best architecture school in aussie?

Aug 15 '06 75 Last Comment
Oct 12, 08 7:11 pm

Ok - fair point. However, there is an 'equivalence' in terms of a 5 year program in OZ and NZ vs. a 6 year program in the US. Equivalence in terms of having your qualification being the minimum standard for licensing etc.

If someone from the states is looking for a masters degree from a OZ/NZ school, it is not so easy to simply attend the final two years of a B.Arch and make it count.

Having said that, I think the majority of Australian schools aside from RMIT are on a 3/2 year split with 1 year in between spent as an intern. The difference is the terminology - a masters degree is 2 years spent after obtaining a B.Arch, and you usually have to get honours of some description in your b.arch. Agfa8x, I assume a 3 year BAS is largely meaningless in terms of what it allows you to do professionally.

The only experience I had with US students whilst at RMIT was with MIT and SCIARC students. The SCIARC guys had an easier time given that they were on a 5 year b.arch also.

Oct 12, 08 7:15 pm

agfa8x, what is the chance of a student with a b.a in philosophy for example, switching to getting a 2 year m.arch in architecture [assuming they could put a portfolio together]. Back in my day it couldn't be done - the BAS was a minimum requirement for entry into the 2 year program...

Carl Douglas (agfa8x)
Oct 13, 08 1:28 am

no chance. the MArch needs a BAS as a prerequisite. The reason it's changing is simply that currently architecture students do five years of study and get only a bachelor's degree, where any other subject in NZ you get a masters.

in nz as in australia, you have to do a full five years of architecture - and i haven't seen any suggestion that that will change.

and yes, a BAS qualifies you for not much: you could work as a model-builder, an interior designer, or something - but not an architect.

Oct 13, 08 3:26 am

Right - also, in Australia, despite a 3/2 split, you still graduate at the end of the 5 years with a B.Arch, not an M.Arch.

james webbjames webb
Oct 13, 08 4:26 am

diabase, i know in some schools (curtin in perth, my old school) they have changed it now so the final 2 years do get you the M.Arch not B.Arch.

Oct 13, 08 6:08 am

actually, for both RMIT and for Monash (the new architecture program in Melbourne) the program is a 3 +2, with a Bachelor in Architecture Design after 3 years, then a Master of Architecture after 2 more. this full 5 years is the prerequisite for professional registration.

there still exists at RMIT the more traditional master program, but it is called Master of Architecture by Research. this is a true post-graduate program, with additional work after a primary degree.

these models now effectively follow the British system, with a 3-year BSc degree (also leading to Part I exemption for registration), followed by 2 years Diploma course (also leading to Part II exemption for registration). this is to my mind a clearer distinction, as they then have Masters Degree beyond the Diploma degree.

so at least in the Australian context, what used to be a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture degree, has become a 5-year Master of Architecture degree - not that any of the current students know more than previously, but the degree has been inflated. i think this is a pity.

Carl Douglas (agfa8x)
Oct 13, 08 2:26 pm

i don't see it as degree inflation, just lining up architectural study with other fields: three years tertiary study is a bachelor's; another two is a master's.

the only thing that concerns me is that a master's degree is a research degree, but the schools I've observed don't seem to be doing anything different than at undergraduate level.

Oct 13, 08 2:53 pm

for many years, most BA degrees (at least in the states) were 4 year degrees. architecture was a 5 year degree. though somewhat unfair to architects, i always felt it made sense given the scope of experience needed, as well as the fact that it was part of a "professional" certification. getting a masters degree was additional, usually in order to teach at universities, or for additional research and/or development.

making the same format and same range work now equal to a Master of Architecture is an inflation of the degree - certainly in relation to those who spent 5 year for a B.Arch and then went on to get a Masters.

this is why for RMIT there is a strange anomaly, where some students will be receiving a 5-year Master of Architecture degree (basically the same old program with a new classification), in which the first 3-year section, the Bachelor of Architecture Design is considered as part of the "Undergraduate" Program. the next two years (effective the 4th and 5th years of the old architecture degree) become the new "Master of Architecture". while those who are really doing additional work after their first degree (3, 4, or 5-years, depending) will gain Master of Architecture by Research (after 2 more years years of full-time study) as part of the "Post-Graduate" program.

one difference, is that it is no longer possible to become a registered architecture with just a Bachelor of Architecture (Design) degree. you must do the full 5-years, gaining the Master of Architecture degree.

Oct 13, 08 3:53 pm


Things have obviously changed since I left RMIT at the end of 2002, and Australia in 2004. Regardless of terminology, its still a 5 year program all up...

Carl Douglas (agfa8x)
Oct 13, 08 5:09 pm

yeah, it's just name-shuffling.

Nov 10, 08 1:26 am

I would like to learn about some recent comments on the following Master of Architecture programs:

University of New South Wales
University of Sydney
University of Melbourne

It seems that discussions about these schools are dated a while back ago. Any recent thoughts on the programs, students' work, faculties, culture, facilities, and reputation, etc. will be appreciated.

