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.

When you study the Bachelor of Design in Architecture, you receive the benefits of a unique and flexible course structure. Architectural design studios form the core of the degree. These studios instruct you in the specific knowledge of architectural communications, technologies, history and theory. You may explore your creative interests through a broad program of art workshops. Interests in the humanities, sciences, business or economics are also encouraged by a series of electives that may be drawn from across the University’s 16 faculties.

You will be taught by academics at the forefront of architectural thinking and practice. Your learning is supported by our extensive facilities, including state of the art computer laboratories and digital fabrication equipment alongside traditional timber and metal workshops.

You will join a talented and committed cohort of students who will be uniquely positioned to respond to the challenges of architecture. Once you have graduated you will join our esteemed alumni as a forward thinking leader of industry.

*Please note that places in this course are limited and subject to strict enrolment quotas.

More detail on the Program including course planner, credit request forms and timetable links can be found at the Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning homepage. http://sydney.edu.au/architecture

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

Students have the opportunity to complete an architectural professional practice unit in third year, which will prepare them for master’s level study in architecture. In this unit of study, students will develop their 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 currently enrolled students. Bachelor of Design in Architecture students may undertake exchange in the second year or first semester of the third year of their 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 graduates as the work of architects is no longer confined by geography. Opportunities for graduates 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

For students who have successfully completed 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 students for the complex and challenging architecture profession.

Graduates who hold the degree of Master of Architecture will be entitled to registration as architects 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.

Students are eligible for student membership of the Australian Institute of Architects. Student members receive each issue of Architecture Australia, the New South Wales chapter Bulletin, and the AIA News. They 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

The Bachelor of Design in Architecture (Honours) provides students who have qualified for, or been awarded, an undergraduate pass degree in design computing the opportunity to extend their 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 requirements not available for Bachelor of Design in Architecture.

Assumed knowledge

English (Advanced) and Mathematics.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Applications for the University's undergraduate courses are made though the Universities Admission Centre (UAC). On-time applications for the March Semester close on the last working day of September.

Further 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.

International students

How to apply

Overseas applicants may apply (i) directly to the University's International Office, (ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent), or (iii) through the Universities Admissions Centre, for students applying on the basis of a current Australian Year 12 secondary school examination.

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 2014 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 2013 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 2014, 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.