The Complete Guide to Studying Architecture in Malaysia

What are the requirements to study an architecture course in Malaysia? Learn more about the programme including its requirements and career pathway with this guide.


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.

City University

BSc (Hons) Architectural Design

Recognised by the Board of Architects Malaysia (LAM) with exemptions from LAM Part I

#1. The Basics of Architecture

What Is Architecture

CG- Architecture-What is Architecture 02Architecture 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!

#2. Entry Requirements for Architecture courses

a) What are the subjects required to study Architecture?

In general, you must have studied Mathematics for SPM if you want to pursue Architecture for your tertiary education.

b) Diploma in Architecture

These are the general entry requirements for a Diploma in Architecture:

  • SPM / O-Level: Minimum 3Cs, including Mathematics and English

Upon completion, you can choose to join the working world or further your studies to a Degree in Architecture (entering from the second year onwards).

c) Degree in Architecture

To pursue a Degree in Architecture, you need to complete your SPM or equivalent qualification and a pre-university programme. The requirements needed to pursue a Degree in Architecture are:

  • STPM: Minimum of 2Cs, including Mathematics and English
  • A-Level: Minimum of 2Ds, including Mathematics
  • Relevant Foundation: Minimum CGPA of 2.00
  • Matrikulasi: Minimum CGPA of 2.00
  • Relevant Diploma: Minimum CGPA of 2.50
Important Note: Entry requirements for some universities may be higher, so it’s important that you scrutinise the details carefully.

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.


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.


How much does it cost to study architecture in Malaysia?

An architecture diploma can cost from RM25,000 to RM50,000. Meanwhile, an architecture degree can range from RM35,000 to RM120,000.

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.

City University

Foundation in Arts (Built Environment)

Direct route into City University’s architecture and interior design programmes

#3. Why Should You Study Architecture?

CG- Architecture-Why 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.

#4. Should You Study Architecture

CG- Architecture-Key Skills

a) Is Architecture right for you?

If you’re wondering whether you should study Architecture, here are some questions to think about:

  • Do you have a passion for spaces and structures?
  • Are you generally proficient in Mathematics?
  • Do you love designing and working with your hands?
  • Are you up for a challenging degree?
  • Do you consider yourself a creative person?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, Architecture may be right for you!

b) Skills required to be an architect

Here are some key skills a good architect should have:

  • Ability to think creatively and logically
  • Dedication and the ability to meet deadlines
  • Good presentation and communication skills
  • Able to work well with other professionals
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.

#5. 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

City University

BSc (Hons) Architectural Design

Recognised by the Board of Architects Malaysia (LAM) with exemptions from LAM Part I

#6. Where Can You Study Architecture in Malaysia?

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

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.