Study Architecture in Malaysia

study architecture in Malaysia

If you are reading this, you might be someone who is amazed by the grand buildings and skyscrapers that spread over Kuala Lumpur. You may even think to yourself: How are these gorgeous monuments still standing so strongly?

From planning and visualising via software to seeing your creations coming to real life through hands-on crafting, it can be rewarding to Architecture in Malaysia.

In this article, we will tell you why and how you can study architecture in Malaysia while introducing potential Universities and career pathways.

What is Architecture? 

Architecture studies buildings and environments. In particular, this constructive field touches on

  • engineering,
  • safety, function,
  • climate and economy,
  • materials, and
  • design.

It combines artistic values and practicality to serve the environment or people in different ways.

Moreover, an architect would be the brains of the construction. Hence, they typically work closely with engineers and contractors to carry out the construction process.

From breathtaking skyscrapers like the Petronas Twin Towers to functional factories and aesthetically-pleasing cafés, architecture skills are embedded all around us.

Why Should You Study Architecture in Malaysia?

study architecture in Malaysia

To Hone Your Creative Skills

Architecture courses encourage students to design and build constructions out of their imagination with different materials, such as bamboo or even plastic straws. And, this applies even when you just begin to study Architecture in Malaysia.

As such, it can feel very fulfilling for creative minds as they bring their creations to life with their own hands.

It has Well-paid Career Paths

Architects build and create the world we work, play, rest, and spend time with our loved ones.

Their expertise in making the buildings is well-received by society while being highly in demand and fairly compensated.

It is Making a Difference in the World

Architects also use their building designs to solve global problems as well. For example, they are the innovators who plan sustainable and eco-friendly buildings which fight against climate change. 

Furthermore, they may think about the hidden real-life problems people encounter when designing a construction. They do so by providing practical solutions, such as 

  • effective ventilation, 
  • the use of sustainable and cost-effective materials, 
  • improvements in traffic, and so forth. 

Thus, being an architect means considering many different factors so that each creation can potentially improve our lives.

What Are the Architecture Fields?

Since architecture is a wide range that covers all sorts of constructions and design, there are different fields that you may go into in order to learn more specific skills and knowledge. 

If you wish to study Architecture in Malaysia, here are a few branches to venture into:

Architectural Engineering

The understanding of the technological aspect and approach to

  • planning, design,
  • construction and
  • operation of buildings. 

This covers

  • energy conservation,
  • plumbing,
  • lighting,
  • fire protection,
  • acoustics, and more.

Architectural History

Architectural History is the study of different architectural landscapes and cultures over the past centuries. The history that you might explore when you study Architecture in Malaysia begin with

  • the Ancient Mesopotamians,
  • the Egyptians,
  • the Greek civilizations, up to modern architecture.

Interior Architecture

Not to be confused with Interior Design, this discipline deals with the functionality of an interior space, instead of its aesthetics. 

Industrial Design

This field covers the construction of buildings that facilitate the needs of an industry, such as

  • factories,
  • warehouses,
  • water towers,
  • power plants, and more. 

These buildings are often designed with practicality and safety as their top priority.

Urban Planning

This field covers the design of towns, cities, and streets. 

Urban designers typically combine ideas from

  • developers,
  • local communities,
  • traffic engineers,
  • landscape architects,
  • transport planners, and more

To create better urban areas.

study architecture in Malaysia

To study Architecture in Malaysia, you can begin with a Foundation in Arts or Built Environment for 1 year. Or, you may also enrol to a Pre-University (A-Level, SACE, STPM, etc.) course for 1 – 2 years after completing SPM or equivalent qualification. These certificates can then take up a Degree in Architecture for 3 years after completion.

Alternatively, you may also choose to pursue a Diploma in Architecture for 2.5 years. 

So how do you become a Professional Architect in Malaysia?

Before you decide to study Architecture in Malaysia, don’t forget to check this out: Must Knows Before Choosing a Pre-U, Diploma or Degree

In order for you to become a Professional Architect, you must also first be recognised as an Assistant and Graduate Architects.

To attain the Assistant Architect title, it requires a Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM)-recognised degree.

The other option is to have a diploma in Architecture qualification and pass the LAM Part I exam.

Diploma in Architecture

You need 5 credits in SPM/O-Level to enter a diploma, including Mathematics and English.

These courses usually take between 1 to 2 years to complete and cost RM 17,000.

In addition, the LAM requires students to take the LAM Part I exam before being registered as an Assistant Architect.

Bachelor’s Degree in Dentistry

For degree courses, you will need to have 5 credits in SPM/O-Level qualification, including Mathematics, and English, and completing one of the following pre-university course:

  • STPM: min. of 2Cs, including Mathematics
  • A-Level: min. of 2Es, including Mathematics
  • Relevant Foundation: min. CGPA of 2.00, including Mathematics
  • Relevant Diploma: min. CGPA of 2.00

A pre-university course can take up to 2 years to complete and cost RM 17,000.

Upon finishing your pre-university course, you can then move on to a degree course.

Degree courses take 3 years to complete and cost RM 73,000.

Diploma students who want to continue their studies can do so with a degree course where they begin in Year 2.

To attain the Graduate Architect title, you can either take on an accredited Master’s Degree in Architecture or sit for the LAM Part II examination.

