Study Architecture in Malaysia

architecture in Malaysia

    If you’re 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: are these gorgeous buildings practical? 

    From planning and visualising in a software, to seeing your creations be brought into real life through hands-on crafting, studying architecture in Malaysia can be a very rewarding experience.

    If you’re passionate about being a successful architect in Malaysia one day, and would like to pursue an Architecture course, this guide is perfect for you. 

    Read on to learn more about the best universities to study architecture in Malaysia and its career paths.



    What is Architecture? 

    Architecture studies buildings and environments, particularly its engineering, safety, function, climate and economy, materials, and design. 

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

    An architect would be the brains of the construction, which is why they would typically work closely with engineers and contractors to carry out its 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?

    is architecture hard


    Hone Your Creative Skills

    Architecture courses encourage students to design and build constructions out of their imagination with different kinds of material, such as bamboo or even plastic straws. 

    As such, it can feel especially rewarding for those who possess a creative mind, as they bring their creations to life with their own hands. 


    Well-paid Career Paths

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

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


    Making a Difference in the World

    Architects 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 problems that people face when designing a construction by providing practical solutions, such as effective ventilation, the use of sustainable and cost-effective materials, improvements in traffic, and so forth. 

    Being an architect means taking many different factors into account that 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. 

    Here are a few branches of architecture in Malaysia for your consideration:


    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

    The study of different architectural landscapes and cultures over the past centuries. 

    Dating back to Ancient Mesopotamians, the Egyptians, 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 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.



    What Are the Popular Architecture Pathways?



    You can opt to study Foundation in Arts or Built Environment for 1 year or a Pre-University (A-Level, SACE, STPM, etc.) course for 1 – 2 years after completing SPM or equivalent qualification, which you 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?

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

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

    Alternatively, you can have a diploma in Architecture qualification and pass the LAM Part I exam.

    Diploma in Architecture

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

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

    You will need to take the LAM Part I exam that is required by LAM.

    You will then be 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 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 from RM 17,000.

    Once you’ve completed your pre-university course, you can then move on to the degree course.

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

    Diploma students who want to continue their studies can do so with a degree course and 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 differ for each university and Architecture courses, for more specific information, you can contact an advisor by using the Live Chat function.



    What Are the Skills Required in Architecture?


    Mathematical skills

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

    Is architecture hard because of the use of mathematics? The short answer is no. 

    The mathematics required are not as complicated as an engineering course. 

    To start, aspiring students would need to pass Mathematics in their Pre-U to take on an architecture course. 

    You would typically use simple addition and multiplication to understand problems such as the cost of materials or length of a space.   


    Have an Analytical Mind

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

    For example, if an assignment requires you to design a building that is suitable for a hot climate such as Malaysia, you may be challenged to think critically of your designs’ ventilation, light reflectivity, heat absorption, and so forth.

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



    Practicality aside, your constructions may be also judged based on your creativity. 

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

    To create a building that is both practical and aesthetically-pleasing, one would have to possess a creative mind with the goal to innovate buildings that improve the lives of people. 



    Top Architecture Universities in Malaysia


    Taylor’s University

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

    Architecture courses offered:

    • 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 with more than 30 years of providing quality education and among the pioneer and top universities in Malaysia. 

    UCSI provides high quality architecture courses for aspiring architects in Malaysia. 

    Architecture courses offered:

    • 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.

    Architecture courses offered:

    • 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 must be possessed by architects in Malaysia. 

    There are 3 parts to the qualification, known as LAM Part I, II, and III. 

    There are 2 options to obtain the LAM Part I qualification:

    Complete an Architecture programme (3 years) that is recognised by LAM, which exempts you from the Part I examination.

    If you have an architecture degree that is not recognised or a diploma, you can sit for an individual exam for LAM Part I.

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

    Though you’re not done yet, to become a fully recognised architect in Malaysia, you would have to obtain the LAM Part II qualification. 

    To do so, similar to Part I, you can either take on an accredited Master’s Degree in Architecture or sit for the LAM Part II examination.

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

    After being in the workforce gaining practical experience as an architect for 2 years and fulfilling all the project requirements set by LAM, you’ll have to submit evidence of practical experience via a Professional Experience Evaluation Report. 

    Then, you are ready to take on the LAM III examinations, which would lead to you becoming a Professional Architect in Malaysia.


    Proficiency in Related Software

    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.



    Popular Architecture-related Jobs

    Perhaps the most pressing question on your mind: “can my passion in 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 must be built over time, and then you’ll be able to take on bigger 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 Architecture courses, feel free to reach out to us on WhatsApp or message us on our social media.

    We’ll be happy to assist you.