BSc Architecture

The Department of Architecture presents an undergraduate programme in architecture that explores the design of meaningful environments across varying scales, from intimate interior spaces to more significant interventions in landscapes. Specialised programmes in architecture, interior architecture and landscape architecture are introduced at the postgraduate level.

Our vision is to provide a learning environment that fosters critical and independent thinking, encourages ecosystemic accountability and inspires responsive and responsible problem-solving that contributes to the improvement of society and its environment. We engage with spatial design with academic rigour that is theoretically grounded and technologically informed, and our academic programmes are locally and internationally accredited.

What does the programme entail?

The curriculum for the BSc (Architecture) programme integrates knowledge from the humanities and the natural sciences to develop students’ spatial design skills, and aims to instil a culture of lifelong learning in graduates. Students attend classes in the following subject streams:

Design and Applied Theory

Architecture students attain half of the credits for every year of study in the significant module of design, which is presented in tandem with architectural theory to equip students with a pertinent vocabulary and theoretical underpinning. Design is a studio-based module in which projects over a range of scales and complexities are undertaken to encourage students to develop critical and independent design thinking, the ability to evaluate design within a social, cultural and ecological framework, and to explore imaginative and appropriate solutions. In the studio, design discernment is fostered through ongoing discussion, peer learning, and formal and informal assessment. The Department promotes design that is generative rather than stylistically or iconically driven, and students are encouraged to appreciate the universal (global) while engaging with the particular (local).

Community and Practice

Students participate in collaborative community projects that are directed by our research and initiatives in urban citizenship, as well as the Faculty’s community engagement module. In the third year of study, the focus turns to the management of a professional practice and the legal context of construction contract law.


The study of construction theory, materials and methods is presented as an extension of design to enable the designer to give tangible expression to built form and realisation to an architectural concept.

Design Communication

Design communication offers students the opportunity to develop skills in harnessing especially the digital tools that are essential to designers in the twenty-first century. It deals with visual communication, digital visualisation and representation, and the management of document and building information.

Earth Studies

Earth studies introduces students to ecosystemic accountability and systems thinking in order to guide them towards designing for well-being in the built environment from social, cultural and environmental points of view. It includes ecological themes that extend to approaches that underpin and inform inclusive, ecological, passive and responsive design.

History of the Environment

History of the environment prepares students to define their role in society and find meaning in history through the study of the self and the cultures of others. It investigates the context and meaning of cultural artefacts, including space and place, to relate form and order to the environmental, political and philosophical conditions that influenced their making. It culminates in a reading of southern Africa in the third year of study.

For more information, please consult the Faculty webpage.

Career Opportunities

The BSc (Architecture) degree programme enables graduates to register with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) as candidate architectural technologists. The qualification is the first step to future registration as a candidate senior architectural technologist or a candidate architect.

Programme Code


Closing Dates

  • SA – 30/06/2022
  • Non-SA – 30/06/2022

Admission Requirements

Important information for all prospective students for 2023

The admission requirements below apply to all who apply for admission to the University of Pretoria with a National Senior Certificate (NSC) and Independent Examination Board (IEB) qualifications. Click here for this Faculty Brochure.

Minimum requirements

Achievement level

English Home Language or English First Additional Language


Physical Sciences









For advice on a second-choice programme, please consult a Student Advisor. To make an appointment, send an email to [email protected].

Life Orientation is excluded when calculating the APS. 

You will be considered for final admission to degree studies if space allows, and if you have a National Senior Certificate (NSC) or equivalent qualification with admission to bachelor’s degree studies, and comply with the minimum subject requirements as well as the APS requirements of your chosen programme.

Applicants with qualifications other than the abovementioned should refer to the Brochure: Undergraduate Programme Information 2023: Qualifications other than the NSC and IEB, available at click here.

International students: Click here.

Transferring students

A transferring student is a student who, at the time of applying at the University of Pretoria (UP) is/was a registered student at another tertiary institution. A transferring student will be considered for admission based on NSC or equivalent qualification and previous academic performance. Students who have been dismissed from other institutions due to poor academic performance will not be considered for admission to UP.

Closing dates: Same as above.

Returning students

A returning student is a student who, at the time of application for a degree programme is/was a registered student at UP, and wants to transfer to another degree at UP. A returning student will be considered for admission based on NSC or equivalent qualification and previous academic performance.


