In its master’s education, the school follows a studio-based model with a low faculty-to-student ratio that encourages individual development and collaboration. AHO offers a five or five-and-a-half-year master’s degree programme that is designed to best equip the student to enter directly into professional practice or academia. AHO awards three master’s degrees: Master of Architecture, Master of Landscape Architecture, and Master of Industrial Design. Within these degree programmes, students may specialise in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism, industrial design, interaction design, service and systems-oriented design. The school also offers post-professional master’s courses in urban studies and architectural conservation. AHO offers a single type of doctoral degree, the Doctor of Philosophy.
The PhD program is organized as a separate academic and administrative unit. The PhD program includes about 50 PhD candidates who, along with AHO’s established academic staff, do research on artistic and academic problems.
Four institutes—Institute of Architecture, Institute of Urbanism and Landscape, Institute of Form, Theory and History, and Institute of Design—lead the education at AHO. Each Institute has its own research centre that informs and inspires teaching and practice.
As an international school AHO’s master’s programmes are taught in English. International students constitute 25% of the master’s students and 50% of the PhDs. The school boasts of three unique workshops for wood, plastic and metal, alongside a full-scale construction hall, Rapid Manufacturing labs, libraries, and the most current, IT resources. Studios, data labs, and unstaffed workshops are open to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The international faculty consists of academics and practising professionals who provide the necessary breadth needed for a contemporary architecture and design education.
AHO is located in the centre of Oslo, in a revitalised industrial area near the Aker River, in an innovative, creative and cultural part of the city. The school lays adjacent to the Oslo National Academy of the Arts and the recently opened Food Hall at Vulkan, the creative city development project area.
The School was established in 1945 initially as a “crisis course” for architects who had seen their education interrupted by World War II. Prior to this, most Norwegian architects were educated at the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH) in Trondheim, which was a polytechnic school. Throughout the interwar period, many architects had called for a more artistically oriented architectural education, and for an institution based in Oslo, where the most qualified teaching personnel were located. The architecture programme was initially run as part of The Norwegian Arts and Crafts School (SHKS), but in 1961 AHO was established as an independent institution. From 1968 AHO was located at St. Olavsgate. 4. The school moved to new campus by the Aker River in 2001.
The first industrial design programme in Norway, the Institute of Industrial Design, was established at SHKS in 1983. In 1996, the Institute merged with The Oslo School of Architecture. In 2005, The Oslo School of Architecture changed its name to The Oslo School of Architecture and Design. In 2009, the Institute of Industrial Design changed its name to the Institute of Design.