Route to becoming a Professional Architect in Malaysia by Studying at Top Private Universities Accredited by Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM)
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Students in Malaysia interested in Architecture should be prepared for a long road ahead to achieve the status of obtaining the title “Ar.” as a professional architect. Architecture is a combination of creativity, history, sciences, and design. You will learn how to conceptualise and design buildings in relation to the economic, technical, environmental and social needs. Students interested to pursue education in architecture should go for top private universities that are accredited by Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia. Read on the article below on the education pathway at top private universities in Malaysia that would be best for you.
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Study Architecture at Top Private Universities in Malaysia that’s Accredited by Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia
Architecture strongly relates to built environment and urban planning disciplines such as civil and structural engineering, quantity surveying, and property economics and management. If you are interested in creating things, buildings and spaces, technology, art and design, a career in architecture may be for you.
Basically, an architect is a person who creates the designs of buildings. They don’t actually build them, that’s the job of the Civil Engineer. Architects role is like a project leader who works with different people to coordinate and get the building up on time within budget.
The architecture profession in Malaysia is protected by law and is regulated by the Lembaga Akitek Negara (LAM). They govern the entire profession starting from the definition of an architect under the Malaysian Constitution, licensing, practice, acts and enactments as well as education.
Another important body concerning architects is the Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (PAM) who takes care of the well being of the architects including professional development from the lowest to the highest qualifications. They also organise functions and activities for their members.
Shortage of Professional Architects in Malaysia
At the 2014 Persatuan Arkitek Malaysia -Tan Sri Ar Chan Sau Lai Architecture Award prize-giving ceremony today, Kuala Lumpur Mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib said that the current ratio of architects in Malaysia is one to 17,257 people.
There is a shortage of architects in Malaysia due to the low passing rate in the final test which would enable them to become professional architects, which carries the title of Ar. There are only 1700 Registered Architects in Malaysia. The Average pass rate is 9%~20%
The Education Pathway to Become a Professional Architect in Malaysia
For students after SPM or O-Levels, they can choose the Foundation in Arts at UCSI University or Foundation in Natural & Built Environments at Taylor’s University. Upon successful completion of the 1-year Foundation, you will then enter into the undergraduate degree in architecture for another 3 years at UCSI University or Taylor’s University , both of which are accredited by Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM) equivalent to LAM Part 1.
Alternatively, students after SPM or O-Levels taking the Diploma in Architectural Studies at top ranked UCSI University will study for 2.5 years and then enter Year 2 of the architecture degree for another 2 years.
Students who have obtained the relevant results in STPM, UEC, A-Levels and other Pre-U Programmes can enter the architecture degree for 3 years.
After the Bachelors in Architecture, the next step is to go into an accredited Masters in Architecture degree equivalent to LAM Part 2 for another 2 years. Architecture Masters Degree Graduates in Malaysia will then work for 2 years and then sit for the LAM Part 3 exams and then to finally become an architect.
The whole process after SPM or O-Levels will take you at least 8 years to become a professional architect in Malaysia. Normally it will be longer than that.
Pathway to Become a Professional Architect (Ir.) in Malaysia
The architecture profession in Malaysia is protected by law. The regulating and governing body of the architecture profession in Malaysia is known as Lembaga Akitek Negara (LAM). They govern the entire profession starting from the definition of an architect under the Malaysian Constitution, licensing, practice, acts and enactments as well as education.
The other body that concerns the well being of architects themselves is Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia.
It functions as an association that takes care of its members, organize functions and manages the professional development of an architect from the lowest to highest qualification. Just like Bar exams for lawyers, architects also require certain level of qualification that is a standard worldwide.
The qualifications are known as LAM Part 1, 2 and 3. The equivalent of this is RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), AIA (American Institute of Architects) and RAIA (Royal Australian Institute of Architects).
The diagram above shows the career path of an architect. After graduating with Part 2, a person is known as an architect, and will be able to practice according to the job specification of an architect. This should be the minimum target of anyone pursuing this profession. Anything less is a waste of time.
These qualifications can be obtained in two ways:
- Obtaining a fully accredited degree (or equivalent) that carries Part 1 or 2 equivalent.
- Sitting for individual exams after obtaining a non-accredited degree for Part or 2.
Part 3 can only be obtained after practicing as an architect for a minimum of 2 years and fulfilling all the project requirements set by LAM. The Average pass rate is 9%~20%.
Fulfilling these needs, the architect will then submit themselves to a series of interviews and exams to determine that they are capable and absolutely qualified. These exams are conducted by Persatuan Arkitek Malaysia (PAM).
What you will Study in the Architecture course in Malaysia
Architecture is a mixture of practical and theoretical studies. It is important to understand the philosophy, history and culture in order to create stunning buildings.
Architecture major students in Malaysia will learn how to use design software to create models, drawings, prototypes and structures. You will learn how to use creative and rational inquiry to analyse and provide solutions to design problems, integrating emerging aesthetic, technical, social and ethical concerns.
Architecture degree students in Malaysia will apply advanced digital design tools to solve design problems and address sustainability issues. Students will spend long hours in research and project-based architectural design subjects to create aesthetically beautiful design pieces that are sustainable and environmentally friendly.
To create these projects will require you to think logically on how the buildings function and are constructed, and then combine them with innovative & creative concepts.
Some of the design software that you will learn how to use are:
- 3D Max
What will your work as an Architecture Degree Graduate be in Malaysia?
Architecture Graduates in Malaysia will be able to gain professional working experience in an Architectural Firm, Interior Architectural Firm, Developer Firm, Construction Firm, Supplier & Manufacturer Firm and Educational Institution.
Scope of work varies from an Assistant Architect, a Project Manager, an Interior Designer, Design Consultant, Project Executive, Design Research Assistant Free lance Designer, to an Academic Tutor.
Architecture Graduates in Malaysia may also venture into other fields of expertise such as:
- Furniture Design
- Lighting Design,
- Theme Park Design
- Retail Design
- Commercial Design
- Hospitality Design
- Healthcare Design
- Corporate Office Design
- Stage Design
- Exhibit Design
- Film & Television Set Design
- Environmental Design
- Museum Design
- Residential Design and Graphic Design.
The career opportunities in this field have a good record of graduate employment. Opportunities also exist in the other areas, including marketing, promotion, facility management and development.
Many large organisations in Malaysia, such as departmental stores hotels, resorts and property developers, also employ architects and architectural graduates as designers as well as managers and supervisors. Following experience with larger firms, graduates may start their own consulting business.