Author Topic: FAQs by those interested in architecture  (Read 5740 times)

Offline azarimy

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FAQs by those interested in architecture
« on: December 04, 2007, 07:39:37 AM »
here's a list of questions frequently asked by SPM/STPM leavers from last year alone. i've tried to sort them out into categories: before, during and after studies. but these have not been fine tuned, as i'm looking for a more questions that may have been asked to or by any of u in relation to this matter. also, there might also be questions on issues that nobody have even though about. so if u have such questions, please list them here.

what i plan to do is to compile a list of FAQs to accompany the "guide to studying architecture" that i've written. the target is the next batch of students (2008), currently sitting for SPM and STPM. obviously i've been asked the same questions too many times already, so setting up a FAQ would be in my health's best interest :P. do note that i'm not looking for answers at the moment, but collecting the questions first. we'll get back together later for the answers ;)

so here goes:



Architecture FAQs

1.0.   PLANNING TOWARDS ARCHITECTURE AS A PROFESSION

Planning your route to architecture


[spoiler]Would matriculation a good path to architecture?
Do overseas universities accept Malaysian matriculation graduates?
What would be the best route to study architecture overseas?
Must I study full 5 years to be an architect? Is there any way around it to shorten my study duration?
What preparations should I do before starting the architecture course?
Can I do an architectural degree part time? Is it accredited like a full time?
What are the subjects (SPM and STPM) that I should take to prepare myself for the course?
I don’t have any arts or drawing background. Will it hinder my progress in architecture?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking a diploma in architecture compared to the more popular STPM/matriculation route?
Does age matters in architecture? Would it be too late for me to start studying architecture at 25 years old?
Do my SPM/STPM results affect my chances of becoming a good architect?[/spoiler]

Where to study?

[spoiler]What are the criteria often taken into consideration in choosing a school?
Can I study architecture in Japan?
I heard that the AA and the Bartlett are some of the best/most popular schools of architecture in the world. Can I study there?
The US uses a different system than Malaysia. Can I study there and later practice in Malaysia?
Would polytechnique be considered as a good path to architecture? Why aren’t polytechnique a popular choice to study architecture?
What are the advantages/disadvantages of studying Australia?
What are the advantages/disadvantages of studying in the UK?
What are the schools of architecture in Singapore? Can I study there?
Which university in Malaysia is the best to study architecture?[/spoiler]


Switching to architecture


[spoiler]After completing my civil & structural engineering draughtsmanship course, can I enter architecture course?
Can I study architecture after studying interior design or landscape architecture? How?[/spoiler]

Financing your studies

[spoiler]Is it worth to take a loan to study architecture overseas?
Are there any loans or financial support available for me to study architecture courses in IPTSs?
Are there any architectural firms that give out scholarships or loans?
What are my chances of getting sponsored to study architecture overseas by JPA?[/spoiler]

Accreditation, Recognition and Qualification Issues
[spoiler]
Do we need to get accreditation from LAM if we’ve obtained RIBA from overseas university?
What is the difference between a non-part 1 diploma and a non-accredited part 1 degree?
Why is it that some schools are not accredited by LAM? Can you explain the accreditation process?
Can I practice architecture without LAM qualifications?
Are the Part 1, 2 and 3 considered equivalent between countries like Malaysia, Singapore, United Kingdom and Australia?
How important is LAN and LAM accreditation? What is the difference between the two?
What is the difference between a Part 2 Masters and a Part 2 Degree?
Why does certain architectural degrees carry Honours in them, and some don’t?
Can I skip Part 1 and immediately sit for Part 2?
What is the difference between a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Architecture and Bachelor of Architecture (BArch)?
Is there any other way to obtain Parts 1 and 2 without taking an academic degree?
Why doesn’t LAM or PAM recognize RIBA qualifications automatically?
Are twinning programmes accredited by PAM/LAM?
Can you describe the differences between the titles of degrees in architecture?
What are the disadvantages of studying in an unaccredited school?
If a course has not been accredited by LAM, is it worth it to take that course at all?[/spoiler]

Applying to a school of architecture
[spoiler]
Can I use my A-levels to apply for architecture course in any IPTAs?
How fierce are the competitions in applying into an IPTA’s architectural courses?
What are the entry requirements for architecture in Malaysia? Are there any physical requirements?
How does an interview process work?
What are the average intakes in IPTAs for architectural courses?
Other than UPU, how else could I apply a degree course in IPTAs?
What is the purpose of the interview process?
When is the interview usually conducted?
Do we need to prepare a portfolio prior to an interview? What should be in the portfolio?
When should I apply through UPU?
If I get a call from one university, does that mean I won’t be called by other universities?
What are the ethics during an interview?
How does UPU works in terms of selecting architecture students?
How will I be called if I qualify for the interview? Can I select the interview location?
[/spoiler]

School specific questions

[spoiler]How suitable is UIAM for a non-Muslim student learning architecture?
Taylor’s diploma grants a 2 year advanced standing in University of Melbourne’s Part 1 degree. Does that mean I’m guaranteed a place in Melbourne?
Do UTM architectural diploma holders have priority to continue into UTM’s architectural degree programme?
There are two UTMs, one in Kuala Lumpur and the other in Johor. Where is the architecture course conducted?
There are several UiTMs in Malaysia. Where is the architecture course conducted?
How do I apply for a specific UiTM branch?
If LimKokWing’s degree is awarded by Curtin University (Australia), doesn’t that mean that it has a Part 1 accreditation from Australia?
Why is there only one degree in UTM compared to two degrees in other universities?
Which school emphasizes on technical and practical knowledge?
Do I need to take Arabic Language to study in UIAM?[/spoiler]


2.0.   ARCHITECTURE EDUCATION


Studying architecture
[spoiler]
I heard architecture is one of the hardest courses around. What are the chances of failing, and what are the reasons of students failing the course?
What is the impact of plagiarism in architecture?
How much different is it to study architecture in Malaysia as compared to, lets say, in the UK?
Why does architecture course take so long?[/spoiler]

Subjects and topics offered

[spoiler]What are the topics or subjects covered in the course?
What are the emphasis between practical and theory in Malaysian architectural schools?
What are the emphases or specializations of architectural schools in Malaysia?
If I take architecture as a major, can I take a minor in other fields, areas or subjects?
Will I get the chance to study timber architecture?
I was informed that architecture is primarily project based. What are the emphases on exams?[/spoiler]

Skills and abilities

[spoiler]How important are technical drawing skills?
Architecture demands strong command in mathematics and physics. Is this true?
Can I study architecture without having any knowledge or skills in arts and physics?
How important is English in Malaysian architectural courses?
Can I do architecture if I hate/bad at drawing?[/spoiler]

Computing in architecture education

[spoiler]
What are the softwares used in architecture?
How important is computer skills in architecture?
Do I need a computer in my studies?
How heavily will I rely on computers in my architectural studies?
When will I start using computers for design?[/spoiler]

References on architecture education

[spoiler]Are there books or websites that I can read to familiarize myself before starting the course?
Is there a list of textbooks used in architectural schools in Malaysia?
Are there any websites that cover topics in architecture?[/spoiler]


University life

[spoiler]Since all IPTAs are campus based, can I use my own vehicle?
Do IPTAs/IPTSs offer student accommodation? Is it compulsory to stay there?
What are the facilities considered common for an architecture school?
I heard architecture students sleeps less and stays up all night. How true is this and why?
Do I need to get my own drafting set (table included)?
Will I need to own a digital camera in my studies?[/spoiler]


