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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.

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.


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

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.

Specialised 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, utilise CAD, and plan the layout, fittings, furnishing, and decoration of indoor environments.

A number of 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 programmes are widely available in local colleges around Ireland.  These courses are vocational, and therefore focus on practical architectural and design skills.

The Work

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 organisation. 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. On the basis of this the architect assesses what permits and how much labour will be necessary, while remaining conducive to a given budget or client brief. Once construction is under way, 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.

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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