The BAM methodology derives from the adjustment of different indicators aimed to compare the world’s leading universities, architecture schools and selected Master’s degree programs of the BAM Ranking 2021. Thanks to the BAM methodology, we are able to establish criteria to objectively compare study plans which, despite being different, are all focused on the academic development of better architects.
Our methodology consists of a list of indicators and sub-indicators that are focused on the quality of the study program, the facilities available for students, the competence of their faculty, and the internationally of their students, among other essential variables for a program to be considered as prestigious are taken into account.
The Expert Committee have had the task of developing the list of 11 educational-performance indicators and 42 sub-indicators during all the phases of the BAM Ranking 2021 study. These indicators are yearly updated in order to keep them aligned with contemporary issues related to the architectural academy.
Each main indicator consists of different sub-indicators which have a related evaluation point. The sum of all the main indicators points provides the final score of the program on a 1-100 scale.
The Master’s programs offices are asked to provide all the necessary information to be evaluated through the BAM Methodology. Once the staff of the programs sends the requested information, each program is evaluated and obtains a final score, which determines the order of the ranking.
The age of a master’s program shows its success through the continuous demand and new applicants in each program cycle. Its continuity through time means a teaching program is stable and generates confidence in newcomers. It also proves itself relevant for the professionals who participated in the past.
To achieve points in this section, the evaluated master’s program must have at least 10 program cycles of success under the same name. Study plans with more than 15 editions obtain additional points.
In addition, the history and prestige of the School of Architecture that holds the master’s program are valued in a positive way.
Relevance: 6,7 / 100
It is positively valued that a master’s program is directly related to other universities at the international level due to the continuous communication it implies and the possibility to generate educational agreements that benefit both students and alumni.
To score here, it is necessary for the program to have an academic relationship with at least one foreign university in terms of exchange, lectures, research, faculty, etc.
Double-diploma degrees obtain additional points, for letting students obtain a diploma in different countries, maximizing the chances of professional success, career, and research development.
Relevance: 9,6 / 100
Prices of the master’s programs must have an effective relationship between the study program and its length in time, to be regarded as an attractive opportunity for new candidates. Quite often, international master’s programs with an excessive cost prevent high qualified professionals from studying in reliable international institutions.
Too long programs tend to be too expensive for most students. That’s why programs with a short and intense study plan tend to have better results in terms of the quality of projects.
Points are achieved if the program has available and exclusive scholarships for new candidates. In addition, a good scholarship rate of the current students is also valued as positive.
Relevance: 7,4 / 100
Optimum quality means generating the best benefits available to the whole student body once the course has finished, promoting a successful development of their professional career. This issue is tested through the balanced relation between theory and practice, aiming to cover the different areas of knowledge in an integral and substantial way.
To score the most, the Master’s programs must prove to have a balanced educational system between theoretical lessons and practical workshops. The specialization of programs in terms of lessons (subjects/courses) is also tested, and we aim to recognize as positive a balanced specialization rate. The most valued programs here will be the most balanced in terms of Theory vs Practice and Specialization rates.
The flexibility for students to select their subjects during the master’s program is also considered positive, and extra points are achieved if the program organizes free/open lectures for students that are not necessarily inscribed in the course.
Internationalization is a relevant issue for BAM, and we value it as positive if the program is taught in English, due to this fact allows international students to enroll in the program wherever they are from.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the architecture academy to change the way education is imparted. To achieve these points, the programs must demonstrate that they are adapted to the pandemic situation through online lessons or new innovative methods.
Relevance: 17,8 / 100
It is positively valued that the postgraduate program supports the career development of the participants in terms of job opportunities and networking between current students, professors, alumni, and other professionals in the field.
Professional and/or research internships are also valued as positive because it allows students to prove their skills in architecture offices, or academic research programs.
To score here, the program must also prove the success of their Alumni after the program is finished in terms of employability.
Relevance: 7,4 / 100
An international and diverse faculty contributes to offering a wider and multicultural educative experience that promotes the professional enrichment of the students.
For scoring here, the master’s programs must demostrante to have a good rate of international faculty, from no less than four different countries.
A multi-gender faculty body are positively valued in this section.
Relevance: 6,7 / 100
The academic and professional competence of the faculty is highly valued to ensure that lessons will maintain a high quality in terms of teaching and professionalism. This topic is measured by the achieved Ph.D. studies of the current faculty and the number of professors involved in relevant practices related to architecture.
To fulfill this requirement, the programs would need to send a list of their faculty, with details about their academical and professional level.
In addition, is positively valued that a good number of teachers are graduated from the best universities of architecture (according to QS Ranking by Subject)
The professor-student rate has been included in order to determine if the students receive a personalized education experience from their professors.
If the programs have outstanding and prestigious teachers with different international prizes as part of the teaching staff, additional points will be achieved.
Relevance: 14,8 / 100
International and diverse students also contribute to creating a wide and multicultural experience that enhances the professional enrichment of the students.
To score here, the study plan must register an international current student body, from no less than five different countries. Additionally, points are given if the students are from three different geographical areas.
A mutli-gender student body is also valued as positive.
Relevance: 5,9 / 100
It is highly valued that the master’s programs make and participate in relevant publications related to the profession in research, practical work, or any other. The number of developed publications demonstrates the performance of the work developed by students as part of the program. Also, it is taken into consideration the number of publications developed by the regular faculty of the program because it can determine the relevance of the teaching staff.
To achieve points in this section, the program must demonstrate that they are producing at least one publication per year. It is asked to give a list of the publications in which the program has been involved (printed and online).
In addition, the program must give a list of regular professors indicating the publications they have developed.
Relevance: 6,7 / 100
It is taken into consideration for the development of the program to have an exclusive and suitable space for students. It is also considered that students have access to all tools and materials needed to successfully complete the required tasks. For a good score here, the study plan must offer the following spaces: continuous workshop space, open public spaces, dedicated spaces for the construction of physical models, and general facilities.
For the present edition of the Ranking, we have included a sub-indicator related to the schools that have outstanding facilities as part of the schools of architecture. Ex. Robotic development areas, technological labs, physical material libraries, high-tech computers for advanced calculations, among others. Outstanding facilities help students to enhance their skills and obtain better results during their master´s studies.
BAM Ranking takes the QS University Ranking by Subject 2021 as a reference for the selection of programs to be studied. Due to the importance of this Ranking to BAM, additional points are achieved for the programs presented by the first 10th universities ranked in the QS Ranking by Subject 2021 (Architecture / Built Environment)
Relevance: 8,9 / 100
The collaboration of the Schools of Architecture is a must to launch the BAM Ranking year after year. The selected master’s programs are asked to complete an online form to send us the needed information to evaluate them through our Methodology. To achieve points here, a program must send all the requested information on time and according to the schedule.
The opinion of our experts is a key factor to decide what programs will be evaluated. If a program obtained 100% of acceptance by all our experts, it would achieve points because it was a unanimous decision.
Some points are also achieved if the programs have public and transparent program details on their official websites.
Relevance: 8,1 / 100
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