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What is a Bachelor of Environmental Design?

05/10/2020 |
4 mins

Do you dream of a career that lets you shape the world around you? Of being able to design buildings and outdoor spaces – or even whole cities or regions – creating more sustainable communities for the future? Now you can take your first step with UWA’s Bachelor of Environmental Design, one of our new courses designed so you can specialise in your areas of interest. 

What is environmental design? 

“Environmental design is a broad study area that involves the design and planning of objects and places in relation to built and constructed environments,” says Dr Kate Hislop, Dean and Head of the School of Design.

And it’s an incredibly relevant subject. “We all know the world is facing enormous environmental challenges that will affect us all well into the future. Graduates from this degree will make valuable and important contributions to the ways we will shape, inhabit and leave our world for future generations.”

What can you do with a Bachelor of Environmental Design?

A Bachelor of Environmental Design can lead into the master’s degrees needed to become an architect or landscape architect (see below), but the options don’t end there. You could consider further studies or a career in exciting areas like urban design, urban and regional planning, environmental planning, and more.

Whatever career path you choose, studying the Bachelor of Environmental Design will enable you to make a tangible impact on the planet and its inhabitants. “At all scales, design has the ability to contribute to the wellbeing of people,” says Architecture graduate Abel Feleke.

Two students creating a wooden object in the UWA School of Design workshop

What can you study in an environmental design degree?

“The offering at UWA in environmental design brings together staff from a range of disciplines, from architecture, landscape architecture, geographical sciences, planning, and even fine arts,” says Kate.

You can choose from three majors:

  • Architecture Offering a good grounding in imagining design outcomes and creating drawings, models and prototypes, this extended major is the perfect preparation for the Master of Architecture (which you’ll need to qualify as an architect).
  • Environmental Geography and Planning This major explores how we plan and manage resources in the natural and built environment, and includes theoretical aspects, practical techniques and work placements.
  • Landscape Architecture Learn to design with nature and combat climate change in a major that will lead you to Master of Landscape Architecture (which is required to become a landscape architect).

Choose one of the single majors – Environmental Geography and Planning, or Landscape Architecture – and you can build on your expertise with a second major from another bachelor’s degree. Botany, Environmental Science and Human Geography and Planning are all great pairings to consider, but you can pursue something completely different if you’d prefer – a language, for example. 

You’ll have room for a few broadening units and electives too, so you can customise your course to suit your unique interests perfectly.

UWA School of Design students working on a computer

Why study environmental design at UWA?

UWA’s Bachelor of Environmental Design course includes heaps of practical learning opportunities, from working on real design briefs and getting feedback from industry experts, to visiting sites around Perth on fieldwork, to learning to make models and use state-of-the-art software.

You’ll also have opportunities to travel with exciting overseas units (subject to international travel restrictions being lifted). Recent locations for international fieldwork and immersion units have included Bali, Barcelona, Seattle and Lisbon. 

You’ll be taught by experts from a range of fields, and benefit from small class sizes that allow you to really get to know your peers. Importantly, you’ll also form valuable networks for your career. “It’s a really tight-knit community,” says Kate.  

“The part of the course I enjoyed the most was getting to form a close network of friends and mentors,” says Abel. “Being able to learn in the classroom is important, but what I found of great value was the opportunity to come across a lot of curious minds with differing perspectives.”

And, of course, what better place to study environmental design than Perth’s most beautiful university? UWA’s campus is full of inspiration for emerging designers, planners, architects and environmental enthusiasts – the mix of heritage and contemporary architecture, all set among magnificent gardens, makes UWA the perfect place for your creative side to bloom. 

Find out more about the Bachelor of Environmental Design at UWA and apply today.

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