Bachelor of Design in Architecture

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

Architecture is a creative profession that operates at the intersection of art and technology. Architects combine knowledge of design, philosophy, aesthetics, materials and construction in new and innovative ways. Their buildings both reflect and help to define cultural identities.

The Bachelor of Design in Architecture teaches you the rewarding discipline of architecture and is your first step to becoming an architect. This program teaches you to conceptualise designs, test assumptions, evaluate results and refine your craft.

When you study the Bachelor of Design in Architecture, you will receive the benefits of a unique and flexible course structure, as well as our extensive facilities including state-of-the-art computer laboratories and digital fabrication equipment, alongside traditional timber and metal workshops. You will take a core program in studios, history and theory, communications, technology and design workshops. Your personal and professional interests in architecture are matched by our staff's discipline-leading research and the faculty's cutting-edge facilities.

You will be exposed to exciting opportunities to expand your studio experience, participate in design and build projects. The Bachelor of Design in Architecture, combined with the Master of Architecture, gives you the skills you need to excel in your future career. Once you have graduated you will join our esteemed alumni as a forward thinking leader of industry.

Due to enrolment quotas, there are a limited number of places available in this degree.

Course outline

Unit of Study information on faculty page

Study plan

The Bachelor of Design in Architecture may be undertaken full-time over three years, or four years with honours.

In each semester of the degree you will complete core units and may choose one elective. Possible areas of study include the three streams (Allied Arts in Architecture, Urban Design and Planning, or Digital Architecture), and electives within the faculty. Opportunities also exist for you to take units of study in other faculties within the University.

Each semester revolves around a studio which explores aspects of the design process relating directly to the practice of the architectural profession. The studios are supplemented by core units of study in architectural history and theory, communications, technologies and art workshops. Methods of study in the course will include studio work, lectures, seminars, field trips, and workshops.

Further course information

Progression rules

It is a requirement of the Bachelor of Design in Architecture that you pass all core units for the degree. The faculty has created a series of thresholds through which students must pass in order to progress to the next stage.

Studio is central to the Bachelor of Design in Architecture and the teaching is structured in such a way that the knowledge and skills learned in one semester build on those learned in the previous semester. You are required to pass Studio 101 before you will be allowed to proceed to Studio 102 and Studio 201 before they proceed to Studio 202 and so on. A fail in any Studio unit will prevent progression to the next unit, causing a 12-month delay in studies.

Whilst architectural history and theory, communications, technologies and art workshop units are core to the degree, they are taught in relatively self-contained ways that complement the work in studio. If you fail any of these units in first year you will be allowed to progress to second year, but you will still be required to re-enrol in the failed units and pass them in their own right.

You will not be permitted to enrol in Studio 301 unless you have passed all first and second year core units. You will not be allowed to proceed to Studio 302 until you pass Studio 301.

What is an elective?

An elective is a unit of study within a degree, usually an option within a course. Electives allow more detailed study of a particular subject. Students may choose electives from units offered by the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, or from the Faculties of Arts, Economics, Engineering and Information Technologies or Science (timetable permitting).

Course opportunities

You will have the opportunity to complete an architectural professional practice unit in third year, which will prepare you for master’s level study in architecture. In this unit of study, you will develop your understanding through the design development of a project and take this to development application level using current practice.

The Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning has a number of faculty-specific exchange programs available to you. As a student, you may undertake exchange in the second year or first semester of the third year of your degree. It is usually easier to obtain studio space at the start of the overseas academic year which, in the northern hemisphere, typically commences in September.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Becoming a registered architect will open the world to you as the work of architects is no longer confined by geography. As a graduate, opportunities lie both within Australia and overseas, with a number of our past students having great successes internationally. By engaging with the environment, community and needs of clients and stakeholders, work as an architect can have a profound effect on people’s lives around the world.

Course accreditation

When you successfully complete the Bachelor of Design in Architecture (or equivalent), the next step towards becoming a registered architect is the Master of Architecture, a 2-year professional program that prepares you for the complex and challenging architecture profession.

When you graduate from the degree of Master of Architecture, you will be entitled to registration as an architect under the Architects Act 1921 (NSW), subject to obtaining two years of approved practical experience, at least 12 months of which must be subsequent to graduation, and passing an architectural practice examination before registration.

As a student, you are eligible for student membership of the Australian Institute of Architects. Here you will receive each issue of Architecture Australia, the New South Wales chapter Bulletin, and the AIA News. You may also attend Institute functions. Admission to Associate Membership of the Australian Institute of Architects is based on two years approved practical experience.

Further study

Eligible candidates may proceed to an additional honours year in the Bachelor of Design in Architecture, or to the Master of Architecture. The BDesArch also provides for admission to a range of Sydney postgraduate and graduate entry coursework programs.

About honours

If you qualify for, or have been awarded, an undergraduate pass degree in Design, the Bachelor of Design in Architecture (Honours) provides you with the opportunity to extend your potential in a research task under the supervision of a member of academic staff. The honours degree requires an extra year of full-time study.

It will allow you to develop a deeper level of academic thought and research in an area of particular interest, identified during your three years of study in the Bachelor of Design in Architecture.

The award of honours is an avenue by which the best students can be recognised. By its nature, an honours degree carries more weight or prestige than the pass degree. It is highly regarded by employers and other universities.

Admission

Admission requirements

Admission to this course is on the basis of your secondary school leaving qualification such as the NSW Higher School Certificate (including national and international equivalents), tertiary study or an approved preparation program. English language requirements must be met where these are not demonstrated by sufficient qualifications taught in English.

You will be ranked by merit against other candidates, and offers for available places are issued according to the ranking.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Visit the How to Apply page for detailed information on if you need to apply directly to the University or through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply Now’ button on the right hand side of this course page.

Assumed knowledge

English (Advanced) and Mathematics.

International students

How to apply

Visit the How to Apply page for detailed information on if you need to apply directly to the University or through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply Now’ button on the right hand side of this course page.

Further admission requirements

There are no formal prerequisites for candidates wishing to enrol in the Bachelor of Design in Architecture. The degree is, however, taught on the assumption that candidates will have successfully completed HSC 2 unit Mathematics, Advanced Mathematics and Advanced English or have the equivalent knowledge. Candidates may attend one of the bridging courses in mathematics offered by the Mathematics Learning Centre if they feel they need to.

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

Indicative Undergraduate Student Contribution Amount

This student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2015 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. If you are a Commonwealth supported student and was enrolled in a University course before 1 January 2014 your student contribution may differ.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Future Students' website.

Annual review

Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.

International students

Indicative international tuition fees for undergraduate students

This international tuition fee is an indication only of the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2015, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact tuition fees that you pay will depend on the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total tuition fees, please refer to the University's Future Students' website.

Annual review

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees and health insurance

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.

In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.