Working as an expert in the restoration sector is a new sector in architecture worldwide. In another sense there has always been the need for preservation, conservation and rehabilitation of heritage sites. The reason is very clear and simple; to preserve the history for the next generation. We feel the need for this more and more every day.
The Master's Program 'Architectural and Cultural Heritage' is the formal teaching approach to this. We are expecting to develop knowledge and also to share experiences of current practices in the sector of building restoration. Our program is a combination of theory, design and research.
For admission to a master’s degree in cultural heritage preservation, a Bachelor’s degree (at least than six semesters) in a related field is requuired – Acceptable degrees include Architecture, Archaeology, History of Art, Civil Engineering, Geography, Facilities Management, History, Interior Design or Surveying Technology. Alternatively, candidates with relevant professional experience related to cultural heritage preservation may also be considered for admission.
In exceptional cases: Candidates may also be admitted on basis of relevant work experience or exceptional interest in the preservation and conservation sector. This consideration can only be given to candidates who contact the department directly before applying formally. (contact us)
This program is taught exclusively in English. sufficient proficiency in English is an admission requirement for all English taught master's degree programs. You will need to submit proof of your proficiency in English as part of the application process. You may submit proof of your English proficiency in the form of an official certificate (for example IELTS, TOEFL etc.). If we have any doubt regarding the quality of your language skill, you may be asked to sit for an English language exam upon arrival in Germany. Native English speakers, or those who have completed a bachelor’s degree in the English language and can submit proper documentation of this, will not need to sit for an English exam.
There are countless career possibilities for graduates of the Monumental Heritage Master’s Degree Program. Some popular choices include working as an expert in restoration projects, project management for historical sites, developing concepts for a thoughtful and intentional approach to restoration and conservation of monuments/buildings, and historical building research work, often with the intention to work in and contribute to the academic field.
The MMH Program is modular. The standard period of study, including the examination time, is four semesters.
In order to earn an M.A. in Monumental Heritage, students are required to complete modules in several categories, including Compulsary (Mandatory) Courses (Humanities & Techniques), Electives and Projects, culminating their studies with a Final Thesis.
Students may begin this course of study in either the Winter or the Summer Semester, as all classes are available every semester.
H1.1 Theory of Monumental Heritage
An introduction to German history and culture is offered to program participants in the first semester as a way to facilitate their way around Germany. Proper information from museums, archives and literature is part of the basic knowledge required in heritage conservation. The conservator must be able to analyze and inventory a monument. To enter into the professional discourse, the motivation, history and management of monuments in various countries will be analyzed and different laws for the protection of historic monuments and art heritage will be discussed. Many people consider the reconstruction of monuments as a sort of conservation, which means that this issue has to be fully analyzed and understood. Furthermore, there are always different societal interests as well as those of builders, architects and preservationists which must be taken into account. Because the course of the history never stops, we need strategies to find out how to develop cultural heritage in the future. For this reason, designing in a historical.
H1.2 Theory of Architecture I
In this seminar the main function of buildings as a habitat is covered. The concept of housing varies over historical periods. Current and historical floor plans reflect their societies and the way people lived together. Whether they were young or old or separated men from women, houses had different characteristics. Large and small families lived together in different orders. If there were old, splitter or quartering could be reproduced in the arrangement of rooms. Residential buildings were often made of perishable materials, mostly wood. Therefore, in this semester design is covered parallel to the material. Teachers analyze exemplary house landscapes. In addition, the students examine the function and age of furniture and inventory the features of the interior. The Timberwork-Center Quedlinburg brings the potential of the world cultural heritage in the course. The semester is completed with an excursion to the city.
T1.1 Techn. Fundamentals of Monumental Heritage
Alongside humanities dimensions, preservation requires several technical skills. This includes technical drawing and the use of surveying equipment. Students will survey and analyze historical buildings. A room book completes the recording of the different monuments. The data enables virtual reconstructions and three-dimensional representations of the structures.
In addition, knowledge of the special ground features, building materials science, building physics and building construction in heritage conservation will be covered in the seminar, as will the importance of color concepts in historical buildings.
T1.2 Build. Methods & Structures Made Organic Mat.
Parallel to the seminar in humanities, the technique of wood-based materials it is also analyzed. The differences in material, texture and pests are discussed. The C-14 method, dendrochronology, endoscopy and thermography are basic techniques for the analysis and dating of wooden materials. The development of wood construction is mediated in detail by means of the construction of post-column structures, the head rail construction and log constructions. Students learn how timber-work can be renovated. The history of trusses and their representation are also introduced in this seminar. We pay special attention to the particular importance of color in medieval towns.
