Why did you choose to pursue architecture at postgraduate level?
My first qualification was a diploma of built environment, which I followed with a bachelor of design (architecture)/bachelor of construction management. It’s become essential for architecture students to pursue postgraduate study in order to be formally recognised by the Australian Institute of Architects as a Graduate Architect.
What did your course involve?
My masters was made up of an equal proportion of class time (lectures and tutorials) and studio and design study. I was able to complete the master of architecture (design) in one year due to my undergraduate background, while many others completed a two-year version. The course included units in design studio, building technology and urban design, as well as a design thesis.
How did you balance your study with other commitments?
I had very little balance in my life for the length of my masters. Over the length of my final year I had a job for two and a half days a week, including Saturdays. I was at university for the best part of my week and if I wasn’t there I was at home sleeping or having a coffee. The majority of my friends were put on a back-burner until the year concluded — if they wanted to catch up, they knew where to find me.
How has postgraduate study assisted your career progression?
I would say that due to the fact that postgraduate study is more of a requirement in the architecture field, rather than a pursuit of additional study or the completion of an in-depth body of work, the overall benefit may not actually be seen to be of as much value as it would for postgraduates in another field.
What advice would you give to students considering postgraduate study in architecture?
For anyone who wants to undertake the whole gamut of architectural study and become a fully qualified architect, the masters should definitely be undertaken. Those who combined another qualification with their undergraduate study in architecture, and who feel they have found their preferred career path, may not necessarily need to continue along the postgraduate study path. With that said, completing a masters is absolutely necessary for those intending to pursue a more study-based vocation and want to research the underlying foundations of architecture.