Curriculum and regulations for the Master's programme in Information Architecture

1: Preface

In pursuance of Act No. 367 of 25 March 2013 on Universities (the University Act) with subsequent amendments the following regulations and curriculum are stipulated for the Master’s Programme in Information Architecture at Aalborg University.

2: Basis in Ministerial orders

The Master’s programme is organised in accordance with the Ministry of Higher Education and Science’s Order no. 1328 of November 15, 2016 on Bachelor’s and Master’s Programmes at Universities (the Ministerial Order of the Study Programmes) and Ministerial Order no. 1062 of June 30, 2016 on University Examinations (the Examination Order). Further reference is made to Ministerial Order no. 111 of January 30, 2017 (the Admission Order) and Ministerial Order no. 114 of February 3, 2015 (the Grading Scale Order) with subsequent changes.

3: Campus

The programme is offered in Aalborg.

4: Faculty affiliation

The Master’s programme falls under The Faculty of Humanities, Aalborg University.

5: Study board affiliation

The Master’s programme falls under Study Board of Communication and Digital Media

6: Affiliation to corps of external examiners

The Master’s programme is associated with the external examiners corps on Information Studies, Communications and Digital Media

7: Admission requirements

Admission to the Master’s Programme in Information Architecture is for students who have a relevant bachelor degree or professional bachelor degree. A relevant bachelor degree is defined as a degree from a bachelor programme whose central subject areas ensure competence to an extent equivalent to not less than 60 ECTS points within the disciplinary area of information architecture (rhetoric, communication, language theory, philosophy of science, ICT technologies, organisational theory, knowledge organization and categorization, design and human-computer interaction).

Applicants with a legal right of admission (retskrav)

  • The Bachelor Programme in Communication and Digital Media from Aalborg University may provide access for students to be admitted to the Master’s Programme in Information Architecture.

Applicants without legal right of admission

  • The following bachelor programmes from Aalborg University may provide access for students to be admitted to the Master’s Programme in Information Architecture: Informatics; Medialogy; and IT.

  • The following bachelor programmes from other universities may provide access for students to be admitted to the Master’s Programme in Information Architecture: Information Science; and Information Science and Cultural Dissemination.

  • The following professional bachelor programmes may provide access for students to be admitted to the Master’s Programme in Information Architecture: Web Development; and E-concept Development.

Applicants who do not fulfil the conditions stipulated in subsection 1 may be accepted on condition that the Study Board considers that the applicant possesses comparable educational qualifications, on the basis of an assessment of the case in question. In such cases, the Study Board may call in the applicant for an interview.

For further information, visit www.uddannelsestjekker.aau.dk (only available in Danish)

8: The programme title in Danish and English

The Master’s programme entitles the graduate to the Danish designation Cand.it. i informationsarkitektur. The English designation is: Master of Science (MSc.) in Information Technology, Information Architecture.

9: Programme specifications in ECTS credits

The Master’s programme is a xx-year, research-based, full-time study programme. The programme is set to xx ECTS credits.

10: Rules concerning credit transfer (merit), including the possibility for choice of modules that are part of another programme at a university in Denmark or abroad

The Study Board can approve successfully completed (passed) programme elements from other Master’s programmes in lieu of programme elements in this programme (credit transfer). The Study Board can also approve successfully completed (passed) programme elements from another Danish programme or a programme outside of Denmark at the same level in lieu of programme elements within this curriculum. Decisions on credit transfer are made by the Study Board based on an academic assessment. See the Joint Programme Regulations for the rules on credit transfer.

11: Exemptions

In exceptional circumstances, the Study Board study can grant exemption from those parts of the curriculum that are not stipulated by law or ministerial order.  Exemption regarding an examination applies to the immediate examination.

12: Rules for examinations

The rules for examinations are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures published by the faculty on their website.

13: Rules concerning written work, including the Master’s Thesis

In the assessment of all written work, regardless of the language it is written in, weight is also given to the student's formulation and spelling ability, in addition to the academic content. Orthographic and grammatical correctness as well as stylistic proficiency are taken as a basis for the evaluation of language performance. Language performance must always be included as an independent dimension of the total evaluation. However, no examination can be assessed as ‘Pass’ on the basis of good language performance alone; similarly, an examination normally cannot be assessed as ‘Fail’ on the basis of poor language performance alone.

