Study Bachelor of Architecture at University of Johannesburg (UJ)

Do you want to Study Bachelor of Architecture at University of Johannesburg (UJ)? Find below details such as Admission Requirements for the Bachelor of Architecture, Career Opportunities and many more.

Course Code: (B8BA3Q)


Architectural professionals are involved in shaping the built environment. Their efforts are evident everywhere, from the simple construction of a low-cost housing project to the sophisticated erection of skyscrapers. Architectural professionals are employed in the design, technological resolution and management of construction projects.

The Department of Architecture will offer the following programmes, Bachelor of Architecture, Diploma in Architecture, the third years of the old National Diploma in Architectural Technology, Bachelor of Technology Degree in Architectural Technology (specialising in either Applied Design or Architectural Management) and the Master’s of Technology Degree in Architectural Technology (Prof). The Department’s offerings have unconditional validation from the Architectural Profession (SACAP) and the Commonwealth Association for Architecture (CAA).

Career Opportunities

The architectural profession offers a wide range of specialisations, from management to technology and design. Graduates will be able to register with the following professional bodies or institutes:

  • South African Council for the Architectural Profession
  • South African Institute for Architectural Technologists
  • Some provincial Institutes of the SA Institute of Architects.

Admission Requirements for the Bachelor of Architecture

  • Senior Certificate or equivalent qualification with a minimum APS or M-score (as below) and degree admission.
  • Attendance of an entrance assessment and submission of a prescribed portfolio once the application form has been processed.
  • Completion of both National Benchmarking Tests (NBT): Academic and Quantitative Literacy

(AQL) and Mathematics.

Recommended school subjects include Art, Technical Drawing and/or Physical Science.

Average Point Score (APS)

A minimum APS of 28 is required to apply for the programme. Mathematical Literacy is not accepted for this programme.

Min APS Languages Mathematics Other requirements

Psychometric test and   submission of a specified portfolio

Language of teaching and learning * Other recognised language **
Maths Lit

Not accepted


(60 – 69%)


(50 – 59%)


(60– 69%)

*English, Home Language or English First Additional Language

** Home Language or English First Additional Language


This scoring system is used if the applicant completed school prior to 2008 or A/O levels. At least six subjects, of which at least three (including Mathematics) must be on the Higher Grade or an equivalent qualification at an equivalent standard, as determined by a Status Committee, and a minimum M-score of 14; at least a D symbol for English First Language, Higher Grade; or a C symbol for English Second Language, Higher Grade; or a B symbol for English, Standard Grade, and at least a D symbol for Mathematics, Higher Grade.

Compulsory subject: Mathematics: HG (D); English: as above.

Symbols A B C D E
Points Higher Grade 5 4 3 2 1
Standard Grade 4 3 2 1 0

Applicants meeting the minimum entrance requirements (APS or M-score) for the Bachelors in Architecture will be invited to attend an entrance assessment and to submit a prescribed portfolio

Selection Criteria

Selection is based on an entrance assessment and the submission of a prescribed portfolio, as described overleaf.

The entrance assessment will be conducted by the University of Johannesburg Centre for Psychological Services and Career Development (PsyCaD). Invited applicants must make a booking to attend one of the following selection assessments (4.5 hours) starting at 09:00:

Venue: Auckland Park Kingsway Campus (Cnr Kingsway & University Road)
Bookings:  +27 (0)11 559 3106 or email


  • A portfolio is a collection of the applicant’s work, held in protective covering, such as cardboard or rigid plastic sheets. Covers must not be larger than 594mm X 420mm (A2).
  • The applicant’s reference number (on your invitation letter), telephone number and the wording “DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE” must appear on the cover in neat block letters.
  • The portfolio cover is part of the portfolio and should be designed as a reflection of the applicant and their work.

The portfolio must contain the following:

a) A single A4 sheet (preferably typed) providing:

  • A summary of the applicant’s most recent school results and other studies
  • A brief outline of the applicant’s work experience and the results of any aptitude testing
  • A certified declaration that the portfolio is the applicant’s own work

b) A certified copy of the applicant’s most recent school results and other studies
c) A one-page essay (preferably typed) explaining why the applicant would like to study architecture
d) A letter from a firm of architects confirming that the applicant has spent a full day in their office and has discussed a career in architecture with one of the senior members of the firm.

Project 1: Drawing

  • Make a pencil drawing of the entrance to a favourite public building. Use A2 paper (594mm x 420mm). Do this drawing as accurately and as neatly as possible.
  • This drawing must be done free-hand. A ruler, compass or any other technical drawing instrument may not be used, nor may the drawing be traced from a photograph. You may add colour and or any form of rendering. It is preferable that you draw a building that you have visited before.
  • In your own handwriting and words, describe the entrance that you have drawn and why this particular entrance appeals to you. This essay should clearly describe the building; its entrance in totality, including but not limited to, the spaces on either side of the entrance door. Where possible, indicate which architect and/or engineer designed the building. This essay should not exceed 2 pages.

Project 2: Mapping exercise

  • Without text, visually communicate a journey from your home to a favourite local destination. Any medium is acceptable.
  • Use one sheet of A2 paper.

All drawings must be done free-hand only. A map on its own will not suffice.

Project 3: Creative ability

  • Include any five other pieces of work as evidence of your creative ability. This could include photographs, essays, poetry, paintings, dance, sculpture, pottery, handicraft, etc. In the case of items such as pottery, sculpture or activities such as dance, include a clear photograph – do not include the original item.
  • You should preferably include a diverse array, not just photographs or paintings, etc.

Project 4: Three-dimensional thinking

  • Design and make cardboard packaging that can securely hold a set of three table tennis (“ping-pong”) balls. Your design must be such that it can be made from a single piece of cardboard that can be cut to shape, folded and glued together.
  • The packaging must be “flat packed” (cut out but not folded and glued together) and included in your portfolio in its flat (unfolded form). On a separate A2 sheet of paper, provide graphic instructions on how to assemble the packaging.


  • The size of portfolio may NOT exceed A2 (594 x 420mm).
  • The drawings may NOT be rolled up or put into cylindrical containers.
  • Each item of your work must be clearly marked with your name.

While we take every care not to damage items, we cannot be held responsible in any way for the loss or damage to the whole or part of your work.

We look for the following in the work:

  • Potential and resourcefulness: Note that candidates with little experience in art or design are admitted where their work provides evidence of good observation, three-dimensional awareness and careful consideration of the presentation of the portfolio, with good, hand-drawn lettering, careful paper selection and careful organisation of the pages.
  • Motivation: This can be seen in the way in which you present your work as a whole, the degree of effort and time invested in your portfolio as well as your written motivation.
  • Initiative: What often separates successful applicants from others is the ability to explore or record something for themselves, working because they are interested – not because they have to. This means that sketch explorations are as useful as finished works. Although supplementary work from school art or other institutions or courses is often received, evidence of this independent initiative does not necessarily lie there.
  • Creative ability: This is an important factor. However, note that expertise in technical drawing, painting, water colours, etc. is not all that is looked at. A sense of design or composition, an ability to observe, communicate clearly, represent accurately and a sense of scale that allows for an imaginative approach to subject matter and attention to detail are all looked for in the work.
  • Academic potential: Strong portfolios often show work that is motivated by original ideas, thoroughness, initiative, faultless grammar and spelling, vocabulary, research, etc.

Details of portfolio evaluation are available on

Portfolio Submission
Applicants must submit a prescribed portfolio.
Submission of a portfolio must only take place once you have officially applied to the university and have been invited by the faculty to participate in the selection process. You will be informed by means of a selection letter from the faculty regarding submission dates and portfolio requirements.
Portfolios can be submitted to:
University of Johannesburg
Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA)
Bunting Road Campus
Auckland Park, 2006
*Portfolios can be posted or dropped off at the above address.
Applicants are informed of the outcome in an official letter. Portfolios must be collected four weeks after submission, unclaimed portfolios will be disposed of by the department.

Contact Details

Department of Architecture

Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA)

University of Johannesburg

Auckland Park Bunting Road Campus


FADA Information Centre

011 559 1115/1098 I or