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What is Architecture?

Architecture combines the principles of art, engineering, and science. It also pays attention to the landscape, culture, environment, and functionality. Designing an attractive and user-friendly building is a challenging but rewarding job.

What Courses Are Available?

Degrees in Architecture are available from Dublin IT, UCC, UCD, University of Limerick, and Waterford IT.

Specialized architectural degrees on offer include Landscape Architecture (UCD), Interior Architecture (Griffith College, IT Sligo, and Cork IT), and Interior Design (Griffith College, IT Sligo, and DIT – including Furniture Design).

Landscape Architecture covers the design, management, and preservation of any external environment – from urban regeneration to national heritage sites. Interior designers/architects, as the title suggests, design the interiors of buildings. They prepare drawings, utilize CAD, and plan the layout, fittings, furnishing, and decoration of indoor environments.

Several institutes of technology offer architectural technology degrees. Students learn about the technical aspects of the architectural process. This means drawing, CAD, materials management, meeting design specifications, construction technology, environmental concerns, and so forth.

Architectural Technology, Computer-Aided Design, Architectural Draughting, and Interior Design PLC programs are widely available in local colleges around Ireland. These courses are vocational and therefore focus on practical architectural and design skills.

Studying Architecture in College

Students who complete a degree must do two years of postgraduate work experience. They must also pass the RIAI’s (Royal Institute of the Architects in Ireland) professional entrance exam. Once they have done that, they are placed on the official register of architects.

Students learn practical studio work as well as attend lectures. Studio work includes sketching, technical drawing, computer-aided design (CAD), model making, and so on. Lectures cover the theoretical, historical, and cultural aspects of architecture. Students also learn about professional issues such as site management, engineering, and construction materials.

Career Options

The majority of newly qualified architects and architectural technologists work for a private practice or in the architectural department of a local authority, government department, semi-state, or commercial organization. After gaining experience, many architects choose to practice independently.

The primary work of an architect is to design buildings and structures and to advise the supervisors working on the building projects. The architect designs the appearance of the building and the materials used. Based on this the architect assesses what permits and how much labor will be necessary while remaining conducive to a given budget or client brief. Once construction is underway, the architect is often on-site consulting with engineers and builders.

Architectural technologists help make the architect’s vision a reality. They play a leading role in the process, from the plans to the finished building: solving practical engineering and technical problems, and coordinating the additional input of consultant structural and service engineers and specialist sub-contractors. It is fairly common for qualified architectural technologists to become fully qualified architects through further study.

Related Jobs

  • Jobs directly related to your degree include:
  • Architect
  • Architectural technologist
  • Building control surveyor
  • CAD technician
  • Fire risk assessor
  • Interior and spatial designer
  • Town planner
  • Urban designer
  • Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
  • Building surveyor
  • Commercial/residential surveyor
  • Construction manager
  • Estates manager
  • Estimator
  • Historic buildings inspector/conservation officer
  • Landscape architect
  • Planning and development surveyor
  • Production designer, theatre/television/film
  • Structural engineer

Further Study

Most architecture graduates eventually go on to complete the final stages of the qualifications recognized by RIBA and the Architects Registration Board (ARB) to progress towards qualifying and practicing as registered architects.

Apart from further qualifications in architecture, you could choose postgraduate studies in other technical subjects, such as engineering, design, or computer science, or subjects outside the technical and construction fields.


What skills do architects need?

Here are five major skill sets you’ll need to be successful during your college years as an architecture major and beyond.

  • Math and science skills. 
  • Design skills. 
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills. 
  • Team-building skills. 
  • Communication skills.

Can I be an architect if I can’t draw?

You don’t need to be able to draw well to be a successful architect. It’s a handy skill to have – to be able to sketch an idea for a client. But, if you aren’t a true artist, don’t worry. You’ll be plenty successful if you’re detail-oriented, good at problem solving and research, and work hard.

Where Can I Study Architecture?

Explore your options here

Did you know?

The inner framework of the Statue of Liberty was supervised by one Alexandre Gustav Eiffel. He later went on to build a certain tower in Paris you may have heard of. . .

Further Resources

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.


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