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Topian Cosmos Project Exhibition credit Anita Szentesi
Architectural Studies Architecture is a creative, scientific, and technical discipline dealing with the creation of the built environment for human habitation.
Architectural Studies Architecture is a creative, scientific, and technical discipline dealing with the creation of the built environment for human habitation.

Duration: 3 years

Study mode: Full-time


The Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) programme is a three-year, full-time course of study offering a gateway to a potentially diverse field of professional career paths, both within the architectural discipline or peripheral to it.

Architecture is the generation of social and cultural heritage in the form of built spaces. It is a profession with long-lasting influences and consequences for both current and future generations. Although architects are primarily responsible for the design of buildings and their surrounding environments, the profession is evolving to include other important forms of design, including space planning, building materials, and the integration of the built and ecological environments, amongst other possibilities.  

The BAS programme is structured to produce graduates who can participate across a broad field of professions in both the larger design and construction industries. Due to the integration of courses and emphasis on coordinated application of skills, part-time studies are not available, although in exceptional circumstances it may be possible to spread some years of study over more than one year, with appropriate planning and approval by the degree convenor. 

A coordinated suite of Architectural Design and Theory and Theory and Practice of Construction courses form the core of the degree programme. Additional courses in Histories and Theories of Architecture, visual representation techniques, structural considerations in building, and entrepreneurial and management skills make up a supporting courses which are expected to be applied in the design work. While all courses include lectures and seminars, the bulk of the learning takes place in a design studio environment, in which students undertake design projects and around which the entire pedagogy revolves. In the studios, the BAS programme offers the unique opportunity of one-on-one consultation with lecturers twice per week as the primary teaching and learning methods. The coursework is supported in the School by exhibits of professional and artistic work, as well as lectures by practicing architects both nationally and internationally. 

The BAS degree, followed by a minimum of 12 months experience in practice, may open eligibility for the one-year Bachelor of Architectural Studies with Honours (BAS [Hons]) degree, which itself may open eligibility for the 1-year Master of Architecture professional (MArch [Prof]) degree. 

The complete suite of professional degrees in architecture (BAS, BAS [Hons], MArch [Prof]) are validated nationally by the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP), and internationally by the Commonwealth Association of Architects. 

The BAS degree qualifies graduates for registration with SACAP as an Architectural Technologist. Further degrees unlock additional opportunities: the BAS [Hons] degree qualifies graduates for registration as Senior Architectural Technologists, and the MArch [Prof] degree qualifies graduates for registration as Professional Architects. In all cases, some practical experience and the successful completion of registration exams are required. 

Becoming a Professional Architect is the traditional goal in the discipline, but the BAS degree may open up numerous other career opportunities, sometimes in combination with further studies. Such possibilities include:

  • Architectural draughtsperson
  • Interior designer
  • Furniture designer / fabricator
  • Urban designer
  • Landscape designer / landscape architect
  • Urban planner
  • Architectural historian or researcher
  • Lecturer or Professor in architecture

Click here to see the courses that make up the degree.

Acceptance is dependent on departmental selection procedures. Applicants are required to complete a written and graphic exercise (available here) 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:

  1. 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.  
  2. A minimum of 50% in Mathematics on the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exam. Mathematical Literacy is not accepted. 
  3. 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.

  • The Student Enrolment Centre at Wits handles all student applications.
  • Please click here for an overview of the application process.
  • Check the admission requirements for your degree. Check if any additional selection requirements apply. 
  • Submit your application, required documentation and application fee before the closing date.
  • Once you have applied, an admissions consultant will be assigned to your application.
  • If you are an international applicant and/or have a foreign qualification, please click here.

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