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Study Architecture in Ireland: Best Courses & Universities

ACAlpina ChariJan 25, 2023
Study Architecture in Ireland: Best Courses & Universities

In the middle of rolling green hills and ancient castles lie academically fulfilling Ireland. Architecture is one of the most sought-after courses in Ireland. Architecture requires the ability to balance technical and creative problem-solving. It is also an interdisciplinary field that draws on the knowledge and skills of many other disciplines, such as engineering, history, and urban planning. Ireland has a long tradition of innovative architectural design, spanning from early church settlements to contemporary structures so what better country than Ireland to study architecture? This article aims to provide extensive information regarding the best Architecture courses in Ireland-

Overview: Study Architecture in Ireland

Number of universities  8
Level of programs  Bachelors (BA, BSc) & Masters (MA, MSc)
Annual tuition fee 3,500 to 25,000 EUR (depending on the course)
Medium of teaching  English
Annual cost of living  10,000 – 20,000 EUR 

Why Study Architecture in Ireland?

In Ireland, the demand for architects has been increasing in recent years, driven by a growing economy and an increasing demand for new and renovated buildings. According to the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI), the demand for architects has grown significantly in the last decade, driven by a steady increase in construction activity. The RIAI reports that the number of registered architects in Ireland has increased by over 50% in the last 10 years, with the number of architects in practice growing from 3,500 to 5,000. Apart from this, a few reasons why Architecture is one of the best courses to study in Ireland are-

  •  High-quality education: Irish universities and colleges have a reputation for providing excellent education in the field of Architecture. Some universities providing Architectural courses are ranked on the QS world ranking, Shanghai Ranking, THE ranking, etc.
  •  A strong tradition of Architecture: Ireland has a rich history of Architectural design, from the ancient monastic settlements to the modern buildings of today.
  •  Access to European Union: studying in Ireland provides an opportunity to travel and experience the Architecture of other European countries.
  •  Beautiful landscapes: Ireland offers a diverse range of landscapes and environments that can inspire Architectural design.
  •  Professional opportunities: Ireland has a growing economy and an increasing demand for architects, providing opportunities for graduates to find employment.

Top Universities Offering Architectural Degrees in Ireland 

Name of the University Location QS World Ranking QS World Ranking by Subject- Architecture
Trinity College Dublin Dublin 98 46
University College Dublin Dublin 181 92
University of Galway Galway 259 271
University College Cork Cork 286 288
University of Limerick Limerick 531-540 356
Dublin City University Dublin 471 338
Queen’s University Belfast Belfast 233 227
Ulster University Belfast 101-200 (THE Ranking in Global Leader in sustainability) NA
  1.   Trinity College Dublin – Ireland’s Dublin is home to Trinity College Dublin (TCD). It is the oldest university in Ireland and was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I. TCD is a part of the esteemed Russell Group, a grouping of eminent Irish and British universities known for their emphasis on interdisciplinary research. The university is situated in Dublin and has a long and illustrious history and is renowned for its stunning and elegant campus. The institution offers a huge selection of undergraduate and graduate degrees in many different fields, including the arts, humanities, business, engineering, health sciences, and science. TCD has a great reputation in various academic fields and is a research powerhouse as well. 
  2.   University College Dublin (UCD)- One of the top research-intensive universities in Europe, UCD fosters a culture that values undergraduate education, master’s and doctoral training, research, innovation, and community involvement. UCD is currently ranked among the top 1% of all higher education institutions worldwide, reflecting the recent improvement in its standing on the global stage. With more than 38,000 students from 152 countries, including more than 5,000 who are based abroad, UCD is also Ireland’s most internationally focused institution.
  3.   University of Galway – The institution was founded 175 years ago in the year 1845. The University of Galway has gained distinction as a research-driven institution that is dedicated to providing students with top-notch instruction. The university has over 18,000 students and more than 2,000 faculty and staff.
  4.   University College Cork – University College Cork (UCC) is a publicly funded university located in Cork, Ireland. It was founded in 1845. UCC is known for its programs in the humanities, including history, literature and languages, arts, and architecture. It has over 23,000 students and more than 2,000 faculty and staff. The university is also a member of the prestigious European University Association (EUA) and the Universitas 21, a group of leading research-intensive universities from around the world.
  5.   University of Limerick – The University of Limerick (UL), is situated on Ireland’s west coast and is home to cutting-edge teaching and research facilities. By independent QS Stars assessors, UL received coveted 5-star rankings for graduate employability, innovation, knowledge transfer, teaching, engagement, internationalization, and infrastructure. UL is a youth-centric and innovative university with nearly 16,500 students, including more than 2,000 international students each year, and a proud history of innovation in scholarship and education. The University also has strong links to industry and has a number of research centers and institutes that work closely with companies and organizations in the region.
  6.   Dublin City University -Dublin City University (DCU) is a publicly funded university located in Dublin, Ireland. It was founded in 1975 as the National Institute for Higher Education, Dublin, and became Dublin City University in 1989. DCU is known for its innovation and entrepreneurship, and it includes a variety of research institutions and centers that collaborate closely with local businesses and organizations. The institution is dedicated to addressing the needs of the nearby community through its research and teaching and places a significant emphasis on social impact and community participation.
  7.   Queen’s University Belfast – Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), is a publicly sponsored institution of higher learning in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It was established in 1845 as Queen’s College, Belfast, and changed its status to an autonomous institution in 1908. The esteemed Russell Group of the UK’s top research-intensive universities includes QUB, which has a significant emphasis on research. The university has a long history of civic involvement and is dedicated to serving the needs of the community through its research and education. QUB has over 3,800 international students from 92 different countries. They are ranked 17th in the world for international outlook (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022).
  8.   Ulster University – This institution has a national and global reputation for excellence, innovation, and regional participation. They have significantly influenced the social, cultural, and economic growth of Northern Ireland.

