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Architecture master's thesis writing guide

May 27, 2018

Unusual Thesis Topics for Architecture

Sometimes it can be difficult coming up with ideas for thesis topics. This happens in every class and is not limited to one subject. When you are trying to come up with thesis topics, the more unusual the topic the more interesting it will be to the reader. For those of you having issues in trying to determine an unusual thesis topic for an architecture class here are some ideas.

  1. Gothic architecture might be an interesting and unusual topic for someone to write about. Some of the buildings with the gothic style are truly beautiful and they are not limited to just old buildings in Europe. You can talk about how this type of architecture is used in modern buildings and give examples. You can talk about how the gothic style influenced the buildings of different cultures in different time periods.
  2. Landscape architecture is very different from building architecture. You could write a thesis on this type of architecture and explain the differences and how they influence each other.
  3. You could also write about weather influencing and affecting architectural projects. This could include things like why buildings in certain areas are built in certain ways (think hurricane and tornado country or even heavy snow country) and what features should be included in different areas.
  4. You might even have success in writing about how the energy that is used influences and affects architecture. For example, if you are planning a project using electrical energy, how would that differ from planning a project that would be powered solely by solar energy?
  5. You could even write a paper about how the environment might affect the planning and construction of a building. For example, you are planning a project and drawing out the designs when you realize that there is some aspect of the design that is not conducive to the natural environment of the area where it is to be built. Show an example and describe in detail what steps would need to be taken to correct the oversight and continue on from there.

These are just a few ideas. Architecture is one of those subjects that has a long history as well as a wealth of different topics to choose from. No matter what you choose, be sure to research it thoroughly and cite each and every one of your resources. Also remember to make your thesis statement clear and concise and you will do just fine.

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People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. George Orwell

Union Catalogue of Finnish Libraries

How to search theses from Finnish universities in Melinda - a quick guide (in Finnish)

Theses from the Architecture department in the University of Oulu

Master's theses from the Architecture department

Licentiate theses from the Architecture department

Electronic dissertations from the Architecture department

Theses from the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Electronic master's theses from the School of Arts, Design and Architecture (Aalto University)

Electronic dissertations from the School of Arts, Design and Architecture (Aalto University)

International theses

DART-Europe - European E-theses Portal

DiVA - Swedish portal for theses

EthOS - Electronic Theses Online Service UK

AHO -Theses Arkitektur- og designhögskolen i Oslo

How to write Synopsis for a Thesis Project

This article would be of great interest to the Final year Architecture students. Writing a Synopsis determines your level of understanding of the chosen topic as your thesis project. We will list out and discuss different steps in which one should proceed with writing a Synopsis.

Thesis Project
  1. Introduction
  2. Motivation
  3. Objectives and Scope and Limitations
  4. Description of the research work
  5. Conclusions/Summary of the work
  6. List of Case studies
  7. List of references/literature case studies for thesis research work
  8. Identification of the project site


Briefly explain the Architectural/technological/social relevance or significance of the research work of your thesis topic. Be precise and include only relevant background material in the introduction. Provide information on past works by way of giving appropriate references.

It should not exceed two pages.


Develop further on the background material provided in the introduction and bring the subject of thesis in the chosen area of research in to focus. Emphasize, based on the content status, the importance of the research problem identified. Should broadly indicate the existing drawbacks and why further research is required to eliminate the drawbacks and find new architectural solutions. Identification of these should be brief and can be out of the scope of the Thesis subject but has to be relevant. You can enumerate those technical challenges one has to address to solve the problems/drawbacks posed herein to place emphasis on the quality of the research work.

I came across a very interesting piece of article on motivation for writing thesis. This reading should be helpful to all.

This should not exceed two pages.

Objectives and Scope and Limitations

State precisely the questions for which the answers are sought through this thesis work. Define the conceptual, analytical, experimental and/or methodological boundaries within which the exercise will be carried out.

Admit with clarity the limitation of such a research and difficulties involved.

It should not exceed two pages.

Description of the research work

Keeping in mind the limitations and difficulties, identify the precise architecturally relevant area and extent of research that is attempted by you.

Detailed explanations of the drawbacks/problems identified for which you are seeking possible architectural solutions.

Explain in detail how the case studies will help in resolving the drawbacks/problems identified.

Clear the role of literature studies/observations/experiments/questionnaires.

Define with clarity the detailed methodology to be adopted that will lead you towards the Architectural solutions.

Explain in detail how you are specifically equipped to deal with the research and find Architectural solutions.

It should not exceed 10-12 pages.

Conclusions/Summary of the work

Highlight major conclusions you are working towards. Clearly bring out not only the generally useful advantages arising out of the work but also the architectural advancement you are seeking through this Thesis work. If there are no conclusions at the moment, then enumerate the possible contributions of the work.

Maximum two pages.

List of Case studies

List the probable Case Studies and the relevant areas of study possible in them. Indicate clearly why you have chosen the particular case for study. Make a mention of the ease/difficulty of approach and obtaining information from the case studies. Also give the time frame required for each case study.

It should not exceed one page.

(Also, it is important to know all the factors to be considered for conducting a successful case study.)

List of references/literature studies for thesis research work

List the publications/books you have already identified for your literature study. List only published or accepted books/papers.

Never claim contents of the publications/books as your own. Always give credit where it is due.

Maximum one page.

Identification of Project site

The student has to identify a possible and suitable site for the proposal where the conclusions and solutions can be carried out. The project site may or may not be a live project but should definitely be suitable for the chosen project.

Maximum one page.

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