Bachelor of Design
in Architecture

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 design workshops in your choice of drawing, ceramics, photography, object design, 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 expertise 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 various faculties to tailor your degree to your interests. This means you will not be limited in your architectural practice, but will instead be a responsive and adaptive thinker who can produce designs that meet 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 are central to 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 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 to ensure up-to-the-minute relevance, there are general themes. Studios in your first year introduce you to design principles and ways of solving design challenges. 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 architecture that critically reflects on architecture’s role in the human experience. This well-rounded approach encompasses all aspects of the profession and prepares you for the Master of Architecture, the next step to becoming an architect.

Expertise and extensive facilties

As a student with us, you will learn professional skills not only in architecture, but also in how to use the myriad tools required for the production of intricate and impressive architectural models.

The DMaF Lab is staffed by a diverse and talented set of directors who know all aspects of their field. Far from just technicians who know how to fix the machines, the DMaF Lab 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 ideas a reality.

Your access to the DMaF Lab isn’t limited to your time with us – we offer the expertise and equipment to our alumni as well. This is another way that the faculty community 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 master plans, property construction, real estate, urban planning etc.


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. design workshop electives foster creativity while encouraging conceptual and material experimentation with different media.

The combination of core units of study, workshops and electives produces dynamic graduates who contribute much more than just the pragmatic design of buildings.

To become a registered architect

To practice 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 the brochure.

Indicative Course

    First Year

    Semester One

  • This course aims at providing students with the conceptual and technical skills required to creatively explore dynamic transactions between art and architecture. Throughout the semester, students will extend their ability to work with complex ideas while drawing on interdisciplinary practices related to the body, time, movement, structure and form.

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  • This unit presents foundational knowledge concerning modern movements in global architecture and urbanism, from the early-20th century to the present.

    It explores the relationships between developments in architectural practice and broader dynamics of 20th century history.

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  • The Safety Induction and Competency Unit aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills required for safe and effective working practices in the Architectural technical Services Centre (ATSC).

    Students are introduces to safe and appropriate ways of working with materials such as timber, metals and plastics in the wood Technology Studio, Metalistics Lab and Digital Fabrication Lab. Students will operate machinery, tools and equipment under supervision and will become familiar with relevant Work Health and Safety (WH&S) processes and requirements.

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  • TBA

    First Year

    Semester Two

  • This studio capitalises on the skills and processes gained in the first semester studio to engage with increasingly complex programmatic and contextual issues within the built environment.

    Fundamental modes of representation in a variety of media will be deployed as a means to comprehend and articulate architecture from multiple integrated perspectives.

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  • Architectural Technologies 1 introduces students to the roles that environmental considerations, structures and construction play in architecture.

    The fundamental concepts underpinning each of these key areas are presented and students demonstrate their developing knowledge of them via project-based assignments.

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  • TBA

    Second Year

    Semester One

  • Architecture Studio 2A requires the design of a small scale building or space in an urban context. The design process that is fostered explores the creative tension between intuition and prescription, using accumulative techniques that are intended to elicit unexpected solutions.

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  • Architectural Technologies 2 explores the roles that environmental considerations, structures and construction play in moderately complex medium-scale buildings.

    Emphasis is placed on developing in students an active awareness of the impact that technical and constructional decisions have on architectural Architectural Technologies 2 explores the role that environmental, structural and constructional considerations play in moderately complex small-scale buildings

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    Second Year

    Semester Two

  • Architecture Studio 2B requires the design of a moderately complex building in an urban context while exploring the historical and theoretical implications of site. Students develop an increased awareness of the broader social, cultural and environmental consequences of architectural decisions.

    The studio-history combination affords a unique opportunity to critically examine theories of space and the city in conjunction with diverse approaches to the making of modern architecture.

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  • Drawing upon skills and knowledge learnt in Art Workshop 1, students will extend their ability to work with complex ideas while drawing on interdisciplinary practices.

    A diverse range of studios will host the productions and critical discussions of the work in conjunction with a series of lectures and independent research to be attained outside the workshops.

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    Third Year

    Semester One

  • Architecture Studio 3A is oriented towards the technical dimensions of architecture, whilst remaining attentive to the deeper cultural and historical context in which such technical knowledge, particularly in regards to structures and sustainability, has arisen and is currently situated.

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  • Architectural History/Theory 3 surveys contemporary architectural debates through historical precedents, central texts, and present-day criticism on aesthetic design, cultural influences, mass media, and political events.

