UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, JOHANNESBURG

Admission Requirements

Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS)

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

The admission requirements are outlined in the Guide for Undergraduate Applicants booklet. The requirements for architecture are:

  • Minimum admission requirements at matric:
    Mathematics Pass HG or minimum 60% at SG (pre 2008) or minimum 50% for Mathematics post - 2008 (not Mathematical Literacy)
    English (1st and 2nd language) Pass HG (pre 2008) or minimum 50% post - 2008). In practice applicants with more than 60% for both of these are more likely to be successful.
  • Applicants not writing a South African matric have other admission requirements.
  • There is no automatic acceptance level for BAS. There are a limited number of places, and there is a selection procedure as outlined below. Applicants who meet the minimum requirements and who have points of 34 and above will be considered in terms of this selection procedure.
  • Applicants with matric points between 29 and 33 who meet the minimum requirements may be considered in exceptional circumstances.

SELECTION PROCEDURES

  • The closing date for 2014 applications is 30 June 2013. No late applications will be considered.
  • After your application has been received you will be informed of the selection procedure outlined below and the relevant contact persons.
  • Applicants wanting to transfer from other universities or returning after interrupting their studies have to submit a letter of motivation, a portfolio of work and will have to attend interviews.
  • First time applicants are required to complete a written and graphic exercise for admission. This exercise must be returned to the University by the specified date (usually in August) or the application will receive no further attention.
  • Applicants whose graphic exercises meet the required standard will be required to attend an interview. Applicants will be informed and will be given a personal time-slot. Foreign applicants, or applicants unable to present themselves for an interview at the specified time, must apply to do a written interview. Students should bring a portfolio of creative work to the interview.
  • Applicants who have done well in both these processes may be offered a provisional place based on good Grade 11 academic results. It is therefore important to make sure that Grade 11 results are submitted to Wits when applying. A provisional offer will automatically be converted to a firm offer when the matric results are published if there is no drop in academic standard. If the academic standard had dropped, the application will still be considered, but automatic selection is not guaranteed.
  • The final selection of applicants can only occur after 90% of the matric results have been received. The final selection is based on a score compiled from matric (or equivalent) results; the written and graphic exercise; and the interview. We can only offer 75 new places to the applicants with the most competitive scores. The selected applicants will be informed as soon as possible in January. This can happen up to registration day or even thereafter, if some selected candidates fail to register.
  • Applicants will be kept informed of their status as fast as any new information can be processed. If an applicant has not received new information, there is none available. Application inquiries can only be answered by Siphokazi Makhaye at 011-717-7623 or applications.bas@wits.ac.za

Bachelor of Architectural Studies Honours (BAS Hons)

Postgraduate Architecture Studies

BAS (Honours) Degree Master of Architecture (Professional) Degree

At the University of the Witwatersrand, the Bachelor of Architectural Studies with Honours degree is a one year Honours level exit degree and a prerequisite for admission to the Master of Architecture (Professional) degree. There are limited places in the programmes and there are specific admission requirements and selection procedures for admission.

Requirements for entrance to the BAS (Honours) programme

Eligibility and Process for Admission

All applicants for the BAS (Honours) degree are required to have completed at least one year of practical experience after their undergraduate studies. Applicants will be required to submit evidence of this practical experience with their applications in the form of letters from employers, examples of work completed, a sketchbook and a comprehensive resume/cv.

This does not necessarily have to be for a registered architect, but may include working in an architect’s office, or working on a building site for a community organisation or government department. It is up to the learner to structure their year-out to add to their practical experience of and exposure to architecture, and may also include a period of travel, architectural tours, reading and sketching, computer design courses, etc. Learners are encouraged to do so in a way that involves a variety of architectural activities and experiences, and to produce a record of these experiences.

Learners with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) degree from the University of the Witwatersrand with a minimum of 70% average in the final year of study and 70% for design in the final year will be granted automatic admission into the BAS (Honours) after their year of practical experience but will be required to submit a portfolio of visual work. All the third year courses must have been completed in the same academic year for this to apply.

Applicants with a BAS degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, where less than the above standard has been obtained, will be required to complete a minimum of one year of practical work in the field of architecture after the BAS Degree has been completed. In addition, applicants will be required to submit a portfolio of visual work, a sketchbook from the practical year, and attend an interview with a selection panel from the School of Architecture & Planning in order for them to be considered for a place in the programme.

Applicants with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) degree (or equivalent) from other tertiary institutions will be required to submit a statement of purpose, a portfolio of visual work, a sketchbook from the practical year, and attend an interview with a selection panel from the School of Architecture & Planning in order for them to be considered for a place in the programme. Only learners with a minimum of 60% average and 60% for design in the final year of study are eligible to apply. International applicants will be required, in addition, to have their qualifications evaluated by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) in order to to establish equivalence and eligibility for the degree.

