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New Master In Architecture And Design Within The Aalborg Project Based Learning Model

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.943.1 - 9.943.13



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Paper Authors

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Sven Nielsen

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2003-1190


Sven Hvid Nielsen, Associate professor Department of Production Aalborg University, Denmark e-mail:

ABSTRACT: Aalborg University’s thirty years of experience with project-organised and problem-oriented studies has proved by continuous assessment to be an important innovation in higher education. The curriculum in engineering as well as in natural science is project- organised from the day the freshman arrives until graduation. In the design-oriented project work the students deal with some degree of know-how problems which involve a great part of theories and knowledge acquired from lectures. In the problem-oriented project work the students deal with know-why unsolved problems in science and profession. The new master programme in Architecture and Design will be used as a case example with its unique use of problem-based learning methods. The programme started in 1997 and admits 110 students every year, it consists of a 2-semester basic programme, 3- semester common ground study- programme and a 5-semester specialisation programme. In the specialisation the students choose one of the following four specialisations: Architecture, Urban design, Digital design or Industrial design. The benefit of the problem-based learning method is given by some con- siderations about project work carried out within Industrial design and from continuous evaluation results.

Introduction Aalborg University (AAU) was established in 1974 as an innovative experiment in higher education starting with 2,200 students from three different schools. It is the newest university of the six universities and institutions of higher learning in Denmark and now it has more than 13,000 students. It was established to explore the project-based educational approach to overcoming some of the problems of the traditional course-based educational system [1], [2].

The majority of universities in the US are similar to each other in their educational, financial, and administrative approaches [1]. Aalborg University is significantly different in its educa- tional, financial and administrative approaches to the operation of the university. Some of these differences are unique to AAU, but many are common to the Danish educational system and others to the European educational systems [1], [3].

The university will have grown approximately six fold in the first 30 years. Few doctorate institutions can claim this degree of success, and AAU is one of only two technical universi- “Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copy- right  2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Nielsen, S. (2004, June), New Master In Architecture And Design Within The Aalborg Project Based Learning Model Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12833

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