Pretoria Institute for Architecture
Pretoria Instituut vir Argitektuur
 

Becoming A Professional

A CAREER IN ARCHITECTURE
Architecture as a career & education opportunities

ARCHITECTURE
Architecture can be described as the design of the human environment, mostly buildings, groups of buildings and often the spaces between the buildings. The design, the documentation of designs, the inspection of the construction of buildings, but also their urban context, their gardens, their interiors and sometimes their furniture, all form part of the activities of the architect. Architectural design projects range in size and complexity from small alterations for a single house to large, multi-level commercial, industrial or public buildings and building complexes or even parts of cities.

Architects are expected to develop and practise a wide variety of skills. Except for design and planning skills, architects should have technical, problem-solving, managerial, communication, co-ordination and entrepreneurial abilities. Since not every person has all these skills, many architects work in groups in which they concentrate on those aspects in which they are best.

QUALIFICATIONS IN ARCHITECTURE
Qualifications in architecture are subject to accreditation by the SA Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP), and must meet the standards set through legislation and by the profession. South African qualifications are highly regarded and many of the degrees and diplomas also enjoy international recognition.

Architecture can be studied at several South African Universities and Universities of Technology.

THE ARCHITECTURAL PROFESSION
Persons in the architectural profession serve clients, who might need buildings for themselves, or who could represent users, for example of hospitals, schools, community centres or private corporations. They assist clients in drawing up a brief and plan for their needs with the assistance of quantity surveyors, engineers and project managers. They then prepare sketch designs and models, cost projections, project documentation, submit plans for approval by the authorities, acquire tenders and then administer the building contract.

Besides the time spent in the office, the architect moves around between various building sites and is in constant contact with clients and the many disciplines active in the building process.

PERSONAL CHECKLIST
You will need: imagination; the ability to organise ideas and communicate them to others; creativity (not necessarily artistic ability); problem solving skills and an interest in human behaviour, our habitat and the natural environment.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND TERRTIARY EDUCATION
Courses in architecture are continuously evaluated to meet the demands of developing technology and changing society. General subjects include design, construction, the history of architecture and a host of technical subjects ranging from water reticulation to electricity. Computer aided draughting is part of the course.

UNIVERSITY
In order to be accepted at one of the six Universities to study architecture, one requires a Grade 12 exemption. Mathematics is generally a requirement.

The course at University is structured in two parts: the first is a three year course leading to a B Architectural Studies or BSc (Architecture) degree, and the second is an additional two-year professional degree in Architecture which qualifies you to become an architect.

A student who studies at university is able to exit university after obtaining the first three year B Architectural Studies or Building Science degree, and will be able to become a senior architectural technologist.

UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
To study architecture at a University of Technology, a senior certificate or equivalent is required. A pass in maths and a science subject is required by some institutions. The courses in architecture are a three year National Diploma in Architecture and after an additional year of study a B Tech degree in Architecture can be obtained. This will enable a student to become an architectural technologist or senior technologist.

IN-SERVICE TRAINING
After receiving a qualification in architecture, one enters a two year in service training period as a candidate in any one of the categories. After passing a Professional Practice entrance examination, one may register with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession as a professional. This is a requirement for practising architecture in South Africa.

PROFESSIONALS IN ARCHITECTURE
Architecture can be practiced in one of four categories of registered person, namely professional architect, professional senior architectural technologist, professional technologist or professional draughtsperson. The possibility of progression from one category to the next has been provided for in the Regulations.

PROSPECTS
Practices in South Africa range from those run by a single person, to firms that employ more than 100 people. A medium sized office generally consists of two or three professional architects who design and manage the projects with the assistance of a few technologists and draughts people. Administrative staff provides the required support to the entire practice. Lecturing staff at universities and universities of technology are often registered professional architects, and may be in private practice as well.

Opportunities are available to join the in house professional team of a developer. Large corporations also employ architects in a variety of positions. Career opportunities exist in the public sector for suitably qualified people of the construction professions. Architects often specialise in a particular field of expertise.

STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS
To become self-employed, you will need the usual office equipment as well as the necessary electronic equipment and draughting software associated with modern architectural practice. You will also need your own transport.

Before practising on your own, you are required to pass the Professional Practice entrance examination after two years' in service training. You will need to register as a professional with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession.

EDUCATION
Education in architecture is evolving continuously to meet the changing demands of the profession and of society. The PIA is involved with and interacts on a wide range of Education-related initiatives with tertiary institutions and other interested parties, and organises several programmes to ensure that members are able to develop their professional competence throughout their careers.

STUDENT AWARDS
Several awards, competitions, bursaries and scholarships are available to students of architecture.

