Building Archaeology (Master)

The interdisciplinary, cross-campus MA in Building Archaeology is the first of its kind in Germany.

Building archaeologists, architects, building engineers, archaeologists and art historians from both OTH Regensburg and the University of Regensburg offer courses on building analysis, archaeology, building research, building heritage conservation and the history of architecture and art.

Our Master graduates acquire knowledge and skills enabling them to analyse historically relevant buildings within their historical and cultural context, and to interpret their functional, aesthetic and ritualistic significance.

Although a large part of the teaching has to take place virtually during the Covid19 pandemic, direct contact with the historical buildings remains an essential part of the master’s degree in Building Archaeology and selected courses such as building survey exercises are also carried out in attendance at the monuments during these times: (linked article in German).

Degree programme information

Starting options:Winter semester, summer semester
Duration:4 semesters full-time, 120 ECTS credits
Profile:Course scheme
Study options:Buidling Archaeology of Antiquity or the Middle Ages and the Modern Era
Degree title: Master of Arts (M.A.)
AccreditationACQUIN  Accreditation Agency[only available in German]

Applicants must hold a Bachelor, Master, Diplom or Magister degree in one of the following subjects:

Architecture, Building Climate, Civil Engineering, Archaeology (all disciplines), Art History, Interior Architecture, Restoration, History.

Applicants should submit a motivational letter as well as the usual application documents. They will also be required to attend an oral aptitude test designed mainly to assess their motivation. Deadline for applications: 15 January and 15 June.

Course commences: 15 March and 1 October

For further information please contact the Head of programme, Prof. Dietmar Kurapkat. 

Building Archeology covers the entire spectrum of construction from the beginnings to contemporary architecture, from simple anonymous buildings to famous sacred and profane architecture, including not only buildings or monuments, but also individual architectural elements and entire urban areas. Two main areas are offered in the teaching and research of the course, the archaeological building research and the building research of medieval and modern architecture. In particular, the architecture of the 20th century.

Students and graduates are prepared for these scientific projects and involved in their final theses and, if necessary, doctoral theses.

Current regional projects are the former Jahn Stadium in Regensburg, the Regensburg Castle Trees and the Old Town Hall in Regensburg. International projects in cooperation with various partners are currently the so-called Crystal Palace in Beijing, monument preservation in Nepal and research on bazaar architecture in the Middle East. In addition, employees and graduates of the course are involved in projects in Italy, Turkey and Ethiopia.

The course conveys the analytical perspective of the building researcher, the recognition of structural and technical relevant details and a sensitization in dealing with historically significant buildings. The basis of Building Archeology is the method of deformation-accurate building survey, the measurement of a structural context by an independent measuring system. The building is drawn with all structural and technical details, any deformations and changes. In addition to traditional hand measurements and contemporary digital building surveys, future-oriented laser scanning will also be introduced. In addition, photo documentation and a detailed building description with a room book and architectural inventory are prepared. The various construction phases are determined on the basis of this detailed documentation. These results are presented in construction phase plans and reconstruction drawings as well as in models and visualizations. One goal is to research the historical and cultural context of buildings and urban structures with their temporal and stylistic classification, as well as their functional, aesthetic and cultural interpretation. Central concerns of architecture and construction are analyzed: design, construction, construction technology, construction process, prefabrication, load-bearing behavior. For the buildings, monument conservation measures, site management plans must be drawn up on the basis of the building history analysis and monument law, in which the aspects of monument conservation are taken into account and concepts for conservation, restoration and static protection based on damage mapping, as well as for use and presentation be developed. The monument protection strategies deal with the question of monument protection in relation to social and political acceptance and the analysis of economic, touristic and cultural-political significance. At the archaeological sites, additional concepts for possible reconstruction, for protective roofs, tourist guidelines, for the presentation of the scientific results as part of the educational policy and development aid must be developed. You can expect a tailor-made course that corresponds to the wishes, experiences and professional qualification goals of the students.

The M.A. in Building Archaeology equips its graduates with an extensive range of skills and abilities: 

  • Comprehensive skills in the field of building archaeology and in the research of medieval and modern architecture, and a 'joined-up' understanding of design-engineering and historical knowledge from architecture, civil engineering, archaeology and art history. An in-depth knowledge of the history of building and urban development, built heritage studies, architectural styles, building description.
  • The ability to research literature and archives, to apply scientific working techniques. The ability to develop reconstructions and to determine construction phases based on detailed documentation and considerations of dating and interpretation. Knowledge, skills and abilities which are essential for work as a historical building researcher in architectural practices adopting a sensitive approach to structures of historical relevance. The ability to recognise important aspects of historic buildings.
  • A practical knowledge of built heritage protection and conservation and of site management on the basis of historical building research. An in-depth knowledge of the history, methods, organisation and structure of historic building conservation, the theory and practice of conservation measures, conservation law, conservation strategies and restoration. The expertise and ability to undertake scientific projects and dissertations in the Regensburg area, also projects and dissertations relating to building archaeology research in the Mediterranean and architecture outside Europe. 
  • In-depth knowledge needed to pursue a subsequent PhD course and scientific career with a university, the German Archaeological Institute, historic buildings and monuments agencies, building authorities or museums.
  • As well as learning subject skills in the application of scientific method, students pursuing this thoughtfully integrated course will develop social and method skills that will encourage personality development and qualities of leadership, and enable them to present their scientific research and findings with confidence and professionalism.

Course Structure

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