H2.1 Garden Heritage Preservation
The first part of the 2nd Semester focuses on the preservation of historic gardens. Beginning with the wonders of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon several examples of the ancient world are discussed. In medieval Europe monastery gardens had a lasting effect. The expression of the Huguenots garden is one example. Aside from the design, they were conceived as a particular fruit and vegetable garden. In this context they were also used for funerals. This development is traced until the new Friedwald-concept. In the Renaissance and Baroque more representative installations are found, and labyrinths were introduced as a special design. In all cultures gardens have a special significance, as they have in China, Japan, India and many others countries. Britain was able to implement this knowledge and shaped a new typology in the 18th Century with the English gardens. Orangery and zoo gardens implied an expression of this development. An enlightened duke formed a garden kingdom in Anhalt-Dessau that was an example for the rest of the continent. Only the nouveau garden and the gardens of the modern age contributed with new ideas. Of particular importance are state and national gardens. In future concepts industrial areas will also be incorporated.
H2.2 Theory of Architecture II
"When mankind built in stone, they did it for the gods or the godlike". Stone buildings were not common as a part of the nature of a landscape and they were often a representative expression of the thinking of an era. It is significant that almost all older wooden temples in subsequent periods "petrified". Should men or his gods survive beyond their normal lifespan in a building, stone was the preferred material. Sacred buildings are determined by religious concepts learned while interacting with their architecture. Still today builders love proclaiming this concept by constructing towers for a bank or insurance company. Only military buildings have to be understood in a different way. Their development will be analyzed from the prehistoric fortifications, from castles to modern fortifications.
T2.1 Techn. Fund. of Garden Heritage Perservation
Historic gardens require basic plant knowledge. Flowers, grasses, shrubs and trees require different conditions. They have to be seen in connection with the soil, water and weather. Potential pest damage must be prevented. Garden tools help keep the plants in good condition. The use of water in the form of fountains and ponds will be covered. Cemetery and zoo gardens present their own set of challenges and require maintenance tailored to their specific conditions. Similarly landscape furniture and color concepts are presented alongside the Basics of historic gardens.
T2.2 Build. Methods & Structures of Inorganic Mat.
In order to build in natural stone, students need to know about geology and its possible uses. Stone-masons created tools which made it possible to process hard materials. A lot of technical rules have to be taken into account. In landscapes without natural stones, clay would be used and transformed into bricks. They have their own characteristics, but are similar in many details and allow certain architectural elements such as arches and vaults and many other examples. The Baroque incorporated false vaults, stucco and stucco lustro. To deal with the massive buildings, students must learn to work with mortar and plaster. In religious buildings color had a particular role and will be specifically analyzed.
H3.1 Designing of the City
The Enlightenment opened the door for industrialization which was first adopted by England. Many early buildings with steel structures, concrete structures and steel buildings are testament to this change. Many researchers consider the French Revolution and its architecture as the birth of modernity. This period was, however, only looking for new forms. Its first expression was to be seen in the Palladian Classicism or in the Neo-Gothic in England. The Anhalt-Dessau region was a pioneer in adopting this style within the continent. This development ultimately led to eclecticism (historicism) and eventually, irrelevance. French Art Deco or Art Nouveau was not a sustainable breakthrough. The change in Europe was produced by the classic modernism with influences from Asia and America. One of the icons of this time is the Bauhaus in Dessau. Neo-classicism could not stop its move forward. Excursions to the Bauhaus-archive, to Gropius and van der Rohe buildings enrich the teachings of this semester.
H3.2 Theory of Architecture III
Over the last 10,000 years, humanity took several great strides in its development.
In the first step they evolved from hunters and gatherers to farmers. This was followed by a significant concentration of the population, which led to regional differences in settlement forms. Sometimes settlements were established through specific planning. Cities appeared as a consequence of craftsmen's specialization and as a result of new services and trade. Industrialization increased efficiency, which led to a concentration of the population in cities, rather than in the countryside. Cities need more services that qualify as another kind of specialization (for example, the city hall, hippodrome, amphitheater, theater, hospital, etc.). Urban structures express the form in which power and society is organized. The first mega-cities will be analyzed according to their origins and evolution. The medieval European town changed drastically with the abolition of the defense (structure or quarters.) Together with population growth as a result of industrialization block quarters were compressed. The Charter of Athens tried to propose new perspectives for modern urban planning. In the coming decades, however, its limits will be met and must be updated. Here, the monuments need be assessed, as they are a change in the ensemble. Future concepts do not see growth everywhere. Inhabited places and the handling of memorial structures will be a future.