Best Bachelor’s in Architecture Courses in Ireland

There are many excellent bachelor courses in Ireland. Given below is a list of the best Architectural courses in Ireland- 

UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy

The Royal Institute of British Architects, the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, the Royal Town Planning Institute, the Irish Planning Institute, and the Irish Landscape Institute all have professional accreditation for the range of undergraduate programs: Ireland’s economy is strong and stable, making it a desirable location for business students seeking to study in and get experience in a dynamic corporate environment.

Courses that this institution offers- 

Name of the Course Duration Specifications Tuition Fee for International Students (EUR)
Bachelor of Science in Architecture 5 years –

3 Years BSc Architectural Science (Hons) + 2

Years MArch (Hons)

or 4 Years BArchSc (Hons)

BSc (Architectural Science) (Hons) (NFQ Level 8) and MArch (NFQ Level 9) or BArchSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8) 20,500
Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture 4 years BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8) & MLA (NFQ Level 9) 20,500
Bachelor of Science in City Planning and Environmental Policy 3 Years (BSc)(Hons)

+ 1 Year CPEP International (optional)

+ 1 Year Master’s program (optional)

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8), MRUP or MSc (NFQ Level 9) 20,500

Note: NFQ -The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) is a system used in Ireland to standardize and grade educational qualifications. It assigns a level to each qualification.

University of Limerick

The Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) has awarded full accreditation to the Architecture program at UL.

Name of the Course Duration Specifications Tuition Fee for International Students (EUR)
Bachelor of Architect 5 years NFQ Level 8 major Award Honors Bachelor Degree 16,557

 University College Cork

This college is professionally accredited and offers a variety of Architectural courses-

Name of the Course Duration Specifications Tuition Fee for International Students (EUR)
Architecture (Joint Program with MTU) 4 years BSc (Hons) 22,130

 Queen’s University Belfast

Professionally accredited by RIBA, ARB and LAM. The BSc Architecture program at QUB is ranked 6th overall in the UK for studying Architecture (Guardian League Table 2021).

