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Bachelor of Architectural Design

Approved Abbreviation: BArchDes

Western Sydney University Course Code: 3753.1

AQF Level: 7

CRICOS Code: 097540C

Course Status: CURRENT
This version of the course is available to new and continuing students.

The Bachelor of Architectural Design provides students with a combination of skills and knowledge required by contemporary architects, aligning with the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) National Standard of Competency for Architects in the areas of design, documentation, project delivery and practice management across five knowledge domains; regulatory, social and ethical, environmentally sustainable, communication and disciplinary. The course focuses on producing graduates who can synthesise and evaluate information from across associated disciplines, undertake architectural design and apply design thinking to complex projects in a global marketplace.

Additional Course Information

All studio units in this course will be offered at Westmead campus.

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Architectural Design should anticipate expenses of approximately $200 per semester for model-making materials and large format plotting costs. Additionally, it is strongly recommended all students have their own laptop when commencing the course (minimum 8GB RAM, multi-core processor, graphics card) but no later than the start of Semester 3. Laptop specifications and other required equipment will be provided upon admission to the course.

Study Mode
Three years full-time or six years part-time.

Course Advice

Dr Ursa
Prospective students should use the links at the top of the page for general enquiries about this course.


Recommended ATAR: 85 or equivalent

Assumed knowledge: HSC English Standard (or higher), and Science and/or Mathematics (Band 4 or above).

Recommended studies: Art, design technology (drafting/CAD), and/or professional studies.

Alternate Entry

Where academic requirements are not met, entry by portfolio demonstrating creative ability is also possible. Portfolios will be assessed by the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics on a qualitative basis.

PDF portfolio required for all international applicants.

Portfolio (PDF only) Formatting and Content Requirements

  • Maximum 10 page PDF file showing visual evidence of creative ability. Images should be labelled and dated, with brief descriptions of the work to clarify as required (max 25 words per image).* Creative production need not be limited to ‘architectural’ works but can include: photography, sculpture, freehand drawing, mechanical drafting or CAD modelling, woodwork or technical arts, music scores, creative writing, dramatic performance or dance, and other forms of creative or professional endeavour.
  • Maximum 5MB file size
  • Colour or black and white
  • A4 portrait or landscape
  • No embedded hyperlinks. Static files only. No security or password protection on the file
  • Cover sheet with your name, email address, and phone number and 100 word maximum description of the creative content, explanation of any exceptional circumstances, and articulation of why the field of architecture is of interest
  • Save the PDF file using the following name format: B_Arch_Design_SURNAME_FIRSTNAME_portfolio.pdf

For example, B_Arch_Design_SMITH_JOHN_portfolio.pdf

You must upload your portfolio to your UAC application by 1 November 2019.

Do NOT email or send your portfolios to WSU

No late portfolios will be accepted.

Where any work is authored by more than just the applicant, this needs to be clearly identified and credited (such as collaborative projects).

Additional Information

To be eligible for admission you must have achieved a minimum ATAR or equivalent of 85.00.

Applications from Australian and New Zealand citizens and holders of permanent resident visas must be made via the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). Use the links below to apply.

Applicants who have undertaken studies overseas may have to provide proof of proficiency in English.

Local and International applicants who are applying through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) will find details of minimum English proficiency requirements and acceptable proof on the UAC website.

International applicants must apply directly to the University via the International Office.

International students applying to the University through the International Office can find details of minimum English proficiency requirements and acceptable proof on their website.

International Office

Overseas qualifications must be deemed by the Australian Education International - National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (AEI-NOOSR) to be equivalent to Australian qualifications in order to be considered by UAC and Western Sydney University.

Note Regarding Professional Accreditation

The program is designed to meet all the requirements of the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia and in conjunction with the proposed Master of Architecture (Urban Transformation) program. The professional pathway to registration in architecture in Australia requires a minimum 5 year sequence including a three year Bachelors, a 2 year Master of Architecture and a nominal 2 year (3300 hrs) professional practice internship under the supervision of a registered practising architect of which 1650 hours can be during their study years. Successful completion of the Bachelor of Architectural Design will enable students to apply for entry into the Master of Architecture (Urban Transformation) program at Western Sydney University and may be eligible to apply to other accredited architecture program providers dependant on their entry requirements. Students who do not wish to proceed to the Masters course will still obtain a qualification that will assist with employment in the broad industry as part of building design teams and other allied disciplines in creative arts and professional services.

Special Requirements Prerequisites
Students are required to obtain a General Construction Induction Card (“white card”) to facilitate construction site visits as part of the course. This can be obtained independently or through a coordinated effort of program staff during new student orientation. Detailed information will be provided to students. It is expected Induction Cards will be obtained during the first year of study, and will be a requirement to enrol in Year 2.

Work Integrated Learning

Western Sydney University seeks to enhance student learning experiences by enabling students to engage in the culture, expectations and practices of their profession or discipline. This course includes a placement or other community-based unpaid practical experience.

There is a mandatory work component required for completion of this course. Please contact the Course Advisor listed above for information.

International students should also refer to the 'Work Integrated Learning (WIL) for international students' website for more information and a link to the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) for international students

Course Structure

Qualification for this award requires the successful completion of 240 credit points as per the recommended sequence below.

Students must complete:

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

All studio units in this course will be offered at Westmead campus.

Recommended Sequence

Year 1

Autumn session

301030Introduction to Industrial Design Methods

From Autumn 2020, this unit is replaced by equivalent unit 301280 Human Centred Design Research Methods

301280Human Centred Design Research Methods
301074Graphics 1: 2D and 3D Industrial Design Communication

From Autumn 2020, this unit is replaced by equivalent unit 301283 Design Graphics: Presenting Innovation

301283Design Graphics: Presenting Innovation
301197Architecture Studio - Fundamentals of Analogue Design

Spring session

301062Environmental Building Design
301198Architecture Studio - Fundamentals of Digital Design
300706Building 1

From Autumn 2020, this unit is replaced by equivalent unit 301226 Residential Building

301226Residential Building

Year 2

Autumn session

101589Cities: Introduction to Urban Studies
301199Architecture Studio - Rethinking the Sub-urban

And one elective

Spring session

301200Architecture Studio - Rethinking Urbanism
300707Building 2

From Spring 2020, this unit is replaced by equivalent unit 301227 Non-Residential Building

301227Non-Residential Building

And one elective

Year 3

Autumn session

200471Construction Technology 5 (Envelope)
301201Architecture Studio - Global Cities

And one elective

Spring session

101646Analysis of Spatial Data
301202Architecture Studio - The Infrastructural

And one elective

Sub-major Elective Spaces

Elective units may be used toward obtaining an additional approved sub-major (40 credit points).

Search for sub-majors

Western Sydney University offers sub-majors in a range of areas including Sustainability and Indigenous Studies.

Indigenous Australian Studies Sub-major

Students can apply for an elective major or sub-major via MySR.

MyStudentRecords (MySR)

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