BlogUniversityWhat It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Design in Architecture at UTS

What It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Design in Architecture at UTS

UTS Architecture - Degree Fact Sheet

So, you’re thinking about studying a Bachelor of Design in Architecture at UTS?

We’ll run you through everything there is to know about the degree, core units, assessments, travel opportunities, uni culture and more! 

Let’s get started!

What is a Bachelor of Design in Architecture at UTS?
Core Units for this Degree
How to Get into a Bachelor of Design in Architecture at UTS
What’s the Teaching Format?
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

What is a Bachelor of Design in Architecture at UTS?

A Bachelor of Design in Architecture at UTS gets you thinking beyond architecture as just building houses and challenges you to apply those architectural skills and principles you learn to address issues in today’s society. Of course, if you want to be a practicing architect and build incredible houses, then this degree is for you but it’s also for those who have an interest in design, love pushing boundaries and want to use architecture to create change. 

Believe it or not, we’re talking about addressing sustainability, climate change and even social justice issues through architecture – you get to make what you want out of it and UTS are there to encourage you as a designer and teach you the skills you need. 

What can you expect?

It’s a very hands-on degree where you’ll learn how to use programs to draw up design ideas, develop your drawing and model making skills as well as communicate your ideas effectively to others. And yes – there’s laser cutter machines, 3D printers and tons of computer labs and studios for you to work in. 

Of course, you’ll gain a good understanding of the history of architecture and all the theories that go with it. There’s also a global focus with specific architecture electives that involve travelling so students can see different aspects of design and architecture at an international level.

Can it be studied with another degree or completed as Honours?

So, if you want to be a practicing architect, then you have to complete a Masters of Architecture after completing the Bachelor degree (this adds another two years of study). You also have the option of taking your degree to the next level and combine it with a Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation (4 years in total). 

There’s still the opportunity to complete an Honours year where you get to focus on a specific area whether it be Architecture Research, Architectural Studies for Interior Architects, Architectural Studies for Landscape Architects or Landscape Studies for Architects.

To be considered for the Honours program, you will need to achieve an overall WAM of at least 65 and provide a digital portfolio, a statement explaining why you want to do it and your resume. 

You can check out all the info here

Career Paths 

Well, of course, you can become a practicing architect (considering you complete a Masters of Architecture), but there are also some other very cool jobs you can go into. You could be:

    • an urban designer 
    • structural engineer
    • building surveyor
    • town player
    • researcher
    • policymaker

…and so on! 

UTS Architecture - Student Quote

Studying Architecture at Other Universities

UTS isn’t the only university that offers architecture as an undergraduate degree and you obviously want to think hard about your options for where you’d actually like to study. If you’re thinking about which uni will best suit your needs, you can check out what it’s like studying Architecture at USYD or UNSW!

Core Units for this Degree

Architectural Studio Subjects

Throughout the degree, you’ll have an Architectural Studio subject every semester which is basically where you get to do all the fun (and often challenging) design and practical stuff! There’s six of these Architectural Studio subjects which focus on a different aspect of architecture each time. 

What should you expect?

For these subjects, you’ll be given a brief, and your topic could be ‘The Great Barrier Reef’.

You’ll have to use your architectural skills to design something in relation to it – that’s the cool part, you actually get to use your skills to help address real world issues! So, this means doing research and reading, talking to marine biologists and of course, a lot of trial and error with different drawing and design techniques. 

By the end of the semester, you’ll either have drawings or a model of your design proposal as well as documentation of the research and idea behind the project. You then have to present your design proposal to not only the tutors but also architects and designers! 

The great thing about these Architectural Studio subjects is that you get to try everything out so you have a good understanding of what aspects interest you and can then focus on that during your Masters. Other Architectural Studios might focus on addressing issues like affordable housing, building schools, housing for multigenerational families and so on! 

Other Core Units

You’ll have some sort of history/theory subject which gives you knowledge into the world of architecture and also a skills-based subject that helps you develop your design skills. You’ll learn about the history of architecture and different design theories in subjects like Architectural History and Theory: Modernity and Modernism and Architectural History and Theory: Urbanism and the City

In Spatial Communications 1 you’ll learn how to use computer programs for digital drawing, develop your hand-sketching and model-making skills as well as how to effectively communicate your ideas in presentations. Architectural Design and Construction focuses on adding that detail to architectural design in drawings and model-making. 

There’s a focus on sustainability in Thermal Design and Environmental Control where you actually have to come up with a design plan in relation to it. 

Check this out for more info about the different core subjects! 

Electives 

In your final year, you get to choose one elective in the Autumn and Spring session. There are specific architecture electives that you can choose from such as Designing with Landscape Elements, Advanced Model Making or even Freehand Illustration plus way more – take a look here

You can also choose electives from other faculties but it’s recommended to stick with the ones offered specifically to Architecture students so you can refine your skills as a designer. 

Internships

Although you don’t have to do an internship for a Bachelor of Design in Architecture at UTS, there are many opportunities for you to network with industry professionals which can always lead to one. 

