UNSW has partnered with a Chinese university to offer an architecture education with a global focus.

From semester two next year, students will have the opportunity to enrol in an undergraduate architecture degree that will be taught at both UNSW and Tongji University. A postgraduate degree in architecture is also under development, providing graduates with the opportunity to register for practice in both China and Australia.

Students will be taught in English and will split their study time between the campuses, affording them a different learning and life experience. They will be awarded two testamurs upon graduating – one from each institution.

The Bachelor of Architecture Studies will be jointly taught with Shanghai’s Tongji University. This program is offered in addition to UNSW’s existing undergraduate Architecture degree.

The new program follows the significant restructure of UNSW’s Faculty of Built Environment curriculum and is offered under the newly-created the Australian School of Architecture and Design (ASA+D).

The Dean of the Faculty of Built Environment, Professor Alec Tzannes, says the restructure reflects changing industry, environmental and social developments. He says it is also aimed at creating graduates with a global outlook: “Architecture and design transcends national boundaries. We have to train people with a wider perspective.”

The ASA+D is focused on the delivery of graduates into all the professions of the built environment.Along with Architecture, it offers degrees in Interior Architecture, Planning, Landscape Architecture, Architectural Computing, Industrial Design, Construction Management, and Property Development.

School Director, Professor Bruce Judd, says that ASA+D is an Australian leader in built environment education: “As the most comprehensive built environment school in Australia, ASA+D provides students with a strong professional education and truly interdisciplinary experience. This ensures that we produce work-ready and highly sought-after graduates who are global leaders, prized for their creative, technical and professional excellence.”

A second school, the Australian Graduate School of Urbanism (AGSU), has been established to develop leadership skills and interdisciplinary knowledge for early to mid-career professionals. It is designed to fill a knowledge and leadership gap in areas of urban policy, strategy, sustainability, development and design.

AGSU Director, Professor Alan Peters says: “As cities grow more complex, there is a gap in the number of leading thinkers on urban issues. With the establishment of the Australian Graduate School of Urbanism, this gap is closing. With more research capacity in urban issues than anyone else, AGSU is an Australian leader in this area.”

The AGSU is launching a number of new programs, including the Master of Urban Policy and Strategy.

“The problems facing our cities and built environment have changed and become global, largely related to governance, strategic investment, sustainability, planning, architecture and design. We have developed our undergraduate and postgraduate courses to reflect these challenges,” says Dean, Professor Tzannes.

Also at the AGSU, a new Master of Philosophy has been launched with six strands: Writing the City; Housing Policy and Finance; Infrastructure Planning, Procurement and Finance; Design Research in Architecture; Design Research in Interior Architecture; and Design Research in Industrial Design.

Scholar, media columnist and built environment critic Dr Elizabeth Farrelly is teaching the Master of Philosophy ‘Writing the City’ from this semester.

“We introduced ‘Writing the City because we want to raise the public profile of urban issues from planning and design perspectives,” says Professor Tzannes. “We think that’s one way to contribute to improved public discussions and political relevance for built environment issues. And of course, it’s wonderful to have someone with the profile and skill of Elizabeth Farrelly on board.”

Among the many other innovations in the curriculum, the already well-regarded Master of Urban Development and Design program has greater flexibility, offering broader entry pathways for students from non-design backgrounds such aslaw, business and journalism, among other fields.

“We are offering postgraduate programs which are broader – and open to people with a variety of backgrounds – because we want graduates who will be influential in the built environment at a very high level,” Professor Tzannes says. “They need to understand politics, finance, planning and design to be influential in the stewardship and development of our urban environments.”

Other programs that are part of the AGSU have also been reviewed and developed. The Master of Built Environment (Sustainable Development) now has the benefit of the very significant program of research underway at the Co-operative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living, ensuring graduates are equipped with the most advanced knowledge and ongoing relationships with key researchers at a global level.

The Masters by Research and Doctor of Philosophy degrees complete the suite of offerings at the AGSU.  

For further information about the schools go to the Faculty of Built Environment

For the feature story, go to the Uniken website

Media contact: Susi Hamilton, UNSW Media Office, +61 422 934 024