Home' The Good Universities Guide : The Good Universities Guide 2017 Contents ARCHITECTURE 77
What you’re in for
Architecture is one of the most influential professions in society. It
is a fascinating field that blends art, culture, science, technology
and even elements of business, with its skilled professionals at
the centre of Australia’s $100 billion built environment industry.
Architects spread their expertise far and wide — they work with
building contractors, engineers and technicians, tradespeople,
lawyers, accountants and just about anyone involved in delivering
a building project. As well as taking care of the design process,
they play an important advisory role for their clients.
For more information about this field, see the Australian Institute
of Architects (AIA) 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 appeal to you, you could also look at
built environment, environmental studies, humanities and social
sciences, creative arts and some engineering specialisations.
Courses and specialisations
There are two types of architecture degrees in Australia. There is
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 architecture.
Both qualifications must be followed by two years 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’d 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. 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 makes 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 runs a foundation 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
school curriculum. Additionally, it has welcomed the federal
government’s new Smart Cities Plan, which includes an allocation
of $50 million to accelerate the planning and development of
major infrastructure projects. A major focus of this plan is to
create 30-minute cities — a city where, no matter where you live,
you can easily access the places you need on a daily basis.
FOR FURTHER HELP...
To compare the pros and cons of architecture with other
fields of study, see the table on page 68 and institution
profiles in Section 4.
For more on jobs and careers in this field, see The Good
Careers Guide website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au.
For ratings of postgraduate architecture courses, see
The Good Universities Guide website at
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