Your Guide to An Architecture Course in Malaysia

Do you always find yourself with a pencil in hand, constantly drawing and sketching? Have you always been fascinated with incredible Architecture, such as the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and Putrajaya’s futuristic Seri Wawasan Bridge?

If so, perhaps you might want to consider a course in Architecture!

This guide will take you through everything you need to know about studying an Architecture course in Malaysia, from what Architecture is all about to the skills and qualifications to be a professional architect.

The Basics of Architecture

What Is Architecture

Architecture - What is Architecture
Architecture is about the design of buildings and physical structures.

It is both an art and a science — architects design creative and visually inspiring structures and spaces (art), while ensuring that their designs are safe, functional and realistic (science). No one wants to stay in an aesthetically beautiful house, only for it to collapse during a heavy downpour!

The work of an architect does not just end with design though. Architects also work closely with engineers and contractors, making sure that the construction that takes place is according to their drawings and specifications.

From cozy homes and new office workspaces to green community parks and the towering Menara Kuala Lumpur, you are encountering the work of Architecture everyday!

Studying A Degree In Architecture

What Qualifications Do You Need?

In order to pursue a degree in Architecture, you will generally need:

(1) SPM / O-Level Qualification

  • Minimum of 5 credits, including a credit in Mathematics

AND

(2) Pre-University Qualification

Entry requirements may be higher or lower depending on university, so make sure you do your research!

How Long Is an Architecture Degree?

Architects in Malaysia are required to have certain level of qualification that is governed by Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM). It is known as LAM Part I, II and III.

In order to obtain LAM Part I, you can either:

  1. Obtain a fully accredited degree in Architecture (approx. 3 years) that allows you exemption from Part I professional exam, or
  2. Sit for individual exams with LAM for Part I if you have an unaccredited Architecture degree

But wait, you’re not an architect yet! With Part I, you are only an Assistant Architect.

The minimum requirement to be an architect is to hold the LAM Part II qualification. With Part II, you are known as a Graduate Architect. In order to obtain LAM Part II qualification, you must study for another 2 years (sort of like studying for a Masters in Architecture).

And if you want to be a Professional Architect with an “Ar.” title in front of your name, you have to go on to LAM Part III. To obtain Part III, you will need to have practised as an architect for a minimum of 2 years, and have fulfilled all the project requirements set by LAM. With a Part III qualification, you are considered a Professional Architect.

Pro Tip: To save yourself from taking LAM professional exams for Part I and II, make sure you take a degree that is recognised by LAM.

Here is a summary of your education pathway.

Architecture - Education pathway

What Will You Study in an Architecture Degree?

Here are some of the topics you may learn in an Architecture degree:

  • Architectural Design
  • Architectural History & Culture
  • Building Materials & Construction
  • Environmental Science & Sustainable Design
  • Building Technology
  • Measured Drawing
  • Computer-Aided Design & 3D Modelling

Most Architecture degrees will have design studio projects, requiring you to present concepts, drawings and models to support your design work. This allows you to gain valuable experience in designing and building physical structures, which are essential once you graduate and start working as an architect.

Why Should You Study Architecture?

Architecture - Why Study Architecture
Architecture can be extremely rewarding and interesting for those who are creative and love designing. Here are some of the top reasons why you should study Architecture.

(1) You have a passion for spaces and structures

The world of Architecture will allow you to immerse yourself in the art and science of spaces and structures, whether it’s designing trendy workspaces to improve productivity or eco-friendly homes to do your bid for the environment. If you are someone who is constantly inspired by spaces, buildings and structures, Architecture might be just the thing for you!

(2) You love designing & working with your hands

A degree in Architecture will not just revolve around reading, writing and sketching. You will also need to work on building models to bring your drawings and designs to life. If you love sketching detailed drawings of buildings and find yourself still playing with Legos, you may have the makings of an architect!

(3) You are up for a challenging degree

Architecture doesn’t just involve art — there is also scientific and economic aspects to Architecture. In addition to designing creative spaces and structures, you will also need to ensure that your designs are realistic, safe and can be built economically. A degree in Architecture can be challenging, but extremely rewarding!