3.0.   POST ARCHITECTURE EDUCATION

Prospects after studies

[spoiler]Will I be able to study abroad after acquiring LAM part 1 degree?
What are the jobs that I could acquire with Part 1?
I heard that it is recommended that a student practice for a year after Part 1 before joining Part 2. How true is this?
What other fields that an architecture graduate could specialize in?
I hold an unaccredited Part 1 degree. How do I get myself accredited for Part 1 in order to continue for Part 2?
How good do I have to be in order to continue Part 2 straight away after Part 1?
Could a LAM holder secure jobs overseas?
What is the demand for architects nowadays? What are the prospects 5 years in the future by the time I graduate?
What is the job prospect for non-Part 1 qualification?
What other fields can I venture in with an architectural degree other than becoming an architect?
Can I work as an architect as soon as I graduate Part 2? What’s the average starting salary like?
Where can I do my internship/practical training/year out? Are there any restrictions?[/spoiler]

About the profession and industry

[spoiler]What does the title AR stands for? How do I obtain one?
Does obtaining a Masters carry any weight in architecture?
What is the job market for a post-graduate in architecture?
Is architect only an architect?
How do I obtain a Part 3?
Are there any variations to architecture? What are landscape, interior and naval architectures?
Architecture is a male dominated profession. Is this true?
What would a normal day-to-day life as an architect look like?
Do architects really need to travel a lot?
How risky is working as an architect?
How does Malaysian economy affect the architectural industry?
How does architecture fit in the built environment field?
I was informed by the newspapers that Malaysia encourages its architects to find job overseas. Does this mean that there isn’t much job left in Malaysia?
Architecture is harder for females compared to male students. Is this true?
At what point can I start my own practice?
How do architects get projects when they are not allowed to advertise by the codes of practice?
I heard that generally engineers despise architects. Why?
How far can an architect go in terms of profession?
If a building collapsed, who would be responsible?[/spoiler]
what gets us into trouble is not what we dont know. it's what we know for sure that just ain't so - mark twain

Offline nyonya_tan

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2007, 01:03:23 PM »
uh, i thought spoilers are for concealing answers, hehe.
carpe diem... heck, life IS short.

Offline azarimy

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2007, 02:52:46 PM »
yup. but it's gonna be a very, very long first post. later on the final part with answers i'll use the spoilers for the answers yea?
what gets us into trouble is not what we dont know. it's what we know for sure that just ain't so - mark twain

Offline logorithm

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2007, 08:05:32 PM »
[spoiler]Oooo... qool spoiler feature that I never noticed before this. :blush:

Architecture Careers
[/spoiler]

Offline TeeJay

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2008, 07:01:15 AM »

These spoilers are giving me a headache. I didn't even realize there are questions that needed to be ask.
Well, then. When can we see these answers to the spoilers, eh?

Offline azarimy

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2008, 04:53:30 PM »
i'm still compiling the questions and only managed to answer a few of them. my target would be a few weeks before the UPU opens its online application (which would be after STPM result is announced).
what gets us into trouble is not what we dont know. it's what we know for sure that just ain't so - mark twain

Offline lzyee

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2008, 06:24:47 AM »
i'm writting on behave behalf of a friend who is studying in UM. he's currently 3rd year 2nd sem in University Malaya. he found that utm architecture is more "attractive" thus he is interested to join utm after grad in next few months.(degree part 1) the question he asked me was how to get himself qualified to enter UTM architecture. and how to apply for it.
thanks.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2008, 07:15:45 PM by lzyee »

Offline azarimy

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2008, 10:19:51 AM »
assuming he graduates with atleast 2.50 with UM's part 1 architecture degree, he's already qualified to apply. the issue now is how to apply, and would his grades secure him a place in UTM?

first, because UTM does not have a separate degree for part 2, it means he would have to come down and meet dr. syed himself. i'm pretty sure UPU does not have an allocation for intake direct into 4th year architecture in UTM. so he might have to do this in a case by case basis.

second, he would need atleast 3.30 to stand a chance, 3.50 and above would be best. grades aside, he would also need an impressive portfolio to go along with it.
what gets us into trouble is not what we dont know. it's what we know for sure that just ain't so - mark twain

Offline lzyee

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2008, 07:18:19 PM »
thank you En Aza, i will pass the msg to him. cheers!

Offline azarimy

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2008, 03:27:41 PM »
1.0.   Planning Towards Architecture as a Profession


1.1.   Planning your route to architecture

[spoiler]
How do I know if architecture is for me?
There are lots of different people eventually end up doing architecture, and none of them come from the same background. Meaning it is quite hard to find specific characteristics of a person whom will end up doing architecture. But we do agree on some general aspects of a person who could like architecture:

i.   Has a keen interest in architecture, buildings, socio-cultures and the environment
ii.   Has a strong interest in art and design
iii.   Confident, strong opinioned, preferably comfortable at public discussions

Although these shouldn’t be treated as an accurate depiction of what a potential architecture student should have. You could still do architecture even without possessing any of these aspects.

Would matriculation be a good path to architecture?
Matriculation provides a pre-university course that gets you a chance into an IPTA in one academic year. Compared to STPM, it is at the moment the fastest route after SPM. It is also the general perception that matriculation is a notch easier than STPM.

What would be the best route to study architecture overseas?
The best route would be to take STPM. STPM is the cheapest A-levels equivalent certificate and is recognized world wide. It is also keeps your options to study locally open at the same time. If you have the money, you could study A-levels or International Baccalaureate instead, but these are not accepted into local IPTAs.

Must I study full 5 years to be an architect? Is there any way around it to shorten my study duration?
Yes, 5 years are the minimum years you must spend to study architecture. There is no official way for you to shorten it. This is the international standard and followed by major architectural schools in the world.

What preparations should I do before starting the architecture course?
Nothing much. You could brush up on your drawing, computing and public speaking skills. But other than that, all you need is firm mental preparation.

Can I do an architectural degree part time? Is it accredited like a full time?
Yes, you can do the degree part time, but it is not accredited by LAM, even if it is conducted by a reputable school.

I don’t have any arts or drawing background. Will it hinder my progress in architecture?
Although it is not always necessary to have a drawing or artistic background, having those skills greatly boosts your abilities to design. Drawing is a method of communication. Having mastered the basics of drawing prior to studying architecture gives you the advantage to be able communicate and articulate your ideas to others far more efficiently than those who’re just starting to learn how to draw.

Bottom line is, even if you’ve never had a formal training in arts, all you need is a constant interest and a strong motivation to keep you going.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking a diploma in architecture compared to the more popular STPM/matriculation route?
Diploma allows you to go straight into doing architecture as soon as you finish SPM for 3 years. Later you may decide to join a degree school at 2nd year Part 1 for another 2 years, and finally another 2 years for Part 2. This totals to 7 years of learning experience in architecture.

Compare this to STPM route, where you will learn general, non-architectural subjects for 2 years, and later join Parts 1 and 2 degrees for 5 years. Here you will only experience 5 years of learning architecture out of 7 years.

As will be explained in the architecture education section, architecture is a life long learning, where the longer you’re exposed to it, the more mature a designer you’ll become. The only disadvantage of taking diploma is that it may cost higher, especially if you chose to join a private school.

Do my SPM/STPM results affect my chances of becoming a good architect?
Despite being important in determining one’s chances to get into an IPT, your SPM/STPM results do not play a direct role in determining how good you are studying architecture, let alone becoming a good architect. Look at it as a fresh start, as virtually everything that you’ll be learning in architecture are entirely new and does not depend very much on what you’ve learned in school.

