2023-2024 / ARCH0562-1

Research methodology in architecture


40h Th

Number of credits

 Master in architecture (120 ECTS)5 crédits 


Justine Contor, Stéphane Dawans, Baptiste Drugmand, Justine Gloesener, Marc Goossens, Mathilde Junger, Georges Mabille, Julie Neuwels, Philippe Sosnowska, Sophie Trachte


Philippe Sosnowska

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course aims to reinforce your knowledge in the field of scientific research, an essential activity of the university institution and is naturally articulated around the four axes supported by the Faculty of Architecture. Scientific research is based on the development of a critical, objective, rational and rigorous mind. Within the framework of this course, our approach is to introduce you to the process of research in architecture and to train you in scientific writing.

The course is thus an introduction to the "State of Progress" course (master, Q2) and prepares you for the elaboration of the end-of-study work (TFE or TFE project), one of the culminating exercises of your academic career.

Depending on the scientific field chosen, the learning process will aim at acquiring and mastering various complementary skills necessary for scientific research:

  • The identification and understanding of scientific productions as well as their specificities and structures;
  • The understanding of the different methodological perspectives presented in class, their specificities, contributions and limits in relation to a research question;
  • The realization of a documentary research taking into account the appreciation of the scientific value of the sources and their relevance with regard to a given research question;
  • The realization of a state of the art;
  • The ability to identify a research topic, to develop a problematic and a research question and finally, to discuss the possible methodological perspectives to be implemented for the realization of this work;
    The respect of the conventions of scientific referencing which goes hand in hand with the elaboration of bibliographies.
The courses will be given in the form of a thematic "seminar", by groups of students around teachers. This division into groups will allow students to approach the practice of research and the implementation of writing exercises in a privileged, percussive and targeted manner. In addition to these seminars, plenary sessions will punctuate this teaching.













Learning outcomes of the learning unit

A the end to this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify and understand the main specificities of the different types of research (basic, project, applied, historical, action, etc.);
  • Identify and understand the main specificities of the different research approaches (inductive, deductive, etc.) and the different categories of research in architecture;
  • Understand the different methodological perspectives presented in class during the thematic sessions;
  • Identify and understand the organization of the different parts of a scientific production (article, book, TFE...) namely: the research question, the state of the art, the methodological principles, the paradigms used and the main results;
  • Appreciate the scientific value of documentary sources and scientific research methodologies;
  • Master the referencing system and the codes for the elaboration of a bibliography;
  • Pursue a documentary research.
  • Write a scientific note equivalent to a state of the art or a state of the question.
You will also reinforce your ability to synthesize your thoughts in a written statement that is well argued, structured, clear, precise and concise. This essential quality in the scientific approach can also be used in your daily work as an architect.





Prerequisite knowledge and skills

This course will require you to have a good level of writing skills in French and to be able to read texts written in English.


Planned learning activities and teaching methods

  • Seven 4-hour face-to-face class sessions combining - depending on the session - lectures and practical exercises;
  • Three free class sessions allowing you to work in groups on the different exercises and on the final work;
  • Interaction during the course (wooclap, etc.);
  • Readings and comprehension of texts in preparation for certain sessions, in a reverse classroom logic;
  • If necessary, assignments and tests are to be submitted online on eCampus according to the terms and deadlines indicated by the teachers.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Exclusively face-to-face course , except if the health situation no longer allows it. A hybrid or distance learning course will then be organized.

Works and tests completed during or following certain sessions, according to the methods and deadlines indicated by the teachers




Recommended or required readings

  • Presentation slides, readings and various sources are provided for each on eCampus.
  • Texts to be read or lectures to be listened to in preparation for certain sessions are provided one week in advance. They are available online on eCampus.
  • A bibliography adapted to the content of the course is provided in the session.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam

Additional information:

Your mastery of this course will be assessed by means of several assignments submitted during the four-month term, but also, and mainly, by means of the writing of a "scientific note", which will include a part written in group and a part written individually. This will be the culmination of this first phase of learning how to write a scientific paper. This work will be submitted individually during the January session.

All the assessment criteria for each exercise will be sent to you when the assignment is set out in the seminar and on eCampus. The assessment will be carried out by the teacher(s) in charge of the seminar in which the student is registered, with the support of an assistant if necessary.

It should also be noted that the final mark will be the sum of the points obtained for the course notes (75%), for the intermediate work (15%) and for active participation in the seminar (10%).

Finally, for the second session, in addition to the aspects mentioned above, the overall assessment of your exam will again include marks for the intermediate work.

Additional comments

Late submissions will not be taken into account in the assessment. Failure to meet deadlines will result in a mark of 0/20. Students who have not submitted their work will be recorded as absent. Any work that does not comply with the scientific referencing conventions will be awarded a mark of 7/20 maximum.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

In order to simplify and optimise exchanges, all communications relating to this teaching will take place during the various sessions. The main and most important information (timetable, instructions, etc.) will also be posted on the eCampus platform. The eCampus platform will also host course materials, teaching resources and document repositories. Depending on the teaching staff, you may be asked to submit a paper version of your work.

All students must enrol in a seminar, preferably one whose theme corresponds to the subject and/or field they wish to explore as part of their TFE. Students must register after the first class session. However, the number of students per seminar will be limited to ensure fair supervision. For this reason, the coordinator may redirect students to another seminar group in order to balance the number of students per seminar.

In order to organise your group as effectively as possible, we advise you to choose your teammates according to your respective architecture studios: three students with the same architecture studio will find it easier to find time to exchange ideas between sessions. In addition, if ERASMUS students are present, we would ask you to give them a warm welcome by integrating them into your respective groups so that they can benefit from real support right from the start of the course, as well as referral students in the Faculty.

The general subject of the methodology course will be announced at the first session. This year's research themes are :

  • Architectural history, construction history and heritage;
  • Climate changes: understanding changes and anticipating their impact on the environment and land management;
  • Urban philosophy. Anthropological approach to contemporary living spaces
  • Sociology of innovation and the environment;
  • Social sciences and architecture: caring for an area and its users.
  • Construction technology - Sustainable renovation - Design ;
  • Territory.















philippe.sosonowska@uliege.be (coordinateur)




Association of one or more MOOCs

There is no MOOC associated with this course.

Additional information:





Items online

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