(4) You won’t be working in a cubicle all the time

Architects don’t just stay in their cubicle all day designing. Being an architect requires you to be involved with the planning and construction process as well. You will be out meeting clients to discuss their problems and requirements, as well as construction sites to ensure that everything is built according to the drawings and specifications.

What Skills Do You Need to Study Architecture?

Architecture - Key Skills
Here are some of the key qualities and skills that you will need to develop in order to do well in an Architecture degree.

(1) Ability to think creatively and logically

While you may not need to be exceptionally good in art and drawing, you must be able to visualise concepts and creations, and sketch them out on paper. Designs often need to be visually awe-inspiring, yet they also need to be functional and safe at the same time. In order to do this, you often need to think creatively and logically at the same time.

(2) Dedication and the ability to meet deadlines

With design projects a huge part of an Architecture degree, you must be able to work under pressure to meet assignment deadlines. Architecture students everywhere will tell you about the many all-nighters they pull before presentation day, sometimes even resorting to sleeping in the design studio. Many Architecture students do so because of their passion for the field, pushing the boundaries of their creativity to create better designs.

(3) Good presentation and communication skills

As part of your Architecture degree, you will be required to showcase your work and explain the thought process behind your models and designs. You must be able to present your thoughts and ideas clearly, especially in front of your peers, lecturers and at times, industry experts. This is a skill that will be highly valuable even after you graduate and enter the working world as an architect.

Don’t worry if you haven’t mastered all these skills yet. A degree in Architecture will help you hone and develop these skills! Just make sure you’re mentally prepared for what’s ahead.

What Career Options Do You Have with an Architecture Degree?

As a graduate of an Architecture degree, you will have developed valuable technical and design skills for a career in architecture, built environment, construction and landscape design.

Here are some career options that you can consider as a graduate of an Architecture degree.

  • Architect
  • Architectural Model Specialist
  • Architectural Structure Specialist
  • 3D Visualiser
  • Design Consultant
  • Landscape Architect
  • Resort / Hotel Conceptual Architect
  • Town Planning Conceptual Architect

Where Can You Study Architecture in Malaysia?

Here are some of the most popular universities for Architecture in Malaysia.

logo-infrastructure-university

Infrastructure University

Bachelor of Science (Architectural Studies)

Quick Facts

Campus: Kajang, Selangor
Intakes: Mar, Jun & Oct
Estimated Fees: RM67,218
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver

Key Highlights

Recognised by Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM) with exemptions from LAM Part I
Affiliated with universities abroad, including University of New South Wales, University of Birmingham and Massey University, for easy credit transfer
IUKL was rated as an “Excellent” (Tier 5) full-fledged university in 2011 and 2013 (MQA SETARA)

Taylor’s University

Bachelor of Science (Hons) Architecture

Quick Facts

Campus: Subang Jaya, Selangor
Intakes: Mar & Aug
Estimated Fees: RM116,940
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver

Key Highlights

Recognised by Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM) with exemptions from LAM Part I
Industry-specialist networking programme, where leaders in the architecture field give lectures, share real-life experience and conduct workshops
Emphasises on translating theory into practice — many site visits & field trips, with students constantly excelling in design & architecture competitions

UCSI University

Bachelor of Science (Hons) Architecture

Quick Facts

Campus: Cheras, Kuala Lumpur
Intakes: Jan & Jul
Estimated Fees: RM78,146
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver

Key Highlights

Recognised by Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM) with exemptions from LAM Part I
Experience real-life working environment through a 16-week internship programme

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)

Bachelor of Science (Hons) Architecture

Quick Facts

Campus: Kajang, Selangor
Intakes: Jan & May
Estimated Fees: RM42,000
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver

Key Highlights

Recognised by Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM) with exemptions from LAM Part I
Affordable tuition fees
Architectural study tours and field excursions, both in Malaysia and abroad

Where else can you study Architecture in Malaysia? Check out our comprehensive comparison table for Architecture courses! You can also compare institutions for Foundation in Arts.

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