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Your first step to becoming an architect

Our rankings

  • #1 in Australia

    Ranked first in Australia for Architecture/Built Environment in the QS World University Rankings 2021 by Subject.

  • #1 in Australia

    The University is ranked first in Australia and fourth in the world for graduate employability in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020.


In response to COVID-19, the University of Sydney has reviewed the availability of courses to be delivered remotely for students commencing their studies in Semester 1, 2021.

This course will be available to study remotely for students commencing in Semester 1, 2021. Please note that some units of study that are not essential to completing the degree may not be available to be studied remotely.

Note: The University intends to offer as many units of study as possible in a remote as well as face-to-face learning method of delivery in Semester 1, 2021 and subject to ongoing border closures and public health orders impacting attendance on campus, in Semester 2, 2021. However, some units of study and courses require students to study in-person at the relevant University of Sydney campus/es and host locations for placements and will not be available remotely. 

About this course

The Bachelor of Design in Architecture is offered by the University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, ranked top 20 in the world for Architecture/Built Environment*. This degree introduces you to the rewarding profession of architecture and is your first step to becoming a registered architect.

In this degree, you will learn to design for the built environment through a studio-based program that involves working on real-world projects in and around Sydney. Opportunities for international exchange are also offered and provide you with a broader view of the role architecture can play in improving people's lives.

You will undertake a core program in architectural history and theory, communications, technology and design workshops. You will have access to electives drawn from across disciplines in arts, digital design, sustainability and urban design.

Your personal and professional interests in architecture are matched by our staff's discipline-leading research and the school’s cutting edge facilities, including digital fabrication and modelling labs.

Upon completion, most students enrol in the Master of Architecture to achieve professional certification, followed by the requisite registration process.

Due to enrolment quotas, there are a limited number of places available in this degree.

*2020 QS World University Rankings by Subject

Subject areas

There are currently no majors available for the Bachelor of Design in Architecture.

Shared pool

Admission, fees and how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status

The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

Your fee

How to apply

Prospective domestic students apply through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) for a Commonwealth supported place . Refer to the UAC website for key dates. Separate scholarship deadlines apply, visit the scholarships website for details.

For other useful information, visit our How to apply page.

Current University of Sydney students applying to transfer from one bachelor's degree to another apply directly to the University. The exact process will depend on the course you are currently in and the course to which you wish to transfer. For more information visit the Change your course page.

Current students applying to transfer from a diploma to a bachelor's degree must apply through UAC.

Refer to the UAC website. Separate scholarship deadlines apply – visit the scholarships webpage for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March)

Visit the How to apply page for detailed information on if you need to apply directly to the University or through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). If you are a direct applicant, when you are ready to apply select the `Apply’ button on this course page.

Current University of Sydney students applying to transfer from one bachelor's degree to another apply directly to the University. The exact process will depend on the course you are currently in and the course to which you wish to transfer. For more information visit the Change your course page.

Closing dates

Direct applicants:

Semester 1 - 31 October of the preceding year. 

We strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible to allow time for visa and travel arrangements. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - visit the scholarships webpage for details.

UAC Applicants: Refer to the UAC website

Starting date

Semester 1 (March)

What you'll study

The Bachelor of Design in Architecture may be undertaken full-time over three years, or four years with honours.

In each semester of the degree, you will complete core units and may choose one elective in Arts in Architecture, Architectural Science, Design or Planning. Opportunities also exist for you to take units of study in other faculties within the University.

Each semester revolves around a studio which explores aspects of the design process relating directly to the practice of the architectural profession. The studios are supplemented by core units of study in architectural history and theory, communications, technologies and art workshops. Methods of study in the course will include studio work, lectures, seminars, field trips, and workshops.

Units of Study

Completion requirement

It is a requirement of the Bachelor of Design in Architecture that you pass all core units for the degree. The school has created a series of thresholds through which students must pass in order to progress to the next stage.

Studio is central to the Bachelor of Design in Architecture and the teaching is structured in such a way that the knowledge and skills learned in one semester build on those learned in the previous semester. You are required to pass Architecture Studio 1A before you will be allowed to proceed to Architecture Studio 1B and Architecture Studio 2A before you proceed to Architecture Studio 2B and so on. A fail in any Studio unit will prevent progression to the next unit, causing a 12-month delay in studies.