What are the subjects (SPM and STPM) that I should take to prepare myself for the course?
Although there are lots of varied suggestions to this matter, most agreed that prospective students should have good command of Mathematics, English and Arts. Other subjects are provides enrichment and added value, but nothing essential.

Does age matters in architecture? Would it be too late for me to start studying architecture at 25 years old?
Age does not matter in studying architecture. You may start whenever you like. In fact, it is accepted that students who have traveled or experienced a lot have a better perception and maturity in architectural studies. [/spoiler]


1.2.   Where to study?

[spoiler]
What are the criteria often taken into consideration in choosing a school?
Listed below are criteria often taken into consideration by candidates in no particular order:
i.   Cost and Duration
The fees are one of the most crucial factors in deciding which school to choose. This reason alone is enough to explain why IPTAs are extremely popular compared to IPTS. Of course, in relation to cost is also the duration of study. However, for architecture the minimum duration is set to five years for a part 2 equivalent qualification. It is the same internationally.
ii.   Location
Architecture students may prefer schools within or close to urban areas, as this is where they will derive their primary inspiration and reference from. Also, being closer to home eases the transition of being an independent person.
iii.   Reputation and Ranking
Schools with good reputation and ranking should always take priority in choosing a school. However, rankings should not be misinterpreted as true gauge, but more as a guideline or indicator. At times, the difference between ranking #1 and #2 are so minute, but #2 and #3 are miles apart, yet #3 will still be read as the one after #2, however far it may be.
iv.   Accreditation
In architecture, this is the most important aspect. Going through non-accredited schools may become the stumbling block for you to fulfill your dreams of becoming an architect. Do not take the risk!
v.   Academic expertise
Although this is usually something a graduate would factor in, some undergraduate applicants have started asking expertise in each school. Each school differs in expertise and emphasizes on certain specialization. It would be good to know upfront what you’re getting into.
vi.   Certificate level
Not all schools will offer from post STPM/A-levels to part 2 qualifications. Some stops at sub-part 1 diploma, others maybe just a part 1 degree. Some may offer an accredited part 1 degree, but a non-accredited part 2 degree.
vii.   Facilities and Accessibility
This is not a big issue, but attending a school so poorly equipped leaves a lot of things to be desired. However, it is to my understanding that students nowadays gauge a school by how advanced their facilities are, and this is often misleading. Facilities do not often reflect on how good a school is.
viii.   Chance of getting in
Now this is right down the mark. Why should you apply to a school where you don’t stand a chance of getting in? Wrong. Unless you do not fulfill the requirements set by the intake standard, never let anybody tell you you’re not good enough. It never hurt to apply.

Can I study architecture in Japan?
Japanese architecture education utilizes a different system from any other countries. Although this shouldn’t stop you from studying there, you should be aware that there may be some accreditation issues when you get back to Malaysia. I can only give you a best guess rather an informed one, but whatever you choose in Japan, go for the qualification that will allow you to become a full fledge architect and nothing lower (not an architect assistant, draftperson or whatever).

I heard that the AA and the Bartlett are some of the best/most popular schools of architecture in the world. Can I study there?
Of course. However, they are also some of the hardest schools to get into due to high competition and high requirements. Don’t let this hinder your enthusiasm. You should try and apply regardless of what others tell you. Also note that some of the best schools in the world are also some of the most expensive.

The US uses a different system than Malaysia. Can I study there and later practice in Malaysia?
Technically, the US uses a system that is quite different from commonwealth (British) system.  In fact, each state in the US has its own system, meaning we have about 50 different systems to deal with. American universities does not all issue a part 1 or part 2 equivalent, except for those accredited by RIBA. This means you will not be automatically accredited by LAM.

What most American graduates do is that to come back to Malaysia and sit for the part 1 and part 2 exams. Yes, you would have to sit for both exams. Keep in mind that to sit for an exam you would need your design portfolio ready. So make sure you keep every single piece of design you’ve ever done throughout your studies and compile them in a portfolio. You’re going to need it for the part 1 and 2 exams.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of studying the UK or Australia?
Generally we would associate this with the benefits of studying overseas. But of course, in terms of architecture profession, these two countries are very preferred. The reason primarily being the systems they use are the same with Malaysian system. Having each school validated by RIBA means students will have proper recognition when coming back to Malaysia to practice as an architect.

What are the schools of architecture in Singapore? Can I study there?
There are two schools in Singapore that offers architecture: National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nan Yang Polytechnique (NYP). Yes, you can study there as they also adopted the British system. But only NUS is accredited by RIBA.

Which university in Malaysia is the best to study architecture?
This is a very subjective question, but one of the most frequently asked. At the moment, IPTAs are highly equipped in expertise, research and development, education as well as accreditation. None of the IPTSs have achieved accreditation standard, hence students there will usually seek to continue for their part 2 degrees abroad.

My personal recommendation is always go to the university that provides accredited education, both by LAM as well as LAN/MQA.

Is it important to choose a school based on its emphasis on technical and practical knowledge?
It is a matter of personal preference. It does not make much difference as all schools actually emphasize a certain degree of technical and practical knowledge.

Would polytechnique be considered as a good path to architecture? Why aren’t polytechniques a popular choice to study architecture?
In actual fact, polytechnique is not such a bad choice considering its emphasis on technical knowledge and practicality. It does not emphasize much on design skills or theory and philosophy however. Holding a diploma in architecture from a polytechnique provides you with all the basic skills to become a technical assistant.

Why is it not a popular choice? Mainly because polytechniques are often seen as a place where people end up if they couldn’t get into an IPTA and can’t afford an IPTS. This is a misconception, as polytechniques does offer a strong sub-part 1 diploma.  [/spoiler]


1.3.   Switching to architecture


[spoiler]Can I study architecture after studying interior design or landscape architecture? How?
Yes, you can. Although it depends on what level you’ve studied for your ID or LA in order to determine at which level you could start. This is handled on case-by-case basis, so I wouldn’t provide a canvassing statement.

After completing my civil & structural engineering draughtsmanship course, can I enter architecture course?
Yes, you can. It now boils down to which level you will be joining the architecture course. If it is an STPM/A-levels equivalent, you’ll be joining at 1st year. If it’s a diploma, chances are you’ll be joining at 2nd year. This is also handled on case-by-case basis. [/spoiler]


1.4.   Financing your studies


[spoiler]Is it worth to take a loan to study architecture overseas?
This is very subjective. It will depend on whether you would be able to comfortably afford to pay back the loan after you’ve finished studying. Earning a well paying job would definitely make you feel taking the loan is well worth it. But if eventually you couldn’t manage to pay back the loan or having difficulties, you may think it might not be worth the hassle.

Above that, you should consider the benefits and the negative effects of studying overseas, and weigh them against the issues of taking a loan. We’re normally talking about almost RM100k for the entire duration, so please be completely thorough in your risk assessments.

Are there any loans or financial support available for me to study architecture courses in IPTSs?
Commonly, the most popular of financing your studies in IPTS is taking a PTPTN loan. You can also find other financiers such as banks or NGOs. Always look out for such offers in the newspapers.

Are there any architectural firms that give out scholarships or loans?
I can’t give a definite answer to this, but as far as I know, there isn’t.

What are my chances of getting sponsored to study architecture overseas by JPA?
Architecture is grouped under social sciences. According to JPA, the allocation for social science group is 100 students per year. It means architecture students will have to compete with other social science courses for those. I don’t know the exact details, but this can be as low as 5-10 students only, out of hundreds that applied.[/spoiler]


1.5.   Accreditation, Recognition and Qualification Issues


[spoiler]Do we need to get accreditation from LAM if we’ve obtained RIBA from overseas university?
Yes, but only if you wish to practice in Malaysia.

