Information for Students and Graduates

Architecture students who have begun their architectural education in Ireland and are considering moving to the UK to complete the five years of architectural education must take particular care. Irish programmes, like most others in the EU, are recognised on the basis of five years of study. The UK alone breaks the five years of study into two elements referred to as 'Part 1' and 'Part 2'.

  • Information/Advice for students interested in studying Architecture

    Prescribed degree courses in Architecture take five years of full-time study followed by 24 months of Post-graduate Professional Training and a Professional Practice Examination.

    Some students take a year out for practical experience between the third and fourth years. So the whole process, from start to full professional registration, generally takes seven to nine years.

    Sometimes the five years of study are split into a three-year course followed by a two-year course, or a four-year course followed by a one-year course. Only the final award (after five years) is formally accredited and prescribed under Irish law.

    Important points to note when choosing a programme in Architecture: 

    1. It is important to check that the programme of Architecture that you are considering is properly accredited and prescribed for access to the Register of Architects. 

    2. Some architectural programmes are moving into the Bachelor/Masters model (away from the old ‘ab initio’ five year Bachelor model). Take note when entering a programme if the final phase will take the form of a Masters and what the fee is likely to be so that you can prepare in advance.

  • Information/Advice for students interested in studying Architectural Technology

    The RIAI accredits programmes in Architectural Technology at both QQI Level 7 (Level 7) and QQI Level 8 (Level 8). 

    It is important to check that the programme of Architectural Technology that you are considering is properly accredited for access to Architectural Technologist Membership of the RIAI. 

  • Information/Advice for Architecture Students on moving between programmes of study

    Important points to note if you are considering moving between programmes in Architecture: 

    1. Moving between programmes in Architecture in Ireland

    Architectural awards are usually recognised on the basis of five full years of study. While it is possible to move between awards during those five years, for example after the third or fourth year, this will be dependent on the college you move to confirming that your final award will meet the requirements for a prescribed qualification in Architecture.

    While it is possible to move between programmes and even a country/State of study during your studies caution is advised. Because Architecture is a regulated profession those seeking entry to the profession with qualifications from outside Ireland are subject to checks.

    2. Moving to the UK to complete your architectural studies

    Students who have begun their architectural education in Ireland and are considering moving to the UK to complete the five years of architectural education must take particular care. Irish programmes, like most others in the EU, are recognised on the basis of five years of study. The UK alone breaks the five years of study into two elements referred to as 'Part 1' and 'Part 2'. Moving from Ireland to the UK to take a UK ‘Part 2’ will mean that the UK authorities, the Architects Registration Board (ARB), will only confirm the status of your UK ‘Part 2’ award if they have also assessed the earlier phase of your studies in Ireland against their standards. At the time of writing the cost of this ‘prescribed examination’ is at least STG£1,671.

    * 'Part 1', 'Part 2' and 'Part 3' terminology is relevant to the UK only. 

    3. Moving to an EU State, other than the UK, to complete your architectural studies

    You may consider studying Architecture in another EU State. Qualifications in Architecture are accredited and prescribed by national authorities. While there is a common minimum standard for Architects in the EU, individual Member States have their own standards and requirements above and beyond this.  Qualifications in Architecture currently recognised by the EU are listed in the Directive 2005/36/EC on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications. For those qualifying in an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, agreements are in place for the recognition of those qualifications under EU law.

    Further Guidance on Moving Between Programmes of Study

    RIAI Student Membership (Architecture)

    Student membership of the RIAI is a great way to stay in touch with architecture and find out about events and opportunities for students at the RIAI.

    Who can join: Students of Architecture who are currently enrolled in (or on a year out from) qualifications that are accredited by the RIAI or currently listed in Annex V.7.1 of Directive 2005/36/EU are eligible for Student membership of the RIAI.

  • Information/Advice for Architectural Technology Students

    Student Membership (Architectural Technology)

    Student membership of the RIAI is a great way to stay in touch with architecture and find out about events and opportunities for students at the RIAI.

    Who can join: Students of Architectural Technology who are currently enrolled in (or on a year out from) qualifications in architectural technology that are accredited by the RIAI.

  • Information/Advice for Architectural Graduates

    Examinations in Professional Practice

    The examination in professional practice is the final stage in qualifying for admission to the Register of Architects and to RIAI Membership. In Ireland there are currently two Examinations in Professional Practice specified and accredited by the RIAI and available to architectural graduates.

    These examinations cover subjects such as professional ethics, planning and building legislation, contract law, project management, practice management, etc., and prepare you for the situation where you want to set up your own architectural practice.

    Recognition of non-Irish Qualifications in Architecture

    The RIAI assesses non-Irish qualifications in Architecture under Directive 2005/36/EC for their equivalence to Irish entry level qualifications for the purpose of access to an Irish post-graduate qualification in Professional Practice accredited by the RIAI.

    Alternatively, you may consider RIAI Architectural Graduate membership. 

    RIAI Architectural Graduate Membership

    Architectural Graduate Membership of the RIAI is a great way to stay in touch with architecture and find out about events and opportunities for graduates at the RIAI.

    Who can join: Graduates of an accredited qualification in architecture who are undergoing a period of practical training in preparation for Registration and/or RIAI Architect Membership are eligible for Architectural Graduate Membership of the RIAI.

  • Information/Advice for Architectural Technology Graduates

    Architectural Technologist Membership is open to graduates of accredited qualifications in architectural technology and at least two years of approved post-graduate practical experience.

    This category of membership carries the suffix RIAI (ArchTech).

  • Information/advice for non-EU qualified architects

    Admission to the Register of Architects/RIAI Membership is governed by the Building Control Act 2007 and the Professional Qualifications Directive 2005/36/EC and based on the qualification/s an individual holds.

    In order to be eligible to register as an architect in Ireland you must have a qualification in architecture plus successfully complete a postgraduate examination in professional practice / professional licensing examination.

    If your qualification in architecture was awarded in a non-EU Member State and you have obtained the relevant post graduate professional licencing examination for admission to the profession in that state, you may apply to the RIAI to have your qualifications assessed for equivalence with the standard required for prescribed Irish qualifications under Route B.

    Should  

    • you have no current experience practising in Ireland or
    • you have not completed the relevant post graduate professional licencing examination for admission to the profession in your state, or
    • if the state where you were awarded the qualification does not require completion of a post-graduate professional licencing examination for admission to the profession

    you may apply to undertake the Irish Professional Practice Examination, which is offered by UCD and TU Dublin.

    The universities will assess your practical experience and advise you on acceptance and eligibility criteria onto the programme.

    As part of the entry requirements to take the examination your non-Irish qualification in architecture must be accredited by the RIAI. he evaluation is based on the dates of attendance, the courses/subjects taken, the grades and credits awarded.

    You may apply for an evaluation only, see or apply for RIAI Architectural Graduate membership which includes the evaluation. For a list of benefits and to download the application package for RIAI Architectural Graduate membership.