General admission requirements
The following minimum admission requirements must be met:
A BTech Architectural Technology: Applied Design degree that carries SACAP Part 1 accreditation, with a 60% average mark and at least 60% for the modules Applied Design 4 and Theory of Design 4; or
A BAS or equivalent degree that carries SACAP Part 1 accreditation, with a 60% average and at least 60% for the exit level Design, Theory and Construction-related modules and a portfolio of design work; or
An equivalent qualification at an equivalent standard, as determined by the Postgraduate Admissions Committee.
Selection criteria and interview processes
A portfolio is required if you are selected for interview.
The Graduate Admissions Committee is made up of one or more of the Unit Leaders and the GSA Head of School.
Applicants will be informed of their interview times and dates prior to the interview date by the GSA Administrator. Applicants are advised not to contact the Head of School or any of the Unit Staff prior to interview;
Please bring to the interview 5 x selected images at A3 size, neatly bound and with your name clearly marked on the reverse. The images should reflect your most creative work, whether from practice or previous study, although we are particularly interested in your student work. These may be colour or B/W. You should simply aim to show us what you consider to be your most creative outputs, either as a student or from any work experience you may have had.
How is the course at UJ run?
UJ's MTech (Prof) Programme is a two-year, studio-based Master's programme which carries a 50% research component (or 'thesis'), as required for 'Part 2' recognition from the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) in terms of Act 44 of 2000. The MTech (Prof) is recognised by SACAP as being equivalent to an MArch (Prof) degree; there is no difference whatsoever in qualification. All MTech (Prof) degree-holders qualify as Candidate Architects upon successful completion of the programme.
How is it different from anywhere else in South Africa?
UJ's Graduate School of Architecture (GSA) runs the Unit System. We are the first and (so far) only school of architecture in Africa to offer the Unit System and in 2017, we anticipate offering seven very different-but-equally exciting Units from which students may choose.
What is a Unit?
Units are groups of students (15-18), made up of first- and second-year Masters students. In your first year (M1), you will undertake three modules: Major Design Project 1 (MDP1); History & Theory Dissertation (HTD) and Professional Practice (PP). That's it. It's up to the individual Units how the year is organized; whether it's a series of short projects leading to a major project; or whether there's only one long project that spans the year. In your second year, you will complete two modules: Major Design Project 2 (MDP2) and Design Realisation Portfolio. At the end of the second year, you combine all five modules into one portfolio: that is your thesis. More detailed information will be given out at the Unit Introductions in the first week of the year but the important thing to remember is that, so far, it's proved to be the most innovative, bold and creative way of producing outstanding work and UJ is the first school in Africa to run it.
How long is the course?
This coursework Master's programme is offered on a full-time basis only. Minimum number of months for registration: 24 months. Maximum number of months for registration: 36 months.
What should my portfolio for interview consist of?
5 images, mixture of black/white and colour;
landscape, A3 format, ring-bound (not stapled);
although we're interested in architecture, you may include other design-related images/work – photography, furniture, object (not graphic design, please)
in addition to the 5 pages, please submit a short (300 word MAX) motivation explaining why you're interested in UJ's GPA.
What dates should I be aware of in 2016?
All online applications should be in by 30 September 2016
Interviews will be held between 15 September and 11 November 2016 (you will be informed via e-mail if you've been selected for interview)
You will be told no more than a week after your interview if you've been awarded a place
All places are either on an 'unconditional' basis (meaning that you've immediately been accepted), or a 'conditional' basis (meaning that we will wait until the full application process has gone through before awarding places. Conditional places will be awarded in two batches: once in mid-October and one at the end of November. That way, if you've been awarded a 'conditional' place, you don't have to wait three months to hear if you've been accepted or not. If you do not make the minimum entrance criteria, or, after interview, we do not award you a place, you will be notified immediately, leaving you free to seek entrance at other schools.
All applicants will be notified by 2 December 2016 if you've been awarded a place.
DO NOT contact the staff directly after your interview; please check with Neera Chinnah (email@example.com) regarding the status of your application. Repeated e-mails to staff will likely lessen your chances of acceptance.
Whom should I contact with entrance and admission queries?
For all entrance and admission enquiries regarding the course, please contact Neera Chinnah (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Faculty Office. She will forward you the correct online registration links/application forms, information about fees and course requirements. If you want to know more about the course itself, please contact our administrator, J C Laurent (email@example.com). Please do not contact the Head of School. You will not receive a reply. Please complete and submit these forms to UJ Administration. Students who satisfy the minimum admission requirements will be invited to an interview during which they will present a portfolio of their own design work to the Architectural Departmental Committee. Spaces in 2017 are limited; you are advised to apply early, present a strong portfolio and demonstrate a strong desire to study at UJ.
What is the procedure for International Students?
International Students must first make an application via the following link: http://www.uj.ac.za/EN/StudyatUJ/StudentEnrolmentCentre/ApplicationProcess/OnlineWebApplication/InternationalApplicant/Pages/home.aspx FADA has its own International Student Liaison Officer, Palesa Makwela (firstname.lastname@example.org) whom you may contact with questions. Once you have completed the online application process, you may contact the Department of Architecture directly. Please read through the Frequently Asked Questions section of this document FIRST. Thereafter, if you have specific questions about the course (NOT the application process), please contact Neera Chinnah (email@example.com) International students will be required to submit an electronic portfolio, together with a certified transcript of their previous degree(s) and/or grades. Neera Chinnah will be able to advise you to whom you should submit your digital portfolio. Digital portfolios must be less than 5MB.
What happens after I'm accepted into the GSA?
After receiving notification that you've been successful in your application, you will be given a short exercise to complete over the December vacation break which you will bring back with you at the start of the academic year.
What happens at the beginning of the year?
The first week of the new academic year is the most important in the Unit System. During that week, all the Units on offer in 2017 will make a presentation to all the graduate students, newcomers and second-year students alike. You will listen to all the Units, discuss amongst yourselves (and ask questions of the second year students) and make a choice via ballot. Once all the ballots are in, we will tally all the choices. You will then be asked to bring the 'holiday' project with you to a short, 15-minute interview with your chosen Unit staff. During the Unit interviews, the Unit staff also assess you and your suitability within the Unit. As far as possible, we will try to match 1st choices with 1st choices, meaning that your Unit staff are as keen to have you in the Unit as you are to join it. At the end of the first week, we close the Units and the real job of teaching begins.
What should I do between now and February 2017?
Follow this year's Unit System Africa on our Facebook page; come to our reviews; follow us on Instagram and Twitter and keep abreast of happenings in the GSA. We run ArchiSeries, a weekly lecture/film series on Wednesdays at 10:00am in the FADA Auditorium; we constantly have public reviews and crits either at FADA or at our brand-new downtown space, the GAP at the Museum of African Design. Each of the five 2016 Units constantly have reviews, film screenings, public talks and discussions and are always 'doing something!' E-mail the GSA Administrator, J C Laurent (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask to be put onto our 2017 Prospective Students Mailing List. That way, you won't miss out on all the exciting things happening across the rest of 2016. Get involved. Watch this space. We're going places.
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