Top 10 South Africa Universities to Study Architecture

top 10 university to study architecture in South Africa

Architecture in South Africa has been existing for a very long time and it is offered as a course in top South African Universities. In this article, we will take you through the top 10 universities to Study Architecture in South Africa.

If you have been asking the question, “where to study architecture in South Africa?”, read this post carefully

Architecture is the art and science of designing a house and any other structure. On a wider scope, it includes the design with which we build our environment. It has its basis in the macro level of town planning, urban design, and landscape architecture and the micro-level of constructions.

There are many Universities that offer it as a course, today we will look at the top 10 Universities to Study Architecture in South Africa.

top 10 university to study architecture in South Africa


All human life including South Africans has been revolving around Architecture, it is practised by all living souls, educated or not. It is the process of designing, planning and constructing.

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The small utilitarian homes, the grand structures indicating colonial dominance, and the buildings of a post-apartheid state; all are the narrative history of the South African architecture industry. From the simple rondavels of the Xhosa to the modern designs of Mokena Makeka, architecture in South Africa has been existing way long and it has conquered, divide, connect and heal.

Architecture is a very big industry in South Africa that have a great impact on the economy and helps to decrease unemployment. The South Africa Architecture industry is developing very fast and the practices of today may be unrecognized in years to come.


A simple definition of an architect is a professional that design and provide aesthetic and technical advice on a built object in both private and public landscapes. This definition does not cover all that an architect does. An architect is an advisor, perform a holistic role to serve the public interest and to put health and safety first.

An architect orchestrate and take the lead in achieving the goals of a building or other structure through artistic imagination and creative vision, practical and technical knowledge, and interpersonal skills, psychological understanding and ethical practice


As an architect in South Africa, you will have a relationship with international bodies like the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA), the International Union of Architects (UIA), the Africa Union of Architects (AUA) and other international bodies through the SA Institute of Architects. You will have access to conferences and seminars organized by all these international bodies.

Career opportunities as an Architect

The following are the career benefit for all Architecture students:

  • Architecture is a profession that can be practised in a variety of professional capacities:
  • Registered Professional Architects design and manage projects with the assistance of technologists and droughts persons.
  • An architect can take up a teaching profession in the university.
  • An architect is needed by developers in their in-house professional teams.
  • There is an opportunity to be self-employed

Top Universities to Study Architecture in South Africa

1. University of Cape Town School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics

The University of Cape Town is the only institution offering a wide variety of the programme. The UCL School of Architecture, Planning & Geomatics is located in the context of Sub Saharan Africa Universities.

The School offer course that deals with the planning and designing of the environment. This discipline has contributed to the creation of os a rich and diverse learning environment. Architecture deals with the building and design of the environment in relation to society’s spaces and places. An example is Landscape Architecture that deals with the natural environment and its interaction with human occupation and Urban Design that deals with the quality of larger scale spaces and places.

Bachelor of Architectural Studies:

Students studying Architecture at UCT spend their first year getting familiarized with elementary design and later proceed to more sophisticated sites, places, buildings and complexes. Topics like representation (manual and digital), building technology (construction, structures, environmental control and others), communication (written and verbal), history and theory of architectures are major topics in the field.

Students will spend much time in the studio working and much energy will be spent on many subsidiary courses or projects. The studios at the University of Cape Town have formal lectures, informal talks and theory of design seminars.

Each student studying a Bachelor of Architectural Studies at UCT will be allocated a workstation in the studio. All students are expected to work in the studios during Design Studio classes and may be elected to work in the studios after-hours. All students should have their own studio equipment.


The University of Cape Town offers a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) that provides entry for students in professional architecture programmes or postgraduate programmes in City and Regional Planning, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture.

With a Bachelor of Architecture Studies, students can pursue diverse career opportunities like construction and property economics. Students can also apply to be registered professionals as Senior Architectural Technician.

