BlogWSUWhat It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Architectural Design at WSU

What It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Architectural Design at WSU

Western Sydney University Architecture - Fact Sheet

Are you considering studying Architecture at Western Sydney University? 

We can help you! We have covered everything from cohort to classwork, and everything in between! 

Check it out! 

What is Architecture at Western Sydney University?
Degree Structure
How to Get into Architecture at Western Sydney University
What’s the Teaching Format?
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

What is Architecture at Western Sydney University?

The Bachelor of Architectural Design at WSU is a mostly practical-based course that nurtures student’s creativity and innovation. This degree will give students a hands-on education that helps students grow and develop within the Architectural Design discipline! 

Through innovative technologies, teamwork and collaboration, alongside an extensive background knowledge of the history of Architecture, students will become well-rounded in this field. This degree is excellent for people who thrive off practicality, functionality and creativity.

Can this degree be studied with another degree? 

The Bachelor of Architectural Design at WSU can be studied alongside another degree — taking on a double degree. This means that when students graduate, they will emerge with two qualifications, but this also means that they will have to study for longer than if they completed a singular degree.

A popular addition to this degree is Entrepreneurship!

Careers 

Taking on Architecture at Western Sydney University prepares students for a wide range of different career paths. Careers that can come from this degree include:

    • Architecture
    • Construction 
    • Industrial design
    • Urban planning
    • Interior Architecture

Studying Architecture at Other Universities

WSU isn’t the only university that offers this degree and it definitely isn’t easy to decide where you’ll study on the spot. If you’re thinking about which university will best suit your needs, you can check out what it’s like studying Architecture at UTSUSYD or UNSW!

Degree Structure 

To study Architecture at Western Sydney University, you will need to complete the following:

    • Eight core units worth 10 credit points each
    • Six core studio units worth 20 credit points each
    • Four elective units

The degree structure for Architectural Design is quite rigid, so the degree mainly consists of core units and there is only a limited amount of electives, meaning you can’t take on any majors. However, you may opt to complete a sub-major.

Though if you aren’t really looking to complete a sub-major and want to dip your toe into different disciplines, you can use your elective spaces to explore the variety of subjects that WSU has to offer!

What are the Core Units?

Some of the different units that you can expect to study are Analysis of Spatial Data, Cities: Introduction to Urban Studies and Architecture Studio – Rethinking Urbanism. Other core units you will need to complete include:

Design Graphics: Presenting Innovation 

This unit gives students the fundamentals needed to be able to complete complex designs within the 2D and 3D format. You will gain experience with graphic software and the implementation of designs! 

Architecture Studio – Fundamentals of Analogue Design

This subject presents students with new concepts such as visual and temporal experience within the context of Architecture. Students will create compositions based off of theoretical models, case studies and classic principles of geometry studied within this unit. 

Residential Building

This unit provides an overview of the different rules and regulations as well as construction techniques. You’ll find that this unit has a major focus on low-rise residential complexes! 

Internships 

To graduate from a Bachelor of Architectural Design, it is not required for students to have completed an internship or any form of work placement. This does not mean that it isn’t highly encouraged — tutors and professors will email students internship opportunity applications and help them to seek out their own internships! 

 

How to Get into Architecture at Western Sydney University

The ATAR cut off to gain guaranteed admission into this course is 85. However, if you don’t achieve this ATAR, do not fret — there are other ways to gain admission into this course.

Alternate Pathways

#1: The College

Students who do not meet the ATAR requirements to gain admission into the Bachelor of Architectural Design at WSU can potentially be invited to undertake their first year of study at The College.

Studying at the college will be similar to studying the first year of your desired degree, but there are much smaller class sizes and extra classes for you to get more help! Once the first year of study at The College is complete, students will gain admission into their desired degree.

#2: Alternate Entry

Students who didn’t make the ATAR requirement but are passionate about Architectural Design can submit a portfolio (no more than 10-pages long) to demonstrate their creative ability! It doesn’t need to be specific to architecture — students are encouraged to showcase their drawings, photography, sculptures and more.

