Welcome to the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning.
You are joining Australia's first university, and the first School of Architecture. We are one of the nation's – and the world's – leading institutions. As well as undertaking a particular course of study or candidature, you are joining a community – a collegiate body – that is a central part of the 'Sydney experience' and a source of great pride for students, alumni and staff. It is through this that you obtain a true university experience as opposed to just studying a particular course.
I believe that the quality of collegial life at Sydney and in the school is matched by very few other institutions.
The school is a community of students, researchers, technical and support staff, practitioners and lecturers who are here because they are passionate about the human habitat and exploring the creative and analytical methods to improve it, to make life better for people. While your initial experience here may be in the studios, lectures and the school's social life, I hope that you will progressively engage with our underlying culture, commitments and enthusiasm. We want you to come to believe in the value of our disciplines as much as we do.
This handbook sets out the diversity of the school's disciplines and activities. Some of you will join us as undergraduates in the architecture or design computing programs, and then go on to our specialist professional postgraduate courses. Others will join the school at the postgraduate level having taken a first degree here or at other universities.
Our professional Master of Architecture qualification is open to qualified graduates not only from our own undergraduate architecture program but also from similar programs across Australia and overseas. Our postgraduate coursework and research programs include Interaction Design and Electronic Arts, Heritage Conservation, Urban Design, Urban and Regional Planning and Policy, Urbanism, Architectural Science (with streams in Audio and Acoustics, High Performance Building, Facilities Management, Illumination Design and Sustainable Design).
Whichever program you are in you may take the opportunity to explore related fields of study with electives or streams from other programs.
The school’s range of disciplines provides the breadth and depth to contextualise your work within the extraordinary complexity of contemporary environments, and the processes that create, analyse and manage them.
The disciplines are supported by laboratories which are arguably the best in Australia, and well equipped studios, all of which creates an environment of excellent creative, technical and scientific innovation within which you will undertake your work.
Over the past 100 years, the school has developed a reputation for innovative thinking in research, teaching and practice across its disciplines.
It started Australia’s first university architecture program in 1919, and the first studies in town planning in 1949 were followed by the world's first Chair of Architectural Science in 1953, and in 1963 by the award of Australia's first PhD in architecture.
The Design Lab, formerly the Key Centre of Design Computing and Cognition, has an enviable international research reputation, and the Heritage Conservation program has made an important contribution to Australia’s cultural identity. The new Indoor Environmental Quality Lab (IEQ) is a world leader in climatic comfort.
In acknowledgement of our achievements, the school was ranked as No. 1 in Australia in 2016 QS World rankings for Architecture and Built Environment.
It is important to mention the high standards required to become a part of this school – this community. Selection into the architecture UG program is largely from the top 5 per cent of NSW’s school leavers. The capability of our students, who continually strive for and achieve academic and professional excellence, is part of what makes this school an exciting learning environment.
Whether it's life in the school’s studios, its labs or the myriad facilities in and around the University and the city of Sydney, there can be few better places in which to have a full and enriching university experience.
The school seeks to inspire you with a lifelong interest in your chosen field that will sustain you throughout your studies and career. Enjoy your time here and above all use it well to make the most of the wonderful opportunities that studying at The Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning provides, and work towards, as W.C. Wentworth - a founder of the University - put it in 1845, ‘becoming great and useful in the destiny of your country’ – whether that country is Australia or your home country.
Professor John Redmond