AR3911 Dissertation Syllabus:

AR3911 Dissertation Syllabus – Anna University Regulation 2021


1. To inculcate the spirit of exploration and research in architecture.
2. To enable the acquisition of in-depth knowledge in a specific aspect/ issue in the discipline of architecture as well as develop perspectives on the same through thought, reading, study, analysis, expression, documentation.
3. To enable the conversion of effort into a coherent line of thought through writing/ documentation/models/ any media.
4. To serve as prelude to Thesis.


Design studio emphasises on explaining and understanding architecture primarily through the mode of making. However, architecture as a field itself is driven by explicitly stated or implicitly understood ideas/ points of view of particular society and individuals. Dissertation offers an opportunity to look at architecture and built environment through phenomena, ideas, texts, intent. It involves process of observation, reflection and abstraction. Students are encouraged to choose any topic of their interest. Topics may range from analysing the works of an architect, history, typological changes, materiality, visual culture, contemporary society, cities, design process and many more. They could involve research based on primary sources in terms of doing actual field studies and/or secondary sources through reading. The dissertation proposal in about 1000 words stating the topic, issues to be explored and the scope must be submitted for approval. Work on the approved topic should start from the beginning of the semester and would be periodically reviewed.

At the end of the semester, a report that is a maximum of 100 pages should be submitted in the prescribed format. The suggested structure for the report is open- it could be writing, visual, documentation, sketches or analysis based depending on the topic. However, a written structure should tie the research together with the following areas -outline/ background of the area of study, statement of objectives or research questions within the area of study, outline of methodology/way to achieve the objectives or answer the questions of research, core section with necessary content such as study/documentation (any suitable way based on the nature of topic- drawings, sketches, photos, surveys, etc.,)/analysis/ arguments, etc., final conclusion. The report will be presented in the viva-voce exam and defended.


 A dissertation report with a coherent line of thought as reflected in the written structure and the core content which could be open ended.
 Ability to research deeply into a subject and develop depth in thought in any specific area based on point of view, observation, analysis and study.
 Ability to look at architecture from an informed, analysed and well thought out personally unique or objective perspective which would help strengthen the thesis process.


1. Bjarke Ingels, ‘Yes is More’, Taschen, 2009
2. Bernard Tschumi, ‘Manhattan Transcripts’, Wiley, 1994.
3. Rem Koolhaas et al, ‘Project on the City II: The Harvard Guide to Shopping’, Taschen, 201.
4. Charles Correa, ‘The New Landscape: Urbanisation in the Third World’, Concept Media, 199.
5. Iain Borden and Kaaterina Ruedi; ‘The Dissertation: An Architecture Student’s Handbook’, Architectural Press, 2006.
6. Linda Grant and David Wang, ‘Architectural Research Methods’, John Wiley Sons, 2013.
7. Vian Ahmed, Alex Opoku, Zeeshan Aziz, ‘Research Methodology in the Built Environment’, Rutledge, 2016.


1. Wayne C Booth, Joseph M Williams, Gregory G. Colomb, ‘The Craft of Reearch’,2nd Edition, University of Chicago Press, 2016.
2. Ranjith Kumar, ‘Research Methodology- A Step by Step Guide for Beginners’, Sage Publications, 2011.
3. John W Creswell, ‘Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Aproaches’, Sage Publications, 2014.
4. Richard Coyne, ‘Interpretation in Architecture: Design as Way of Thinking’, Routledge, 2005.
5. Adam Sharr, ‘Reading Architecture and Culture’, Routledge,2012.