Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) will be offering Brunei’s first undergraduate programmes in architecture and product design this August, as part of a new faculty called the School of Design.

The school’s Deputy Dean, Murhamdilah Morni, said that the Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Product Design will both be four-year honours programmes.

“There is no cap on the number of students enrolled but we are expecting a significant number of eligible students for the first intake of each programme,” he said.

The Deputy Dean of the School of Design, Murhamdillah Morni. Photo: The Scoop

Plans are also underway to erect a new building to house the School of Design at UTB’s Tungku campus. Teaching staff is also being recruited from both industry and academia.

“UTB’s focus has always been to create marketable programmes relevant to the needs of students and industries,” Murhamdilah said. “This is the first time that both degrees will be offered locally.”

The deputy dean explained that both programmes were created for graduates from local and international higher education institutions, such as polytechnics, with diploma (Level 5), A Levels, or equivalent, who wish to further their studies.

“For the architecture degree, applicants may be considered for direct-entry into second year, depending on their academic results or industry experience.”

For students with dreams of becoming the next Jonathan Ive at Apple, Murhamdilah said the B.Sc in Product Design is a wide-ranging course that harnesses students’ creative potential.

“Whether you want to design mobile phones or video games, or even become a fashion designer, this is a programme that is applicable across many industries,” he said.

Students can learn more about the new programmes at the Higher Education Expo taking place at BRIDEX Hall from Feb 10-11.

The course focuses on design fundamentals and innovation, and also teaches students elements of material sciences, manufacturing processes and “technopreneurship”.

“This is a degree that could easily spin off into a career in marketing or consultancy,” the lecturer added.

Students can learn more about entry into both degree programmes at UTB’s booth at the upcoming Higher Education Expo taking place at BRIDEX Hall from February 10-11.

The expansion of the UTB’s undergraduate programmes is part of its aim to become among the top engineering and technology universities in Asia. This year, UTB entered the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Asia University Rankings for the first time at 165.

The university also ranked ninth best for engineering and technology in Southeast Asia, and placed 30th overall in the ASEAN region.

“This is a huge achievement for such a young university, less than 10 years of age,” said Siti Asmahlati Bolkini Hj Ahmad, director of International and Public Relations for UTB. “Although UTB has been around since 1986, we only started offering degree programmes in 2009 when we were upgraded to a university.”

To date, UTB has produced over 5,000 HND graduates, 1,000 degree graduates and 70 master’s graduates from academic programmes offered by the Faculty of Engineering, School of Computing and Informatics, and UTB School of Business.