About

The Bachelor of Design in Architecture teaches you the rewarding discipline of architecture and is your first step to becoming an architect. You will learn to design for the built environment through a studio-based program that encompasses the aesthetic, technical, social and professional aspects of architecture.

This program teaches you how to conceptualise designs, test assumptions, evaluate results and refine your craft. You will have access to electives drawn from across disciplines in arts, digital design, sustainability and urban design. This flexibility is supported by a rigorous core program of core units in studios, history and theory, communications, technology and design workshops. You will also take art workshops in your choice of ceramics, photography, painting, sculpture, public art and more. The Bachelor of Design in Architecture is the only undergraduate architecture program in Australia that includes these workshops as a core requirement to improving your aesthetic judgements and exposing you to a wide range of techniques and media.

Your personal and professional interests in architecture are matched by our staff’s discipline-leading research, exposing you to contemporary issues throughout your degree. Exciting opportunities are available for you to expand your studio experience, participate in design and build projects and leverage the knowledge and skills of our world-class researchers.

Architects must also be aware of the social context in which their designs are created, interpreted and understood. You may choose subjects from across the University’s 16 faculties to tailor your degree to your interests. This means that you will not be limited in your architectural practice, but will instead be a responsive and adaptive thinker who can produce designs that meet to clients’ needs.

Engagement with these professionally relevant aspects of the architectural profession is what makes our graduates highly sought-after and our alumni industry leaders.

A range of other opportunities including international exchange, student exhibitions, design competitions and industry presentations are also available to you.

Studios

Studios are the heart of architectural education. It is in studio that you work alongside fellow students to solve design challenges and develop your skills. The studio is where an architect feels most at home – it is a creative space that enables new levels of exploration, engagement and refinement of your chosen craft. The Bachelor of Design in Architecture offers the most studio hours of any architecture program in Australia.

While the content of the studios changes each semester – ensuring cutting-edge relevance – there are general themes across the studios you complete. Studios in your first year introduce you to design principles and ways of solving design challenges. Your second year studios introduce you to two real-world design challenges while allowing you to develop the frameworks within which you make design decisions. In your final year, you are challenged to produce complex architectures that critically reflect on architecture’s role in the human experience. This well rounded approach to architecture gives you exposure to all aspects of the architectural profession and prepares you for the Master of Architecture, the next step to becoming an architect.

EXPERTISE AND EXTENSIVE FACILITIES

To make the most of your studios, you need the latest, best and most extensive range of architectural tools for fabrication and digital design. The Faculty’s Architectural and Technical Services Centre (ATSC) is the home of our unrivaled fabrication facilities. Laser cutters, CNC routers, woodworking and metalworking equipment can all be found in the hive of activity that are our workshops and fabrication laboratories.

As a student with us, you will learn professionally relevant skills not only in architecture, but also in how to use the myriad tools that are required for the production of intricate and impressive architectural models. By exposing you to these skills during your degree, the Bachelor of Design in Architecture gives you many professional skills, beyond simply the focus on digital design taught in other architecture programs. The ATSC is staffed by a diverse and talented set of directors who know all aspects of their respective fabrication laboratories. Far from just technicians who know how to fix the machines, the ATSC staff are all designers in their own right, having studied design at a variety of institutions around the world. This means you get so much more than just technical help – you get co-collaborators that can assist you to make your models a physical reality.

Your access to the ATSC isn’t limited to your time with us – we offer the expertise and equipment to our alumni on an ongoing basis. It’s another way that the community in the Faculty extends far beyond your study

Career Prospects

Leading architects are now often involved in the design of new materials, structures, exhibitions, graphics, furniture, fashion, lighting, household products, theatre sets and art installations, as well as in the architect’s traditional role as planner of houses, offices, schools, museums, airports, public spaces and city masterplans, etc.

For more information about how to become an architect, visit the Australian Institute of Architects

Profiles

Andrew Daly

"This is a degree that requires imagination and a lot of hard work. The limitations are up to you: extra-curricular activities or engaging with the broader Sydney and Australian design community are all things that will make your time at Uni something you’ll remember for the rest of your life.”