The Study Board can grant exemption from this in special cases (e.g., dyslexia or a native language other than Danish).

The Master’s Thesis must include an English summary (or another foreign language: French, Spanish or German upon approval by the Study Board). If the project is written in English, the summary must be in Danish (The Study Board can grant exemption from this). The summary must be at least 1 page and not more than 2 pages (this is not included in any fixed minimum and maximum number of pages per student). The summary is included in the evaluation of the project as a whole.

14: Requirements regarding the reading of texts in a foreign language

This programme will be conducted in English. A further condition is that both Danish and English speaking applicants must have English at B-level as a no less than or have passed an English-language test of the equivalent competence level approved by the University. The students can write their projects and assignments either in English or in Danish. The oral exams can also be carried out either in English or in Danish.

15: Competence profile on the diploma

The following competence profile will appear on the diploma:

A Candidatus graduate has the following competency profile:

A Candidatus graduate has competencies that have been acquired via a course of study that has taken place in a research environment.

A Candidatus graduate is qualified for employment on the labour market based on his or her academic discipline as well as for further research (PhD programmes). A Candidatus graduate has, compared to a Bachelor, developed his or her academic knowledge and independence so as to be able to apply scientific theory and method on an independent basis within both an academic and a professional context.

16: Competence profile of the programme

The Master’s Programme in Information Architecture is a research based experimental full-time programme that provides students with a basis for the execution of professional work functions and qualifies for admission to PhD studies.

The Master's programme in Information Architecture builds on and supplements the knowledge and skills which the student has acquired in the course of the preceding bachelor education. The aim of the Master's programme is that the student gains competence in user-driven design of content and structure in all kinds of information systems within all media, with special focus on design processes in relation to global information systems in which different cultural codes and media modalities are combined in new, constantly changing ways, adapted to market conditions and to cultural and political diversity.

The Master's programme in Information Architecture imparts constructive competence in analysing, assessing and designing structure, function and style in information architectures, and competence in discussing, visualizing, planning and managing design processes. As such construction and procedural competences are utilized in private as well as public sector IT enterprises and departments in designing architectures, in quality assessment and in user education, the candidate should be able to deploy his/her theoretical and practical skills in solving concrete assignments. The candidate will be able to work as a designer, project manager and evaluation consultant within the fields of Information Architecture and User Experience.

The structure, the modules, and the electives of the Master’s programme allow the students to choose between two focus areas; Information Architecture in general and Information Architecture and Persuasive Design. Furthermore, the students customize their education through individual choices of electives and project subjects.

The graduate of the Master’s programme

Knowledge

Through the Master’s Programme in Information Architecture, students will acquire knowledge of:

  • Theory and methods as regards interaction with and analysis and design of information architecture across platforms and technologies

  • Formats, description, organisation, visualization, and dissemination of knowledge, information, and data

  • Analysis, evaluation and test of the usability and user experience of information architectures

  • User driven innovation and user centered design of information architectures

  • Methods and strategies for utilizing and communicating the potential of knowledge and

    information

  • The role, function, and possibilities of information architecture in an organizational context

  • Competence requirements of the discipline in relation to professional work

Skills

Through the Master’s Programme in Information Architecture, students will acquire skills in:

  • Planning, developing, and designing information architectures
  • Assessing, choosing, and applying relevant strategies and methods for analysing, evaluating, and comparing information architectures

  • Working critically and constructively in utilizing business strategies by means of information architecture

  • Using formal models to identify and integrate user , user requirements and user characteristics into the design and evaluation of information architectures

Competencies

Through the Master’s Programme in Information Architecture, students will acquire competences in:

  • Independently, systematically, and critically assessing and applying scientific theories and methods within information architecture, interaction design, categorization, users, and information.