At the end of each semester, the tutor usually invites architects to your studio showcase where you present your work. Now, this is the place where you do all the networking and can meet people from different firms. 

So, it’s up to you to find the internships but it is definitely worth it because of the experience you gain and they also look great on resumes!

Opportunities to Travel

The degree focuses on the architecture within the global world so there are some awesome opportunities to both travel and learn! Now, you don’t have to, but there are some great electives for DAB (Design, Architecture and Building) students which include going overseas! 

Take a look at the Global Studio A and B

How to Get into a Bachelor of Design in Architecture at UTS

You’ll need an ATAR of 90 to secure your spot for a Bachelor of Design in Architecture at UTS. You’re also able to get some extra bonus points for HSC subjects that you excel in. 

Have a look at the Year 12 Adjustment Factors scheme for Architecture! 

Pathways

There’s no need to worry if you didn’t get the required ATAR because there is another way. 

By successfully completing a Diploma of Design and Architecture with UTS Insearch, you have guaranteed entry into the first year of the degree (as long as you meet the required GPA). The Diplomas can be completed in a year (standard) or even just 8 months (accelerated). 

Assumed Knowledge

You should have completed Mathematics and any two units of English in the HSC. If you’ve studied Design and Technology and/or Visual Arts, that’s even better and you’ll be off to a head start.

Scholarships

There are many scholarships for different faculties at UTS which can be found here!

What’s the Teaching Format?

A Bachelor of Design in Architecture at UTS combines studios, lectures, and tutorials. You’ll complete the degree through semesters (big sigh of relief!).

Studios

You usually have two 3 hour studios a week – this is the practical and hands on part where you develop your design skills and learn through trial and error.

A lot of the time, you’ll work in small groups and collaborate with each other to come up with different design ideas depending on the brief. The class sizes are relatively small with a maximum of 20 people

Lectures

The lectures can have 200 people in them (depending on the subject, this can vary slightly). Lectures are where the readings are discussed and you learn about architectural history and theories – so, all the content! 

Tutorials

In the tutorials, you’ll discuss content from the lectures, readings and your own research. You can also expect to have around 20 people in the class and various group activities. 

How many hours do you spend at uni?

When you study a Bachelor of Design in Architecture at UTS, you’ll take three subjects a semester (but the Architectural Studio subjects are 12 credit points instead of the usual 6 credit points – so it’s really like two subjects worth disguised in one). You’re looking at around 10 to 12 hours of class a week. 

However, you’ll spend a lot of your extra time on campus in the DAB studios and computer labs working on your final project (this can get quite hectic and means you might spend an extra 10-12 hours a week at uni of your own time – especially the week before the project design is due!!).

What are the assessments like?

For the Architectural Studio subjects, there are no exams – just practical assessments (woohooo!). You’ll either have plans of your drawings or a physical model of the design, documentation about the process, research and design idea as well as a presentation. 

There are two mid-reviews throughout the semester to see how your design proposal is going and you’ll get feedback on it. The final review is where you showcase your finished design proposal during a presentation which you’re marked on (so, you definitely gain confidence in public speaking!). 

It’s also good to know that some assessments will be a collaborative process and some you’ll work on individually. For the more history/theory based subjects, there’s a mix of exams, essays/reports and presentations. 

Skills That You Refine and Learn

First of all, you’ll be encouraged to step out of your comfort zone and push architectural boundaries – that’s where the magic happens! 

Perhaps it won’t work but maybe it will – it’s all about trial and error and being open minded! So, you definitely become more confident in trying new things throughout the degree. 

You’ll develop your problem-solving skills when you’re faced with various challenges and have to find a way to address an issue using architecture. There is a lot of group work and collaboration throughout the degree so you’ll get used to working in a team, listening to others and speaking up. 

You’ll learn how to communicate effectively when you have to give a presentation to showcase your design proposal and explain the concept behind it (this can be scary at the start but after a few, it becomes second nature!). 

What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

As you can imagine, when it comes down to crunch times and design proposals are almost due, there’s tape and glue sticks being thrown around in the DAB studios and architecture students pulling late nights, running around on many cups of coffee! So, they are a very tight bunch and you’ll feel like you’re a part of a big, chaotic family. 

Everyone bounces off each other’s ideas, you help each other out and you’re always talking about architecture/design related things! You’re bound to make an awesome bunch of friends! 

You can also join the UTS Design Society where you can meet people from other Design degrees like fashion and textiles, visual communication and interior architecture. There are lots of fun events you can take part in like the Welcome Event, various design workshops, game/movies night and more! 

What are the tutors/lecturers like?

You get to learn from industry professionals who are architects or designers themselves, completing research or even have their own firm. 

Each semester, you’ll meet and learn from different people – some of them even coming from overseas which makes it very exciting because they bring their own knowledge and experience from that country. The tutors and lecturers are open-minded and encourage you to learn from your mistakes! 


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.

 

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