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Professional Practice Exam

The best way to qualify as an architect eligible for admission to the Register for Architects and to Membership of the RIAI is to

  • get a degree from a recognised school of architecture, followed by
  • two years of approved post-graduate professional training, and
  • an examination in professional practice.

For further information on under-graduate qualifications in Architecture see Becoming an Architect

The quality of a graduate’s post-graduate professional training is the single most important factor contributing to successful completion of the final stage of professional formation. The RIAI Policy on Post-Graduate Professional Training is intended to provide information and guidance on graduate’s professional training to students and graduates, RIAI members and practices, Schools of Architecture and of Architectural Technology, and State agencies with roles in education, training and employment.

Graduates and employers alike should be aware of the RIAI Advice Note on Employment and Social Welfare Rights first published in July 2011. Members and practices are reminded that under employment law, except in defined circumstances outlined in the Advice Note, employees must be paid at least the national minimum wage.


Professional Practice Examination Options

  • UCD Professional Diploma (Architecture)

The Professional Diploma (Architecture) is the final professional examination for architectural graduates leading to entry to the Register for Architects in Ireland.  This part-time programme is available through attendance at lectures or online (a self-directed flexible programme). Graduates can take the five modules over minimum of 1 year, or longer, on a flexible basis and examinations are available in either January or May.

The programme is flexible to allow graduates to complete the programme over a number of years, while completing min. 24 months professional practical experience. This can be undertaken either in paid employment (min. 21 hours/week) or in an approved internship scheme, in Ireland or in any other country.

Applications can be made online at www.ucd.ie/apply

Further information on the UCD Professional Diploma (Architecture)


  • DT119 Professional Diploma in Architectural Practice (PDAP)

The Professional Diploma in Architectural Practice - PDAP offered by TU Dublin prepares candidates for the examination that allows candidates to register as an Architect in Ireland. The programme is run by the Dublin School of Architecture, TU Dublin. It aims to equip the candidate with the knowledge, ability and judgement expected of a registered Architect in offering services to a client and successfully managing a business. Enrolment opens in October, lectures begin in the following January and this normally leads to submission of written material and final oral examination in early September. The programme is delivered through a series of 40 plus lectures, 12 half-day seminars and one-to-one tutorials.

Further information on DT119 Professional Diploma in Architectural Practice (PDAP)


PLEASE NOTE: The RIAI Examination in Professional Practice has been in suspension since 1 March 2012.

Candidates wishing to complete a Professional Practice Examination should contact UCD or DIT following the weblinks above.