Many thanks!

Jul 11, 11 7:14 am

Hi averyone.

I want continue my studing(master of architecture) in Australia.I could apply for one of this:UTS,Deakin,RTMI and QUt.according to

acording to they are in sme level but according to what people say these day rtmi has a lower quality than befor and UTS are better!

I am realy confused!

what's your suggestion?which is better to choose?

Jul 22, 11 6:45 pm

I was recently accepted to UniSA for their Undergraduate degree in architecture. I am Canadian and will be enrolling as an international student. I had contrasted their program with that of the University of Adelaide's and decided to apply solely to UniSA. The reason that I picked between these schools had much more to do with geography than academics, but now that I've looked into a lot of the schools that Australia has to offer I'd really like to go to either UTS or UWA.

Is UniSA really that bad?

Jul 22, 11 11:55 pm

Not sure, but they have some pretty rad Wardle buildings, which has to count for something.

Sep 8, 11 12:39 pm


    i am an international i have received an offer letter from uni newcastle for barch,i am really looking forward for a strong opinion about the uni.can anyone please help me out.

Sep 9, 11 3:23 pm

Still haven't made up my mind, although the Wardle buildings do look really inspiring. I've heard a lot of great things about the UWA program lately.

Nov 12, 11 2:08 am

hey there...

m planning to apply for a masters in architecture course in australia...

currently looking at RMIT, uni. of melb, curtin, and UWA.

could someone pls help me with the rankings for masters course..


Dec 12, 11 12:39 am

I notice the decision for most seems to be based only on the published rankings, I realise that it's hard to get a good idea of the situation otherwise from overseas.

The situation with academic funding is so unstable as is who teaches where in any given year that the rankings are a bit meaningless - by the time the figures are collated and published, it's all changed. Beware the published info about high-profile architects involved with any given department - some only fly in once or twice a semester, but are still paid a lot for attaching their 'starchitect' name to the department - and then there is less funding available to hire teaching staff who are actually there all the time.

Within a certain percentage range, all the architecture courses across the country teach essentially the same stuff to approximately the same standard, they have to or the course is discredited by a visiting board which monitors standards. You learn a lot from the wider environment of the city in which you choose to live and study, and also from your peers. So consider also the sort of city in which you want to live, the sort of architecture you think you might want to practice, and the broader student profile.

Also the cost of living varies in Australian cities (Sydney and Melbourne are more expensive than the rest) so balance any desire for the bright lights against being able to keep a roof over your head on a crap student wage for 5 years. Fewer hours nightshift every week = more time for studio projects and maybe a better grade? You can always visit the bright lights but live and study somewhere cheaper.

No matter where you study, it's how hard you work at it and what you do with your degree afterwards that really counts. The 'old school tie' thing is not so important, though most design firms will have a clear preference for either a more technical degree OR a more theoretical degree, depending on the focus of the firm.

And UniSA is not at all bad! So all in all sorry for no definitive reply but don't disregard the smaller schools in the more regional centres just because they are less well-known. This is all from having studied at two different universities, taught at one and having compared notes with colleagues who teach architecture at other universities across the country; and having worked in various types of firms in different cities for 10+ years.

Dec 17, 11 9:30 pm

Does anyone have any experience with or thoughts on the BAarch & MArch at University of Canberra?

Nov 14, 12 5:03 am

Hi everyone, 
I am applying for Master course of Architecture in Oz and NZ. Truthfully, tuition is a bit of my problem so I came up with 3 options: Vic in NZ, UTS and Adelaide in Oz
I'd rather coming to Vic, with low tuition but is one of the best uni in Nz and have good reputation as well. But it ranking is definitely lower than the others...

I am quite confused ... Anyone give me advice??!! Thanks a lot :)!!

Aug 28, 16 2:56 am

Hey guys. Im currently planning to pursue M.Arch in QUT and since the course is only for 1 year and affordable (and its in the top 51-100 top arch schools list by QS) , i thought i would go for it.

Any suggestions or remarks about their uni ? 

Jan 11, 17 6:54 pm

Any thoughts on Monash University, School of Architecture / Urban Design programme?

Jan 11, 17 7:24 pm

^ There's a previous thread on this for melbourne...Exeg pretty much mentioned: "RMIT uni best uni."


Jan 12, 17 4:34 am


Monash is relatively new, program being roughly 7-8 years old. They followed RMIT's footsteps in doing interview applications for high school students (no other VIC/NSW university does this). Although most of the tutors are RMIT alumni (quite young), there really is no true well-known faculty members. The program as expected is a bit raw, it is by no means bad but you would be better off investing into Uni Melb and RMIT. Workload wise it is similar to Uni Melbourne but is far from RMIT. Hope that helps

Jan 16, 17 10:02 pm

I am planning to do my masters in Oz. I am from India and would be applying as an international student. I have shortlisted uniMel and UQ. Which is better?

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