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 primarily 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, with the help of models, drawings to a panel of tutors, who will then assess your work based on a set of marking rubrics. 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?

The polytechnic curriculum is a practice-orientated program that focuses on preparing you for the architectural industry through hands-on activities. If you prefer this learning style and have a strong interest for architecture or foresee this to be the career you intend to pursue in the future, this course will provide you a head start.

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

A Master of Architecture Program is offered locally at NUS and SUTD where you can further your studies after graduating from DARCH.  Reputable schools of architecture running degree programmes are also readily available in Australia, United Kingdom and the United States. Whether locally or internationally, our program is well received, providing an advanced standing of typically 1 year in related degree programs.

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

The DARCH program emphasizes strong foundational skills and a broad-based exposure to technological advances that will equip you with the necessary skillsets to handle the demands of an evolving architectural landscape. The technical knowledge that we impart will make you an invaluable asset to most architectural practice. Our dedicated team of lecturers maintains a strong network with the industry, channelling back to the curriculum industry relevant knowledge and skills. To familiarise students with the industry, a substantial amount of curriculum time – 1 semester, is committed to the internship program to immerse students in a meaningful real-life practice. Upon graduation, you can be confident that the program will prepare you sufficiently to handle the workplace.

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