The GSA is the only school in Africa to run the renowned Unit System, a uniquely transformational pedagogical environment that places student experience and imagination at the heart of their studies. We encourage an open-ended, experimental spirit of enquiry that responds to shifts in society, technology and culture. We promote excellence across all our programmes, constantly challenging our staff and students to think beyond the boundaries of the profession and discipline as we currently understand them.


The phasing out of our Master of Technology Professional Programme (M Tech Prof) will begin in 2019. It will be replaced by the Master of Architecture Programme (M Arch Prof) which is envisaged to be offered in 2020 pending CHE approval and accreditation.

The two-year professional programme leads to Candidate Architect status, as defined by SACAP, and provides students with a solid intellectual and professional understanding of the history, theory, technologies and design practices of architecture. It introduces students to advanced critical perspectives on contemporary architectural issues and examines the complex and shifting relationship between architecture and cultural, political, social and economic changes.

The course is taught along the Unit System curriculum lines, with a number of design-research ‘Units’ or studios offered at the start of each academic year, to which students apply. All teaching is done through the students’ individual Units, and a high degree of synthesis is encouraged between the four modules that make up the M Arch (Prof) Programme: History & Theory Dissertation, Design Realisation Portfolio and Professional Practice. There is an emphasis on work being conducted at a graduate level, with the expectation that students will, through reading and research, define their own particular area of study in relation to the wide range of frameworks set by the Unit tutors. The course stresses innovation and continually highlights the value of propositions, their social impact and professional requirements. Design is thus always conducted within a broad and rigorous intellectual framework provided by the Unit tutors, the culture of the school and the external expectations placed upon it.