Programmes - HKU SPACE Community College
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Higher Diploma in Architectural Studies

Programme Code: HD 102 3762 0074 2214 1870
QF Level: 4
QR Registration No.: 12/000559/4
Registration Validity Period: 27/04/2012 to ongoing

Application Code 報名編號 : HD102

The construction sector is one of the driving forces behind Hong Kong’s economy. The future looks even brighter for those who are eager to make their creative mark in this vibrant and expanding market. Emerging opportunities such as architectural conservation, sustainable development, urban renewal, building maintenance and the blooming construction industry will, undoubtedly, open up new prospects for local and non-local architectural career development.

Programme Aims & Features

This programme is designed to give students essential knowledge and skills relating to building and spatial design, building services, construction technology and professional practice of architecture. As a pre-professional graduate, students will be capable of playing a supporting role in the building industry and other allied professions, and of proceeding to further study in related fields.

  • Since 2003, some graduates have progressed to architecture degree programmes at HKU or CUHK.
  • Since 2005, the Aspects of Professional Practice module is designed in conjunction with HKU’s Department of Architecture.
  • In 2010, the first graduate of the programme became a registered architect in Hong Kong.
  • The programme utilizes special studio facilities exclusively for HKU SPACE architectural studies students.
  • The programme includes lots of exciting outside-classroom activities such as building and site visits, project research and an annual architectural study tour in Asia.

The programme utilizes special design studio facilities exclusively for HKU SPACE architectural studies students. The programme also includes lots of exiting outside-classroom activities such as building and site visits, project research and an annual architectural study tour in China for the first year study and in Asia during the final year of study. 

Professional Recognition

Graduate of this programme can become a professional registered architect after completing other professional programmes and passing the professional assessment of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA).

Job Placement

Practical experience is an important part of professional training. Students are selected to work as summer trainees in local or mainland architecture or other related firms.

Opportunities for Further Studies

Local Universities

Some of our graduates were admitted to Architecture degree programmes offered by HKU, CUHK and other universities.

Overseas Universities

Graduates can directly articulate into the 2nd year of Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Architectural Studies programme*, jointly offered by HKU SPACE and University of Plymouth, in Hong Kong.

The programme will enable students to further their studies. In the past, many graduates were admitted to Year 1, Year 2 or Year 3 of degree programmes at leading local or overseas architecture or design schools, as shown in the list below:

  • RMIT University
  • The University of New South Wales
  • The University of Adelaide
  • The Architectural Association (AA)
  • The University of Liverpool
  • The University of Manchester
  • University of Nottingham
  • The University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • Kingston University
  • University of Westminster
  • University of Northumbria
  • De Montfort University
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • Cardiff University

*This is an exempted course under the Non-Local Higher and Professional Education (Regulation) Ordinance.  It is a matter of discretion for individual employers to recognize any qualification to which this course may lead.

HKU SPACE International College

Graduates are also eligible to apply for admission to the following full-time top-up degree programmes offered locally by HKU SPACE International College in collaboration with the following universities:

Middlesex University London

Career Prospects

Previous graduates are now either pursuing degrees in leading local and overseas architecture or design schools or working in a wide spectrum of careers. The Government of the Hong Kong SAR, architecture firms, interior design firms, contractors, graphic design companies and building material suppliers are some of the most popular employers.

Special Entrance Requirements

In addition to the minimum entrance requirements, applicants are also required to have obtained Level 2 or above in HKDSE Mathematics (Core), or equivalent.

  • English for Architectural Studies


  • Architectural Design II

Year 1

  • Architectural Design I
  • Building Construction I
  • Building Structures I
  • Environmental Controls I
  • Visual Studies I
  • Architects in Practice
  • Modern Architecture


Year 2

  • Building Construction II
  • Building Structures II
  • Environmental Controls II
  • Visual Studies II
  • Hong Kong Architectural Practice
  • Architectural Theory and Critical Context

Courses offered in each semester are subject to student enrolment, timetabling and resources available.

James YAU
  • 2020 Higher Diploma in Architectural Studies, HKU SPACE Community College
  • 2022 BA (Hons) Architectural Studies, University of Plymouth

My time in HDARCH was an essential journey of self-exploration and becoming more mature as a designer. The school has helped to shape my passion for design research, giving me space to concentrate on themes I feel that matter to the World and my community. One of the wonders of architecture is that the field is always changing and constantly demands innovation. Our projects often demanded us rethink the World through an in-depth investigation of different scales, from urban to human ergonomics. The course will push and refine your creative thinking on every problem.