Curriculum

Core studios provide you with a solid foundation in architectural concepts and practices, while electives enable you to pursue personal interests related to or outside of architecture. Art workshop electives foster creativity while encouraging conceptual and material experimentation with different media. This combination of core units of study, workshops and electives produces dynamic graduates that contribute much more than just the pragmatic design of buildings.

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
SEMESTER 1
BDES1010 Studio 101
BDES1011 Architecture History/Theory 1
BDES1012 Architecture Communications 1
Elective
SEMESTER 1
BDES1020 Studio 201
BDES2013 Architectural Technologies 2
BDES2012 Architectural Communications 2
Elective
SEMESTER 1
BDES3010 Studio 301
BDES3011 Architecture History/Theory 3
BDES3012 Architecture Communications 3
Elective
SEMESTER 2
BDES1020 Studio 102
BDES1023 Architectural Technologies 1
BDES1024 Art Workshop 1
Elective
SEMESTER 2
BDES2020 Studio 202
BDES2021 Architecture History/Theory 2
BDES2024 Art Workshop 2
Elective
SEMESTER 2
BDES3020 Studio 302
BDES3023 Architectural Technologies 3
BDES3025 Professional Practice
Elective

TO BECOME A REGISTERED ARCHITECT

To practise as an architect in Australia, you must be registered with the Architect’s Accreditation Council of Australia. In order to register you need to have completed five years of study (or equivalent) in the field of architecture, have worked for a minimum of two years in architectural practice, and pass a registration examination.

The University of Sydney offers a Master of Architecture degree. The degree is two years full-time. It is necessary to have first completed the three year Bachelor of Design in Architecture before you can be admitted to the Master of Architecture. On completion of the degree students will have satisfied the tertiary education requirements for registration with the Architect’s Accreditation Council of Australia.

A student who completes the Bachelor of Design in Architecture with at least a Credit average (65 per cent) across all of their units of study is automatically reserved a place in the Master of Architecture. Other entry pathways are open to students who have completed industry experience or a three-year architecture program at another institution.

For more information on the Master of Architecture program, visit the program page or download a brochure.

For more information about how to become an architect, visit the Architect’s Accreditation Council of Australia.

Student Work

Eva Yi Hua Zhang
“Retreat Pods”
2012
BVA

The retreat pods are my ‘minor’ architecture designed from a reaction to ‘major’ architecture. They are designed with the purpose to shelter the voiceless population with obsessive compulsive disorder. This is not a centre to celebrate nor cure OCD. It is a sanctuary for those with OCD, providing temporary relief via relaxation and meditation-centred spaces; the goal is to provide respite and escape from the brutalism of society.

Shell-like layers, and manipulable interiors provide users with complete control over the architecture, allowing every capsule to reflect individual responses to their pressures and their needs.

Niccolo Colonna
"Totality

A bridge takes you from the place you are at to another, instead The Crypt will lead you back were you came from: but will it look, sound or feel the same? It’s up to those who enter to decide the outcome of their experience. The only way to awake from this deep spiritual sleep, is to realize what you have to loose. Death reveals life.

For those who are not dead but just passing by, The Crypt represents a shelter from the city and the busy George Street, to gain your breath and get away from that overwhelming sense of crowdedness to be replaced with an overwhelming sense of openness.

Nicholas Cheuk Hang Wong
"Totality

The intense winds and sunlight on Cockatoo Island both assist and are assisted by the socially privileged sense of sight in experiencing haptic stimulation. Despite of the highly visual nature of a museum, ‘Unveiling Senses’ promotes the necessary visual aspect and a powerful tactile experience as homage to Cockatoo Island’s natural environment.

Sensory stimulation is emphasised by the contrast between the external and the internal: circulation and exhibition cubes. Throughout the museum space, you will be subjected to sudden shifts between inside and outside, darkness and light, exposed and controlled. This is integral to your haptic experience on the island.

