So, you know all the details and info about studying a Bachelor of Design in Architecture at UTS — if you don’t, then check this out!
But you want to know how people really feel about this degree?
That’s why we’ve talked with Nurul Farra Nadia Binti Zaed, a Masters of Architecture student at UTS. We ask her those questions you really want to know!
Let’s get started!
Why should you study an Architecture degree at UTS?
UTS Architecture encourages you as a designer to challenge architecture as we know it while equipping you with the skills and knowledge you need to make your mark in the architectural world.
Top 3 Pros of an Architecture degree
#1: Encouraged to challenge boundaries
“Be prepared to be pushed — they push you to try so many different aspects of architecture so you know who you are as a designer,” Farra said.
She told us the degree doesn’t just focus on “building this beautiful house with white picket fences”.
“It’s about pushing the architectural envelope and seeing what comes front there,” Farra expressed.
#2: Travel opportunities
The degree has a global focus on architecture, providing students with travel opportunities to see different architecture and meet architects from around the world.
“My favourite thing about the degree was the travel aspect of it,” Farra told us.
In her first year, she travelled to the USA and loved “getting to meet all these architects and artists, getting to see all these buildings that you only see in textbooks and doing research.”
She also travelled to the Great Barrier Reef and Canberra as part of her degree. So there are definitely lots of travel opportunities and you’ll definitely want to check out the Global Design Electives!
#3: Networking opportunities
“Each student has so many opportunities to network and get internships but it is of your own accord to apply,” Farra said.
She told us at the end of the semester, when you present your project, “The tutor invites architects to look at your work — that’s where you network.”
Now, if your project is selected for the end of year show, then you get to present your project to an even larger group of architects and designers! So, it’s really up to you to get out there and make the most of all these networking opportunities.
Top 3 Cons of an Architecture degree
#1: The long hours
While you only have 10-12 hours of face to face classes a week, you’ll easily spend just as much of your own time working on your project — especially as you approach your deadline! And make sure you have multiple coffees lined up for all those late nights.
“With each project, I find myself spending way too much time on the computer or drawing or modelling and too little sleep,” Farra said.
She added, “Sometimes even when the due date has passed you can always see things to improve and I’ll work on it after to put into my portfolio.”
#2: It’s all-consuming
Sometimes, it’s really hard to know when to stop and move on because design is an evolving process!
“Any design project that you’re working on never stops — there’s always something to improve, add, change and your mind is always on overtime thinking about it, even when you’re trying not to think about it,” said Farra.
#3: The materials are expensive
Unfortunately you do have to purchase quite a few of the materials yourself and the costs of all of them can really add up!
“I can easily spend around $500 a semester on printing only,” Farra expressed.
Now, that’s pretty expensive and can be quite the challenge for uni students trying to juggle their expenses as it is! So if this is a degree you’re really thinking of pursuing, make sure to take your budget into consideration.
Farra told us she regrets the extra costs of the materials and having to spend a lot of time on the computer.
“All of the printing and model making materials adds up and as a young struggling student with little time to work because of the nature of the course, I struggle to make enough money to be able to save. And only save enough to use for next semester,” she said.
Farra warned, “Spending 12-16 hours sometimes straight on the computer is very harsh on your eyes and your body.”
What do you wish you had known before starting Architecture at UTS?
#1: Be open-minded
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and try out new ideas because that’s how you learn and grow as a designer!
“When I first started I was so adamant — I was just scared to try and explore new theories, styles, and to just experiment more and make mistakes,” Farra said.
She added, “I think if someone would have just told me that it’s ok to fail sometimes, then I would have let my guard down earlier and let myself be exposed to the different niches in architecture.”
But you learn that along the way and become more comfortable with pushing the boundaries!
This degree is really full-on and you can’t half do it — you have to put everything into it if you want to do well!
“I wish I would have known how this degree and industry require so much commitment,” Farra said.
She added, “It’s not just about making a building stand up and look pretty but also the processes behind it.”
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
#1: Feedback from industry professionals
Each semester there is a Studio subject where you get to put all the skills and knowledge you’ve learnt into practice! You’ll have the whole semester to complete your project based on a brief.
Farra told us about one brief she was given which focused on The Great Barrier Reef.
She said at the end of the semester, “You’ll present your project to architects, designers and for that specific studio, marine biologists, and from there you get feedback about your design and that’s how we’re assessed.”
#2: Staff from around the world
“They try to source a lot of different designers every single semester just to give us more access to see what the global aspect of architecture is and what’s out there for us,” Farra expressed.
She said that a lot of the tutors she had came from LA, Spain and England which “made it more exciting because you get to learn how different designers think”.
She mentioned, “The tutors are very open-minded — they expect you to make mistakes and learn from them.”
As a UTS DAB (Design, Architecture and Building) student, you pretty much have your own building (lucky you — Building 6). More specifically, there’s even Architecture studios for you to work in.
“We have laser cutting machines and 3D printing machines, so you can build your own models at UTS — you don’t have to work from home and bring it in,” Farra told us.
What inspired you to choose Architecture at UTS?
Farra always knew she wanted to do something design-related that could also address issues in today’s society.
“I wanted to go into an industry that allows me not to just be creative but open up doors that initiate conversations,” she said.
“There are so many different opportunities for you to make your mark as a designer and UTS is such a good platform for you to just try and see what works for you,” Farra told us.
What are the possible career paths?
So, it’s in the name — yes, you could definitely become a practicing Architect (as long as you complete your Masters in Architecture), but a Bachelor of Design in Architecture isn’t just limited to that. In fact, studying design opens up lots of doors and perhaps you even open your own firm!
Below are some of the jobs you could do:
- Town planner
- Urban designer
- Structural engineer
- Building surveyor
- Landscape architect
- Restoration architect
- Lighting architect
- Industrial designer
- Production designer
Tanna Nankivell is a Content Writer at Art of Smart Education and is currently in Germany completing a year of study for her double degree in Communications (Journalism) and Bachelor of Arts (International Studies). She has had articles published on Central News – the UTS Journalism Lab and wrote a feature piece for Time Out Sydney during her internship. Tanna has a love for travel and the great outdoors, you’ll either find her on the snowfields or in the ocean, teaching aqua aerobics or creating short films.