Architecture (Professional)

The Master of Architecture (Professional) facilitates creative production of an architectural research report integrating theory, research, analysis, design and systems technology. This is a 1 year full-time degree.


The Master of Architecture (Professional) is the culmination of the architectural program which facilitates creative production of an architectural research report integrating theory, research, analysis, design and systems technology. Working independently in close collaboration with their architectural peers in a dedicated studio, each student puts forward and investigates a personal position about architecture. A building proposal is produced under close supervision of diverse professional architectural staff and structured in such a way that it supports architectural experimentation and life-long professional development. Each supervisor brings unique perspectives and experiences out of a wide range of philosophies and interests. The Research Report is more than a complex building project; incorporating aspects of architecture that are urgent, exciting and thoroughly engaged with all aspects of our social, cultural and political context in South Africa. 

The Master of Architecture (Professional) is a one year masters by coursework degree fulfilling the academic requirements for registration as a Professional Architect with the South African Council for the Architecture Profession. 


ARPL7001 Advanced Digital Applications (semester 1, 9 credits)

This course is an introduction to specialised computer applications appropriate to architecture, e.g. desktop publishing, programmes for specialised technical analysis, programmes for specialised research, professional practice, etc.

ARPL7002 Simulated Office Practice (semester 1, 45 credits)

In this course students must apply the principles of professional practice in the context of a functioning simulated office: topics include: forming and establishing business associations: office organisation and management; marketing; business plans and feasibility studies; design and working drawings; schedules and related contract documents; the tender process; community facilitation and training; appropriate communication techniques and computer applications; site meetings and instructions; final accounts.

ARPL7003 Architectural Design and Discourse (full year, 90 credits)

This course is a supervised, integrated research and design on an independently motivated topic approved by the Senate. The topic is required to include research design and technical components.

ARPL7041 Professional Practice (semester 1, 36 credits)

This course focuses on managing medium to large-scale complex building projects, from inception to completion. It includes appropriate contracts, managing community based projects in a developmental context, the implications of information technology and globalisation on architectural practice, introduction to marketing, introduction to project management and sub-contracting, laws of arbitration and of sectional title and their application. It also focuses on the law in relation to architectural practice: environment; conservation; heritage, general principles of contract, company law and partnership, tax law, protection of property rights and professional responsibilities.

Entry Requirements

1. Qualifying Degree: Candidates must hold:

  • a Bachelor of Architectural Studies with Honours (BAS Hons) degree from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits); or
  • an NQF level 8 degree equivalent to the BAS Hons from Wits from any other professionally accredited institution, subject to additional requirements (see below).

2. Documentation: Candidates with qualifying degrees from institutions other than Wits must submit with their application:

  • a portfolio of visual/ design work undertaken during undergraduate and postgraduate studies, and/or professional work, subject to the criteria outlined below; and
  • a comprehensive CV; and
  • two letters of recommendation; and
  • transcripts from all degrees attended (whether completed or not) at NQF exit level 8 or higher. If a degree is currently in progress, an interim transcript or proof of registration must be submitted in lieu of a final transcripts at the time of application, and final transcripts submitted when they become available. In these cases, the outcome of the application will be provisional upon receipt of a final transcript demonstrating completion of the academic performance requirements.

3. Portfolio Guidelines & Submission Format: The candidate’s portfolio submission must adhere to the following guidelines, and must be uploaded via the application portal by the application deadline:

  • Portfolios must be submitted as a single PDF, maximum 50MB.
  • Portfolios should be predominantly comprised of graphic representation and should demonstrate an ability to think analytically using design or representation. Do not submit additional text statements with the portfolio.
  • Portfolios should include a range of projects which showcase the applicant’s complete skillset.
  • Work undertaken as part of a team or under an employer must indicate the entire team involved and indicate the applicant’s specific roles in producing the work being shown.

4. Admission Interview: Candidates from institutions other than Wits may, at the discretion of the School of Architecture & Planning, be requested to interview. In such cases, applicants must avail themselves for an admission interview within a reasonable time of the request.

The above are minimum requirements; acceptance will still be subjected to a weighted evaluation of all documentation. Satisfaction of all minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

University Application Process

  • Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
  • Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

International students, please check this section.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees. The Fees site also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal.

For information about postgraduate funding opportunities, including the postgraduate merit award, click here. Please also check your School website for bursary opportunities. NRF bursaries: The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a wide range of opportunities in terms of bursaries and fellowships to students pursuing postgraduate studies. External bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.