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    Third Year

    Semester Two

  • As the culminating design studio for the degree, students are presented with the opportunity to express and represent their own theoretical positioning through the design of a sufficiently complex building. Working with a great deal of autonomy, students will be asked to rigorously demonstrate the technical and representational capacities that have developed across their work in the degree.

    The studio consolidates the students' abilities in communicating and translating architecture using advanced techniques of graphic visualisation through 3D modelling software and digital fabrication techniques.

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  • Architectural Professional Practice introduces students in the final semester of their undergraduate degree to the professional practice of architecture, focusing on design development within regulatory and practice management frameworks.

    Students are introduced to the fundamental principles of key regulatory requirements and critically deploy their understandings by investigating local practice case studies.

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Student Profiles

    Casey Bryant

    Bachelor of Design in Architecture,
    Master of Architecture (Hons),
    Andrew Burns Architects

    Studying architecture at Sydney has put me in contact with many people within the industry. These contacts led to my initial internships and employment.

    After graduating, I moved to Melbourne to work for McBride Charles Ryan. I was exposed to large projects, including the new Victorian Cancer Centre. I won the Emerging Architect prize in the Boral Design Awards.

    Two years ago I returned to Sydney to work for Andrew Burns Architects. I played a key role in the design and delivery of significant residential and cultural buildings, including Australia House in Japan and the shortlisted proposal for the Green Square Aquatic Centre.

    My advice is to look for the potential for innovation and experimentation in everything you do. Even if doesn’t lead to a useful outcome, the process will always further your thinking.

    Andrew Daly

    Bachelor of Design in Architecture

    After graduating from the Master of Architecture, I moved to Paris for a year to work at a design competition focused studio.

    I came back to Sydney in 2012, and started my own firm called ‘TYP-TOP Architecture Office’, a partnership with Kevin Liu, focusing on design competitions and small commercial projects, in addition to residential projects.

    Being able to think strategically and understand the capacity of our profession to effect change is a valuable skill, whether you are an artistically or practically motivated architect.

    Working for myself has been both immensely stressful and simultaneously liberating. Having the opportunity to push a social, design or aesthetic agenda by your own hard work and skill is rewarding.

    If you can maintain the energy and excitement of those long, frenetic studio nights working towards deadlines after you graduate, you’ll be able to strive towards your best work in the profession.

    Victoria King

    Bachelor of Design in Architecture

    The Bachelor of Design in Architecture allowed for the combination of art and design, with the practical application of technology and construction, in a way that no other degree provided.

    The faculty also offers many ways for students to engage with the architectural community in Sydney and around the world. By taking these opportunities, I have become involved with exhibitions in the Sydney Architecture Festival and travelled to Berlin as part of a winter intensive elective exploring the abandoned Tempelhof Airport.

    Studying architecture introduces you to a broad range of possibilities and potential career pursuits. At the moment I am interested in exploring curation and the connection between art and architecture.

    Natasha Galvez

    Bachelor of Architecture, First Class Honours, 2006

    As I embarked on my architectural studies I very quickly came to realise the complex world that architecture is. Subjects including structures, environmental studies, history of architecture,

    building services just to name a few exposed us to the diversity of knowledge and expertise the architect requires and that this learning evolves in its very early form when you first embark on your tertiary studies and then continues to grow throughout your professional career.

    The collaborative and holistic manner in which my architectural studies were delivered very much reflects the way I work today in my role at Lendlease. I recall fondly many group design projects at uni which reflected the very nature of design – architecture as a collaborative process, made up of the contributions of numerous individuals, exploring ideas in an open forum.

    Studying architecture introduces you to a broad range of possibilities and potential career pursuits. At the moment I am interested in exploring curation and the connection between art and architecture.

Meet Our
Program Director


Associate Professor Lee Stickells

Research Interests

Alternative and countercultural architecture of the 1960s and 1970s
Experimental domesticity in Australian mining settlements
Architecture and spatial justice

Lee has a range of professional experience in urban design and architecture – predominantly in Australia and Asia – including with leading Australian practices Donaldson + Warn and Woods Bagot. Before moving to the University of Sydney in 2008, he was Senior Lecturer in Architecture in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the West of England, where he taught in architecture and urban design as well as directing the Master of Urban Design program.

Lee’s overarching research interest is in connecting architectural experimentation to broader socio-cultural and technological transformations. He focuses particularly on alternative practices in architectural and environmental design from the 1960s onward, which have tended to challenge conventional disciplinary models – rethinking and reconfiguring mainstream education, professional practice, and capital-intensive production.

See Lee's Profile

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Bachelor of Design in Architecture