic conference. Our partner schools include UCL, AA and TU Berlin from Europe, GSD, UCLA and Columbia University from America, and Tokyo University, Kyoto University and Seoul University from Asia, etc.

There have been several hundreds of international visiting scholars from our school, spreading over USA, England, France, Germany, Japan, Australia and Hong Kong and Taiwan Area. Through a number of joint teaching, exhibitions and competitions, our teachers exchange new teaching methods with foreign and domestic colleagues, which contribute to the innovation and development of the school.

Department of Architecture

Tianjin Uni

The history of Department of Architecture, Tianjin University, can be dated back to the Department of Architectural Engineering of Tianjin Institute of Industry and Commerce, established in 1037, where the famous architects SHENG Liyuan and ZHANG Bo, ever taught. In 1952, after the adjustments of departments of national colleges, the Department of Architectural Engineering of Private University of Jingu, Department of Architectural Engineering of Northern Jiaotong University and the Department of Civil Engineering at Tianjin University were integrated into the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering at Tianjin University and Prof. XU Zhong, famous educator and architect in China, has long been the director. In 1990, Architecture major was recovered to five-year-semester and the department participated in an educational evaluation of architecture for the first time in 1991 and passed every evaluation with high grades hereafter. School of Architecture, Tianjin University, was established in 1997 on the basis of the original Department of Architecture.

Discipline introduction

The First-level Discipline of Architecture was granted by the Degree Committee of the National Ministry to award the degrees of MA and PhD, as well as establish a Post-Doctorate station. The School of Architecture at Tianjin University attracts a group of active-minded and academically-competent scholars. The teaching crew consists of a team of academics and professional tutors who are both active and creative, with a complete knowledge system and meticulous scholarship, which can be justified by their achievements in research, teaching and design practices. The graduates of the school are welcomed by the industry nation-wide, for their reputation as a solid professional foundation, active thinking and surefooted working styles.


The training of Architecture professional degree of graduated students in Tianjin University emphasizes students' capabilities of engineering practice, design and innovation, which adapts to the needs of society, strengthens career-oriented and closely combines the architecture professional assessment and architect professional qualification certification system in order to cultivate high-level professionals in the field of architecture design.

Students who complete related aspects of learning and training courses, get the necessary credits and meet the corresponding requirements will obtain the Master of Architecture degree from Tianjin University. Because Master of Architecture degree of Tianjin University has mutual recognition in all countries that signed the Canberra Accord, so the graduates can get professional qualifications in these countries, which will create a broader condition of employment for the graduates.


Implemented curriculum system in English

The courses in English teaching have been implemented for three years, which were taught mostly by internationally renowned professors who were invited to give lectures by the school of architecture. It made a guarantee for the education of overseas students.

Specific design studio for professional training

Design course was the compulsory course of the curriculum, which was directed by teacher group with different research area. Students were required to finish design project by group or individual. In the practice of design, the knowledge of theory was exercised comprehensively. To meet the requirements of the compulsory professional courses, students have the opportunity to elective courses interdisciplinary, which could help them develop comprehensive professionals.

Specific Opportunity of Design practice

Tianjin University School of Architecture has a close partnership with tens of domestic and foreign architecture design companies, which are all officially designated by School of Architecture Tianjin University as outside-school training bases for graduate students. In this period Tianjin University will arrange the overseas students to finish the 16-weeks practice in one of the companies. The urban construction tends to be saturated in the western countries so that relatively few opportunities for students to practice, which can be compensated by the teaching process at Tianjin University.

The School of Architecture has also co-established a professional experience base with several renowned architectural design firms in the country and appoints famous architects as professional tutors.

The professional practice base for students:

  • Tianjin University Research Institute of architectural design & Urban Planning
  • Tianjin Urban Planning & Design Institute
  • Tianjin architectural design Institute
  • Chinese architectural design and Research Group
  • Beijing Institute of architectural design
  • Archiland International

Curriculum Provision

1.Introduction of the Design courses

Tianjin Uni

Course objective: the design courses were the most important course to improve the students' comprehensive ability, the ability to analyze the question, propose the question and solve the question. According to the different design themes, the theory and design method of related professional knowledge were required to solve the practical design problems.

Course organization format and teaching method: teacher group organized studio. Each design theme will be finished in about 6-8 weeks. Students in a group or independent completion of the form to carry out the design course. The related teaching methods included lectures of the related theory and method for base investigation and presentation, design conception and expression, design report etc.

Course assessment: submit design drawings and presentation.

Course content for architecture design (1) & (2)

The design studios include but not limited to the following topics:

  1. Green building design and technologies
  2. Urban regeneration and renovation of old buildings
  3. Parametric design and BIM related digital design
  4. Urban residential space and dwellings

2. Introduction of the theory courses

1. Design in Motion

Course objective: animation will be done in 3D MAX. Techniques of modelling will be reviewed; related notions of modelling methods and procedures of animation will be concentrated in more detail level in the class.

Course content: two components of digital media will be explored in the class. One is motion in design, and the other one is design in motion. Motion in design relates to the methods, impacts, and effects of putting motion into a design, whereas design in motion refers to the design of motion and action.