Name of the Course Duration Specifications Tuition Fee for International Students (EUR)
Structural Engineering with Architecture 5 years NA 23,100
BSc Architect 3 years NA 23,100
Structural Engineering with Architecture with a year in the industry 5 years NA 23,100

Ulster University

The course is validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects and is prescribed by the Architects Registration Board. Successful completion of the course (BA Hons) offers an exception from RIBA Part 1 examinations.

Name of the Course Duration Specifications  Tuition Fee for International Students (EUR)
Architecture – BA (Hons) 3 years NA 18,045 (15,840 GBP)
BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology and Management 4 years NA 5,274 (4,630 GBP)

Best of Masters in Architecture in Ireland

Ireland is one of the best places to pursue your master’s at. Given below is a list of the best postgraduate Architecture courses that universities in Ireland have to offer-

Ulster University 

Name of the Course Duration Tuition Fee for International Students (EUR)
Architecture

MArch

1 year 15,840

 University College Dublin

Name of the Course Duration Tuition Fee for International Students (EUR) Specifications
Masters in Urban & Building Conservation 2 years 14,700 NA
Masters in Urban Design 1 year 14,700 NA
Masters in Architectural Science by research 1 year 14,700 Sustainable Building Design & Performance

History and Theory of Architecture

Architectural Design

University College Cork 

Name of the Course Duration Tuition Fee for International Students (EUR)
Architecture (Joint Program with MTU) 1 year 23,100

 University of Galway 

Name of the Course Duration Tuition Fee for International Students (EUR)
MSc (Sustainable Environments) 1 year 25,090

 University of Limerick

Name of the Course Duration Tuition Fee for International Students (EUR)
Architecture M.Arch 2 years 15,046

Admissions Requirement to Study Architecture in Ireland

The requirement for admissions may vary from university to university but given below is the basic requirement for pursuing both – bachelor’s and master’s in Architecture in Ireland –

 Bachelors

  •   A secondary school leaving certificate (Leaving Cert or A-levels) with a minimum grade point average of 2.2. O6/H7 in English, Mathematics, a third language, and two other recognized subjects (O6/H7 refers to the grading system used in secondary education in Ireland. The O6 grade is equivalent to a grade C or higher in other grading systems, and the H7 grade is equivalent to a grade D or higher).
  •  A personal statement outlining your reasons for wanting to study architecture, your career goals, and your relevant experience.
  •  English language proficiency, as all programs are taught in English. IELTS (6.5 minimum) and TOEFL (80-95 minimum). Scores are subject to variation depending on the university.
  • Some universities may also require an interview as part of the admissions process.
  • International students may also need to provide proof of financial support and meet additional requirements, such as a valid visa or work permit.
  •  Some universities may also require a minimum score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or other standardized tests.

 Masters

  • Bachelor’s degree in Architecture or a related field: Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree in Architecture or a related field from a recognized university. Other academic transcripts may also be required.
  •  Minimum grade requirements: Most universities have a minimum grade requirement for admission to a master’s in Architecture program. This varies from university to university. Often, in order to be considered for admission, you need to have a GPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.0 or 7.0 out of 10.
  •  Portfolio: A portfolio of your work is usually required as part of the application process. This should showcase your design and technical skills, as well as your understanding of Architecture and design.
  •  English language proficiency: Most universities in Ireland require applicants to demonstrate English language proficiency, usually through a test such as IELTS (6.5 minimum) or TOEFL (80-95 minimum). Scores are subject to variation depending on the university.
  •  Interview: Some universities may also conduct an interview as part of the admissions process to assess your motivation and suitability for the program.

Cost of Living in Ireland 

Finances are subject to variation depending on the course and university of choice. As an international student, you have to be able to pay for tuition fees and living expenses during your study period in Ireland. The tuition fee for architecture programs in Ireland averages between EUR 15,000-25,000. Although this is higher than some architecture courses offered in Netherlands, it is still comparatively lower than other popular study destinations like the USA and Canada.

