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CAO Application: Are you Interested in a Career in Architecture

Published: Friday, January 12, 2018

Following a 7% rise in demand for architecture courses in the 2017 CAO applications, the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) has created a guide for Leaving Cert students considering architecture as an option, ahead of the February 1st closing date for 2018 applications.

Becoming an architect
In Ireland the title ‘architect’ is protected by legislation. This means that if a person wishes to describe themselves as an architect they must be admitted to the Register of Architects.
There are a number of routes to becoming a registered architect but typically if you are studying in Ireland you will need to:

  1. Graduate with a prescribed qualification in architecture;
  2. Obtain at least two years of approved postgraduate professional training;
  3. Successfully complete a professional practice examination specified by the RIAI.

Choosing a Programme
When choosing a course in architecture it is essential to check that the programme you are interested in is properly accredited by the RIAI and prescribed by the in the Building Control Act for access to the Register of Architects. Prescribed qualifications in architecture take five years of full-time study. In some universities or colleges the five years of study is split into a three-year degree course followed by a two-year master’s, or a four-year degree followed by a one-year master’s. Only the final award (after five years) is accredited or recognised for the purpose of registration as an architect.

There are currently 5 prescribed qualifications in architecture in Ireland. They are all 5 years in duration. They are:

  1. Cork Centre for Architectural Education, 4 year BSc (Hons) in Architecture followed by a 1 year M.Arch. (CK606);
  2. Dublin Institute of Technology, 5 year B.Arch. (DT101);
  3. University College Dublin, 3 year BSc (Architectural Science) (Hons) followed by a 2 year M.Arch (DN100);
  4. University of Limerick, 5 year B.Arch. (LM099); and
  5. Waterford Institute of Technology, 5 year B.Arch. (WD144)

Further information on these programmes can be found here.

Kathryn Meghen, RIAI CEO said: “A career in architecture gives you the opportunity to make a real contribution to the quality of peoples’ lives. Architecture influences every aspect of our lives – through the houses we live in, the buildings we work in, the places we spend our leisure time and even the streets we move about in. Everything that is built around us has an impact. This is true even of buildings we never enter but just pass by every day. Architecture is inescapable, so it is important that it be as good as possible.” She added, “Courses in architecture and architectural technology are of their nature vocational. In choosing one students are making quite a big decision about their career direction so it is important to research it well.”

Points and Subject Requirements
Points and subject requirements for Architecture vary from year to year and from one school of architecture to another. Some schools of architecture require you to submit a portfolio; others don’t. You can get all of the up-to-date information from the Central Applications Office (CAO) website: www.cao.ie.

For students who still have some time to think about their post-secondary school options, the RIAI recommends trying the profession out for size through a period of work experience, however short, in an architect’s office. The RIAI recently published a new guide to support Architectural Practices who take on Transition Year Students www.riai.ie/education . Gaining a few weeks of work experience will give students a better idea of what the profession is like, ahead of committing to the many years of training it requires.

More information on architecture as a career can be found at www.riai.ie/education.

Categories: Architecture | Education

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