Students are encouraged to apply through UAC (here) or through WSU (here)

Assumed Knowledge

Within the Bachelor of Architectural Studies at WSU, there are no prerequisite subjects to gain admission into this degree. There are, however, subjects which are considered assumed knowledge — meaning that tutors and professors will teach their subjects with the assumption that all students have at least a HSC level of understanding.

For Architectural Design, it is assumed that you have completed some level of HSC English, Science and Mathematics subjects.

Scholarships

WSU offers a large range of scholarships. To see if you are eligible for any, check out the Scholarships Calculator Tool here!

What’s the Teaching Format?

At WSU, years of study are structured across semesters. This means that the teaching periods are held over two different academic sessions each year with breaks in between!

Class Structure 

The class structure for the Bachelor of Architectural Design at WSU varies for each unit. However, every unit typically has either a tutorial and lecture or a workshop/studio!

Western Sydney University Architecture - Class Structure

Lectures

The lectures for the Bachelor of Architectural Design at WSU are either presented by industry knowledgeable professors or industry-renowned professionals in the field! Typically a lecture can hold around 100 to 200 people maximum and will go from anywhere from 1-2 hours. 

Tutorials

The tutorial will follow on from the lecture, with a much smaller group of around 25 people maximum, and the tutor will help students to revise over their learnings and consolidate them. Building theories, structural designs and creative approaches are discussed here for about an hour or so! 

Studios/Workshops

Most Architectural Design classes follow a studio or workshop format. Students will be presented a task — it could be group or solo work — and will work on this task in the studio or workshop for an allocated amount of time!

These classes involve collaborating on designs, proposals, budgets and more! The studio or Workshop can go anywhere from 2-4 hours with around 20 to 25 people maximum in each class. 

How much time do you spend on campus?

The number of contact hours varies from the amount of units, or sometimes even which units are taken! Students can be on campus for 12-20 hours each week — this does not include the additional meeting time that Architectural Design students will need to also accomodate for with their teams for group assessment tasks.

The Architectural Design students at WSU cohort always seem to be close — this may be due to the long hours they spend together!

Assessments 

There are many different ways in which Architectural Design Students at WSU can be assessed. That being said, most of the time, assessments are mainly created to expose students to group work.

Here are some of the assessments you may be expected to complete:

    • Exams
    • Group designs
    • Group proposals
    • Group reports

Skills That You Refine and Learn 

Western Sydney University Architecture - Skills

Western Sydney University Architecture gives students a multitude of different skills and builds upon many of them as well! 

Collaborative thinking and teamwork are the cornerstones to becoming an excellent Architectural Designer. You will be given group tasks and assessments that will challenge and stretch the limits of your creativity!

Students within this degree will also gain loads of creativity and critical thinking skills, focusing on the functionality and purpose of space, as well as its visual appeal. 

What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

Western Sydney University Architecture - Student Quote

The Architecture Faculty is home to an amazing array of professors and tutors who are willing to put in the extra mile to help their students succeed! Professors are always a question or an email away and will be there to help with any queries.

This passion and thirst for knowledge are echoed by the Architectural Design students at WSU — the fairly small cohort (in comparison to other Bachelor’s degrees) is close-knit and always inspired to do their best! 

Clubs and Groups 

WSU Construction, Planning and Architecture Society This society aims to be a bridge between student’s scholastic and professional lives! They do this through organising networking events, social nights, and help with any questions students may have about the discipline.

WSU hosts many different societies and clubs — there are clubs based on cultures, hobbies, interests and more! To check out the clubs WSU have, check out their website here!

Mentorship

WSU also hosts the mentoring program, MATES. This program is aimed at first-year uni students and gives them the opportunity to connect with other first-year students and later year mentors — it allows students to ask questions, connect and have fun!

Interested in the pros and cons of this degree? Check out our article here!


Matilda Elliott is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and a Communication graduate with a major in Journalism at Western Sydney University. You can find some of her published work in a range of platforms including SBS World News, The Music Network and within her own creative exploits with her twin sister. Matilda is a lover of listening, helping people to tell their stories, making genuine connections, clowning around in her circus troupe and dancing like no one is watching at live music shows!

 

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