Living expenses such as food, transportation, and personal expenses must also be taken into account. Given below is an estimated monthly cost of living in Ireland-

Living Cost Estimation (EUR)
Food 250-350
Recreation 100-300
On Campus accommodation 640-860
Private accommodation 650-1,100

Scholarships 

Scholarships can make a significant difference in a student’s ability to attend and succeed in college, allowing them to achieve their educational and career goals. Additionally, scholarships can also serve as a form of recognition for academic or personal achievement, providing recipients with a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue excelling in their studies. Given below is a list of scholarships that students can apply to for studying Architecture in Ireland-

  •    Government of Ireland – International Education Scholarships 2023 – Students from non-EU/EEA nations are eligible for the offer, which is relevant to all academic subjects. Successful students will receive a scholarship of €10,000 for one academic year and payment of all tuition and other fees associated with enrollment at the higher education institution.
  •   Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Program – It offers a stipend of €18,500 annually, a fee contribution, including non-EU fees, up to €5,750 annually; and qualified direct research expenses of €3,250 annually.
  •    University of Galway Excellence Scholarship – Scholarship recipients will receive €1,500 as a token of appreciation for their academic achievements and will be invited to participate in a high achiever development program supported by the scholarship in order to strengthen their leadership capacity and acquire the knowledge and abilities necessary to succeed in their field of study. This is only applicable to undergraduate programs at the University of Galway.
  •    Faculty of Science and Engineering Scholarships at the University of Limerick. International (Non-EU) merit-based scholarship worth €1,500 per year. The scholarships are based on academic merit and are a reduction in tuition fees. 

Future Prospects in the Field of Architecture in Ireland 

The field of Architecture is demanding and rewarding, requiring creativity, technical know-how, and effective communication abilities. As Ireland’s population and economy continue to grow and as the emphasis on sustainability and energy efficiency in defining projects intensifies, the demand for architects is anticipated to rise. After the completion of your Architectural studies and hands-on work with a registered architect, you can then submit an application for registration as an architect to the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI). A registered architect may work for an Architecture business, a local government agency, or independently. A building architect’s duties may also involve advising clients on technical issues related to sustainability, building standards and regulations, and other technical facets of construction. In order to ensure that a project is completed on schedule, within the allotted budget, and to the appropriate standard, architects are also involved in the administration of construction projects. They supervise the work of other experts like engineers and contractors. According to salary surveys, the average salary for architects in Ireland ranges from €35,000 to €60,000 per year for entry-level positions.

Working in Ireland post-completion of studies

If a student is enrolled in a full-time school, has an Irish Residence Permit card, and wants to work occasionally, they can do so as long as their program is on the ILEP, the government’s list of program that qualifies for visas.

Except for two standardized times when full-time work is permitted, casual employment is defined as up to 20 hours of part-time labor each week (i.e., up to 40 hours per week). Only the dates June 1 to September 30 and December 15 to January 15 correspond to the customary summer and winter breaks for college students. Regardless of the actual college teaching schedule for their subject, these dates are set for all non-EEA students.

International students who have earned an Irish degree may remain in Ireland and seek employment or a work permit, green card, or Ireland PSW through a third-level graduate scheme.

For those with postgraduate degrees, the duration of the Ireland post-study work visa is two years; for those with undergraduate degrees, it is three to four years. This extension allows students to stay in Ireland after finishing their studies in order to look for suitable employment. Students may submit an application for a work permit following the period. 

Conclusion

Ireland provides ample opportunities for students pursuing their education abroad. While in the course of selection, one must keep in mind international rankings, on-campus facilities, expenditure, quality of education, etc. We at Gyanberry can assist with your dream to study Architecture in Ireland and cater to your other academic requirements with the utmost attention. With the help of our extensive guidance, you can select the university best suited for your interests and ambitions with personalized services as well.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The length of an Architecture program in Ireland can vary depending on the type of program and institution. A traditional five-year B.Arch program will take five years to complete, while a two-year M.Arch program will take two years.

Yes, the majority of Architectural schools in Ireland include a required practical experience time, also known as an “internship” or “professional placement.” This can be done in architecture firms, construction companies, or other pertinent organizations, and is often concluded in the summer.

There are numerous institutions that provide quality education in the field of Architecture. Some notable colleges are University College Dublin, University of Limerick, University of Galway, University College Cork, etc.

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