Professional Diploma in Architecture


Professional Diploma (Architecture) (NFQ Level 9)

Qualification Points:

Professional Diploma – 30 credits – equivalent to 5 modules

Duration: 1 year, part time (up to 5 years flexible learning)
Start Date: September
UCD Academic Expertise:

This professional diploma is offered, delivered and supported by academics in the UCD School of Architecture.

Fees: Fees should be confirmed by visiting UCD fees webpage.
Contact us: You can contact us by email using the form at the end of this page or by phone as follows:

Contact Name: Orla Hegarty/Michelle Murray
Contact Number: +353 1 716 2761


This course is the final professional examination for architectural graduates, leading to entry to the Register for Architects in Ireland and recognition in 27 European Union States under the Qualifications Directive.

The UCD Professional Practice course is long established and is popular with architecture graduates from Ireland and many other international schools. Whether you are working in Ireland or another country, this course offers you an opportunity to complete your professional examination on a flexible part-time basis.  It is practically based and delivered by senior architects and other professionals who are in practice and have a very broad range of relevant experience in specialist areas.

What will I study?

The course is structured in five modules: The first three modules- Architectural Practice, Construction Legislation and Procurement & Contracts- cover the full range of practice issues and include all current relevant subject areas for the required knowledge, skill and competence for a professional architect in Ireland (RIAI Standard).

The fourth and fifth modules are related to your direct experience in architectural practice. You will prepare a Case Study dissertation for a completed construction project and be assessed at Oral Examinaiton.

How will I study?

The Online Professional Diploma (Architecture) will be delivered through the UCD Blackboard system and will consist of:

  • Interactive learning including lecture notes, powerpoint presentations, linked external reading/ video and interactive learning including reinforcement quizzes etc.
  • Screen recordings to demonstrate reference material
  • Online multiple-choice quizzes
  • Interactive discussion boards

Students are expected to spend around 3 hours per week per module (over 12 weeks) accessing the online modules and performing their own study. Aside from making the structured study materials available, lecturers will spend 1-2 hours per week answering student queries through the course discussion boards, or through a virtual classroom environment.

Students are not required to attend any lectures at the UCD campus as part of the course. However, they are advised to attend for one day at the start of each semester (September or January) and are required to attend to take Written and Oral Examinations (which are held twice each year).

To complete the course, students must have access to a relatively modern computer which matches the minimum specifications required to run the UCD software, as detailed here.

Career Opportunities

The Professional Diploma (Architecture) is the final professional examination for architectural graduates and will enable you to enter the Register for Architects and to use the title ‘architect’. By achieving professional recognition and becoming a member of the professional body (RIAI) you will complete the last stage of your formal education as an architect. You will also acquire automatic mutual recognition of you professional qualification in 27 European Union member states.

Entry Requirements

To enter the course you must have a UCD B.Arch or UCD B.Sc (Arch) + M.Arch (or equivalent approved 5 year qualification in architecture, e.g. UK Part I and Part II). Graduates are not required to be in employment in architectural practice to enter the course; however, in order to complete the diploma course, you will be required to provide Certificates of Experience (from your employers) for min. 24 months professional practical experience in paid employment under the supervision of an architect. This experience can be in Ireland or elsewhere and can be completed in stages before or during the course.

Are there any additional costs?

- Tuition Fees include access to all online course materials through UCD Blackboard. Other reference materials used are freely accessible online or through UCD Library. Students may wish to purchase RIAI reference material (approx. cost  €40).

-Students are required to attend UCD for examinations in all modules which are available twice each year (Semester 1- January or Semester 2- May). Students should budget for travel/accommodation to attend over 2/3 days.

-Registered students also have use of UCD Library and the Student Centre

-Information on Tax Relief for Tuition Fees is available here.

Get in touch with our course team...