Student awards & competitions, bursaries & scholarships

STUDENT AWARDS AND COMPETITIONS:
The following prizes are awarded annually:
      •    David Haddon Prize for the Best Student in Professional Practice
      •    PIA Best Design Student Award at TUT and TUKS & SAIA Best Student Award

BURSARIES AND GRANTS:
Bursaries are available from several sources, and students can get more information about these from the tertiary institutions
      •    The PG Group Scholarship in Architecture
      •    SACAP Grants
      •    CETA Bursaries

TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS
The standard of qualifications in Architecture is evaluated by the SA Council for the Architectural Profession for accreditation. Different qualifications, ranging from a two-year national diploma in architectural technology to a five year university qualification, consisting of Bachelors, Honours and Masters (Pr) degree, are available.

For the contact details of Universities that offer accredited courses in Architecture (listed below)

For the contact details of Universities of Technology that offer accredited courses in Architecture (listed below)

In a nutshell, four basic career options are available within the Architectural Profession, namely the Architectural Draughtsperson, the Architectural Technologist and the Senior Architectural Technologist, and Professional Architect

THE ARCHITECTURAL DRAUGHTPERSON
UNIVERSITY of TECHNOLOGY (TUT)

THE ARCHITECTURAL TECHNOLOGIST / THE SENIOR ARCHITECTURAL TECHNOLOGIST
UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY (TUT)
TRADITIONAL UNIVERSITY (TUKS)
3 year full-time undergraduate course, qualification BSc(Arch) or BTECH
For more info see: link http://web.up.ac.za/default.asp?ipkCategoryID=3254&sub=1&parentid=3229&subid=3252&ipklookid=7 
 
THE ARCHITECT
UNIVERSITY (e.g. TUKS)

A 6 year programme, incorporating undergraduate and post graduate courses, as well as a practical year, qualification March(Prof). 
For more info see: link http://web.up.ac.za/default.asp?ipkCategoryID=3255&sub=1&parentid=3229&subid=3252&ipklookid=7 
UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY (e.g. TUT)
A 6 year programme, incorporating undergraduate and post graduate courses, as well as a 6 month practical training, qualification MTech Architecture: Professional 
For more info see: http://www.architec.co.za  

TSHWANE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

1st year architecture        obtain       Certificate in Architecture (draughtsperson)
2nd year architecture       obtain       Senior Certificate in Architecture
3rd year architecture        obtain       N.Dip (Diploma in Architecture)
4th year                            obtain       BTech (Bachelor of Architectural Technology)
5th & 6th years                 obtain       MTech (Masters of Architectural Technology) or MTech (Professional)

UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA

1 – 3rd years           obtain       BSc(Arch) – Bachelor of Science (Architecture)
4th year                   obtain       BArch(Hons) – Honours in Architecture
5th year                   obtain       MArch(Prof) – Master’s in Architecture (Professional)

ABOUT TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS 
The standard of qualifications in Architecture is evaluated by the SA Council for the Architectural Profession for accreditation. Different qualifications, ranging from a two-year national diploma in architectural technology to a five year university qualification, consisting of Bachelors, Honours and Masters (Pr) degree, are available.

Contact details of Universities that offer accredited courses in Architecture:

UNIVERSITIES (Departments of Architecture)

University of Cape Town (UCT) website: www.apg.uct.ac.za
Head Department of Architecture: Professor Lucien le Grange (Director)
Secretary: Julie Thompsett
 
University of the Free State (UFS) Website: www.ufs.ac.za
Head Department of Architecture: Professor Jan Smit
Secretary: Yolanda Pretorius
 
University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) website: www.ukzn.ac.za
Head Department of Architecture: Professor Ambrose Adebayo (Director) 
Secretary: Sivani Naidoo

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU)  website: www.nmmu.ac.za
Director School of Architecture: Professor Gavin McLachlan 
Head Department of Architecture: Stephen Lear  Secretary: Mariana Botes
  
University of Pretoria (UP) website: www.up.ac.za
Head Department of Architecture: Professor Karel Bakker 
Secretary: Sherona Loykisoonlal

University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) website: www.wits.ac.za 
Head of School: Professor Alan Mabin  Architecture Programme Director: Prof. Lone Poulsen
School Administrator: Mrs Vasentha Naidu; Secretary: Sarika Munnie

Universities of Technology (Departments of Architectural Technology)

Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Website: www.architec.co.za
Head of Department: Mr Errol Pieters Secretary: Lemaria Labuschagne

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)
Foreshore Campus, Department of Architectural Technology, Website: www.cput.co.za
Head of Department: Mr Jake de Villiers Secretary: Mrs Shamiela Saiet

Durban University of Technology (DUT)Department of Architectural Technology
Website: www.dut.ac.za
Head of Department: Mr Yashaen Luckan Secretary: Khanyi Dlomo
   
University of Johannesburg (UJ)  Department of Architecture
University of Johannesburg 
Website: www.uj.ac.za
Head of Department: Mr Christo Vosloo Secretary: Mrs Kathy Loots
 
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Architectural Technology and Interior Design
Website: www.nmmu.ac.za
Head Department of Architectural Technology and Design: