Studying Architecture in Malaysia

Everything you need to know about studying Architecture in Malaysia.
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Architecture studies in Malaysia

Architecture has always been one of the most sought after programme in Malaysia. For many Malaysians, dreaming of becoming an architect, their passion might stem from the endless list of inspiring local architecture that deck the Malaysian landscape. What better way to realize this dream than to study architecture here locally in Malaysia. So here we list out everything you need to know about studying architecture in Malaysia.

  1. What are the entry requirements for Architecture programmes in Malaysia?
  2. How long is an architecture degree?
  3. Additional qualifications to practice Architecture in Malaysia
  4. How much does it cost to study Architecture in Malaysia?
  5. 10 recognised Universities offering Architecture courses in Malaysia
  6. Career prospects for Architecture graduates
  7. 5 reasons why you should study Architecture

What are the entry requirements for Architecture programmes in Malaysia?

In general, to pursue Architecture in Malaysia, you must meet the following entry requirements.

Diploma and Foundation:

  • O-Level / SPM Qualification
  • Minimum of 5 credits at the secondary school level, including a credit in Mathematics

Bachelor's Degree:

Any one of the following.

  • STPM - Minimum of 3Cs (2.00cgpa) including Pengajian Am
  • A-Level - you must have a minimum of 2Cs, including Mathematics.
  • Foundation/Malaysian Matriculation - Minimum CGPA of 2.5 which varies according to university
  • Diploma - Minimum CGPA of 2.5 varies according to university

Entry qualification may vary depending on the university, hence you should check the admission criteria from the university you are applying for admission. It is required that the university offering Architecture is a recognised university by the Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM).

How long is an architecture degree?

Normally, it takes approximately three years to obtain a fully accredited degree in Architecture.

However, in order to become a practising architect you need to acquire additional qualifications as described below.

Additional qualifications to practice Architecture in Malaysia

Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM), the Board of Architects Malaysia, sets out qualification level for all architects. Basically, the qualifications level are LAM Part I, II and III:

  1. LAM Part I - you become Assistant Architect
  2. LAM Part II - you are referred as Graduate Achitect
  3. LAM Part III - entitles you to register as an Architect with the board and qualify you as a Professional Architect.

To obtain LAM Part I qualification you need to do one of the following three:

  • sit for individual LAM qualification exams if you have a non-accredited Architecture degree, OR
  • obtain a fully accredited Architecture degree, OR
  • have a minimum of 10 years of relevant working experience in the field of architecture

To obtain Part II certification, you must study for another two years equivalent to a Master’s degree in Architecture.

In order to acquire LAM Part III, you are required to have two years of experience as a practicing architect and meet all the project requirements set by LAM.

How much does it cost to study Architecture in Malaysia?

The cost of studying Architecture in Malaysia is much more economical as compared to other countries. The cost of architecture programmes may vary for each qualification level and from one university to the other. Below are the estimated fees for each programme.

Programme

Estimated Fees

Diploma

RM 17,000 - RM 54,000

Bachelor’s Degree

RM 73,000 - RM 314, 000

Master’s Degree

RM 26,000 - RM 71,000

10 recognised Universities offering Architecture courses in Malaysia

Now that you have more knowledge about studying architecture in Malaysia, below are ten recognised institutions offering architecture in Malaysia.

  1. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)

  2. Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)

  3. Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

  4. University of Malaya (UM)

  5. Taylor’s University

  6. UCSI University Kuala Lumpur

  7. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)

  8. Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur (IUKL)

  9. Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)

  10. LimKokWing University of Creative Technology (LUCT)

Each university offers different LAM recognition level, therefore be sure to do your research on which recognition level that each university offers.

1. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)

UTM

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia is a locally and internationally recognised institution, their Faculty of Built Environment and Surveying offers both Undergraduates and Postgraduates architectural programmes. Their programmes offer the LAM part I and II recognition. The faculty have won numerous awards. Such includes,  21st Pacific Association of Quantity Surveyors 2017 for Best Paper Award. 11th International Symposium on Architectural Interchanges in Asia (ISAIA) Special Chief Jury Award and many more. With that, It is considered one of the top Architecture School in Malaysia.

2. Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)

UiTM

Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) is one of the top university in Malaysia, With campuses spread out across the country, UiTM is considered the biggest tertiary education provider in Malaysia. Their Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying offers programmes ranging from diploma to postgraduate programmes and which are considered as LAM part I and II recognition. The faculty is best known for their research and publication works.

3. Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

USM

Universiti Sains Malaysia is one of the leading university in Asia, it ranks at 207 in the world university ranking. It is the only APEX (Accelerated Programs for Excellence) university in Malaysia. For such reason, USM is known as a world class entity. Its qualification is recognised locally and internationally. USM is an autonomous university that is fully funded by the government. It is also known as the most sustainable university in the region and is currently working their way towards earning a GLOBAL most sustainable university status. Its faculty of of housing, building and planning offers a wide variety of programmes ranging from short courses to postgraduate programmes that are recognised as LAM part I and II. The faculty is best known for their academic staff which are made up of remarkable researchers and practitioners in the industry.

