This degree provides you with the skills and ways of thinking that lead to your professional registration as an architect and prepares you for global practice. The Master of Architecture focuses on research-led design inquiry through studio-based projects. Advanced technology, architectural history and theory are also foundational to your course.
The research and design excellence of our staff and students fundamentally re-envisages what architecture is, tackling the complex challenges of contemporary life with intelligence and vision.
Key features of this degree:
- Three research studios:
- Global network with International exchange opportunities at over 15 partner universities.
- Industry engagement with active schedule of talks, symposia, exhibitions, visiting scholars.
- Outstanding fabrication facilities - DMaF Lab is a world-class digital fabrication lab with specialist workshops and expert staffing.
This is why we are recognized as one of the most influential, inspiring and inventive architecture schools in the world.
Master of Architecture
You can undertake this program full time or part time. The maximum timeframe for part-time study is six years. International applicants must be enrolled full time.
For admission to the Master of Architecture, you need to hold a Bachelor of Design in Architecture, or a Bachelor of Architecture and Environments or equivalent from another university.
Students who have completed the Bachelor of Design in Architecture at the University of Sydney need to have completed the Master of Architecture prerequisite unit of study BDES3025 (Architectural Professional Practice) and have a weighted average mark (WAM) of 65.
Students who have completed the Bachelor of Architecture and Environments or an equivalent undergraduate architecture degree at another university will need a credit average (65 percent or equivalent) over the final two years of their degree, and must submit a portfolio of work to the School and/or demonstrate practical experience.
Please submit one portfolio for review and title the documents with labels that indicate their contents.
Portfolios should be no longer than 15 digital A3 or A4 pages, saved in PDF format under 10Mb in file size, and clearly labelled ‘Portfolio’ with your University of Sydney application number and full name.
The portfolio should include examples of coursework submitted for assessment in previous undergraduate courses with emphasis on the final year design projects.
The objective of the portfolio is to demonstrate the level of knowledge and skills attained across the following fields:
- architectural design;
- architectural technologies (including structures, construction, materials, and building systems);
- environmental and social sustainability
- digital design including modelling, diagramming, rendering and digital fabrication) and communication
Where projects were completed as part of a group, applicants should clearly state the role they played in the group and the individual material they contributed to the overall project.
Where professional practice projects are included, the portfolio should clearly and precisely identify what components of the design schemes shown, and what roles the applicant undertook in the project. Reference letters should support this aspect of the portfolio.
Applications should also include a A4 cover letter outlining the applicant's full contact details, a personal statement explaining reasons for wishing to study the Master of Architecture at the University of Sydney, any relevant academic and professional experience in support of the application and at least two referees.
The following is an indicative progression for a Master of Architecture, for students seeking an emphasis on Digital Architecture:
Credit points required per semester: 24
Total credit points required to complete degree: 96
Indicative progression based on a Semester 1 enrolment.
* You will undertake the Research Studio unit of study in Semester 1 and 2 of Year 1, and Semester 1 of Year 2. Each time, you will choose one of the following:
MARC4001 Urban Architecture Research Studio
MARC4002 Sustainable Architecture Research Studio
MARC4003 Digital Architecture Research Studio
“The highlight of my studies was being awarded the Hezlet Bequest Travelling Scholarship that allowed me to undertake a design-based elective in Santiago, Chile. The studio posed the question of how architects could creatively address Pan-Pacific coastal erosion through site-specific interventions, making one think about the role of architects outside of traditional modes of practice.”
“The rigorous program ensured that I worked through design ideas collaboratively with academics and peers, allowing for critical engagement that enriched the design process. The value placed upon constant drawing, making, questioning and reflection of my work shaped my work ethic and has prepared me to confidently enter a challenging and creatively robust professional work environment.”
“Since graduating, I have been employed as a Graduate Architect at Bates Smart, where I work across a range of projects, from concept design to construction detailing.”
“The Master of Architecture allows you to take advantage of a large knowledge base through overseas studios, international guest speakers and local expertise. Whatever field you’re interested in, the school can guide you towards the best people in the industry to help you gain incredible knowledge.”
“The way the program has been set up, there isn’t a set order or regiment of subjects you have to take, so you can choose the studios that interest you.”
“The education I gained has directly affected my career in architecture. The research studios enabled my design problem solving to produce solutions at different scales. Other core subjects focus on technical and communications skill, which influenced my approach to visually and verbally conveying ideas to a range of people.”
“In my first year of the Master of Architecture degree I was lucky enough to be involved in the Burri Gummin Community Housing Project. This was a semester-long studio focused on developing accessible housing in Yarrabah, an Aboriginal community just outside Cairns.”
“We travelled to Yarrabah and met a community who shared with us their place, culture and needs. We experienced their vitality and integrity, and were confronted by the inadequacies and failures of existing architecture within the community.”
“Back in Sydney, we worked in a collaborative way to generate some positive solutions. It was very rewarding to be able to present our projects to the community and receive feedback right from the source.”
“My education benefited from these projects on both a broad and a practical level. They provided an opportunity to learn about Indigenous cultures, and therefore about my own country and my place within it.”
“At a practical level a real project responding to a brief provided by real clients necessitates a focus and a pragmatism that can only help conceive a cohesive architecture.”
“These projects have given me a head start on developing many of the skills an architect uses every day: communicating with clients while balancing the minutiae that must be resolved to deliver the project.”
“As well as this, I have developed a better understanding of the role of the architect within a larger context. Architects can fall into the trap of thinking that their work is about themselves, or about a particular building-object. Really, it’s about people, their relationships and their place in the world.”
“The Master of Architecture successfully mediates the line between architecture and art and this has provided a great deal of opportunity.
I have been able to work at PTW Architects and recently Smart Design Studio on the delivery of various residential projects and a proposal for the Green Square Aquatic Centre, while my photographic work, which I developed during the master’s program, has been exhibited overseas. I have experimented across a range of media, including industrial fabrication, computational systems, lighting design and display.
Under the Hezlet Bequest Travelling Scholarship I was able to produce sculptural and written work jointly with the Auckland University of Technology to be exhibited as part of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.
I endeavour to continue working in both architecture and art to realise a particular configuration of industrial design and fabrication.”
“The Master of Architecture presented an opportunity to develop my architectural thinking and skills in an intensely creative way.
In addition to the smorgasbord of architectural inspiration that the School offers – by way of excellent staff, talented tutors, inspirational peers and past students, visiting international lecturers, industry exhibitions and events – the University’s wide range of exchange partners aligned with my own ambition to study overseas.
There is also a culture of making and constructing physical objects at our School, which I saw as invaluable to the design process. This alone was a huge factor – having wood, metal and digital fabrication labs and technicians close at hand was very useful for understanding how materials are put together.
The communication skills I developed at university proved most invaluable, along with first-hand experiences of buildings I visited overseas during my exchange to Sweden.”
I undertook the Master of Architecture with the aim of continuing my education and developing my technical, professional and theoretical understanding of the practice of architecture. After completing my undergraduate degree, I spent 18 months working with Lend Lease’s design team.
This valuable experience provided me with additional knowledge that I could put towards the postgraduate course. Architectural education involves learning how to learn. This degree provide the tools to tackle unknown challenges with the confidence that you will be able to find a solution and learn in the process. The Design, Modelling and Fabrication Lab provided excellent resources for design development. The international electives provided incredible collaborative opportunities and allowed me to develop strong international connections. Pitching your design can be just as important as the design itself. The ability to convey your design intentions quickly and concisely is important in ensuring that your intended audience correctly comprehends your concepts. The skills I’ve acquired have presented me with the opportunity to work on some of the largest projects in Australia, in collaboration with local and international practices.
I have also produced the Sydney University Architecture Revue (2010), entered the Sydney VIVID Festival (Made You Look – 2014), and participated in the Bamboo Design Workshop between Sydney University and the Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2014). My education at Sydney has informed my current work in two fundamental ways. First, the design methodologies developed within studio have allowed me to tackle design challenges at a variety of scales, grasping the multiple requirements of complex briefs within a collaborative working environment. Secondly, the development of my technical skills has improved my ability to communicate, as well as taught me the use of a wide variety of programs. This has strengthened my ability to convey my ideas both visually and verbally.
My advice for students keen on pursuing architecture as a profession is to see that the practice of architecture is exactly that – a practice. The skills established at university equip you for a life of learning, producing and critically engaging with your context. To this end, it is important that you aren’t afraid to ask questions.""
I am passionate about the capacity of design thinking and practice to engage curiosity and wonder. That passion extends into my research, writing, teaching and architectural practice.
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