In Pre-Covid times, we also got to do projects in different parts of the World. One of my most significant experiences in designing and building a school in Cambodia during our summer holiday. Where we experienced a vigorous two-week design process from start to finish. I learned the attention to detail and how architecture is a group process. Another notable aspect of this course is the inclusion of a diverse age group of students in the later years. Incorporating different qualities and work experiences with designers is a valuable lesson to learn. Sometimes problems in the group and the project can seem overwhelming, and things become uncertain about constantly brainstorming. Part of being a designer is seeing how you continue to solve these problems. Looking for quick and strategic decision-making is vital in the field of architecture. 

Each class offers its own perspective on your design process and a unique opportunity to refine your proposal. I learned a valuable lesson of integrating different practices into my design to make my project rich. Everything is a learning tool for innovation. 

Finally, my experience in HDARCH has been strengthened by passion and discipline in my practice. I hope this course will offer the same key lessons to you as it did to me.

Miranda CHAN
Miranda CHAN
  • 2018 Higher Diploma in Architectural Studies, HKU SPACE Community College
  • 2016 BSc Hotel Management, PolyU

My school life in HKU SPACE CC was fruitful yet challenging. Here are the five key elements that summarize the 2 years of Archi-life.

First, team work is quintessential to every aspect of my learning experience, from learning to cooperate and communicate, to achieving a goal that could not otherwise be achieved, to sharing ideas and learning from each other. This makes you and the team/ classmate grow together.

Second, active learning is part of architecture. While an engineer knows everything about something, an architect ought to know something about everything. This is very different from secondary school life, where instead of being told what you must do, you must decide on your scope of study and decide on your design direction where there is no right and wrong. For example, in one of the projects we participated - Together We Build, we were given an objective to design a furniture for an elderly center. To build something, you must understand a lot of different aspects, including the end user, the site and the surrounding environment. You must also decide how to conduct your own survey. You need to constantly put yourself into the end users’ shoes to build a good design that suit their lifestyle.

Third, a “can-do” mentality is crucial to an architectural student. You should never give up before you try, because then you would never know what you are capable of. One of the projects we built was a 1-to-1 scale model, and we chose an aquaponics system, which turned out to be incredibly complex, extremely difficult. But more importantly, doable.

Which brings me to the fourth point. Passion is what helps you through the day, gives you the “can-do” mentality, and helps you knock down obstacles one by one. Architectural students are those who keep improving the design within the time given—although there will be obstacles. Having passion is what drives one to overcome them, making us stronger and more persistent, and helping us overcome our failures.

Fifth, I’m also glad to have such a great team of tutors and mentors here. They are very experienced in their fields, some are even still working in the field and therefore are knowledgeable with up-to-date practical suggestions, know-how and advice. They are all willing to and patient to share their thoughts and experiences, which has sped up my learning curve.

Architectural study is really fun, because it is not just about schooling; it is a mindset, a way of thinking and a key for us to open up our curiosity to everyday life.

Jonathan Siu
Jonathan Siu
  • 2015 Higher Diploma in Architectural Studies, HKU SPACE Community College
  • 2017 BA (Hons) Architecture, Oxford Brookes University

Through Architecture, I want to express myself in a more interesting way.

Architecture has always been a self-motivated discipline that demands great determination. Thus, it is undoubtedly a lifelong challenge to learn Architecture. While I found myself disappointed with the JUPAS result, HKU SPACE CC offered me an opportunity to rediscover my journey.

The Higher Diploma in Architectural Studies is a well-organized programme that provides all-round training for its students. It encourages the balance between 3-D designs and design resolutions, the exploration in historic and cultural contexts, as well as applications in the local practical field. In addition, witnessing is always one of the best ways to understand Architecture. A field trip will be arranged every year for students to interact with award-winning architects. In this way, students will also develop and sharpen their judgment while appreciating an array of masterpieces.

You will surely learn the attitude required to pursue a career in this competitive field by participating in the numerous job placements posted by the department every summer. 

With a high level of autonomy, I was able to express my ideas through different media and in-depth research. Also, my work stayed consistent through cross-related modules in the programme. Taking full control over my projects, these two years of valuable self-learning experience taught me to be a disciplined learner.

More importantly, the 2-year programme enriched my portfolio with a collection of projects, with a scale ranging from delicate installations, public pavilions, to large museums. Having equipped with a solid base in design, I was able to further pursue my study for BA (Hons) in Architecture at the Oxford Brookes University.

Whether you would like to practise in the field or continue to study, this programme will certainly equip yourself with everything you need to achieve your goals.

Trust your instincts and never let go of what you want to do. The Higher Diploma in Architectural Studies programme at HKU SPACE CC might be another option to understand your powers and limits. Step out of your comfort zone and explore yourself.

To fellow students who are in pursuit of Architecture, I wish you all success in your future!