The University Of Auckland Architecture

The Auckland University College School of Architecture was founded in 1917, and recognised by the University of New Zealand in 1919. It began with evening classes taught by two part-time lecturers.

Then in 1924 Cyril Roy Knight was appointed as the first Professor of Architecture in New Zealand, and both the School and its syllabus were restructured, introducing full-time courses in architecture and attracting students from all over the country.

In 1931 the School received international recognition by the Royal Institute of British Architects, and thereafter graduates could expect their qualification to be accepted throughout the world.

In 1955, the Senate of the University of New Zealand approved the foundation of a Department of Town and Country Planning within the Faculty of Architecture, as it had become. The Department aimed “not only to provide instruction in Town Planning but to act as a centre for planning research and to foster public interest in the subject throughout New Zealand”*. The first Chair, Professor Robert Kennedy, was appointed in 1957 and continued until his retirement in 1969. Between 1969 and 1982, the Department produced 480 graduates – three-quarters of New Zealand’s practising planners.**

For sixty-five years after its founding, the School of Architecture was housed temporarily in other peoples’ often humble buildings. It wasn’t until 1982 that the School could claim to be housed in a permanent building designed for the purpose, with a full range of facilities including a library and photographic suite.

In 2006 the School of Architecture and the Department of Planning merged to become the School of Architecture and Planning, located within the Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries. Today the School continues to enjoy an international reputation, with around 40 permanent academic staff and many hundreds of students enrolled in our taught, research and professional programmes.

Find the programme that meets your study and professional goals in Architecture, Urban Planning, Urban Design or Heritage Conservation, and information about combined masters programme or doctoral study.


Architects today face an exciting and challenging future where sustainability, climate change, evolving technology and the increasing complexity of human society must all be taken into account. Our programmes reflect all these requirements, and ensure you graduate well equipped for a rewarding career in architecture or in a range of other design-based roles.

Career options in architecture include: architect*, architectural historian, building industry consultant, building technologist, computer-aided design professional, design-based librarian or archivist, film designer, heritage architect, interior designer, project manager and urban designer.

*Following successful completion of the MArch(Prof) and professional registration.

Find out about the architecture programmes offered by the School of Architecture and Planning:

  • Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS)
  • Master of Architecture (Professional) (MArch(Prof))
  • Master of Architecture (MArch)
  • Master of Heritage Conservation (MHerCons)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Architecture (PGDipArch)
  • Graduate Diploma in Architectural Studies (GradDipAS)
Urban Planning

A broad range of urban planning subjects are available including urban design, land use economics, urban planning law, policy-making and implementation, community and economic development, housing issues, Māori perspectives, cultural and heritage planning, infrastructure provision and urban ecology. With a University of Auckland planning qualification, you will be well equipped for a range of career opportunities, both in New Zealand and overseas.

Career options in urban planning include working in central and local government, community groups, Iwi authorities, NGOs and private practice. Auckland graduates are currently employed throughout New Zealand, Asia, the Pacific, the UK, Europe, Australia and North America.

Find out about the urban planning programmes offered by the School of Architecture and Planning:

  • Bachelor of Urban Planning (Honours) (BUrbPlan(Hons))
  • Master of Urban Planning (MUrbPlan)
  • Master of Urban Planning (Professional) (MUrbPlan(Prof))
Urban Design

Urban designers are highly sought after all over the world. The Master of Urban Design (MUrbDes), the only such degree in New Zealand, will equip you with knowledge and skills in urban design theory, principles and practices, sustainable development futures, the role of physical and social infrastructure in cities, and the economic context of urban investment and development.

Career options include: urban designer; city, strategic, regional or transportation planner; resource consent planner; property development manager; business development adviser; environmental planner; iwi planning officer and policy analyst.

Find out about the urban design programmes offered by the School of Architecture and Planning:

  • Master of Urban Design (MUrbDes)
Combined Masters

The built environment disciplines of architecture, urban planning, urban design and heritage conservation all operate collaboratively. People work in teams, and the teams are often multidisciplinary. More than this, once in the workforce, individuals often progress beyond the discipline in which they trained. For example, architecture graduates find work not only as practising architects, but also as urban designers, project managers, interior or landscape designers, digital specialists and heritage consultants.

Our five combined Masters degrees prepare you for the multidisciplinary nature of the workforce and employment opportunities, effectively giving you the learning from two Masters degrees, but in less time than it would take to complete the two separately.

Find out about the combined Masters programmes offered by the School of Architecture and Planning:

  • Master of Architecture (Professional) and Heritage Conservation (MArch(Prof)HerCons)
  • Master of Architecture (Professional) and Urban Design (MArch(Prof)UrbDes)
  • Master of Architecture (Professional) and Urban Planning (Professional) (MArch(Prof)UrbPlan(Prof))
  • Master of Urban Planning (Professional) and Heritage Conservation (MUrbPlan(Prof)HerCons)
  • Master of Urban Planning (Professional) and Urban Design (MUrbPlan(Prof)UrbDes)
Doctoral study

The School of Architecture and Planning offers advanced research qualifications in architecture, urban design and planning.

To learn about the types of study and available supervisors, visit Doctoral study in the School of Architecture and Planning.