Course organization format and teaching method: lecture, interaction with students, students presentation commented by the teacher. Teaching Materials included: 1).ppt series by Chan 2).3D Studio MAX 2013 / 2014 system

Course assessment: (1) There will be one proposal, one modelling, one stereoscopic image, and a final project to be completed. (2) Projects will be graded on the completeness of presentation, imaginations applied, and the creativity expressed.

2. Ecological Environment and Urban Development

Course objective: the course introduces several key points on urban plan and architecture design base on the ecological environment Development background today, such as the origins and development of environmental impact analysis; the key stages of environmental impact analysis - screening and scoping, prediction, monitoring and evaluation; the ecological footprint and urban development; integrating the environment into decision making; integrating environmental and social aspects into urban infrastructure; European environmental policy integration; environmental limits; and finally an important case study of the climate change and governance in Wales UK.

Course content: the origins and development of Environmental Impact Analysis; The key stages of Environmental Impact Analysis - screening and scoping, prediction, monitoring and evaluation; The Ecological Footprint and Urban Development; Integrating the environment into decision making; Integrating environmental and social aspects into urban infrastructure; European Environmental Policy Integration; Environmental Limits; Climate change and governance in Wales.

Course organization format and teaching method: tutorials, discussions and reviews

Course assessment: students presentation

3. Integrated building and urban design in a resource conservation

Course objective: integrated designing methods of ecological, economic and social parameters are introduced with a case study of international urban and architectural designing projects. With a case study in a historical urban fragment in Tianjin, the students are able to do investigation and data analysis of key parameters and to apply them in analytical tools to support urban and architectural design.

Course content: the course introduces the theories and methods concerning resource and environmental performance of the built environment, including sustainability, building LCA & LCC, spatial analysis, etc.

Course organization format and teaching method: introduce trans-disciplinary theories and methods; combination of lectures and exercises; integration of urban and architectural designing and analytical methods

Teaching Materials included: Koenig H., Kohler N., Kreisseig J., Luetzkendorf T. Lebenszyklusanalyse in der Gebaeudeplanung. Munich: Detail Green Books. 2009 Moffat S. Time Scales for Sustainable Urban System Design- Stretching the Boundaries of Standard Practice. Dissertation, Universität Karlsruhe (TH). 2007

Course assessment: field investigation and data preparation 20%, presentation on the class 40%, paper 40%

4. Managing Global City Regions

Course objective: successful learning in the subject will involve an effort to get to know and understand the character and planning issues confronting metropolitan areas that experience global city development forces. Students are encouraged to read widely about cities and connect the theories and concepts to city regions which are chosen as case studies in order to capture the recent changes in the economy, infrastructure, institutions and policies.

Course content: this subject investigates the concept of global city region as a source of issues that require new approaches for urban development decision-making. Emphases of the discussions will be on the identification of global city regions, the economic and institutional forces that shape their formation and change, and planning and management responses to the dynamics of global city-regions. Students will be exposed to international and Australian experiences in the development of the concept and in the illustration of outcomes.

Course organization format and teaching method: lectures and seminars (4 hours per day for a consecutive 4 days. There will be two 2-hour sessions every day. One hour will be used for lecture and the other will be for the seminar in each session).

Teaching Materials included: a reading list will be assigned during the teaching week.

Course assessment: Participation 40%; Quiz 25%; Group report 35%

5. Research Method

Course objective: this course aims to survey research method in various areas of architecture.

Course content: the content includes: how to choose a research topic, how to make a research plan, how to carry out the research, how to write and review scientific research papers, how to use different kinds of research tools and how to present research. This course will mainly base on lectures, combine with group discussions and students’ presentations, integrating homework and literature review.

Course organization format and teaching method: lecture, interaction with students, students presentation commented by the teacher.

Teaching Materials included: 1) ppt series by Kang 2) Five scientific papers for students to review

Course assessment: (1) Research proposal (individual) (2) Review of scientific paper (group)

6. Design Thinking and Cognition

Course objective: how do designers think? What makes a designer creative and successful? In the field of design studies, research on the cognitive phenomena occurring during the design processes is ongoing in order to answer these questions.

Course content: this advanced level, of course, will introduce all the current theories developed in this field. The factors driving the design processes that generate design solutions will be explored. The products of design cognition shown in style and creativity will be covered in some detail as well. All these phenomena of design cognition, individual style, design creativity, and the new area of user-centred design; will be explored through a number of case studies.

Course organization format and teaching method: lecture, interaction with students, students presentation commented by the teacher.

