Home' The Good Universities Guide : The Good Universities Guide 2016 Contents What you're in for
What does it take to design and build a masterpiece? If you're a
prospective architecture student, you should know that it requires
plenty of inspiration and creativity - plus a qualification in
architecture. Architecture is a fascinating field that blends art,
culture, science, technology and even elements of business.
For more information about this field, visit the Australian Institute
of Architects (AlA) website at www.architecture.com.au. For
details about registration, refer to the Architects Accreditation
Council of Australia website at www.aaca.org.au.
If designing and creating appeals to you, also look at fields such
as built environment, environmental studies, humanities and
social sciences, creative arts and some engineering
Courses and specialisations
There are two types of architecture degrees: a five-year version
and a two-part version that begins with an undergraduate 'pre-
professional qualification' in architecture, arts, applied science,
design or environmental design with an architecture major,
followed by a two- or three-year specialist qualification in
Both qualifications must be followed by a year of practical
experience and a further exam before you can register to
practise. Whichever route you choose, you will study everything
from engineering, structural design, building and project
management to graphics and design. If you would like to study
even more widely, it's worth considering a double degree - you
could combine architecture with construction, landscape
architecture, engineering or even law.
As is common in courses leading into a particular profession, core
units tend to predominate in architecture courses, although there
may be some room for electives or specialisations. Apart from the
usual lectures and tutorials, you can expect to spend plenty of
time in the design studio and on practical assignments off
campus. Most architecture courses require at least some
competence in mathematics, and most allow full-time study only.
Where to study
There are several things to consider when you're shopping
around for an architecture course. The first is whether you can
get in, as this is a competitive field. The poor graduate ratings
The student body and graduate ratings
THE STUDENT BODY GRADUATE RATINGS
Total students % International % Domestic Estimated average Teaching quality Generic skills
students schoolleavers tuition costs for
(see 'The outcome') haven't deterred architecture aspirants from
applying in droves, keeping cut-offs high. You should also see
whether the course is on the list of accredited degrees (check the
Architects Accreditation Council of Australia website) and find out
how much hands-on learning it includes. Just like doctors and
lawyers, architects need to gain practical experience in their field
before they are allowed to practise. In fact, two years of practical
experience under supervision (one of them after graduation) are
required before you can sit the Architectural Practice Exam.
Many universities incorporate work experience into their
architecture curriculum to prepare students for what is ahead and
to give them a chance to get some of this practical experience -
in fact, some even call for student contributions for campus
redevelopments. Some departments either recommend or require
that students take time out for a stint in professional practice
before they finish the degree (or before continuing to the second
phase of the degree in a two-part course).
To compare entry difficulty at different institutions, see the 'How
tough is it to get in?' tables in Section 4.
Australian qualifications in architecture have always been well
recognised, but the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
Architect Register has made working overseas much easier.
Qualified architects in Australia and other member countries can
apply to practise in countries ranging from Canada, China,
Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New
Zealand, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore,
Thailand and the United States.
The Australian Institute of Architects launched a foundation in
2014 that promotes the benefits of architecture and design to the
Australian community. The foundation's focus is on projects such
as exhibitions, education programs and scholarships. The
institute has also proposed strengthening the role of architecture
in government policy, which would include initiatives such as the
integration of architectural and urban design issues into the
Although it is not new in the field, the US-style degree (with a
general pre-professional degree followed by a postgraduate
qualification in architecture) is likely to become more common in
The fees shown are for the whole course and are approximate. Confirm with the institution concerned. For an explanation of abbreviations, see page 424.
78 GOOD UNIVERSITIES GUIDE
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