Diploma in Architecture (DARCH - S66)

What are the pre-requisites in this course?

We have no pre-requisites for entering this course, apart from meeting the Last Aggregate Score.

What skills do I need to have in order to succeed in this course?

We believe here at DARCH that the most important attributes are an interest, even passion, for architecture, an open mind, and a desire to learn new things. The course is planned to equip you with the relevant skill sets assuming that you have little or no prior knowledge of architecture to begin with.

I am very interested in this course, but I am worried about not being able to cope with a whole different subject matter, and a new way of learning and doing. Do you have any advice?

The course is planned to build up confidence in your skills sets and mindset in stages, from the first year till the third. We are aware that this may require a mindset shift in the way you approach problem solving, for example. However we have seen many graduates who started off from a similar position like yourself and graduated with great success. You will also have the support of your tutors throughout your academic journey in these 3 years, who will be working closely with you to gain confidence as you build knowledge. We believe you have the capacity to succeed in this course, as long as you keep an open mind and have a desire to learn.

What if I have little or no skill in making models or drawing or sketching?

We will teach you these skill sets from scratch, along with other important skills like computation and design processes and documentation.

Do I need to have a high-end computer for this course?

Computing power has improved dramatically for laptops. They are also more affordable now. The basic requirements (which will suffice for your 3 years of study at DARCH), can be found here.

How am I taught in this course?

Apart from lectures, you will primarily focus on group or one-on-one consultations with your tutors over your project work during tutorial periods. You will also be given a variety of group or individual assignments in order to prepare your knowledge to apply back to your project.

Are there examinations in this course?

There are no examinations in DARCH. DARCH is uniquely a project-based program, with 100% in-course assessment. You will be asked to demonstrate how you have applied knowledge from lectures and assignments back into your project; your project hence will serve as the main means of assessment. This means that apart from a few tests, you will not be examined in the traditional examination method.

Could you explain more about the way projects are assessed in this course?

At critical moments in the semester, you will be asked to present your work, usually consisting of models, drawings and other forms of communication methods, to a panel of tutors, who will then assess you based on your presentation and subsequent Q&A. This process is called a critique session. Hence, not only do we build up your skill sets, we will also guide and train you in other soft skills, like presentation techniques, and build your confidence to speak in public. The course is designed to educate you in the most holistic manner possible.

I understand that this course can be costly, especially when making models. How true is that?

There will be costs incurred as part of the coursework. From time to time during critique sessions you will be asked to present models and drawings. We will educate you in different methods of presenting your ideas. Not all methods are expensive; students do not receive a higher grade simply because their models cost ‘more’. From time to time, materials are also subsidised in the course. We believe that the costs are manageable.

How can I prepare myself before entering this course?

If you have successfully been admitted into the course, we would suggest you expose yourself to the architecture literature, readily available in most public libraries. You should also try your hand in basic sketching exercises. Otherwise, you will be advised on what laptops and what materials and equipment to purchase on the first week of school, so there is no need to worry if you are starting school not fully equipped.

How does this course value-add to me?

Here at DARCH we constantly refine your program in order to educate each of you in as holistic a way possible. Hence, not only will you be equipped with the skill sets to immediately plug into the architectural or its related industries (landscape, interior, urban design, construction, graphics, illustration, media, animation, art to name a few), you will also be constantly challenged to adopt a more open-minded, exploratory, adaptive and self-motivated approach to your study and eventually work like. We believe at these attitudes and skills will make you prepared to take on the challenges in the ever-changing work environment when you graduate.

Does this course allow me to become an architect?

After graduating from DARCH, you will need to attain a degree recognised by the Board of Architects (BOA), and sit for additional examinations after accumulating working experience before you can be qualified to be called an architect. This path is necessarily rigorous in order to maintain the high stands of the profession. However there are many other pathways beyond DARCH which are equally exciting and meaningful. It would be best to speak to a tutor of the school during Open House to better understand the many opportunities that are out there.

Why should I choose this course over the normal “A” level route?

If you already have an interest, even passion, for architecture, we would highly recommend you considering kickstarting your academic career path here at DARCH.

Will I be able to go onto university after graduating from DARCH?

Our graduates have gone on to degree programs both locally at NUS and SUTD, as well as overseas universities in Australia, United Kingdom and United States. Our program has received recognition and validation from many universities locally and abroad.

How does this course prepare me to enter the architectural industry?

One of the key focuses at DARCH is to prepare you with the most up-to-date and relevant knowledge of local architectural practices and processes. Our graduates are often well received by the industry, with many graduates often finding placements in firms before graduation. We also have an internship program that will give you the first insight to industry practices in order to prepare you to be work ready, world ready.