Welcome, Guest  :  Login  |  Help  |  Contact Us


Changes in CAO points for courses in Architecture and Architectural Technology

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Design@UL, FabLab Limerick June 2015.

Design@UL, FabLab Limerick June 2015.

On 21 August almost 60,000 students received their offers for places on courses in third level institutions across the country. This year the CAO points system has been recalibrated so that fewer students achieve the exact same score. Simplification of the grading process with 14 possible grades under the old system now replaced by just eight, which mean last year’s points and this year’s may not be directly comparable. A greater diversity in individual scores should make for a fairer allocation of college places.

While the points for one programme in Architecture increased, on the whole CAO points for Architecture remained steady or decreased, while Architectural Technology courses generally saw points remaining the same or increasing. Although applications for architecture can reflect the cyclical nature of the economy and construction industry, the skills of architects and architectural technologists are highly mobile, allowing them to work anywhere in the world.  “Architecture is a great career”, says RIAI CEO Kathryn Meghen. “Architecture attracts people who are creative thinkers and problem solvers and these skills are highly sought after and transferable. Architects can work in private practice, in a local authority, for the Government or in a larger commercial organisation. There is lots of room for specialisation and career development.”

Architecture is regulated in most European countries and programmes must be recognised by the regulator/registration body to give access to the profession under law. In Ireland the title ‘architect’ is protected by legislation so if person wishes to describe themselves as an architect they must be admitted to the Register for Architects.

When selecting a programme of study it is essential to check that it is properly accredited and prescribed for access to the profession.  Please check with the RIAI to confirm which qualifications are prescribed under the Building Control Act 2007. Check at the following Link https://www.riai.ie/education/careers/becoming_an_architect/

There are a number of routes to registration, but the most typical is to complete a prescribed degree course in architecture, at least two years of approved postgraduate professional training and a prescribed examination in professional practice.

There are currently five prescribed degrees in Architecture offered in this state by the following institutions: University College Dublin, University of Limerick, Dublin Institute of Technology, Waterford Institute of Technology and University College Cork and Cork Institute of Technology’s jointly run course (CCAE). Belfast’s Ulster University and Queen’s University operate under the UK’s University and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS) and the architecture degrees they offer are prescribed by the Architect’s Registration Board (ARB) in the UK.

This year first round CAO points for Architecture are up 30 CAO points to 635 in DIT, down 6 to 444 in CCAE, down 18 to 287 in WIT and down 23 to 492 in UCD. CAO points for architecture at UL remain steady at 420.

Institution 2017  2016
Cork Centre for Architectural Education 444


Dublin Institute of Technology 635*


University College Dublin 492


University of Limerick 420**


Waterford Institute of Technology 287


*Applicants must attend a suitability test and interview for which extra points are awarded.
**Applicants must first pass a portfolio examination in April, prior to the CAO. Only those applicants who have successfully passed the portfolio examination are considered through the CAO.

Prescribed degree courses in architecture take five years of full-time study. Many students take a year out for practical experience between the third and fourth years. So the whole process, from start to full professional qualification, including postgraduate professional training, 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 or recognised. Graduates of the three-year or four-year courses in Architecture are not eligible for any class of RIAI membership or for registration as an architect.

Further information and advice about becoming an architect can be found on the RIAI website 'Becoming an Architect'.  

The most common way to qualify as an architectural technologist is to undertake a degree through an RIAI accredited course, which generally takes three years of full-time study, followed a period of supervised practical training. You are then eligible to become an Architectural Technologist member of the RIAI.

The RIAI currently accredits qualifications in Architectural Technology from five third-level educational institutions in the Republic; Carlow Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology and Letterkenny Institute of Technology. Architectural Technology is down 9 points to 261 in Carlow IT, up 4 to 244  in CIT, up 15 to 380 in DIT, up 13 at GMIT to 213, down 57 in LyIT to 163.




Carlow Institute of Technology, BSc (Hons) in Architectural Technology (Level 8)  261


Carlow Institute of Technology, BSc in Architectural Technology (Level 7)  181


Cork Institute of Technology, BSc in Architectural Technology (Level 7)  244


Dublin Institute of Technology, BSc (Hons) in Architectural Technology (Level 8)  380


Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, BSc (Hons) in Architectural Technology (Level 8)  272


Letterkenny Institute of Technology, BSc in Architectural Technology (Level 7)  163


Further information and advice about becoming an architectural technologist can be found on the RIAI website 'Becoming an Architectural Technologist'.

Categories: Architecture | Education

« Back to Latest News