Build Your Way to Architecture

Published: 25 July, 2016

Categories: General

Build Your Way to Architecture

Are you interested in Architecture but not exactly sure whether you want to launch straight into a degree? Find out how you can get an in-depth introduction into the world of architecture while getting a tertiary qualification at the same time.

After matric, many students follow the popular route of starting a degree at a university or a university of tech. But in many cases, students aren’t 100% sure if they are choosing the right degree, or if there are perhaps other cool options they don’t yet know about.

High school students who are interested in Architecture sometimes get overwhelmed at the thought of complex mathematical measurements and coming face to face with aspects of engineering. In this case, the best thing to do is to explore the field as much as possible and make sure it is in fact your true passion, before committing to multiple years of full-time study.

Architecture – A Quick Definition

When we talk about architecture, we refer to the design and construction of something – anything really. It can refer to the human brain, a church, a bonfire, or a website.

On a day to day basis, however, we tend to use the term architecture when we refer to the design and construction of buildings. It’s indeed the kind of architecture that dominates much of human history – just think about colonial times, and how even today, many of the houses and buildings in previously colonised countries still reflect historic eras. A perfect example is the Cape Dutch building style of our famous Long Street in Cape Town.

Architecture is a field that fascinates many. And it’s also a platform where people can combine creativity, problem-solving, and the desire to impact their environment in a positive way.

Studying Architectural Technology

If you are keen to become an architect, but you’re not entirely sure if you want to go ahead and embark on a university degree quite yet, you might want to consider getting an introductory qualification to architectural studies. If you discover that you love it to bits, then you can go on to further your architectural qualification at a university level.

The Inscape Education Group an amazing opportunity for anyone who wants to spend a year learning about the most fundamental aspects of architecture. Their Higher Certificate in Architectural Technology qualifies students on an NQF Level 5, and equips them to continue their architectural studies on a university level, if they wish to do so.

Insight from a Student

To get a better idea of what it’s like to study towards this qualification in Architectural Technology, we asked former Inscape student Tayla Robertson to give us some personal insight.

Check out the Q&A.

What was it like to study Architectural Technology at Inscape?

The AT course at Inscape was very interesting, because it taught me about a broad range of fields relating to the built environment and architecture, for example about materials, sustainability, and the business aspects of running your own architecture practice.

It was a very thrilling and exciting field of study, but also quite time-consuming. Architectural Technology requires concentration, patience and a creative mind.

Can you break down some of the course module content?

We had various modules that equipped us with different skills and knowledge. Some examples include learning about

  • standard drawing conventions (and an intro to architectural drawing)
  • Starting your own business
  • AutoCAD for the built environment
  • Ecological Studies & Practice
  • Domestic construction and framed structures
  • Project management
  • Creating your professional portfolio


What made you decide to pursue this path?

I decided to study AT, because I have always been interested in architecture. I’m fascinated by how buildings are constructed, and by the different types of architecture around the world.

What are the admission requirements?

You need to have your NSC with an admission to a Higher Certificate, and you need to have English as a subject.

What skills do students need for this qualification?

Drawing skills, a flare for design and creativity. It’s also important to have some skills in Maths in order to take accurate measurements when producing technical drawings.

Can you tell us about some of the challenges?

In this course it can be quite challenging to stick to your deadlines and have the patience to complete your assignments. Any design process is very time-consuming.

Another challenge is having to think on your feet. For example, you need to be able to come up with an adequate answer when a lecturer asks you a question, or asks you to summarize a recent reading.

What doors does this qualification open?

What have you been up to since graduating?

I’m currently furthering my studies by completing a Diploma in Architectural Draughting. At the same time, I’m working part-time for a Cape Town based Architectural firm. It’s great, because I’m furthering my education while gaining valuable work experience.

A Little more on Inscape & the Higher Certificate in AT

You can study towards Inscape’s Higher Certificate in Architectural Technology either by

  • studying 1 year full-time


  • studying 2 year part-time (via distance learning)

The course consists of 16 modules, and you’ll also complete 240 hours of supervised Experiential Training – happy cheers for work experience!

After you complete this course, you can register as a Candidate Architectural Draughtsperson as well as start professional internships.

In case you are worried that you won’t have the necessary technology like computers, or software programmes, you can relax. It’s included in the course. You’ll have free access to things like

  • Stationery and equipment
  • Tablets
  • Internet connection
  • Software programmes (Adobe/AutoDesk)

For an extra fee you can also get access to a laptop.

If you want to know more and get a full overview of the course modules and overall breakdown of this Higher Certificate, click here.


Admission Requirements: NSC with admission to Higher Certificate and English as a subject.

Just because you have your Matric and know what you are interested in doesn’t necessarily mean you know exactly what to study – we get that. And its opportunities like these that make everything a little easier. If you want to explore a career field first and then decide on a degree, that’s totally okay. And if you can do so by getting work experience and a tertiary qualification at the same time, all the better.

Stoogle 2cents

If you love design, but aren’t convinced that architecture is the right branch within the design world, have a look at some other options. Ideation link is a field in the design industry that has been taking off quite fast, because ideators are the people who help shape an idea into a final product. We recommend you check this out specifically if you want your ideas and designs to have a big impact on society and your environment.