The final step in becoming a Professional Architect is to obtain relevant practical experience for 2 years and submit it as a Professional Experience Evaluation Report.

Though the costs and requirements to study Architecture in Malaysia may differ for each university and course, you can contact an advisor through the Live Chat function for more specific information.

What Are the Skills Required in Architecture?

Mathematical skills

While architecture may seem like an art course, it requires a lot of logical thinking, which is why mathematical calculations are involved.

Does the use of Mathematics make Architecture harder to study? The short answer is no. The Mathematics required in this study is not as complicated as the one in an engineering course.

To start, aspiring students who wish to study Architecture in Malaysia will need to pass Mathematics in their Pre-U . You would typically use simple addition and multiplication to understand problems such as the cost of materials or the length of a space.

Have an Analytical Mind

An Architecture course will challenge students to think analytically and consider different factors when designing and constructing a building.

For example, you may be asked in an assignment to plan a building blueprint suitable for a country like Malaysia. During the process, your coursework will challenge you to think critically about the various aspects of your designs, including ventilation, light reflectivity, and heat absorption.

With an analytical mind, you may think more deeply about making a building suitable for its environment, people, and other community needs.


Practicality aside, your mentors may also judge your constructions based on your creativity.

As a result, architecture courses in Malaysia typically show architectural movements in the past and modern examples to expose students to the creativity and cultures around the world.

For a building to become practical and aesthetically pleasing, you need a creative mind to innovate ideas and improve the community’s life with their creations.

Top Universities to Study Architecture in Malaysia

Taylor’s University

Ranked 284 on the 2023 QS World University Ranking, Taylor’s University is one of the most respected and pioneering private higher education institutions in Malaysia since 1969.

To study Architecture in Malaysia, Taylor’s offers these courses:

  • Foundation In Natural And Built Environments – RM 26,000
  • Bachelor Of Science (Hons) In Architecture – RM 121,130
  • Master Of Architecture – RM 51,510
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Architecture) (Research) – RM 84,576

UCSI University and College

UCSI ranked 77 under the QS Asian University Ranking 2023. This education veteran has more than 30 years of providing quality education and among the pioneer and top universities in Malaysia. As such, students who wish to study Architecture in Malaysia will be in good hands.

To study Architecture in Malaysia, UCSI offers these courses:

  • Foundation in Arts (Built Environment – Architecture) (Kuching campus) – RM 17,582
  • Foundation in Arts (Built Environment – Architecture) (Cheras campus) – RM 20,200
  • Diploma in Architectural Studies – RM 52,790
  • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Architecture – RM 90,000
  • Master of Architecture – RM 50,350
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture – RM 42,815

IUKL (Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur)

IUKL was established in 1998 as Ikram College, before being awarded University College status in 2003 as Kuala Lumpur Infrastructure University College. 

IUKL is well-known across Malaysia as a specialty university for their variety of architecture courses.

To study Architecture in Malaysia, IUKL offers these courses:

  • Foundation in Arts
  • Foundation in Science
  • Diploma in Architecture
  • Diploma in Landscape Architecture
  • Bachelor of Landscape Architecture
  • Bachelor of Science Architectural Studies 


Things You Need to Know About Architecture Career

Professional Certification is Required

The LAM exam is a qualification that all architects in Malaysia must have.

There are 3 parts to the qualification, also known as LAM Part I, II, and III. Here, you have 2 options to obtain the LAM Part I qualification:

  1. Complete a LAM-recognised Architecture programme (3 years), which exempts you from the Part I examination.
  2. Students who do not have a LAM-recognised architecture degree or diploma can sit for an individual LAM Part I exam.

After LAM Part I, you can become an assistant architect! 

However, your journey does not end there. To become a fully recognised architect in Malaysia, you need the LAM Part II qualification. Much like the LAM Part I, you can either take on an accredited Master’s Degree in Architecture or sit for the LAM Part II examination.

Then, you may choose to obtain the LAM Part III qualification if you want to be recognised as a Professional Architect (with an ‘Ar.’ title, similar to ‘Dr.’ or ‘Prof.’).

Upon completing your LAM Part II, you will have practical experience in the workforce as an architect for 2 years and fulfil all the project requirements set by LAM. After that, you must submit evidence of practical experience via a Professional Experience Evaluation Report. 

And now, you are ready to sit for the LAM III examinations, which will lead you to become a Professional Architect in Malaysia.

Beyond that, being an architect means you have to be proficient in architecture software, such as AutoCAD, 3DS Max, Civil 3D, and more. 

As such, you would need a laptop with high processing power to run these software and render 3D models. 

For your first step to an architect career, before you even set foot into your first class, you ought to have your laptop and software ready.

Perhaps the most pressing question as you study Architecture in Malaysia is: “Can my passion for architecture support me financially?” According to Payscale, an architect’s monthly salary can start comfortably at RM 4,000 up to a whopping RM 99,000. 

Your skills and experience will grow over time. With more knowledge, you can take on larger projects that pay better as time goes on.

For example, a quick browse on JobStreet shows some listed architect jobs for fresh graduates:

  • Contract Administrator / Assistant Architect
  •  Architect / Graduate Architect
  •  Design Architect – Graduate 
  •  Landscape Architect 
  •  Architect 

If you have further questions about courses to study Architecture in Malaysia, feel free to contact us on WhatsApp or our social media. 

We will be happy to assist you.