Image by Kiichi Aoyama
The School of Architecture is one of five Schools within the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology (EAIT), located at The University of Queensland's main campus at St Lucia, seven kilometes from the Central Business District in a bend on the Brisbane River.
Launched in 2009 and headed by Dean and Professor John Macarthur, the School of Architecture currently offers a Bachelor of Architectural Design and a Master of Architecture as well as Master and Doctor of Philosophy research programs.
Architecture at UQ is a national leader in architectural education and research. The School is renowned for the quality of its staff and graduates whose contributions have shaped some of the best contemporary architecture of Australia. The professional programmes are characterised by intensive interaction of students and staff on design projects in well-equipped studios and expert lectures in humanities and technology. Research strengths in architectural design, indigenous culture, the history and theory of architecture, and sustainable design are strongly linked into the professional degree programs, which emphasise intellectual and imaginative responses to culture and place
Courses in Architecture at The University of Queensland began in 1937 when the Department of Architecture was initially established. Since then, the Architecture program has developed in response to evolving fashions, societal concerns and the higher education context. Architecture was initially taught as a part-time diploma program in the Faculty of Engineering. Courses offered were building construction and history of architecture. In 1939, materials science, free-hand drawing and advanced building and construction were added to the program. By 1940, with additional staff appointed, the program offerings had considerably expanded. The Diploma of Architecture awarded at the end of the program qualified candidates for associate membership of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.
A new program, leading to the Bachelor of Architecture degree, started in 1947 and the Faculty of Architecture was established in 1948. The degree program was originally three years of full-time study followed by three years of part-time study. This changed into a five year full-time program in the mid-1960s with a ‘year out’ required to gain at least 10 months of professional experience after Year 3. At this time, a Town Planning diploma program was started, closely followed by a Masters program. Town Planning became a separate department in 1972.
In 1973, a two tier Architectural program was introduced. The first three years of the former five year Bachelor of Architecture were separated into a Bachelor of Design Studies followed by a two year Bachelor of Architecture.
In the first three years, students completed 60 credit points of sequenced elective courses. From 1988 the Bachelor of Design Studies degree was only awarded to students who completed the three year program and opted not to continue with the further two year Bachelor of Architecture program. This arrangement subsequently changed so students could take out a Bachelor of Design Studies as well as a Bachelor of Architecture. Another new development in 1988 was the introduction of a Master of Architectural Studies, the Department’s first ‘coursework’ as opposed to ‘research’ Master degree.
In 2000, the School of Geography, Planning and Architecture was formed within the Faculty of Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture. The School structure did not greatly impact on the course offerings of the Architecture program with the School choosing to acknowledge the coherence and independence of programs within its structure and to allow synergies to occur as appropriate.
In 2008, in line with other programs nationally, the five year Bachelor of Architecture, was restructured into a three year Bachelor of Architectural Design followed by a two year professional Master of Architecture. This was achieved with minimal structural changes to the program operating at the time of the last NVP. The focus of the new programs remains the teaching of architectural design through studio-based projects.
In 2009, the School of Geography, Planning and Architecture was disbanded with Geography and Planning forming a new School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management in the Faculty of Science, and Architecture forming a standalone School in the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology.