Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS)
Undergraduate applications close on Jun 30th for the following academic year. Applications are handled centrally through the Student Enrolment Centre. Click here to find out how to apply.
Acceptance is dependent on departmental selection procedures. Applicants are required to complete a written and graphic exercise and may be invited to an interview. The exercise, interview, and Wits APS score are equally factored in the evaluation of applications.
No specific subject combinations are required, but the following minimum entry criteria apply:
- A Wits APS of 34 or higher. In some cases, applicants with exceptional scores on the admission exercise and interview may be considered with an APS between 29 and 33. Under no circumstances will an applicant with an APS score below 29 be considered for admission.
- A minimum of 50% in Mathematics on the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exam. Mathematical Literacy is not accepted.
- A minimum of 50% in English (home language or first additional language) on the NSC exam.
Applicants from international education systems who do not complete NSC exams must meet Faculty exemption requirements, after which an equivalent APS score and subject scores will be modelled to ensure equal comparison with South African applicants.
Requirements for entrance to the BAS (Honours) programme
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.
Master of Architecture (Professional) 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. Applicants with Honours degrees in Architecture from other institutions may also be required to attend an interview.
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 plus 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 if they applied before 31 October. Further awards for Master’s study are offered by the NRF and other sources. GiFA maintain a list of financial aid for architecture studies.
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.
Marisa Sauls, Senior Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Page updated February 2018