Module WS 2013/2014

In the defence the doctoral students prove whether they have fulfilled the requirements of the dissertation.
The doctoral consortium is an opportunity to sharpen and deepen both focus and methods of research, supervised by a group of external professors and/or advisors. It is designed to foster the presentational, critical and discursive skills in a group of international peers. By submitting their work-in-progress and interim results to an international doctoral consortium candidates also learn how to position their work in a competitive research environment.
Applications are refereed through an academic committee. Participants benefit from understanding others' experiences and results and receive valuable feedback from consortium chairs and other participants. A joint publication is to result from a consortium. A doctoral consortium will take the form of a multi-institution and often international seminar, workshop or summer school - an example can be found on, the consortium on sustainable spatial development our University participates in each year.
In the research proposal, the dissertation project is to be described in the form of a research plan including details of the methodical approach. At the colloquium on the research proposal, the doctoral students present their thesis project and justify their methodical approach.

Details are listed in the Regulatory Statutes for the Doctoral Degree Programme.
This module aims at supporting methodological competences of knowledge discovery and creation. In particular, students will be given a introductory overview of different research strategies and research methods to broaden their expertise and to assist them composing their own tailored research design.

The subjects that are likely to be covered include:
  • Research Design
  • Analytical and Experimental Evaluation of Research
  • Survey Research
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Case Study and Action Research
  • Mixed Methods Approach
  • Design Science Research
  • Theory Building
  • Literature Review
  • Research Methods for the Built Environment
This course is designed to give first year PhD Students an aid for their academic endeavour. Just like in Research Design, the focus lies on methodological competences. At the same time, however, this course also aims at techniques rather than design strategies. The objective is to provide core compentences on how to craft a scientific text properly. Due to the concept of peer-monitoring applied in this course also social competencies will be trained.

During the first year students will be working on their academic writing style, they will be made familiar with normative writing styles and ways to publish tackling various kinds of genres, and they will help and learn from each other through peer-monitoring activities. As a base sample texts will be used and the texts students will be producing will be worked on. The course is built on four pillars:

  • Text Coaching:
    How to write academically: spelling, grammar, academic vocabulary, numbers, abbreviations, tables, figures, etc.
  • Knowledge Management:
    Working with databases, literature management softwares, etc.
  • Publishing:
    How to write and publish various genres: abstracts, research papers, articles, data commentaries, reviews, project proposals, formatting, etc.
  • Peer-Mentoring:
    Giving and receiving feed-back, presenting and reviewing, considering peer-feedback, joint writing activities, etc.

During the course, students will maintain a blog which they will be feeding with weekly entries about their research activities and they will comment on two other PhD Students' blogs. This way, they will structure their thoughts and ideas and it will stimulate transparency and exchange about what they individually and what peer-students are working on. This will help learning how to give and receive feed-back, and it will be monitored by supervisors helping in giving individualised feed-back.

At the end of the course students will hand in a portfolio containing all the texts they have written and the blog entries and comments they will have made.

During the course, plenary speakers will be invited from various fields organising a workshop with students on particular issues of academic writing in genre-specific areas.
This project-based, individually tutored module aims at fostering academic and reflective professional competencies. A reflective and critical understanding of theories of sustainability in Architecture, Planning and Development is developed by students in order to convey a solid background for better understanding the theoretical setting of their discipline.