Bachelor of Architectural Studies Courses

Below are the courses students will pass through to be awarded the Bachelor of Architectural Studies:

First Year:

  • Technology I
  • Design &Theory Studio I
  • Academic Development Class
  • History &Theory of Architecture I
  • History &Theory of Architecture II
  • Representation I

Second Year:

  • History &Theory of Architecture III
  • History &Theory of Architecture IV
  • Representation III
  • Environment &Services II
  • Theory of Structures III
  • Theory of Structures IV
  • Technology II
  • Design &Theory Studio II
  • Work Experience

Third Year:

  • History &Theory of Architecture V
  • History &Theory of Architecture VI
  • Design &Theory Studio III
  • Management Practice Law III
  • Theory of Structures V
  • Theory of Structures VI
  • Independent Research
  • Environment &Services III
  • Technology III

Each programme at the University of Cape Town has minimum admission requirements students must meet to be considered for admission. To be admitted for Bachelor of Architectural Studies, applicants must qualify for matriculation exemption from the Matriculation Board and must meet the minimum entry requirements set by the faculty. The area students want to specify will determine the requirements the student will have to meet.

All candidates are expected to write a motivation letter and a small prescribed portfolio on related work.

Postgraduate Entry Requirements:

To gain entry into the Postgraduate programme, candidates must have a certificate in Bachelor of Architectural Studies or an equivalent degree. The minimum duration for UCT Bachelor of Architectural Studies (Honours) is one year for full-time students.

All students must register for the institution Bachelor of Architectural Studies (Honours) degree full-time a year study except those given permission by the University Senate. The programme is a prerequisite qualification for students seeking admission into the Master of Architecture.

2. Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Johannesburg

The University of Johannesburg is South Africa second strongest brand that offers a world-class internationally recognised programme. It has a very good curricula development for both undergraduate and postgraduate education that prepare students for the task ahead.

FADA offers many creative disciplines and maintain a strong focus on sustainability, relevance and is engaged actively in the dynamism, diversity and creativity of Johannesburg. The faculty offers eight disciplines; Architecture, Multimedia Design, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Jewellery Design and Visual Art.

3. Discipline Of Architecture, Planning & Housing, University Of Kwazulu Natal

The faculty offer Architecture, Planning and Housing courses. Housing offers courses and research degrees within the 3-year BSocSc undergraduate degree. Planning offers course modules for the qualification of MSc in Urban and Regional Planning.

The aim of the discipline is to equip students with the necessary skills to be a professional in planning, design and construction of the built environment. The Information Services Division (ISD) of UKZN libraries provide proactive information and research support service to all Students, Staff and members of the University community.

4. University Of Witwatersrand School Of Architecture And Planning

The Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) programme is a three-year full-time programme. It offers diverse career opportunities in both architectural disciplines and beyond. Due to course integration and the faculty emphasis on coordinated application of skills, the faculty does not admit part-time students.

However, through the approval of the degree conveyor, the years of study can be extended for more than a year in exceptional circumstances.

With the BAS degree and a year of practice, students can apply for a year Bachelor of Architectural Studies with Honours degree. After the successful completion of the Honour degree, students can apply for a 1-year Master of Architecture professional (MArch [Prof]) degree. There is a minimum requirement students must meet before they can study for an Honour degree and Master of Architecture professional.

The institution professional degree in architecture; BAS, BAS (Hons), MArch (Prof) are accredited by South Africa Council for Architectural Profession (SACAP), and also accredited by the Commonwealth Association of Architects.

5. University Of Nelson Mandela

The Department of Architecture, Nelson Mandela University deals with making civilized architectural design. NMU School of Architecture is well known internationally for the high quality of its teaching and the high calibre of diplomates and graduates it produces.

The Departments M Arch (Professional) graduates can register as full professional Architects. They also have a rich history of achievement in the architectural field nationally and internationally.

6. University Of Pretoria

The institution offers internationally recognized programmes and a commitment to innovation. The school aims at promoting a sustainable and prospering South African society. UP Department of Architecture conducts research and teaching in the postgraduate programmes in the following Research Fields:

  • Environmental Potential
  • Heritage And Cultural Landscapes
  • Human Settlements And Urbanism

If your dream is to become a professional architect, studying in one of the universities above will give you an edge over others.

Other universities to study architecture are:

7. University of KwaZulu-Natal

8. University of the Free State

9. Tshwane University of Technology

  • Bachelor of Technology: Architectural Technology

10. Cape Peninsula University of Technology

There are other universities in South Africa that has a very good Architecture programme but are not listed here.



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