Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Applying for UM's Architecture (Part 2)

Hello hello!

So, a couple of my friends who are UIA's alumnis asked me how did I apply and got into UM's architecture school. Well, before I get into any further detail, let me entice you with the details of the the program.

1. Bachelor of Architecture upgraded to Masters of Architecture 2013/2014

Yup, you read that right, thus when this comes across, the checklist that you need to tick are even longer. Basically, the program of B.Arch or M.Arch is relatively the same, with the exception that the Thesis for M.Arch is to be submitted in 30,000 words, where as B.Arch is at 15,000 minimum. The advantage for being this years batch is that you do not have to take University requirement subjects and just focus on becoming an Architect and design...however, the credit hour remains the same as those University subjects are replaced by a more relative architecture and construction subjects. The credit hour you could expect for every semester are between 16-19 CH and there are not short semesters...short semesters are usually filled with University trips, activities, exchange programs and thesis related meeting.

UM programs are RIBA certified, meaning our syllabus are 70-80% similar to any Archi school in the UK.

2. Entry Requirements into UM

To get into UM, for students coming in from other universities, you need to grad with a minimum of UPPER SECOND CLASS grades, and at least a B/B+ for your design studio. This unfortunately, is a no excuse, unless you know someone on the inside...no, not me...staff or lecturer. You will also need a minimum of ONE year working experience at any valid Architecture firm around the world. 

During the interview, please bring your work portfolio, as in working experience as well as your Part 1 portfolio. They are not too interested in anything other than that. You will need to print your works on A1 to present to them...yes, nerve-wrecking. They will ask you questions such as; "Why did you choose UM?" or things related to your working experience.

They only accept around 20+ students (usually not more than 25), but my batch is only of 18 students. The fees for UM is more expensive BTW...for B.Arch, it is RM1,800 per semester... for M.Arch, it is RM2,000++.

3. Studying in UM

As I have mentioned before, B.Arch is now M.Arch for the new incoming batch, thus you do not have to take university requirement subjects like "keusahawanan" or "Ethnic Relations"...pfft. Annoying. Anyways, the credit hour remains more or less the same..between 16-19 CH per semester..for four semesters. Semester Breaks are a week in November, January-February, a week in April and June-September.

The semester for residential, the trip is to Singapore. Yes. Sponsored.

The advantage of studying in UM is that the program is much more dynamic and extensive than UIA's, from my experience. Also, there are less people in a batch meaning your competition have been narrowed down and you are selected because of your recognized ability and capability, thus you must be able to endure and handle the pressure because all the other kids that got selected are probably much more excellent than you are. (Not to pull you down, but we have to be aware of this guys!)

You will experience a cultural difference while studying in UM where-by everything is more liberal here. What do I mean when I say liberal? Well, if you do get into UM, I will let you know. Other than that, the UM schedule is full of student exchange programs, trips, lectures, talks, seminars, art projects along-side studio projects. It is indeed a demanding routine, but don't worry...we'll get through it together yeah? haha.

Travelling to Seoul is part of the yearly tentative for Fourth Years

Oh yes, fourth years gets partnered with Korean students (who are interior designers) for the residential high-rise project on either one of the semesters, and usually gets to go to Korea at the end of the semester for two-weeks with 70-80% of the expenses sponsored by UM. Just prepare around RM 2,000 to survive over there..that includes shopping and touring.

During the short semester, we are partnered with students from the USA...the architecture school kids from University of South Carolina (I think). This year, my batch ain't going anywhere because we have an Architectural Workshop to handle which is Dualisma..(like UTM's Terang and UPM's PADI), but the program involves yet again travelling to South East Asia, perhaps Thailand or Singapore..between 2-4 weeks...again, sponsored. The program is about community/sustainable architecture like rumah orang asli kindda thing.

InshAllah, my batch is going somewhere furtherrrrr after Dualisma..*wink wink*...


I hope my write-up helps...I have a Topical studies write-up to continue after this post! :(... My experience in UM so far have been of two words, AMAZING and STRESSFUL. I like the lackness of drama, and because the group is smaller, thus there are no gangs, or groupies or popular/not so popular group..just a bunch of adults trying to get their Part 2, so less stress for me because no-one to stereotype me.

The lecturers are a-ok....no, none of that nonsense we do masa first-or second year..even their first years here don't do those kind of nonsense that those specific lecturers made us go through...*sigh*. However, do take note that the facilities in UM are not as great as UIA...we don't get office partitions, or low seating tables with comfy chairs..we do not have a heritage lab with Macintosh desktops running, or a couple or 5D Mark II and Merlins... what we do have are..sponsored trips..haha. Other than high expectations of course.

So, flip through Berita Harian because they will let the public know when to apply via the newspaper around March/April/May, pape Za inform kay? You have to pick-up the application form in UM itself.

All the best friends, I hope to see you soon next to my partition...helping me to cut my models..hah!


  1. Each batch of students taking architecture is only within 25? Even less than dentistry?

    1. Yup less than 30....part 2 is a professional paper/ course like ACCA and Medic...so limited seats... :)

    2. How about the Bachelor degree? ><

  2. Assalamu alaikum, I'm currently doing my Part 1 and I was thinking about either UM, UIA or UPM for my Part 2. Other than the sponsored traveling from UM, which would you say would be the best choice for Part 2? How are the lectures and lecturers in UM? What do you think of the relevancy and benefits of the assignments and projects? How are the facilities and studios? Sorry banyak soalan hehe. Your opinion is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  3. Hi Za! Thank you very much for this write-up. It's very informative. I'll be applying for this intake.