There are 3 universities in Hong Kong that offer architecture-related programs. One of which is the University of Hong Kong. Their architecture-related program was first introduced back in 1950, the current Dean of the faculty is Professor Chris Webster. Another university that also offers programs related to architecture is the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In 1991, the department of architecture was founded. It then became the School of Architecture in 2009 and is presently under the leadership of Professor David Dernie. The City University of Hong Kong is also one of the choices for architecture lovers, their programs are led by Professor Siu Ming Lo.

Architecture programs offered by schools in Hong Kong

The University of Hong Kong

The Department of Architecture offers the undergraduate program of Bachelor of Architectural Studies and the accredited professional program of Master of Architecture. The Department also offers a Masters Program in Conservation and Postgraduate Research degrees of MPhil and Phd. Besides, the Division of Landscape Architecture offers the Bachelor of Arts in Landscape Architecture, the Master of Landscape Architecture, and Postgraduate Research degrees of MPhil and Ph.D.

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Knowles Building, Faculty of Architecture of the University of Hong Kong ©www.estates.hku.hk

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

The school offers an accredited professional program comprising four-year BSSc in Architectural Studies and two-year MArch degrees. Other postgraduate degrees include the MSc in Urban Design and the MSc in Sustainable and Environmental Design, in addition to the MPhil and Ph.D. research degrees.

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Lee Shau Kee Architecture Building , School of Architecture of The Chinese University of Hong Kong ©www.arch.cuhk.edu.hk

The City University of Hong Kong

The department comprises a four-year BSSc in Architectural Studies degree. Building on these, they offer taught postgraduate master programs in Civil and Architectural Engineering, Construction Management, and Urban Design and Regional Planning. Their graduate research degree programs include more than 100 MPhil and Ph.D. students.

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Yeung Kin Man Academic Building, Department of Architecture of the City University of Hong Kong ©halfwayhomeix.wordpress.com/awards/

Characteristics of each school

The University of Hong Kong

“The Architectural Studies curriculum has five types of courses which are taught using distinct learning modes. These are: Design Studios, Architectural History and Theory, Technology, Visual Communications, and Disciplinary Elective courses.”

The architecture program in HKU is offered by the Faculty of Arts, therefore, students will be expected to create more free-form projects. Therefore, it is believed that the program is more suitable for artistic students.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

“The core of studies consists of design studios and courses in different subject areas. Design studios are structured in a sequential manner, with a foundation studio in the first semester, advancing progressively to a more sophisticated level in architectural design and completed with an integration studio in the last semester of the final year. The courses aim at providing an intellectual base of knowledge in humanities, technology, design computation, and professional practice.”

Since architectural studies in CUHK is part of the Faculty of Social Science, their thesis emphasis more on social issues. Although the core of studies has not been changed for years, the syllabus of the courses varies every year.

The City University of Hong Kong

“The program aims to offer a well-balanced curriculum with an emphasis on the technological aspects of architectural design and construction. It is designed to equip participants with the concept of full integration between architectural studies with other disciplines that produce the built environment, including building services and civil engineering, property development, surveying, property management, landscape architecture, and urban planning.”

Unlike other universities, the program of architectural studies in the City University of Hong Kong is not yet verified by the HKIA. Moreover, it is mainly for holders of an associate degree or high diploma in architectural studies who are looking for a full-time bachelor’s degree program.

What can you do after graduating from an architecture school in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, it takes a student 4 years to earn a degree in Architectural Studies.  After they obtain the degree, they have two options to choose from. The first option is to jump onto the bandwagon and go for a year-out, which basically means taking an internship placement in an architectural firm for a year or so. When they reach the minimum required internship duration, they can continue their studies as a postgraduate and work for a few more years to be licensed as an architect. Architecture students in Hong Kong who would like to become a professional architect will have to spend a minimum of one year working as an intern in an architectural company.

On the other hand, some students may choose not to continue their studies in architecture. They would often start working as a designer in different fields, such as being an interior designer, a graphic designer, a furniture designer, and the list goes on. In a nutshell, the design principles taught in architectural studies can be applied in a wide variety of design-related jobs.

Reference:

Hong Kong University. (2020). History | HKU Faculty of Architecture. HKU. https://www.arch.hku.hk/about/history/

The Chinese University of Hong Kong. (2020). School of Architect, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. CUHK. http://www.arch.cuhk.edu.hk/

City University of Hong Kong. (2020). Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering. CityU. http://bccw.cityu.edu.hk/main/wp_home_aboutus.asp

Hong Kong University. (2020). SYLLABUSES FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ARCHITECTURAL STUDIES [BA(ArchStud)]. HKU. https://foa-media.arch.hku.hk/media/upload/2018-19-BAAS-4-year-Syllabus-AR46-918.pdf

Tsz Kiu Pun
Author

Josephine Pun is a student who is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Architectural Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Being a storyteller, journal and photography are channels that she uses to express her unique perception of architecture. Read her articles and experience architecture without leaving your couch!

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