Master of Advanced Studies in History and Theory of Architecture
About Us

On the occasion of the exhibition "Landschaftstadt Zürich", the MAS GTA released the documentation of its research on the demolition and new construction of housing in a global perspective. Download the pdf "Ersatzneubau. Eine globale Geschichte" (in German).


Urban Analysis of Zurich (Zoom), CIAM IV, 1933. Credits: gta Archive / ETH Zurich, CIAM

The Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in History and Theory of Architecture is a two-year, part-time, post-professional programme established in 1993 as a key component of the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (gta).

The course has three main goals: first, to convey the basics of the history and theory of architecture; second, to address contemporary disciplinary questions in architectural practice and debates in architectural and urban theory and the history of science; third, to introduce students to the methods of critical scholarly work as a key tool for independent research, writing and practice.

Thematically, the programme is focused on current issues regarding the future of urban development. These include the financialisation of the built environment, climate change, social polarisation and digitalisation. Methodically, we examine these questions by analysing architecture’s embeddedness within social processes and power relations, and by interrogating relevant and specific historical constellations ranging from 1500 to the present.

Students attend core seminars, workshops and a yearly study trip open to MAS students only. In addition, they enroll in the institute’s lectures and seminars and contribute to the gta’s ongoing research, publication and exhibition projects as an integral part of their study. In 2022/23, student research became part of the exhibition Densification or Displacement? at ZAZ BELLERIVE Zentrum für Architektur Zürich. In 2020/21, MAS students developed the research project Cooperative Conditions for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021. Further highlights of this collaborative work include the book Städtebau als politische Kultur: Der Architekt und Theoretiker Hans Bernoulli(Claus/Zurfluh, eds.) and the exhibition Phantom Theorie.

The MAS GTA is taught in German, even if we read many English-language texts. Students may write their own papers in English. Further information regarding the programme structure can be found here.

MAS students come from a range of disciplinary backgrounds at various stages in their professional lives. MAS graduates have gone on to successful careers in academia, private practice, journalism and historic preservation, among others, and maintain a strong alumni network.

We will be accepting applications for the 2023–2025 cycle between January 1 and April 30, 2023. For further details on how to apply, please look here. For further question, please contact us.