A Comparative Study of Contiguous and Non-contiguous Master's Degree Courses in Architecture from Professors, Employers, and Graduates' Perspective in Iranian Context

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D Student in Architecture, Kish International Campus, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2   Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Educational system and teaching methods play a crucial and significant role in the manifestation of the quality of architecture in various aspects of society within Iranian context. Every year architecture graduates enter occupational market and create architectural designs which affect the architecture view of the country. If teaching methodologies and education in architecture as well as the quality and efficiency of the course are improved, it is expected that the view of architecture in the country can be enhanced. Experts and specialists in the field believe that there must be various studies to determine the strengths and weaknesses related to educational system. The comparison of the content of courses is one of the approaches which has been mentioned frequently by the experts of the field. Approximately, since 80 years ago, academic education of architecture in associate degree and contiguous master’s degree courses, began to train map designers, and architects with a compositional entrance exam which was thoroughly based on sketch and basics of architecture. However, since 1372 SH, the written section of the exam was omitted and the Bachelors' degree course was founded in 1377 SH. The present study is conducted to investigate and compare architecture training based on the principles of contiguous master’s degree courses with the principles of the bachelors' and non-countiguous master’s degree courses from university professors, consulting engineers, and graduates' perspective. The current research was an applied research study and was conducted in four consecutive phases (description, interpretation, juxtaposition, & comparison) according to George Z. F. Beredy's (1966) framework. In the initial phase, the content of the course and its goals, aims, and objectives were described in details. Then, in the second phase professors (including experienced academic staff memebers who had the experience of teaching for the both periods of contiguous master’s degree course and non-contiguous master’s degree course) , consulting engineers, and graduates' perspectives regarding the content of architecture education (considering the three foundations of knowledge, wisdom, competence) and the aims were collected during two separate periods of contiguous master’s degree course and non-contiguous master’s degree course. The experienced professors’ view were gathered through interviews and the professor’s view who had been the graduates of contiguous master’s degree course and at the time of study were teaching in non-contiguous master’s degree course were collected through a likert scale questionnaire. The perspectives of employers and graduates who had passed contiguous master’s degree and non-contiguous master’s degree courses were also collected through a likert scale questionnaires. After juxtaposition, the comparison was carried out rigoroudsly. The results revealed that the professors, employers, and graduates preferred contiguous Master’s degree courses in the three mentioned foundations. They believed that contiguous master’s degree course is more likely to train competent architects and practically the graduates of the non-contiguous master’s degree course do not obtain the competency of a perfect architect. Thus, it is recommended that the contiguous master’s degree course be revived and besides, the bachelors’ degree course be continued merely for training assistant designers.


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