Admissions

Year 12 Applications (UAC Admission)

Year 12 applicants (and those who completed a gap-year in the year preceding the course commencement) must apply through the University Admissions Centre (UAC).

Applicants are eligible for the Flexible Entry scheme if their ATAR is within 5 points of the ATAR cutoff for the commencement year of the degree. Download the FAQ sheet and Flexible entry cover sheet, or see below for details.

As a guide, the cutoffs for previous years’ commencements are provided below:

2012 2011 2010
Bachelor of Design in Architecture 96.95 96.95 96.25
Bachelor of Design in Architecture/Bachelor of Engineering 97.25 98.20 96.30
Bachelor of Design in Architecture/Bachelor of Laws 99.70 N/A N/A

Non-Year 12 Applicants under the age of 21 (UAC Admission)

If you have completed the HSC or equivalent, and/or tertiary study, apply through the University Admissions Centre (UAC).

Your application will be evaluated by combining your ATAR and any applicable tertiary grades.

Applicants are eligible for the Flexible Entry scheme if their ATAR is within 5 points of the ATAR cutoff for the commencement year of the degree. See below for details.

Mature Age Entry Scheme

If you are over 21 years of age and have not completed the HSC, its equivalent or more than one year of tertiary study, you can complete an approved preparation course through the University Centre for Continuing Education (CCE). Once you have completed this course, you can apply through UAC for entry into the Bachelor of Design in Architecture (and its combined programs).

You are eligible to apply through the flexible entry scheme. See below for details.

Contact the University Centre for Continuing Education for more information. You can call the Centre on (02) 9351 2907 or visit their website.
Find out more

International Applicants (Onshore):

If you are an international student completing your HSC or equivalent within Australia or New Zealand, apply through the University Admissions Centre (UAC). You will be considered for a place based on your ATAR score. You are not eligible for the flexible entry scheme.

International Applicants (Offshore):

If you are an international student studying overseas (with the exception of students undertaking the HSC equivalents in New Zealand), you must apply through the University of Sydney’s International Office.

You are not eligible for the flexible entry scheme. Find out how to apply directly or where to find an agent at the dedicated international student homepage http://sydney.edu.au/future-students/international/undergraduate/

International undergraduate academic entry requirements

Check the International undergraduate academic entry grade requirement for Architecture here

For a full list of international qualifications that are accepted by the University of Sydney for entry to undergraduate courses, visit the Recognised International Secondary Qualification page.

International Mature Age Applicants (Onshore and Offshore)

If you are over 21 years of age, are not an Australian or New Zealand citizen and have not completed the HSC, its equivalent or at least one year of tertiary study, you must apply through the University of Sydney’s International Office.

You are not eligible for the flexible entry scheme. Find out how to apply directly or where to find an agent at the dedicated international student homepage http://sydney.edu.au/future-students/international/undergraduate/

International undergraduate academic entry requirements

Check the International undergraduate academic entry grade requirement for Architecture here

For a full list of international qualifications that are accepted by the University of Sydney for entry to undergraduate courses, visit the Recognised International Secondary Qualification page.

Other Applicants

If your high school qualification is not recognized, you can enroll in a foundational course. See the University’s Centre for Continuing Education for more information on which foundational courses provide entry pathways into the Bachelor of Design Computing. You are not eligible for the flexible entry scheme.

Flexible Entry

The flexible entry scheme is available to Bachelor of Design in Architecture applicants who fall under one of the following categories:

  • Year 12 applicants

  • Non-Year 12 applicants under the age of 21

  • Mature age applicants who are Australian citizens.

Note: The flexible entry scheme is not available to Bachelor of Architecture/Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Architecture/Bachelor of Laws applicants.

Flexible entry is designed to assist the University of Sydney to identify students who may not have achieved the required ATAR, but nonetheless demonstrate an aptitude for studies in Architecture.

More details on flexible entry are available on the Future Students page under Pathways.

