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Postgraduate courses in architecture, design and planning

First in Australia for Architecture/Built Environment*
We live in an urban age, marked by unique global challenges. Our postgraduate degrees will equip you with the creative thinking and specialist skills to develop sustainable, future-focused solutions to contemporary concerns facing the built environment sector.

Our flagship Master of Architecture – open to graduates of the Bachelor of Design in Architecture, or a Bachelor of Architecture and Environments – provides a pathway to becoming a registered architect.

Or you may choose to explore the creative technologies, from design thinking and user experience design, to architectural science and urbanism.

*QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021

Why study architecture, design and planning at Sydney?

Our coursework and research degrees offer far more than knowledge. You’ll join leading thinkers to challenge the known and explore the unknown, in a stimulating environment that encourages both learning and networking. To support research and teaching excellence, we are investing in the latest innovative technology and exceptional facilities.

Our regular ranking in the top 50 universities worldwide reflects our outstanding reputation.* Graduates from the University of Sydney are among the world’s most sought-after employees – we are ranked first in Australia and fourth in the world for graduate employability.**

*QS World University Rankings, 2020
** QS Graduate Employability Rankings, 2020


When you study with us, you will benefit from the latest facilities – the only indoor environmental quality (IEQ) laboratory in the southern hemisphere, an extensive research lighting laboratory and outstanding audio and acoustics facilities, including an anechoic chamber and recording studio.

The Wilkinson Building has one of the best-equipped design, modelling and fabrication labs in Australia and provides dedicated studio space for students.

During your studies you can take advantage of exchange programs with leading universities and international elective units of study, to visit destinations across North and South America, Scandinavia, China, Indonesia, Japan and the United Kingdom.

The School of Architecture, Design and Planning is large enough to attract world-renowned researchers and teachers, yet small enough to provide a distinct, collegiate environment.

We have an active events and alumni program that sees visiting scholars and architects speaking in lectures, symposiums and debates, while our Tin Sheds Gallery provides a calendar of stimulating, provocative exhibitions to advance our research.

We are committed to providing you with an education that promotes architecture, design and planning as ways of improving environmental and social outcomes.

Inspired by the work of renowned architect, activist and University of Sydney academic – the late Col James – with his work in the Aboriginal community of Redfern in the 1960s and ’70s, the school recently sent 16 Master of Architecture students to the Aboriginal community of Yarrabah, North Queensland to work on designs for affordable housing.

The school offers a broad range of scholarships and prizes to support and reward talented students. Read about our specific scholarships for architecture, design and planning students.

Expand your personal, academic and professional experience through a wide range of international travel opportunities available when you study with us.

From 2014-16, more than 300 students visited 17 countries including Japan, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Italy, France and the United States. In 2016, 15 students from the Master of Architecture program exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale as part of their studies.

In July 2017, a group of architecture students and tutors travelled to Port Vila, Vanuatu, to begin the process of designing and building a new school for the Ohlen Freswind Community.
The ongoing project will engage students in cultural and community consultation, and disaster resistant building techniques.

Whether you are an undergraduate, postgraduate or research student there is a broad range of international studios, exchange programs and travel for research purposes on offer each year.

Exchange program

Participating in an exchange program is available to students in most of our degrees. Our International Exchange Program enables you to graduate with a truly global perspective while having your studies overseas credited towards your degree at Sydney.

International studios

There are many opportunities for you to travel as part of your study, and we regularly create new options. For example, you can count International Studio units of study as credit towards your degree.

To ensure you graduate with relevant professional insights, you will have the opportunity to engage with partners across the built environment and interactive design industries.

Many of our staff have roles in leading industry organisations, including the Australian Institute of Architects, NSW Architects Registration Board, Planning Institute of Australia, and national accreditation panels. Our adjunct academics bring their expertise to teaching and offer opportunities for engagement and employment.

As a student here you will be able to participate in real-life industry projects driven by innovation and focusing on elements such as architectural design, prefabrication, manufacturing, advanced building technologies, computational prototyping, robotics and more.

Collaborate with leading organisations and practices such as Arup, Lendlease, Bates Smart, the NSW Government Architect, Neeson Murcutt, Gehl, BVN, Atlassian, Cox Architecture, FJMT and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer.

We also host visiting international scholars for symposiums, exhibitions, workshops and lectures.

There is an Internship Elective available in every Architecture, Design and Planning degree, meaning you get the opportunity to gain real world experience while completing your studies.

The internship is tailored to suit you as well as the host organisation. The placement is for 120 hours which can be completed full time or part time, during semester or during summer/winter break.

Internships provide valuable opportunities to utilise your skills in a practical workplace setting. You’re able to enhance your studies by integrating course theory with current best practice, and this will have a positive influence on future employability.

In the past, students have interned with:

  • KPMG
  • City of Sydney
  • Foxtel
  • AMP
  • The Creative Studio
  • Springday
  • Cali Press
  • Taronga Conservation Society
  • Nikkon Lighting
  • SAP

Our inspiring students

Shu Yan 

Master of Architecture

University of Sydney offered what I needed to explore the new boundaries in architecture, with the timber, metal and ceramic workshop, and fabrication lab. In addition, the high rank in graduate employability also played apart in my university decision-making, as it is important to develop my skills and knowledge required for the workforce. 

"Through the course, the opportunities given to interact with the local architectural practices not only allow the students to have a better understanding architecturally but historically and culturally as well. International students who are placed in a different environment sometimes tend to shy away from the unfamiliarity, but our School frequently organised inspiring events such as exhibitions, lectures from visiting architects and networking events which provided valuable insights and will get your creativity flowing.”

David Raphael

Master of Architectural Science (Sustainable Design and Illumination Design) 

“As an international student, my first few months in Sydney were spent appreciating the various university social-clubs and interacting with various cultures. With almost never a dull moment, students can experience balancing fun with everyday responsibilities. After my first semester I decided to change my secondary stream to study ‘lighting’. The transition into the new stream was well guided, effortless and remains highly unregretful. This new combination of streams opened up opportunities involving on-site redesigns in ongoing projects at prestigious establishments and with renowned brands.”

Evan Kriswandi

Master of Urbanism (Urban Design)

“As the oldest university in Australia, I think there is no better university that I can learn about architecture and urban design in Sydney. The School’s ranking of 12thin the world ensured me that I will learn from the best experts in this field. The core of the degree is the urban design studio which exposes me to real urban design problems which are currently happening in Sydney. The studio also involved the urban design professionals from the city council so I could understand the real complexities of urban design thinking and practices.

"What was really valuable to me was when I presented my urban design proposal to the city council and received much appreciation as well as critical feedback.  As a University of Sydney student I have a great privilege to access all the respected journals from all over the world, historical drawings, old documents and many resources I didn’t think I could access before. Apart from the course, there are so many activities you can experience - so many free seminars, lectures, symposiums and exhibitions, even beyond your own faculty.”

Jaymus Lim

Master of Architecture

“While it is at times stressful in a competitive environment where everyone strives for their best, I have always felt supported by an encouraging, understanding and insightful group of academic and university staff. The course structure of the masters is a careful balance between flexibility and multiplicity for my architectural exploration, which paves distinct career paths into the professional world, from urban design to industrial design, project management to historical preservation, and more.

"Graduation Studio presented me the opportunity to express my architectural voice on the waste and energy crisis that is plaguing Australia. This has led to my nomination for the AIA award by the university, further encouraging my exploration and collaboration on the architectural potentials in urban development and environmental sustainability. I am now working as a map designer preparing artwork for a property developer.”


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