  • Students who have been excluded/dismissed from a faculty due to poor academic performance may be considered for admission to another programme at UP, as per faculty-specific requirements.
  • Only ONE transfer between UP faculties and TWO transfers within a faculty will be allowed.
  • Admission of returning students will always depend on the faculty concerned and the availability of space in the programmes for which they apply.

Closing date for applications from returning students

Same as above.

Selection Process

A limited number of students are admitted to the Department annually.

Selection Criteria

Selection for admission to the undergraduate programme of the Department of Architecture is based on four rounds of elimination.

Round 1: Academic merit

Assessment for Round 1 is based on academic performance so as to determine if an applicant’s results meet the minimum requirements for admission.

Round 2: Homework assignments

The outcomes of Rounds 2 and 3 are assessed according to the following scoring guide:

  1. No answer
  2. Does not meet minimum expectation
  3. Meets minimum expectation
  4. Exceeds minimum expectation
  5. Far exceeds minimum expectation

The homework assignments are completed by applicants with resources and in their own time in preparation for the selection test in Round 3. The critical outcomes assessed in this round are:

  • Language and reasoning skills: to articulate informed responses to questions in written form.
  • Visual communication skills: to interpret, manipulate and represent spaces and processes graphically and three-dimensionally .
  • Research and representation skills: to analyse, assess and represent precedents and principles from the built environment.
  • Job-shadowing and motivation: to investigate the nature of architectural practice through job-shadowing and to critically reflect on this experience and its impact on the applicant’s motivation to pursue architectural studies.

Round 3: Selection tests

The selection test is taken without resources and in limited time. The critical outcomes assessed in this round are:

  • Language and reasoning skills to articulate informed responses to questions in written form without resources and in limited time.
  • Curiosity and general awareness: to have an enquiring attitude towards current affairs and the world around us.
  • Independent thinking: to formulate in situ responses to questions in written and drawing form.
  • Creative and problem-solving thinking aptitude: to creatively improvise and articulate appropriate responses in written and drawing form.
  • Spatial and visualisation abilities: to articulate ideas, instructions and interpretations with three-dimensional understanding.
  • Time management and efficiency: to complete the tests within the allocated time.

Round 4: Interviews

The Departmental Selection Committee interviews applicants shortlisted for Round 4 as a panel. The interviews act as a summative assessment where applicants are given the opportunity to reflect on their previous submissions in discursive format. Each member of the committee awards a final score of which the average is used to rank applicants.

Minimum duration of study

3 years, full-time

Faculty Notes

All modules will only be presented in English, as English is the language of tuition, communication and correspondence at the University of Pretoria.

Faculty Yearbooks: click here

The closing date for all selection programmes is 30 June 2022. The University of Pretoria has decided not to set a specific closing date for applications to non-selection programmes for 2023. Applications will close when the available study spaces are filled (close on availability of space). Once the available number of study places for a specific programme are filled, no further applications for that particular programme will be considered. All applicants are therefore strongly advised and encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible after 1 April 2022 and to check the application site (UP Student Portal) regularly.

The Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology at the University of Pretoria is a leading source of graduates in the engineering, built environment and information technology professions. We achieve this by a focus on research to drive innovative and enquiry-led teaching for educating and positioning our students to be leaders in their professions. The Faculty has extensive and cutting-edge teaching, learning and laboratory facilities integrated with the excellent suite of facilities and services offered by the University. We facilitate access to our qualifications through our extended programmes but expect our students to excel and develop as future professionals through our programme offering. We invite you to consider enrolling in one of our programmes if you share our vision of excellence and want to position yourself as a leader in the professions that we support.

The Faculty is organised in four schools: the School of Engineering, the School for the Built Environment, the School of Information Technology and the Graduate School of Technology Management. The School of Engineering is the largest of its kind in the country in terms of student numbers, graduates and research contributions and offers programmes in all the major engineering disciplines with many specialisations also offered at undergraduate and graduate level. 

The University of Pretoria aims to be internationally competitive while also locally relevant.  Advisory boards at both faculty and departmental level promote alignment and excellence in our teaching and research activities. Where applicable and available our programmes are accredited by statutory and professional bodies at both national and international level.

Enquiries about the programme

Click Here
How to apply

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