For the first time in its history, Swinburne University in Melbourne is introducing an architecture degree.

In an effort to address a changing industry, a Bachelor of Design (Architecture) will launch in the first semester of 2018 at the university’s Hawthorn campus. This will be followed by a Master of Design (Architecture), to launch in 2021.

“The role of the architect has changed so much over the past 50 years,” says professor Jane Burry, dean of Swinburne’s School of Design. “We want our graduates to be future-focused; [we want to prepare] them to still be working in [the] industry in 40 years’ time.” 

Swinburne’s new suite of architecture courses will have a focus on digital technology, sustainability, smart cities, social innovation and architecture that promotes or enhances health and wellbeing – subjects that are well in-line with an industry that is increasingly favouring responsible design thinking and practice.

Swinburne is expecting competition with already well-established architecture degrees at competing universities. For instance, the Quacquarelli Symonds’ 2017 rankings of the world’s top university architecture faculties places the University of Sydney at number 15. Swinburne’s closer competitor, the University of Melbourne, sits at 19.

Another recent survey found that the architecture undergraduate course offered at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus provides the highest overall quality of educational experience in Australia.