What is the difference between a non-part 1 diploma and a non-accredited part 1 degree?
A non-part 1 diploma is a certificate that is below the level of part 1. A diploma usually trains the students with all the essential skills needed to proceed in architecture, primarily in draftsmanship as well as design assistance or auxiliary designer. A sub-part 1 diploma does not qualify you to independently sit for a part 1 exam.

A non-accredited part 1 degree means it is a degree that actually qualifies you with a part 1, although have yet to receive proper accreditation from LAM. It does not stop you from applying a LAM accreditation by yourself by submitting your portfolio with some work experience. You will then sit for the part 1 exam independently.

Why is it that some schools are not accredited by LAM? Can you explain the accreditation process?
Some schools are not yet accredited because they have not fulfilled the requirements or achieved the high standards required for the LAM. The accreditation process can take quite some time, and new schools will have to produce at least one batch of graduates before they can start the accreditation process.

When a school starts its architecture programme, first it will seek out LAN/MQA recognition. This is to ensure that their certificates conform to the national standard of awarding the respective certification. At this point, LAN/MQA will review the programme and award proper recognition. This allows prospective students to know that the school has achieved the proper standard to award an academic certificate.

However, LAN/MQA recognition is does not make it recognized to award a professionally accredited degree of architecture. After the school has produced at least one batch of graduates, the Committee of Architecture Education Malaysia (CAEM) will review the school, its curriculum and its graduates. The CAEM consists of representatives of the academic community, the profession and the regulatory board.

If the CAEM finds everything satisfactory, it will award the school and its graduates the proper accreditation according the education level. If not, the CAEM will instruct the school to review its system, improve and seek out another review in 3-5 years. CAEM also provides conditional accreditations.

After the school has been accredited by LAM, it will still need to undergo a review every 5 years. This is to ensure that the school doesn’t slack and allow its quality to drop. All school goes through this review, even established schools like UTM, USM, UiTM and UM.

Can I practice architecture without LAM qualifications?
Legally, no. Architecture is a profession protected by law, and you will need a license to practice. Practicing without a license is highly illegal; moreover you, your firm, your clients and every other member working for or with you will be liable to legal action.

Part 1 and 2 licenses are automatically obtained as soon as you’ve obtained an accredited degree with corresponding qualifications. Finally, you may obtain a part 3 license as soon as you passed the part 3 examinations and registered, which can be taken after a few years practicing with a part 2 license.

Are the Part 1, 2 and 3 considered equivalent between countries like Malaysia, Singapore, United Kingdom and Australia?
Technically, all these countries and including most commonwealth countries use the same system, hence Parts 1, 2 and 3 is considered equivalent.

How important is LAN and LAM accreditation? What is the difference between the two?
First of all, it is very important to differentiate between LAN/MQA and LAM. LAN/MQA (Lembaga Akreditasi Negara / Malaysia Qualification Agency) is a government body in charge of making sure that all educational courses conducted by an institution in Malaysia comply with the standard set by the government. This ensures that the rights of the students to proper, quality education are protected. They do not concern themselves over the professional standard of the certificate offered. Without LAN accreditation, it simply means that the school has not achieved the minimum standard to offer degree education to you.

LAM (Lembaga Akitek Malaysia / Malaysia Board of Architects) on the other hand is the regulatory body for the architecture profession in Malaysia. LAM will accredit each institution offering architecture education in Malaysia in order to make sure that each institution complies with the minimum standard of producing an architect in Malaysia. LAM does this by sending the CAEM (Council of Architecture Education Malaysia) to each school every five years. Without LAM accreditation, it means that the school has not complied with the standard to produce an architecture graduate.

What is the difference between a Part 2 Masters and a Part 2 Degree?
Profession-wise, there’s no difference. Part 2 is still a Part 2, whether it’s a post-graduate diploma, a degree or even a masters. The only difference is that masters would have more research component at the end of the day, and the level of education does somehow enhance the marketability of the graduates. But in the professional world, there is no difference between a Part 2 masters and a part 2 degree.

Why does certain architectural degrees carry Honours in them, and some don’t?
This relates very much on how certain degrees in general are awarded, which varies from country to country. Malaysian degrees follow the British format, where professional degrees carry more weight or emphasis on certain aspect of its education, warranting an Honours title, commonly abbreviated as “Hons.” as a suffix to the degree title.

This differs from Australian degree system, where Honours means an additional semester at the end of the degree. Only selected students fulfilling a high requirement will be allowed to take Honours component in their degree. It means an Honours degree from Australia carries more academic strength that those following British system. Though, it does not make much difference in terms of professional practice.

Can I skip Part 1 and immediately sit for Part 2?
No. Part 1 is a prerequisite for taking Part 2. There’s no way around it.

What is the difference between a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Architecture and Bachelor of Architecture (BArch)?
BSc as well as BA (Bachelor of Arts) is a general degree, usually associated with Part 1 qualifications.
BArch is a specialized or professional degree, normally associated with Part 2 qualifications.

Is there any other way to obtain Parts 1 and 2 without taking an academic degree?
If you’re talking about LAM, I’m afraid there isn’t. LAM keeps a strict control over the profession, and does not accommodate parts 1 or 2 without an academic degree. At least not to my knowledge. RIBA or other bodies may have some allocation for those.

Are twinning or part-time programmes accredited by PAM/LAM?
No, twinnings or part-time programmes are not accredited nor recognized by both PAM/LAM and LAN/MQA.

What are the disadvantages of studying in an unaccredited school?
Without accreditation, you will not be certified as an architect. Being a strictly exclusive and highly regulated profession, architecture is not a title or profession that can be donned by anyone who feels like it. Without accreditation, not only you could not practice legally in Malaysia, you couldn’t even call yourself an architect!

Non accredited degrees also mean other schools may be more strict towards you in the selection process for further studies.

If a course has not been accredited by LAM, is it worth it to take that course at all?
Some courses have not been accredited by LAM, but are part of a partnership programme with overseas universities that can award them with a RIBA part 1 or 2. It means students must plan to continue to the partner university to acquire their part 2. Stopping after finishing with unaccredited degree will not allow them to practice.[/spoiler]


1.6.   Applying to a school of architecture


[spoiler]Can I use my A-levels to apply for architecture course in any IPTAs?
Unfortunately, at the moment IPTAs do not accept A-levels, except for overseas/non-citizen applicants. However there have been cases for Malaysian students who took A-levels while overseas to which they had no option to take STPM. There is no news on whether IPTAs would open their intake requirements to include A-levels at the moment.

How fierce are the competitions in applying into an IPTA’s architectural courses?
Competitions can be pretty fierce for IPTAs. The intake to applicant ratio can range between 1:4 to 1:15. Numbers vary from year to year, due to sudden surge of popularity, and sometimes change of number of intakes in certain universities.

What are the average intakes in IPTAs for architectural courses?

School   Part 1   Part 2
UTM   30 (Dipoma sub part 1)   50 (from 1st year)
UiTM      
USM      
UM      
UPM      
UIAM      
UKM      

this information will be updated later, or through feedbacks

What are the entry requirements for architecture in Malaysia? Are there any physical requirements?
Entry requirements differ between levels of studies, and can differ between schools also. The common basic requirements applicable to all IPTAs would be:

i.   Passed SPM or O-levels or equivalent, with a special emphasis on Bahasa Malaysia and Mathematics.
ii.   Passed STPM with at least 3Cs (2.00cgpa) including Pengajian Am; or
Passed Matriculation programme with at least 2.00cgpa; or
Holding a Diploma with at least 2.00cgpa.
iii.   Passed the MUET exams.
iv.   Must be at least 17 years old when applying.

