Design (Architecture)

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Undergraduate Degree


Architecture is the art and science of designing, documenting and constructing the built environment, and encompasses human, environmental, urban, structural, technological, contextual, legal and other activities. Architecture is about conceptualising big picture designs that reconcile and optimise these aspects, and then developing these designs and documents to enable construction to proceed. Architecture thus plays a key role in the building procurement process and in determining the character and success of our experience of the built environment.

The School of Architecture and Built Environment has developed an innovative problem-based approach to learning in which a range of concerns (aesthetic, social, technical, ecological, historical, managerial and others) are integrated into the process of architectural design. The focus is on learning the core skills of an architect and aims to develop a broad base in design and communication skills.

Professional Accreditation

The Bachelor of Design (Architecture) by itself does not lead to professional recognition. To become a professional architect, students must complete this degree followed by the Master of Architecture. The Bachelor of Design (Architecture) develops capabilities recognised by industry where graduates may be employed in an architectural practice or a related design field.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Design (Architecture) often proceed to the Master of Architecture program. However those that do not proceed to the Masters program may find employment in a range of para-professional careers in an architectural practice, design and building companies, different levels of government and other areas as technicians, drafters, managers, designers and so on.

View examples of past students' work on the online gallery.

For more information about Architecture, visit the School of Architecture and Built Environment site.

View our Bachelor of Design (Architecture) in the Program Handbook and the online prospectus What Can I Study?.

Further Study Options

Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of Honours, Research Higher Degrees (RHD), Postgraduate Coursework and additional study options available. These options may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the future options following a degree in Design (Architecture) include:    

The Bachelor of Design (Architecture) may be awarded as an ordinary degree or with merit. For more information, see Bachelor of Design (Architecture).

Postgraduate Study:

To qualify to become an architect, the postgraduate study program required is the Master of Architecture.

View our Master of Architecture in the Program Handbook and the online prospectus What Can I Study?.

For those not intending to become an architect, there are a broad range of post graduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options please visit the Post Graduate Handbook at

Sample Jobs

Bachelor of Design (Architecture) graduates will be able to find employment in architectural practice or general design fields, but to be professionally recognised as an architect, students will need to move into the Master of Architecture upon completion of the degree.

The following list provides example job titles that are typical for graduates of the Bachelor of Design (Architecture). Some of these jobs may require additional study and experience to meet the entrance requirements.

Not everyone uses their degree in the same way and the transferable skills gained through university study may allow graduates to pursue a range of careers that might not be directly linked to their study. Below is a sample list of job titles that might be suitable for someone with the skills gained during the Bachelor of Design (Architecture).

Getting the Edge

Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.

  1. Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
  2. Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
  3. Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
  4. Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
  5. Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
  6. Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
  7. Consider volunteering.

Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.


Sample Employers

The Australian Institute of Architects has a comprehensive directory of architectural practices Australia wide. Thier database enables you to search for practices based on the areas of practice, location, and specialised experience.

Architecture employment opportunities exist in a wide variety of industries within small, medium and large organisations. Below are examples of some major organisations, which formally target graduates with qualifications in architecture as either specialist or generalist graduates.

Please be aware that if you do not intend to move on to further studies, i.e. Master of Architecture, generalist positions are available in a wide array of organisations within, and outside of, the architecture industry. To view a more exhaustive sample list, click here.

Recruitment Timing

Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.

Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .

Societies and Associations

Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.

Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.

Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.

Graduate Attributes and Employability

Graduate attributes for the Bachelor of Design (Architecture) are the necessary skills, abilities and knowledge acquired through this program. Below is the complete list of attributes that graduates will have demonstrated upon the completion of the degree.

Graduate Attributes

  • A thorough knowledge of Architectural fundamentals and the principles which underpin them so as to operate effectively with comprehensive and well-founded skills.
  • An ability to inform their practice through knowledge of historical and cultural precedents, as well as their own experience.
  • An ability to apply design theories and methods to their projects.
  • Utilise effective communication skills, including verbal, written and visual strategies, to communicate design & technical information both in the process of collaboration & to convey information.
  • Be responsive to the societal issues and the needs of the users of their designs.
  • Inform their design through a knowledge of structures, materials, construction and service systems.
  • Apply their knowledge of professional, business, financial and legal contexts within which built environments are procured.
  • Inform their actions through their knowledge of natural systems and the built environment.

You will recognise these attributes in the selection criteria listed in the following job ads

Sample Job Ads & Tips

Job ads provide useful information about the job and the required skills, experience and qualifications. Information like this is useful in career planning. Below is a small sample of job ads with tips on planning and job applications; explore further to gather more useful information for your planning.

Please note: the job ads listed on this page are not current and were sourced from a variety of websites in 2010.


Sample Job Ads