  • Independently organizing and communicating knowledge and information by means of information architecture and ICT technologies

  • Analytically and critically developing, designing and realising information architectures to support communication between humans and computers

  • Communicating information architecture knowledge, solutions , research, and designs to peers and laymen

17: Structure and Contents of the programme

The Master's programme in Information Architecture builds on and supplements the knowledge and skills which the student has acquired in the course of the preceding bachelor education. The aim of the Master's programme is that the student gains competence in user-driven design of content and structure in all kinds of information systems within all media, with special focus on design processes in relation to global information systems in which different cultural codes and media modalities are combined in new, constantly changing ways, adapted to market conditions and to cultural and political diversity.

The Master's programme in Information Architecture imparts constructive competence in analysing, assessing and designing structure, function and style in information architectures, and competence in discussing, visualizing, planning and managing design processes. As such construction and procedural competences are utilized in private as well as public sector IT enterprises and departments in designing architectures, in quality assessment and in user education, the candidate should be able to deploy his/her theoretical and practical skills in solving concrete assignments. The candidate will be able to work as a designer, project manager and evaluation consultant within the fields of Information Architecture and User Experience.

The Master’s Programme in Information Architecture is compiled of modules and structured as a problem based and project organised study programme consisting of obligatory project modules, obligatory study subject modules and the obligatory Master’s thesis. In addition, the programme comprises two elective modules.

Obligatory modules

Information Architecture, Rhetoric and Persuasive Design (project module)7th semester15 ECTS
Categorisation, Concepts and Cognition (study subject module)7th semester5 ECTS
Web Technology and Databases (study subject module)7th semester10 ECTS
Design Tools (study subject module)8th semester5 ECTS
Design of Information Architecture (study subject module)8th semester10 ECTS
Information Architecture and Organisations (project module)8th semester10 ECTS
Information Architecture in Practice (project module)9th semester20 ECTS
Research Methodology (study subject module)9th semester5 ECTS
Master's Thesis10th semester30 ECTS

Elective modules, of which students must select two*

Elective course A8th semester5 ECTS
Elective course B9th semester5 ECTS

*Students may choose electives offered by the Study Board of Communication and Digital Media (see the appendix Elective modules for Master’s programmes under the Study Board of Communication and Digital Media), or apply to the Study Board for permission to substitute one or both of the elective modules with electives offered by other study boards at Aalborg University or other universities. Under all circumstances, elective modules must always represent a total of 10 ECTS credits. The elective modules listed are offered as determined by the Study Board. This means that not all elective modules will be offered every year.

The 7th semester of the programme comprises a project module of 15 ECTS credits in “Information Architecture, Rhetoric and Persuasive Design ”, a study subject module of 5 ECTS in “Categorization, Concepts and Cognition ““, and a study subject module of 10 ECTS in “Web Technology and Databases”

The 8th semester of the programme comprises a project module of 10 ECTS credits in “Information Architecture and Organizations”, a 10 ECTS credits study subject module in “Design of Information Architecture”, a study subject module of 5 ECTS in “Design Tools”, and a 5 ECTS credits elective module.

The 9th semester of the programme comprises a project module of 20 ECTS credits in “Information Architecture in Practice”, a 5 ECTS credits study subject module “Research Methodology”, and a 5 ECTS credits elective module.

18: Overview of the programme

Offered as: 1-professional
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation method Assessment method
7 Semester
8 Semester
9 Semester
10 Semester

Offered as: 1-professional
Specialisation: Persuasive Design
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation method Assessment method
7 Semester
8 Semester
9 Semester
10 Semester

19: Additional information

The Study Board displays and maintains more detailed information on the programme, including examination, on its website.

20: Commencement and transitional rules

These regulations were recommended by the Study Board of Communication and Digital Media and approved by the dean. The regulations will take effect from 1 September 2016 and apply to all students who commence Master’s studies on or after this date.

Subsection 2 Previous regulations will apply to students who have commenced their studies before 1 September 2016.

The Study Board of Communication and Digital Media and/or the Faculty of Humanities will determine when the last examinations will be held in accordance with these regulations.

21: Amendments to the curriculum and regulations

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