Applicants with a Bachelor of Technology (Applied Design) degree (or equivalent with emphaisis on design) will be required to submit a statement of purpose, a portfolio of visual work, a sketchbook from the practical year, and attend an interview with a selection panel from the School of Architecture & Planning in order for them to be considered for a place in the programme. Only learners with a minimum of 60% average and 60% for design in the final year of study are eligible to apply. International applicants will be required, in addition, to have their qualifications evaluated by SAQA in order to to establish equivalence and eligibility for the degree.

Learners in the third year of a BAS degree (or equivalent) who are registered for that academic year for the completion of their BAS will be not eligible to apply for admission to the BAS (Honours) programme until they have completed a further year of practical experience.

Portfolio and interview requirements

Interviews for applicants who do not meet requirements for automatic acceptance will happen around early October 2015. Applicants will be required to present their practical work and architectural experience in the form of a portfolio of visual work and a sketchbook from the practical year to the selection panel. The portfolio should be brought to the interview as a printed bound copy. The portfolio is also to be uploaded online (eg on dropbox or issuu.com) prior to the interview, with a link to the file sent to the School, and to be kept online until the selection process is complete. This interview will take place at the School during the latter half of the year (usually November) for students who have completed the admissions process and have all the necessary documentation.

Applicants must prepare a portfolio submission representative of all three years of the BAS degree, with emphasis on the third year of design, and work done in professional architectural offices. The portfolio must express the ability of the student to think analytically about their work by means of hand sketches, analytical diagrams, associated research and descriptive texts.

The work contained in the portfolio should be in chronological order with headings, associated descriptive texts and a contents page up front. Reference needs to be made of how the work relates to the academic curriculum of the respective academic institution and, in the case of work undertaken in an architectural practice, students should indicate what their specific role was in the work included. The portfolio should not contain all work completed but rather a representative and carefully edited selection.

In addition, applicants are requested to include a statement of purpose, a resume/cv, and letters of recommendation, including undergraduate teaching staff and from an employer (that describes the role the applicant played during the period of employment and confirms that the work represented in the portfolio was undertaken by the applicant).

Some students may be placed on a waitlist. In this case final acceptance may only be communicated in January 2016 or later. This status can be stressful, and we request students who have been offered places to confirm as soon as possible if they will take them up in order to free up all available places for others. Should an applicant not be successful in their application for the BAS (Honours) programme they can request feedback and advice on how to do so should they wish to reapply the following year.

Requirements for entrance to the M.Arch. (Prof) programme

Learners with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies with Honours BAS (Honours)) degree from the University of the Witwatersrand with a minimum of 60% average for all courses and 60% for the ARPL4000 and the ARPL4001 design studio courses in the Honours programme will be granted automatic admission into the M.Arch. (Prof) programme. All the Honours level courses must have been completed in the same academic year for this to apply. Applicants with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies with Honours BAS (Honours) degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, where less than the above standard has been obtained, will be required to attend an interview with a Selection Panel from the School of Architecture & Planning in order for them to be considered for a place in the M.Arch. (Prof) programme.

Financial Aid

At the time of writing, the University of the Witwatersrand offers merit awards to applicants to Honours who obtain an average of 65% for the two years prior to Honours, according to their rating amongst applicants. The award is valued at tuition fees + a stipend. The closing date for application is 31 October and so initial offers of places in Honours will be made before this date. This places an onus on applicants who may qualify for these awards to confirm their acceptance in time to apply for the award. See the Financial Aid web site for more information.

Merit awards are also offered to Master’s applicants who obtain at least 70% average in Honours. Further awards for Master’s study are offered by the NRF and other sources. GiFA maintain a list of financial aid for architecture studies.

SACAP recognition

The South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) is the statuatory body for the architecture profession, and it encourages all students to register, but this status is not mandatory, nor does it affect admission to Honours. Some practices may prefer you to be registered with SACAP. Information about SACAP and the categories of registration are on their website.

At the time of writing, only work under a registered architect is recognised by SACAP as contributing towards registration as an architect. Practical experience in an architect’s office after completion of undergraduate studies counts at a rate of 50% of time spent towards the two year period of practical training required for professional registration. Learners are required to fill in a SACAP log book should they wish to make use of this opportunity.

Contacts

Administrative issues

Marisa Sauls Post Graduate adminstrator

marisa.sauls@wits.ac.za

Until June 2015:

Hannah le Roux Director of the Architecture programme

hannah.leroux@wits.ac.za

From July 2015:

Hilton Judin Postgraduate Convenor

hilton.judin@wits.ac.za

Master of Architecture (Professional) (M Arch Prof)

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Learners with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies with Honours BAS degree from the University of the Witwatersrand with a minimum of 60% average for all courses and 60% for design studio courses in the Honours programme will automatically be granted admission into the M.Arch. (Prof) programme. All the Honours level courses must have been completed in the same academic year for this to apply.

Applicants with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies with Honours BAS (Honours) degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, where less than the above standard has been obtained, may be required to attend an interview with a Selection Panel from the School of Architecture & Planning in order for them to be considered for a place in the M.Arch. (Prof) programme. Applicants with Honours degrees in Architecture from other institutions may also be required to attend an interview.

 

Page updated June 2015