IPTS usually have more lenient intake requirements than IPTAs.

There is no particular physical requirement into architecture, but some schools might emphasize on addressing colour-blindness issues. Students with potential issues should inquire with the prospective school about their specific physical requirements. It is also recommended that physically challenged students to inquire the school for facilities to accommodate them.

How many intakes are there for architecture schools in Malaysia? When?
For IPTAs, there’s only one intake every year, and that is the July intake. However, UiTM makes an exception, as they also have a December intake, meaning two intakes per year.

For IPTSs, the intake is usually every semester. For example LimKokWing University and Taylor’s College have 3 intakes per year. Do check on individual IPTS for their exact intake date and when to apply.

How do I apply?
For IPTAs, you can apply through UPU. After STPM results have been announced, prospective students can apply through the online UPU form. You can buy the unique access ID from Bank Simpanan Nasional branches, which will be used to access your online form. There will be no paper applications from 2008 onwards.

For IPTSs, you can apply directly to the respective schools as soon as you’ve received your exam results (SPM, STPM, A-levels, matriculation etc).

When should I apply through UPU?
You should apply as soon as you’ve received your SPM/STPM results, before the closing date each year.

Other than UPU, how else could I apply a degree course in IPTAs?
Technically, you can apply directly to the school of architecture of an IPTA. However, usually you will be instructed to fill in the UPU form eventually. Remember that applications are all now centralized by UPU. It is the school’s preference that you go through the proper channels.

How does UPU works in terms of selecting architecture students?
The selection process is divided into two systems: Direct selection or Interview selection.

Direct selection means UPU determines which students qualify into the course according to criteria listed by the school of architecture. The school itself does not have any direct contact with their prospective students. UM is the only IPTA that has direct selection.

Interview selection means UPU provides the entire list of applicants who’ve included the course as one of their choices of study to the respective school. This list can be thousands of applicants long. The school then takes the list, and starts to rank them based on their academic and co-curricular achievements by using merit points. The school will then come up with a second list, usually about 200 names long. These will be called for the interview.

After the interviews have been conducted, the school will adjust the merit points based on the results of the interviews. Finally, the school will come up with a final list and submit it to UPU. This final list is known as the first intake list. Those who didn’t make the first intake list will be put in the reserve list. In any circumstances that a student declined to fill the first intake space, more names will be called from the reserve list.

Because of the policy of the Ministry of Higher Education, any empty spaces must be filled. Names will be called continuously until either the list has been fulfilled, or the reserve list has been exhausted.

What is the purpose of the interview process?
The interview process is a method to collect more information from the candidates that couldn’t be found on paper to better aid the assessors to make the best judgment.  For example, social skills like ability to hold a conversation or even an argument, body language, confidence and so on are not assessable on paper and can only be done face to face. Of course, a window of 10 to 15 minutes is not enough to fully assess a candidate, but it provides a more informed decision.

How does an interview process work?
Interviews will be conducted by individual schools. It means if you’ve applied to three architecture schools and they have all short listed you, you may be called for three separate interviews.

Interviews usually conducted in several stages. UTM has one of the most complex interview systems. Each candidate will sit through three stages testing different skills within the same day.

i.   The Drawing Test
In this test, candidates will be instructed to draw an imaginary scene. This can range from a re-imagination of own room or picturing a future office for self. The key here is to be able to imagine, and then put down the imagination on paper. Imagination alone is not enough if not supported by good hands-eye coordination.

ii.   The Aptitude Test
This part tests the candidates’ knowledge about art, design and architecture. It can range from general knowledge to IQ based problem solution. The purpose is to test the candidate’s aptitude.

iii.   The Verbal Interview
This is the core of the interview process. Candidates will be tested in often semi-formal conversation on their abilities to speak, confidence, articulation and even spontaneous problem solving abilities.

Other schools may conduct their interviews based on variations of the above format.

When would the interview usually conducted?
Interviews, if called, will usually be conducted between 4 to 8 weeks after applying through UPU. Interviews are usually organized amongst the IPTAs so that it does not overlap with each other, allowing students to attend as many interviews as they need. If it somehow overlaps or you want to arrange a specific date, call the school conducting the interview immediately.

Do we need to prepare a portfolio for the interview? What should be in the portfolio?
First, a portfolio is like an art resume or a compressed, mobile gallery. An architect, designer or artist is required to build their own portfolio in order to show what they can do to a prospective client. In this case, having a portfolio will showcase your extensive skills to the interviewer during the verbal interview. Some may not require it, but it should not stop you from showing what you can do.

A portfolio should showcase all your skills. Usually candidates will include previous paintings, drawings and sketchings even as far back as primary school, photography, pictures of timber works, carvings, batik paintings, murals or graffiti on walls, sculptures and so on. Bottom line is, the portfolio should showcase what you can do.

The portfolio must only consist of original works. If it is a collaboration (in case of murals, for example), it should be indicated so. If you can’t provide original works, try and provide original copies. There are also occasions where interviewers may want to keep a copy of your best works, usually to be brought into discussions during the final selection process, so having extra certified copies may come in handy.

What are the ethics during an interview?
As anyone will tell you, it is very important to maintain eye contact while speaking. Speak clearly and confidently. Above all, mind your language and always maintain a form of respect to the interviewers. The interviewers may provoke you into an argument, but whatever you do, maintain your composure and always be aware that you’re being judged as soon as you walk through the door until the point you walk out. 

How will I be called if I qualify for the interview? Can I select the interview location?
You will be informed by a formal letter directly from the university. You may also check the call for interviews online. If you believe that your name might have been missed, you may call the school of architecture directly to inquire.

You may select the place for interview in the online UPU form. If for some reason you need to rearrange the date or location of the interview, you may do so by contacting the school directly. However, this depends on the school’s ability to accommodate your new arrangement.[/spoiler]


1.7.   School specific questions

Several information in this part is not complete. It will be completed later


[spoiler]1.7.1.   Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

There are two UTMs, one in Kuala Lumpur and the other in Johor. Where is the architecture course conducted?

Architecture course is conducted in both branches, but at different levels. UTM KL conducts the diploma school (sub-Part 1) while UTM Skudai conducts the degree (Part 2) and post-graduate schools.

Do UTM architectural diploma holders have priority to continue into UTM’s architectural degree programme?
Yes. UTM degree school has a special allocation to accommodate outstanding UTM diploma holders. This is determined by the diploma school (UTM KL), whom will recommend a list of students that satisfies the requirement to join UTM degree school at 3rd year level. Other diploma holders will join UTM at 2nd year, and sometimes 2nd year 2nd semester the most.

Why is there only one degree offered in UTM compared to two degrees in other universities?
UTM degree is 5 years compared to 3+2 combination degrees offered in other IPTAs. This is exactly the same as the 3+2 degrees, only that you only sit and obtain one degree for both Parts 1 and 2. The advantage is that once in, you’ll finish your Part 2 in 5 years without possibility of being cut out after Part 1. The disadvantage is that you won’t have a chance to take a break and would have to go all out for 5 years straight!

1.7.2.   Universiti Teknologi MARA

There are several UiTMs in Malaysia. Where is the architecture course conducted?

There are currently to schools of architecture in UiTM. One is in the main campus in Shah Alam, and the other is in Sri Iskandar campus in Perak.