Whilst architectural history and theory, communications, technologies and art processes units are core to the degree, they are taught in relatively self-contained ways that complement the work in studio. If you fail any of these units in first year you will be allowed to progress to second year, but you will still be required to re-enrol in the failed units and pass them in their own right.

You will not be permitted to enrol in Architecture Studio 3A unless you have passed all first and second year core units. You will not be allowed to proceed to Architecture Studio 3B until you pass Architecture Studio 3A.

Sample study plan

Bachelor of Design in Architecture

Year Sem  Unit of study 
1 1 Architectural History/Theory 1 Architecture Studio 1A Safety Induction and Competency Unit Architectural Sketching and Drawing*
  2 Architectural Technologies 1 Architecture Studio 1B Elective  
2 1 Architectural Technologies 2 Architectural Studio 2A Elective  
  2 Art Processes Architecture Studio 2B Elective  
3 1 Architectural History/Theory 3 Architecture Studio 3A Elective  
  2 Architecture Professional Practice* (prerequisite unit for entry into Master of Architecture) Architecture Studio 3B Elective  

* These units are electives; you can choose other options
Indicative progression based on a Semester 1 enrolment.

Assumed knowledge

English (Advanced) and Mathematics.

Applying for honours

If you qualify for, or have been awarded, an undergraduate pass degree in Design, the Bachelor of Design in Architecture (Honours) provides you with the opportunity to extend your potential in a research task under the supervision of a member of academic staff. The honours degree requires an extra year of full-time study.

It will allow you to develop a deeper level of academic thought and research in an area of particular interest, identified during your three years of study in the Bachelor of Design in Architecture.

The award of honours is an avenue by which the best students can be recognised. By its nature, an honours degree carries more weight or prestige than the pass degree. It is highly regarded by employers and other universities.

Admission criteria

Admission to this course is on the basis of the following criteria:

Admission pathways are open to domestic applicants on the basis of equity or other adjustment factors, including for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants. For details, visit admission pathways.

Portfolio Admission Scheme for Domestic Applicants

Domestic applicants are invited to submit a portfolio of work in support of your application. The portfolio will be considered as part of your application.

For more information about the portfolio and submission visit the Portfolio admissions pathway page on the school's website.

Credit for previous study

For more information about the University’s credit policy, please see the Credit for Previous Studies page.

Course opportunities

You will have the opportunity to complete an architectural professional practice unit in third year, which will prepare you for master's level study in architecture. In this unit of study, you will develop your understanding through the design development of a project and take this to development application level using current practice.

The School of Architecture, Design and Planning has a number of school-specific exchange programs available to you. As a student, you may undertake exchange in the second year or first semester of the third year of your degree. It is usually easier to obtain studio space at the start of the overseas academic year which, in the northern hemisphere, typically commences in September.

Professional accreditation

Becoming a registered architect will open the world to you as the work of architects is no longer confined by geography. As a graduate, opportunities lie both within Australia and overseas, with a number of our past students having great successes internationally. By engaging with the environment, community and needs of clients and stakeholders, work as an architect can have a profound effect on people's lives around the world.

When you successfully complete the Bachelor of Design in Architecture (or equivalent), the next step towards becoming a registered architect is the Master of Architecture, a 2-year professional program that prepares you for the complex and challenging architecture profession.

When you graduate from the degree of Master of Architecture, you will be entitled to registration as an architect under the Architects Act 1921 (NSW), subject to obtaining two years of approved practical experience, at least 12 months of which must be subsequent to graduation, and passing an architectural practice examination before registration.

As a student, you are eligible for student membership of the Australian Institute of Architects. Here you will receive each issue of Architecture Australia, the New South Wales chapter Bulletin, and the AIA News. You may also attend Institute functions. Admission to Associate Membership of the Australian Institute of Architects is based on two years approved practical experience.

Career Pathways

  • Registered architect*
  • Project manager
  • Property developer
  • Urban planner

*Subject to completing further requirements. See Professional Accreditation.

Career information for UAC

Examples include architectural practice, urban design, digital architecture, project management and heritage conservation.

Alternatively, students may proceed to other graduate programs, such as:

  • Audio and Acoustics
  • Heritage Conservation
  • Illumination Design
  • Interaction Design and Electronic Arts
  • Sustainable Design
  • Urban Design
  • Urban and Regional Planning.

The world is changing, and university education needs to change too

Domestic students

International students

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.