University of the Free State Architecture

By | December 29, 2021

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University of the Free State Architecture

 UFS Department of Architecture

The Department of Architecture, University of Free State, is underpinned by the critical inquiry into the making of place.

The school embraces a scholarly milieu for exploring the integrated aspects of the human ecological landscape (social, environmental, cultural and historical ecologies) and consequently promotes architecture that is addressing current aspects of sustainability, meaning and poetics. The department’s approach to the human ecological landscape is critical rather than normative, investigative rather than prescriptive, and process-orientated rather than result-motivated.

Students are encouraged to investigate this multi-dimensional character of architecture in view of the different interrelationships between man (both as an individual and social being), the environment (natural and man-made), culture (local as well as universal) and time (historical and contemporary). Through these different ecological interrelationships, regular design principles and form-giving elements are identified that prepare the student for local and international design. Click here for more information on the course.

The academic discourse secures the development of a learning environment where students and academic staff are brought together through research (dedicated masters and doctoral programs), practice (site visits, annual design excursions and the UNESCO accredited Unit for Earth Construction) and teaching (the Free State Department of Architecture is accredited as an architectural academic institution by both the South African Council for the Architectural Profession and the Royal Institute of British Architects), and are at the same time challenged, taught, and supported in the spirit of place-making in the South African context.

News in the Department of Architecture


Architects are responsible for designing the places that people need in order to live, play, work, learn, worship, shop, meet and eat. They use creativity and a practical understanding of structures and materials to develop concepts, plans, specifications and detailed drawings for new buildings and for restoring and conserving old ones. In addition to the general look of the building, architects must also take into consideration factors that will make the building functional, secure and economical.


Architects may perform the following tasks:

  • discuss requirements of clients or builders and prepare a brief
  • prepare sketches, production drawings and detailed drawings by hand or using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) equipment
  • combine structural, mechanical and artistic elements into the building design
  • discuss designs and cost estimates with clients and others involved in the project
  • obtain necessary approvals from authorities
  • prepare specifications and contract documents; observe, inspect and monitor building work
  • evaluate projects once they are completed and occupied.

>> INTERVIEW: Invading your Space



Why did you become an architect?  I was always interested in doing creative things and interacting with people. Architecture was not a well-known profession in our community at the time I chose to do it; this was an added challenge.

What training did you undergo?  I obtained a Certificate in Architectural Draughtsmanship at the ML Sultan Technikon in Durban, and a Bachelor of Architecture degree at UCT.

Is there a career highlight that stands out for you?  Winning an Award of Excellence, and many others. Seeing projects come to fruition and their impact on communities and the environment. Becoming National President of the SA Institute of Architects, thereby contributing to the development of architecture both in this country and in other parts of the world.

What do you like most about your job?  The interaction with people, coming up with creative solutions and implementing them.

Is there a type of personality best suited to this profession?  One that asks questions, understands lifestyles, mixes freely and works well with others.

What advice would you give to someone starting out?  Keep an open mind and try to learn as much as you can during your formative years; this will equip you for the future.

Describe your job in three words  Challenging • Fulfilling • Rewarding


Architects start their careers in this field by studying a Bachelor of Science: Architecture degree or a National Diploma: Architecture at a university or technikon. A National Senior Certificate that meets the requirements for a diploma or degree course is a prerequisite for these courses. Graduates can then go on to do in-service training under the supervision of a registered architect. Once this theoretical learning and practical training is completed, they write a professional practice entrance exam. All graduates are required to register as architects with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession.


University of KwaZulu-Natal
Bachelor of Architectural Studies 

University of the Free State
Bachelor of Architecture

University of the Witwatersrand
Bachelor of Architectural Studies 

University of Pretoria
Bachelor of Science: Architecture; Bachelor of Science: Interior Architecture; Bachelor of Science: Landscape Architecture 

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Bachelor of Architectural Studies 

Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Bachelor of Technology: Architectural Technology 

Tshwane University of Technology
Bachelor of Technology: Architectural Technology


South African Institute of Architects –
South African Council for the Architectural Profession –
The South African Institute of Architectural Technologists –


Contact each institution for their specific requirements, but these subjects are recommended: 
• Mathematics
• Physical Science
• Visual Arts

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