How do I apply for a specific UiTM branch?

1.7.3.   International Islamic University Malaysia
How suitable is UIAM for a non-Muslim student learning architecture?
Do I need to take Arabic Language to study in UIAM?

UIAM is only for Muslims. How true is this statement?

It is actually not true. Contrary to certain beliefs, UIAM is not exclusive for Muslims only. It is a university that focuses on Islam in various aspects: academic approach and context, the way of life, socio-cultural relationships, research, history and philosophy and so on. Studying there does mean you will learn a great deal about Islam, but you don’t have to be a Muslim to do so.

1.7.4.   LimKokWing University of Creative Technology
If LimKokWing’s degree is awarded by Curtin University (Australia), doesn’t that mean that it has a Part 1 accreditation from Australia?

1.7.5.   Taylor’s College

Taylor’s diploma grants a 2 year advanced standing in University of Melbourne’s Part 1 degree. Does that mean I’m guaranteed a place in Melbourne?

According to several Taylor’s students, the agreement is you are guaranteed a place in Melbourne if you’ve achieved 60% cumulative score. So as long as you fulfill that requirement, you should be guaranteed a place.[/spoiler]
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Offline azarimy

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2008, 03:29:46 PM »
2.0.   Architecture Education[/b]


2.1.   Studying architecture


[spoiler]I heard architecture is one of the hardest courses around. What are the chances of failing, and what are the reasons of students failing the course?
Architecture is not as hard as people think. It can be quite safe to say that STPM is even harder to study than the entire architecture course. What makes it perceived as one of the hardest is it relies a lot on your creativity to produce something that is not there, as compared to churning out knowledge that you’ve memorized before an exam.

The pressure of coming up with an original design sometimes is too much to take, especially when limited time and constant pressures of being a student are added into the equation. Some students fought the pressure, some buckled, and some gave up. It’s quite normal for students to fail and repeat a subject or two, which all schools try to provide the best environment to support the students. By average, failure rates per semester can be as high as 10%, but it is usually due to pressure, and almost never because of they’re too slow to pick up in class.

How much different is it to study architecture in Malaysia as compared to, lets say, in the UK?
Malaysian architecture education very much adopts the British architecture education system. We learn more or less the same skills, knowledge and applications of those. The primary difference would be exposures to different cultural practices as well as environmental factors, learning from world renowned academics and experts, and better access to a wide range of architecture in Europe.

Why does architecture course take so long?
This boils down to how architecture itself is so very different from any other fields or professions. Studying architecture is not as much academic as compared to other fields like medicine or engineering. Architecture education is a life-long process: architects never stop learning. Period.

What a 5 year course does is to imbue the students of architecture with the necessary skills to allow them to accumulate more knowledge when they embark in the professional world. Meaning, the actual learning only takes place when you start your first job as an architect. It is quite hard to comprehend what this means if you’ve never been in the architectural field. It’s not a philosophical statement, but a literal depiction of life in architecture.

So why does it take so long just to prepare to learn architecture? Because that’s the shortest duration possible to train and prepare an architect with everything they need (or at least everything essential) for their life-long journey in learning architecture.[/spoiler]


2.2.   Subjects and topics offered


[spoiler]What are the topics or subjects covered in the course?
Topics in architecture are quite wide ranging and may differ from school to school, depending on their focus or niche area(s). But generally, subjects can be divided into several groups:
i.   Design
This will train you to create or generate a spark, develop it into a mature idea and finalize it into a real end product. You will also be trained in arts and communication.
ii.   Culture and Humanities
In this group, you will learn about history, theory and philosophy in architecture since the very beginning to the latest designs.
iii.   Technology
All the building technicalities, structures, services and even user-oriented technologies like environmental technologies are taught in this group of subjects.
iv.   Management
This is the other side of architecture, focusing on practice: laws and regulations, economics and practice managements.

The emphasis of these subject groups differ from school to school. Some schools may divide some of the groups into smaller groupings to focus more on the subjects.

If I take architecture as a major, can I take a minor in other fields, areas or subjects?
At the moment, Malaysian architectural schools have not adopted the major-minor system. There are plans for the future, but none in the works yet.

Will I get the chance to study timber architecture?
In Malaysian schools, timber architecture is a key element relating to the vernacular/traditional construction method. Exploring timber architecture then becomes an integral part in finding and establishing the Malaysian architectural heritage. So yes, you will get to study timber architecture in any Malaysian schools.

I was informed that architecture is primarily project based. What are the emphases on exams?
The actual emphasis will differ from schools to schools, but it is generally about 50% will be project and assignment based. Schools that emphasizes on design will have more weightage on project assessments.[/spoiler]


2.3.   Skills and abilities


[spoiler]How important are technical drawing skills?
Technical drawing skills are important as it is part of the core communicative ability that an architect possesses. Without this ability, the architect will experience a disadvantage when trying to relay his thoughts as well as receiving information from others. It is as important as reading skills to a writer or music skills to a musician.

Architecture demands strong command in mathematics and physics. Is this true?
Not entirely. Of course, having good grasp in mathematics and physics will assist your learning, but you will be taught the necessary mathematics and physics related to architecture again, usually from scratch.

Can I study architecture without having any knowledge or skills in arts?
Yes, you can. During your early years, you will be taught enough drawing skills to get you through the entire study. All you need is enough interest and motivation to develop it, and eventually enjoy it.

Can I do architecture if I hate/bad at drawing?
As explained earlier, you can still do architecture even if you’re not good in drawing. This assumes that you’ll still be able to pick the skill up within the 5 years. However, if you hate drawing, I’m afraid architecture might not be for you.

How important is English in Malaysian architectural courses?
Very important. I believe it is safe to say that virtually all architectural schools in Malaysia conduct architecture education in English. Architecture is one of the courses that prefer to be conducted in English because of the vast amount of resources readily available in English. Adding to that, architecture is a field that centers in communication, and given the vast vocabulary to use, architects can harness the language to communicate the best about their designs.[/spoiler]


2.4.   Computing in architecture education


[spoiler]Do I need a computer in my studies?
Yes, you do. Computers have become essential in architecture education that many schools have adopted an integrated approach using computers in learning design.

How important is computer skills in architecture?
Computer skills are important indeed. Computers are still another tool and would never make you a better designer without proper skills, so students are required to master computer skills as any other students would master a pen or pencil to write.

How heavily will I rely on computers in my architectural studies?
You will rely on them quite often that schools would recommend students to own their own computers. Most schools will be able to provide computing facilities for the students, but these are shared with other students in the entire school, so it might not be efficient enough.

What software are used in architecture?
There are four categories of software used in architecture education:
i.   Designing
Design softwares assist the designers at the early design formulation stage. This is a stage traditionally done using pencils and papers, where an architect would doodle or sketch until they come up with a possible design. Software used: Google Sketchup.
ii.   Drawing production
This category is solely for production of design drawings, usually finalized. This includes 3D final rendering, 2D working drawings and such. Software used: AutoCAD, 3DSmax, Vectorworx, Microstation, Lightwave, Maya etc.
iii.   Graphics and desktop publishing
This is the final drawing compositing software, used to combine all the designs and ideas into one presentation format. Software used: Flash, Photoshop, CorelDraw, Illustrator, PageMaker etc.
iv.   Word processing
This is primarily used for report writing, assignments and so on. Software used: MS Word, WordPerfect etc.[/spoiler]


2.5.   References on architecture education


[spoiler]Are there books or websites that I can read to familiarize myself before starting the course?
Due to the nature of the web, it is better to recommend search strings in order to find what you want. Try focusing on “architecture education”, “degree in architecture”, “how to become an architect” and so on.