T3.1 Technical Fundamentals of Modernity
New building materials were introduced into the industry. Although not new discoveries, their use in larger amounts in construction was new to the industry. As early as the 19th century the technology of iron and steel could be used for skyscrapers. New technologies accelerated the production of glass and breakthroughs in building materials were made with the fusion of steel and concrete. Progressively many materials, usually made of plastic, have been added. These materials are fundamental to the restoration of modern buildings. Similarly the preservation of the early monuments of modernity implies a special challenge. Colors were treated differently than in previous eras.
T3.2 Building Methods & Structures in the City
Cities have a lot of infrastructure which is relevant for monument conservation. Historical road construction can complete a monument complex. The infrastructure of mass transit systems such as trains, trams and underground railways can be interesting for a monumental status. One subject of the seminar is the restoration of historic train stations, etc. Access to a water supply ranging from Roman aqueducts to modern water towers ensured survival in the cities. In case of fire, the fire department needed to have access to it. Likewise, contaminated water was remitted.
Wind and water mills to grind grain and oil or to pump water were part of the cities. The street lighting of the town was early secured. Many aspects of the technical heritage will be addressed in this seminar. It provides an overview of the environmental issues that affect cities and the role monuments play in this discussion.
This is the dedicated semester for the students to write their 20 weeks long master thesis. When all the prerequisite courses mentioned in Course structure is done, student has apply to board of Monumental Heritage to start writing thesis. More details can be found under following topics.
Before applying formally for starting master thesis, you have to keep this points in mind:
- All prerequisite courses are done.
- You must have one professor from this institution as your master supervisor.
- You have talked personally to the professors with whom you want to do your thesis.
- The master supervisor must be of Professor designation and according to German academic rule there is no payment - it is a volunteer task.
- You must present what information already existing for your proposed thesis topic.
When you are ready with all these point, fill up these forms (as below listed) and submit.
Best of luck!
Guideline for the submission of Master Thesis [PDF]
The master thesis is defended in the context of a presentation. The presentation can be individually accompanied by analogue or digital media.
Questions about studying
Where can you enroll?
After you have done several steps after you arrived in Dessau, you can be officially inrolled in MMH at the office of:
Mr. Hanjo Todte
Building M (Mensa / Canteen), Room 201
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 9:00 – 12:30 and 1:30 – 3:30
Which documents do I need for enrollment?
You need to show in addition to what you have been told with your admission package:
- Copy of your admission letter (Zulassungsschreiben)
- Copy of your passport (for Non-EU students) / national ID (for EU citizens)
- Proof of sufficient health insurance
- Paying in slip as proof of having transferred the semester fee
- Non-EU students: Residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel)
- biometric, passport-sized photo (for student ID)
Summer Semester: February 15th - March 31th
Winter Semester: August 15th - September 31th
How much is the fee?
In order to enroll for the MMH Master program, every student is expected to pay 2 administrative fees per each semester. These are:
1. admin. fee for Master Program MMH 750€
2. Admin. fee for general registration and student union 76€
Total amount of the tuition fee is 826€.
Where to pay?
After receiving the admission letter, you will get an information letter with the bank account details.
Every student has to register for the following semester:
Summer Semester: February 15th - March 15th
Winter Semester: August 15th - September 15th
Standard periode of study
The start of the study can be done in the winter semester and summer semester. The study program consists of 4 semesters and is completed with a written work (master thesis) as well as its presentation and defense. The program includes 3 semesters and 1 thesis semester.
Can I study part time?
The master program 'Monumantal Heritage' is a full time study.
An part time study is not recommended due to the time and professional requirements.
Do I have to register for courses?
You only have to register for each course in moodle.
Do I have to register for exams?
Yes, for exams you have to register yourself in HIS QIS-Portal.
Requirements for the Master's thesis
The prerequisite for admission to the Master's thesis is a total of 90 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System). They are acquired through the modules and courses of the three previous semesters.
Where can I see my grades?
You will find your all grades for each modules in the HIS QIS-Portal.
Can I earn my doctorate with my master's degree?
Yes, the master's degree entitles you to a doctorate without restriction.
- Are there guidelines for this progam?