Teaching Materials included: 1) ppt series by Chan 2) Scientific papers for students to review

Course assessment: (1) A few of in-class exercises (20 points) (2)Final project (80 points)

7. World Cultural Heritage and Cases Studies

Course Introduction: the key function of this Course is to give a comprehensive presentation of World Cultural Heritage through the theory and social science approaches, combining with the cases studies in Asian countries. The Course will be divided into five lectures: (1) UNESCO’s World Heritage Programme (2) Case Studies of Asian World Heritage Prerservation & Management – Historic City : Kathmandu Valley, Nepal (3) Case studies of of Asian World Heritage Prerservation & Management – Cultural Landscape & Sites : Cultural Landscape of Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan; Lumbini, Birthplace of the Lord Buddha, Nepal; Bhutan Cultural Landscape (4) Case Studies of Asian World Heritage Prerservation & Management – Cultural & Heritage Routes : Silk Roads World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nominations (5) Homework students presentation - Q & A

Teaching method: A. Lectures for theory and cases studies of World Cultural Heritage. B. Computer Presentation: PPT & Videos. C. Giving lectures combining the discussions and debates with students.

Examination: final Report and Dissertation (Homework after lectures).

Teaching Materials:

  2. Computer Presentation: PPT & Videos

8. Close readings of architectural writings & projects

Course Introduction: the course aims to enhance students’ ability to engage with architectural writings and design projects, mainly focused on the period 1900 to the present. Through a series of close readings organized around a selected topic (or topics), the course seeks to build up a sense of intellectual orientation for understanding architectural preoccupations and, at the same time, promote a meticulous handling of texts and images.

Presumed knowledge: an advanced level of reading ability in English, knowledge of Photoshop and InDesign.

Teaching method: lecture, 50%; discuss, 50%

Examination: assignments, reports and discussion in class.

Teaching Materials:

  1. Peter Eisenman, Ten Canonical Buildings
  2. Rafael Moneo, Remarks on 21 Projects

9. Metaphysic of traditional architecture. Symbols and meaning through West and Oriental architecture

Course Introduction: the course aims at building the deep understanding of the traditional architecture in the metaphysical level, tracing the ideological and metaphysical connotation behind the architectural form. Through the course of learning, to enable students to master how to according to the metaphysical theory and knowledge reviews traditional architecture, thus revealing the deep reason of architectural form, structure, shape, by the sensibility of traditional architectural knowledge rise to rational knowledge, the breakthrough on the aesthetic significance of understanding as to the traditional construction of people's spiritual significance in the understanding and exploration.

The Course Outline: the course will be divided into two parts: the metaphysical theory and the metaphysical connotation of the cultural symbols in the traditional architecture.

  1. The theoretical part of metaphysics through the discrimination of the concept of metaphysics and philosophy, religion, doctrine, etc. related concepts and explanation, interpretation of metaphysical theory characteristics and essence, and schools of the theory, scholars and major theoretical viewpoints.
  2. The second part to traditional architectures around the case, such as India, Nepal and China's traditional architecture, analysis of the characteristics of different cultural background and traditional architecture and metaphysical connotation, and comparative analysis of the commonness and spiritual essence. To help students more deeply understand the deep meaning and historical background behind a traditional architectural form.


Mark Dorrian - Professor, School of Architecture planning & landscape, Newcastle University, UK.

Lai Delin - Associate Professor, University of Louisville, USA. Phone: 502-852-0445.

Chiu-Shui Chan - Professor of Architecture, VRAC & Human-Computer Interaction, Department of Architecture, Iowa State University, USA.

Jian Kang - Professor, Vice President of Architecture College, the University of Sheffield, UK. A charted engineer (CEng); a Fellow of the UK Institute of Acoustics (IOA); a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA).

Sun Sheng Han - Professor, Department of Architecture, Building and Planning, the University of Melbourne, Australia.

FengShida (FUNG, Stanislaus) - Associate Professor, school of architecture, the Chinese University of Hongkong.

Stephen Kendall - Professor, School of Architecture, Ball State University, USA. A registered architect, President of Infill Systems US LLC.

Roland LIN Chih-Hung - Programme Specialist, Francis Childe, Giovanni Boccardi, Feng Jing, chiefs, Asia & Pacific Unit, World Heritage Centre, UNESCO.

Daniel Bluestone - Professor and Director of Historic Preservation Program, the school of architecture, The University of Virginia, USA.

Andrew Flynn - Reader in Environmental Policy and Planning, University of Cardiff, UK.

Li Yu - Senior Lecturer and Course Director for MSc Eco-Cities. University of Cardiff, UK.

Niklaus Kohler - Professor at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany.

SongKun - Professor, Associate president of the school of Architecture, Tianjin University.

XuZhen - Associate Professor, Associate president of the school of Architecture, Tianjin University.

Chen Tian - Professor, Director of Urban Space and Urban Design Institute, Tianjin University.

Zhao Jianbo - Professor, Associate Director of Architecture department, Tianjin University.

Wang Jianghua - Associate Professor, Deputy Director of the architecture department, Tianjin University.

Yang Wei - Associate Professor, School of architecture, Tianjin University.

Bian Hongbin - Associate Professor, School of architecture, Tianjin University.

ZouYing - Professor, School of architecture, Tianjin University.

He Jie - Associate Professor, Deputy Director of Digital Design Research Institution, Tianjin University.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated December 28, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2018
Part time
Full time
China - Tianjin
Start date: Sept. 2018
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Sept. 2018
China - Tianjin
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