There are also books to start familiarizing about architecture, but most generally assumes the reader has some basic knowledge of architecture. It is better for a non-initiated to expose themselves to magazines instead as they’re more up-to-date and more stylized to keep the readers interested. Once you’ve got into architecture, then only perhaps we might get into something with more substance than pop-culture.

Is there a list of textbooks used in architectural schools in Malaysia?
No, there isn’t. Architecture does not use text books, as information is updated quite frequently. A known fact in 2007 might not be relevant or proved false as early as January 2008. So having a collection of text books is counter-productive to education.

Moreover, the topics to cover in architecture are infinitely wide and deep at the same time. You could buy all the books in the world and still not cover half of it. Hence schools adopt a more integrated approach where students are taught how to construct new knowledge regardless of whatever source they’ve used.

Are there any websites that cover topics in architecture?
Like textbooks, there’s no point in showing websites that cover topics in architecture. What you need is internet search skills so that you could retrieve any sort of information in the fastest, most efficient way possible.[/spoiler]


2.6.   University life in Malaysia


[spoiler]Since all IPTAs are campus based, can I use my own vehicle?
Most IPTAs have a ruling where first year students aren’t allowed to use private vehicles except in special cases (physically challenged etc). This is to reduce the number of private vehicles used in campus during term time. After first year, students can use their own vehicle freely.

Do IPTAs/IPTSs offer student accommodation? Is it compulsory to stay there?
IPTAs will offer accommodations to first year students primarily, and it is compulsory for the first years to stay there. Moreover, the first year fees have already included accommodations, so why not just use it, yes?

On the other hand, some IPTAs have enough accommodation to house the entire student population on campus such as UTM Skudai, and there is no need to worry about where you might stay in the future. Of course, not all student accommodation complies with your average standard of living, so students will usually opt to rent a private house and stay off campus.

What are the facilities considered common for an architecture school?
The most dominant facility in any architecture school is the design studio. To the non-initiated, the design studio is where the artist or architect works in, technically a cross between a laboratory and a workshop. It is a laboratory because it is where designers experiment, yet it is not really a lab because it lacks the research rigor. It is a workshop because learning is hands on, but it is not really a workshop because the end product is theoretical.

An architecture school would also have a workshop, mainly timber; a computer lab that includes printing and plotting facilities; research labs that coincides with the school’s niche area(s); exhibition halls; crit or review rooms; lecture theatres; tutorial rooms and a resource centre (in some schools it is combined with the library).

I heard architecture students sleeps less and stays up all night. How true is this and why?
This is quite true actually, and it is not always because of poor time management. Night time is the only time of the day that offers the longest stretch of uninterrupted concentration. No classes, no meetings, no appointments and usually less cravings for food. And being in the tropics, working at night is much more comfortable than during the day. Because of these, architecture students tend to extend their period of concentration into the wee hours, sometimes neglecting their need for sleep and good rest.

Do I need to get my own drafting set (table included)?
In most schools, drafting table is provided, but students would still have to buy their own drafting stationeries. It boils down to how you study and work. If you prefer to work in the studio, then you don’t have to buy your own table. If you’re the kind of person who works alone in your room, then it might be a good idea to have your own personal drafting table and set. Then again, most of designers today have moved to digital drafting, so it might be a good idea to get a PC or laptop instead.

Will I need to own a digital camera in my studies?
Not necessarily, but having one does make some part of your life easier. You might even discover a hidden talent of capturing beautiful sceneries, which most often architects tend to develop.[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: January 31, 2008, 03:33:27 PM by azarimy »
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Offline azarimy

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2008, 03:34:54 PM »
3.0.   POST ARCHITECTURE EDUCATION


3.1.   Prospects after studies


[spoiler]Will I be able to study abroad after acquiring LAM part 1 degree?
Yes, you should be able to with no problems at all.

What are the jobs that I could acquire with Part 1?
In general, your job title is “architect assistant”, the description being assisting an architect in design, production drawings, technicalities, site visits and so on. Architect assistant does not often work independently, usually under direct supervision or pairing with an architect.

I heard that it is recommended that a student practice for a year after Part 1 before joining Part 2. How true is this?
If the student achieved unsatisfactory results during their part 1 or a sub-part 1 diploma, it is always recommended that a student spend at least a year in practice before reapplying. This is hoped to expose the students to the real practice environment and gain different perspectives. It has been evident in practice that students who have spend some time in practice have a more grounded and more mature approach in design education.

I hold an unaccredited Part 1 degree. How do I get myself accredited for Part 1 in order to continue for Part 2?
Speaking in Malaysian context, you can sit for the Part 1 exam conducted by LAM. Refer to LAM’s website for information on how to apply, requirements and the examination dates. Once you’ve passed the exams, you can apply straight to Part 2.

If you do not wish to take the exams, you could apply directly to a school. Certain schools may redirect you to take the final year of their Part 1 degree to ensure that you’ve clearly acquired a Part 1.

How good do I have to be in order to continue Part 2 straight away after Part 1?
This may depend on a school’s specific requirement(s). It’s hard to say for sure how good you’d have to be, but I’d say pretty darn good.

Could a LAM holder secure jobs overseas?
Yes. Various people I know have managed to land jobs in the UK, the US, China, Middle-East as well as other Asian countries. These are graduates from Malaysian IPTAs who’ve never studied in any international schools.

Can I work as an architect as soon as I graduate Part 2? What’s the average starting salary like?
Yes, you can immediately work as an architect as soon as you graduate. You may have heard that there are still some graduates who haven’t had a job six months after graduation, but most of the architecture graduates actually love to take some time off after studying and travel around. It is certainly not because they couldn’t land a job, not in Malaysia at least.

The average starting salary differs between private and public sector, as well as geographical locations. Public sector starts at about RM1800 to RM1900 (as in 2006), while in private sector can range between RM1600 to RM2000 in sub urban areas, and RM1800 to RM2400 in urban areas.[/spoiler]


3.2.   About the profession and industry


[spoiler]What does the title AR stands for? How do I obtain one?
The title AR is actually an abbreviation for the title “Architect”, and pronounced exactly as “architect” and not “ahrr” or “ay arr”. It becomes a prefix to an architect’s name just as doctors use DR or engineers use IR. For example, Ar. Johan would be pronounced as Architect Johan. Also worth to mention is that the title AR is awarded solely to Malaysian architects, and only used in Malaysia.

Obtaining the title is fairly simple. It is a title that is awarded to all Part 3 architects in Malaysia only. To obtain it, simply sit and pass the Part 3 exam.

How do I obtain a Part 3?
You can start preparing for your Part 3 by registering yourself with LAM as soon as you get your Part 2. You will be required to practice and fill a log book for at least 2 years until you’ve fulfilled all the requirements needed by the log book. Having completed that, you can apply to sit for the Part 3 exam conducted by LAM. Having passed this exam you will be awarded with a Part 3 qualification.

Does obtaining a Masters carry any weight in architecture?
It does give you the edge of being specialized in a focus area rather than a general architect. Masters is also a way of establishing yourself as an expert or master in a particular area. For example, a masters in building conservation makes you an expert in conserving heritage buildings, adapting heritage architecture as well as planning for expansion or upgrade for the heritage buildings. A masters in environmental designs gives you the edge on designing tropical designs, especially in response to local climates.

