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An International Student's Guide to Studying Architecture in Malaysia

Courses regarding architecture are extremely rival, where practical training takes place a lot, preparing students to reach to their fullest potential.

If you are planning to study Architecture in Malaysia, expect a good university experience as Malaysia is not only a popular tourist destination but also a popular education destination for local and international students. A combination of beautiful rural areas and sustainable urban landscaping, students who want to pursue university or college education in this country enjoy the comfort of spending days with nature and city living. Besides its beauty, the country's diverse culture is also another reason students consider it as their number one destination for overseas studies.

Qualifications you need in order to study Architecture in Malaysia

In general, to pursue an Architecture degree in Malaysia, you must meet the following entry requirements:

  1. O-Level / SPM Qualification - you must have at least 5 credits at the secondary school level, including a credit in Mathematics
  2. STPM/ A-Level - you must have a minimum of 2Cs, including Mathematics. 
  3. Australian Matriculation - you must have a minimum of ATAR 70.0. 
  4. Canadian Pre-University qualification - you must have at least an average of 65 percent. Some universities also admit students who have a foundation in Arts or Built Environment with at least 2.0 percent CGPA.

Entry qualification may vary depending on the university hence you should check the admission criteria from the university you are applying for admission. IELTS or TOEFL is not mandatory but is strongly recommended by universities if English is not your fist language. 

How long is an architecture degree?

Normally, it takes approximately three years to obtain a fully accredited degree in Architecture. If you are an international student who wants to practice Architecture in Malaysia after obtaining an Architecture degree, the road does not end here. Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM), the Board of Architects Malaysia, sets out qualification level for all architects. Basically, the qualifications level are LAM Part I, II and III.

The LAM Part I and Part II examinations enable architect students to be registered as a Graduate Architect, facilitate students who wish to sit for the LAM Part III Professional Examination and passing that will be entitled to register as an Architect with the board. 

To obtain LAM Part I qualification, you can either sit for individual LAM qualification exams if you have unaccredited Architecture degree or obtain a fully accredited Architecture degree (see list below) and have a minimum of 10 years relevant working experience in the field of architecture. People with Part I are only referred to as Assistant Architects. Those with Part II, they are referred as Graduate Architects. To obtain Part II certification, you must study for another two years equivalent to a Master’s degree in Architecture.

Cost of studying architecture

The cost of studying architecture in Malaysia is much economical compared to other overseas study destinations. The total approximate fee for local students is around RM67, 400. This includes tuition fees, insurance fees, library and other minor fees. International students pay a slightly higher fee of around RM76, 100.

Professional practice

Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM) has forged partnerships with the APEC Architect Programme, ASEAN Architect Council and ASEAN Malaysian Monitoring Committee. 

The agreement with these partners enable architects to work professionally as well as share best industry practices in ASEAN and APEC member countries.  Architects who have the licensing certificate or valid professional registration and have finished an accredited architectural degree recognised by the professional architectural accreditation body whether in the country of origin or host country or assessed and recognised as having the equivalent of such a degree can practise and share their services and knowledge in other countries. 


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