FAQs

What will the ATAR be this year?
The Faculty cannot predict its ATARs and so it is impossible to answer this question until enrolments for 2014 have been finalised. However, last year’s ATAR score gives a good indication of what this year’s will be. In 2013, the ATAR was 96.95.

What exemptions can I get for previous study?
Exemptions are available to students who have completed related programs at University or TAFE. Common exemptions for previous study are identified in the following tables but additional exemptions from other institutions may be available.

How long is the architecture course at Sydney University?
The course is 5 years. It is divided into two degrees: the 3 year Bachelor of Design in Architecture and you may then apply for the 2 year Master of Architecture.

What is the advantage of having two degrees?
Two degrees gives you increased flexibility. Not all students find that architecture is their vocation, so the BDesArch allows for changes in career direction.
Students may decide to enter one of the Faculty's graduate programs such as Urban Design, Urban and Regional Planning, Heritage Conservation, Facilities Management, Illumination Design or Digital Media. Alternatively, students might pursue something from another faculty.

Can I just do the first degree?
Yes, many students complete the first degree and go on to do further study in related areas. The first degree is focused on the built environment and design.

Do I need both degrees to be an architect?
Yes. The 5 year program is fully accredited and recognised by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects. To be registered as an architect requires completion of a recognised program – which means both degrees!

I’m not going to get the marks to get into architecture but I really want to be an architect. What should I do?
If your marks were not high enough to get in this time, you may consider enrolling in another degree. After one full year of study, you are eligible to apply through UAC for a place in architecture as a non-year 12 applicant. You will need to perform very well to give yourself a chance of an offer.
It is best to select a degree in which you think you will perform well and perhaps to take subjects that might help prepare you for either architecture, or design computing.

What subjects should I choose in Year 11?
There are no prerequisites but there are two subjects which are 'assumed knowledge'. These are Maths and Advanced English. Interpretive subjects such as History, Visual Arts and Geography are also recommended.

Where is the Faculty Located?
The Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning is in the Wilkinson Building at 148 City Road, Darlington as are the Tin Sheds Gallery and Art Workshops. For more information, please see our How to find us page.

What textbooks do I need?
Most students do not buy textbooks as they have access to one of the best Architecture libraries in Australia, the Sci-Tech Library which is located close to the faculty. Some course notes are purchased throughout the program.

What equipment do I need?
On orientation day, you will be issued with a list of recommended equipment, along with prices and addresses of where to buy at a 10% student discount.

What sort of areas can I work in as an architect?
Architectural employment, like most other professions, is affected by the economic climate. At present the job market for architects in Sydney and surrounding areas is very good. Architecture graduates specialise in heritage and conservation, public buildings (sports buildings, museum buildings, health buildings), housing, computers, interiors, restaurant design, project management, design management, information technology, planning and urban design, among others.

Do I have to be good at maths?
Mathematics is assumed knowledge, but it is not a prerequisite. This means you can get into our program without studying 2 unit maths. A maths elective is available in 1st year for students wishing to catch up.

Do I have to be able to draw - I have not done art or any technical drawing before?
You don’t need to have been taught drawing at school – we will equip you with the skills you need. Drawing is one of the design communication skills that is taught in first and second year.

Will I be able to continue doing art?
One of the great things about our Faculty is that we have the Art Workshops and Tin Sheds Gallery. They offer many subjects which can be taken as electives or as a specialised stream in your degree: painting, screen painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, web design etc.

Where can I park?
Most students come by bus or train. Many senior students and most international students live in the area. City Road has on-street parking which is subject to clear zones at peak hours and is heavily monitored. The Seymour Centre carpark on Shepherd Street offers parking for a reasonable daily rate and is only a few minutes walk from the Faculty.

Where can I eat?
We have a cafe in our building for coffee and food, otherwise you can eat at Wentworth Building on City Road about 100m from the faculty. There are lots of great cafes on campus as well as in Glebe and Newtown which are both in walking distance.

Are there any scholarships in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning?
Yes! Faculty scholarships are available. For more information, please see the University's scholarships page.