A masters should not be seen as a ticket to a better pay, but it does give you the advantage of being specialized, something that is sought after in practice. Academically, it also establishes you as being competent at doing research, which may prove useful in future endeavors.

Are there any variations to architecture? What are landscape, interior and naval architectures?
Architecture is actually a specific degree, although it has its own specializations after that. It is grouped under the Built Environment, which includes town and regional planning, urban design, landscape architecture, interior architecture/design, quantity surveying and civil engineering.

Naval architecture is a slight offset from architecture itself, focusing on marine architecture at the sea or waterfronts.

Landscape architecture is the soft side of architecture, concerning environmental design, layout, floral designs and so on. Although some may refer to them as glorified gardeners, they’re actually more of a botanic designer.

Interior architecture concerns on the interior design of the building. This is not something an architect couldn’t do, but the load of designing a building can be so complex that interior designers have become a profession on its own.
 
Architecture is a male dominated profession. Is this true?
This issue is quite subjective depending on how you look at it. Architecture have been a male dominated profession until around the 1920s, and this is the result of some of the prominent schools in the UK started taking female architecture students for the first time.

However, it is not to say that architecture still belongs to male architects. As a matter of fact, there have been a lot of prominent female architects in the profession today. Women have shown resilience and strength working in extreme conditions in the office, such as approaching deadlines, peer pressure, site labour and so on.

Do architects really need to travel a lot?
Yes, they do. Exposure is one of the ways architects learn. Experiencing different cultures and environment allows the architect to gain different perspectives. This will translate into new ideas of creativity and innovation.

How does Malaysian economy affect the architectural industry?
The architectural industry in Malaysia depends very much on the economy as much as in any other countries. Architecture is an investment, and a large amount at that. Even a single house may cost up to RM500k. It means that if people are weary of spending, large expenditures like buildings will be cut off first. Hence if there’s any economic sways, architecture is the first industry to feel the heat.

However, in Malaysia about half of the architectural projects are from the government. Since government expenditures are not affected as much as the private sector, the projects will still keep flowing in. Schools, hospitals, government buildings – all still need to be built.

I was informed by the newspapers that Malaysia encourages its architects to find job overseas. Does this mean that there isn’t much job left in Malaysia?
Not really. Exposures to different working environment, especially in a totally different country opens up new prospects, exposure to different things and gaining experience. Sometimes being so used to a certain culture makes us blind to its significance. For example, we take for granted about being able to dine in an outside environment in the wee hours in the morning. In the UK, everything closes at 6pm, and dining ends at 10 or 11pm. There’s no good food at 3am other than several take-aways. Appreciating our uniqueness requires exposure to others. This is just one of the benefits of practicing abroad.

It has nothing to do with lack of jobs in Malaysia. In fact, Malaysia still needs a lot of architects, because there’re only about 1600 Part 3 architects in Malaysia for 27 million populations!

Architecture is harder for women compared to men. Is this true?
This used to be true, and some of its effects have been greatly exaggerated. Women nowadays could do physical tasks as well as or even better than men. They could also handle pressure as men do, and always up to the challenges in architecture. Just remember that architecture is one of the last few professions to be released from the gender dogmas, so you can still find people still bogged down with this narrow mindset.

At what point can I start my own practice?
At any point you prefer actually. Most people prefer to start after they’ve acquired a Part 3, a sufficient experience, and preferable a wide clientele. But Part 3 is not a necessary requirement. It just means you don’t have to pay or hire a Part 3 to endorse projects. Having a Part 3 also carries a certain amount of prestige that a client will look up to.

How do architects get projects when they are not allowed to advertise by the codes of practice?
Architects are bound to the code of practice, and one of it is that they cannot advertise themselves. So they establish themselves by reputation and connection. This is best way to this is to get to know people and socialize even during school years, hence why architects are known as social beasts. It’s part and parcel of the profession.

Having scored several competitions would greatly boost your reputation as an architect, especially the high profile ones. Being well connected is also good, but being able to be involved in programmes, seminar, talks, design discussions and so on could further extend your reputation. And finally the most important way – is to design award winning architecture.

Having established yourself, you don’t need to find clients. They’ll come to you.[/spoiler]
what gets us into trouble is not what we dont know. it's what we know for sure that just ain't so - mark twain

Offline pyan

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2008, 04:15:08 PM »
very broad and thorough explaination aza..well done..
dumb di dumb di dumb..

Offline azarimy

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2008, 05:56:52 PM »
there are a few parts that's quite vague. i'm gonna try to keep it as accurate as possible and up-to-date. if there's any information u feel should be added, feel free to post here.
what gets us into trouble is not what we dont know. it's what we know for sure that just ain't so - mark twain

Offline TeeJay

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2008, 07:24:59 PM »


 :yahoo: Thank you, thank you for the update!

Awan_Larat

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2008, 12:28:35 AM »
Congratulations Aza,

However,
I think you should leave any information regarding Taylors/LUCT(for the moment) as the path for architecture seems to be controlled by the prerogative of their partner University rather than themselves. I think LUCT is no longer partnering with Curtin. Curtin now has their own CAMPUS in SARAWAK.

Here's some extra information regarding our own UTM program. The DIPLOMA Program of UTM-KL is also being run by KOLEJ SHAHPUTRA, Kuantan (since 2007).

There are also programs called UTM DIPLOMA SENIBINA TEKNOLOGI, run by UNITY INTERNATIONAL-Petaling Jaya, KOLEJ NEGERI- Seremban & KOLEJ YAYASAN JOHOR- Johor Bharu. You would be surprise that our seniors & juniors are teaching in these Colleges. A lot of them are from the graduates in the early 1990's.

All these programs are under UTM but run by these Colleges. UTM-KL is also responsible for monitoring these programs every semester.
   
« Last Edit: February 02, 2008, 12:32:39 AM by Awan_Larat »

Offline sb3mugen

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2008, 12:42:47 AM »
ar johan... i like...huhu..

anyway aza, good explaination..congrats

Offline pyan

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2008, 02:54:39 PM »
muahaha..sempat lagi tu joe..sebenarnye aza memang berkenan nama tuh, sok anak die pon letak johan sempena sayangnya die pada ko..
dumb di dumb di dumb..

Offline azarimy

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Re: FAQs by those interested in architecture
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2008, 05:00:05 AM »
Congratulations Aza,

However,
I think you should leave any information regarding Taylors/LUCT(for the moment) as the path for architecture seems to be controlled by the prerogative of their partner University rather than themselves. I think LUCT is no longer partnering with Curtin. Curtin now has their own CAMPUS in SARAWAK.

i'm providing a complete guide to studying architecture in malaysia, both accredited and non-accredited paths. i let the students make their own decision based on proper and thorough information. it doesnt really matter who controls the programmes. if it gets the student to become an architect one way or another, it goes in the list ;).

Quote
Here's some extra information regarding our own UTM program. The DIPLOMA Program of UTM-KL is also being run by KOLEJ SHAHPUTRA, Kuantan (since 2007).

There are also programs called UTM DIPLOMA SENIBINA TEKNOLOGI, run by UNITY INTERNATIONAL-Petaling Jaya, KOLEJ NEGERI- Seremban & KOLEJ YAYASAN JOHOR- Johor Bharu. You would be surprise that our seniors & juniors are teaching in these Colleges. A lot of them are from the graduates in the early 1990's.

All these programs are under UTM but run by these Colleges. UTM-KL is also responsible for monitoring these programs every semester.
   

thanks. i've already added this information in the "route to architecture" diagram in the other thread.
what gets us into trouble is not what we dont know. it's what we know for sure that just ain't so - mark twain