4. University of Malaya (UM)

UM

Universiti Malaya (UM) is an internationally and locally recognised university. It is one of the top university in Asia. It ranks at 87th in the world university ranking. Its faculty of Built Environment offers a wide range of comprehensive bachelor’s degree that is recognised by relevant local and international professional organisation. Their programmes are considered as a recognise LAM part I and II qualification. The faculty is known to emphasize on academic excellence and at the same time providing opportunities for international participation.

5. Taylor's University

Taylor's University

Taylor’s university is one of the leading international university in Asia, its School of Architecture, Building and Design is recognised by international and local professional bodies. It offers a wide range of undergraduate programmes and a postgraduate programme that is tailored to bring out only the best professional practice in architecture. These programmes are recognised as LAM part I and II qualification. The faculty emphasizes on dynamic teaching and extensive industry exposure to the students. All in all, the faculty has won numerous awards and recognition, from various local and international competition.

6. UCSI University Kuala Lumpur

UCSI

UCSI University Kuala Lumpur is one of the leading university in Malaysia, it ranks at 481 in the world university ranking. It is known to introduce industry relevant programmes and has been listed as a tier 5 university in the setara university ranking. Its faculty of Engineering, Technology and Built Environment offers two bachelor programme for architecture, both are recognised by Malaysia Board of Architects and Malaysia Qualification Agency. The programmes offered is a recognised LAM part I qualification. The faculty is known for its excellent teaching, learning and research works.

7. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)

UKM

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) is an internationally and locally recognised university. It ranks at 184 in the world university rankings. Its faculty of Engineering and Built Environment offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Its Bachelor of Science Architecture is a LAM part I recognised programme. The faculty emphasizes on controlling the quality of its education through continuous assessments while striving towards realizing its mission; which is to be ahead in terms of educational development and moral upbringing. The faculty is known for its research and publications works by their profound academicians and integrating the knowledge of local culture into their teachings.

8. Infrastructure Uniersity Kuala Lumpur (IUKL)

IUKL

Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur (IUKL) is one of Malaysia’s new leading private institution and the only institution in Malaysia that is focusing entirely on infrastructure and is well known for its geo disaster research centre. It is known to offer courses that integrates the physical and soft aspect of infrastructure. Its faculty of architecture offers programmes ranging from diploma to postgraduate. Their Bachelor of Science (Architectural Studies) is a LAM part I recognised qualification.

9. Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)

UTAR

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) ranks top 600 in the World University Ranking, Its Three (3) years-long Bachelor of Science (Hons) Architecture programme is recognised by both local and international professional bodies and is a recognised LAM part I qualification. The programme is known for its student centred learning and well equipped facilities. It emphasizes on giving industry-relevant skills and knowledge.;

10. LimKokWing University of Creative Technology (LUCT)

Limkokwing

LimkokWing University of Creative Technology is an international private institution with its main campus located in Malaysia. It is one of the leading arts and design University in Malaysia and it is also the first college in the country to be recognised as a university college. Its faculty of Architecture and Built Environment offers programmes ranging from pre-university to postgraduate programme and is known for its partnership with noteworthy organisation such as TV3 and Terengganu State Government. Its Bachelor in Architectural Studies is a recognised LAM part I qualification.;

Career prospects for Architecture graduates

Here are some career options for Architecture graduates in Malaysia and their monthly average salaries.

Career Prospects

Average Salary

Architect

RM 3,500

Project Architect

RM 5,800

Interior Designer

RM 3,000

Architectural Assistant

RM 2,800

Architectural Designer

RM 4,100

Building Supervisor

RM 2,700

Structural Engineer

RM 4,600

5 reasons why you should study Architecture

Journeying through Malaysia, we get to see stunning building decorating the Malaysian streets and skyline in a vibrant manner. What makes it special is the thought that goes into designing each building, and the complex process of ensuring these buildings are sustainable, yet contributes value to the Malaysian landscape. With so much to offer to passionate architects, we list out top five (5) reasons why you should study architecture in Malaysia.

  1. Malaysia’s Unique Topography: Malaysia, which is a combination of lush green rural areas and sustainable urban living implores architects to explore ways to highlight her unique features.

  2. Historical Heritage: This can be seen from the Royal Palaces to the colonial era building. This serves as an aspiration for architects to incorporate historical elements into new designs.

  3. Job Opportunities: As a developing country, one obvious business that is flourishing in Malaysia due to rapid development is, the property development business. This means, more job opportunities available for architects, engineers and other graduates.

  4. Affordability: The cost of studying architecture in Malaysia is much economical compared to other overseas study destinations.

  5. Quality Education: The Malaysian architecture education is supervised by two professional bodies which are, Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM) and Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA) which ensures the quality of education in general and the standard of education for architecture.

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