Architectural Practice - Bolton Street

What is... Architectural Practice (Professional Diploma)?
The Professional Diploma in Architectural Practice (PDAP) is a 30 Credit postgraduate qualification, which is recognised by the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI). The programme is accredited by the RIAI for the purposes of registration. Successful candidates, who also have the requisite undergraduate qualification, will be permitted to join the Statutory Register of Architects with the RIAI to practice as an Architect in Ireland.

Under the terms of the Building Control Act 2007 and the underlying European Legislation, EU Directive 2005/36/EC, the passing of the RIAI recognised qualification allows for the establishment as an architect (subject to statutory provisions) in a member state of the European Union.

The programme aims to equip each student with the Knowledge, Ability and Judgement needed by an architect to perform his or her professional duties and to understand how an office organisation is managed for this purpose. The examination is measured against the scope and professional requirements of the RIAI and current practice, its requirements as well as its anticipated future developments.

The purpose of the examination is to ensure that those who practice architecture have achieved a threshold of competence - in terms of awareness, knowledge, understanding and ability that is consistent, relevant, and will safeguard clients, building users and society at large. The assessment (which is continuous through the course) tests the students against the relevant RIAI professional competencies.

Learning outcomes:

On successful completion of the PDAP programme the student will be able to:

Describe contemporary issues relevant to the practice of architecture in Ireland

Recognise the requirement to act ethically within the RIAI Code of Conduct

Evaluate personal performance against good practice

Explain the importance of collaborative practice in the field of architecture.

Demonstrate a critical awareness of the global, societal and legislative context of sustainable design.

Describe the general principles of management

Outline the specific issues arising from architectural practice

Describe his/her obligations and responsibilities to employers, clients, other professionals and to a society at large

Integrate the principles of project management

Examine the principles of team management

Debate the general legal context & explain how aspects of it impact on the management of architecture.

Evaluate the effects of Planning & Development & Heritage legislation on the realization of architecture.

Predict the effects of Safety Health & Welfare legislation on the realisation of architecture.

Appraise the effects of Building Control legislation on the realization of architecture.

Outline the legislative context of fire safety design and certification.

Characterise the societal and legislative context of inclusive design.

Conclude the duties and obligations placed upon the architect when appointed as contract administrator

Differentiate approaches to cost planning with and without the input of a quantity surveyor

Examine roles, responsibilities and relationships of sub-consultants during the Pre-Tender

Design Process and the Post Tender Project process.

Evaluate the selection process for main contractor(s) and sub-contractors.

Assess a resource plan and information issue programme addressing pre-tender procurement activities

Reflect on and critically evaluate the management of a real-life project

Reflect on and critically evaluate the management of real-life practice

Appraise the key methods by which the government controls and regulates the construction industry, including current consumer protection issues and related legislation.

Judge the legislative and economic controls of development including fiscal measures, planning legislation, environmental law, building regulation, health and safety regulation, and identify associated codes of practice and sources of technical information

Predict how the legislative and economic control of the built environment and the construction industry affects development and the procurement of projects in Ireland

Appraise sources of information available to architects in Ireland

Plan and negotiate future appropriate professional experience accordingly.

Subjects taught

Taught Modules Semester 1 and 2:
The classroom element is delivered through a series of six professional components, which are four weeks in duration:

ARCH 6101 – Professionalism (fee bidding and office management),
ARCH6101 – Planning.
ARCH 6102 – Building Control,
ARCH 6102 – Construction Procurement.
ARCH 6103 – Design Management,
ARCH6103 – Construction Management.
Case Study Module Semester 1 and 2

The Case Study Module runs in parallel to the taught classroom components (it may also be taken with a one or two semester break). It is to a large degree undertaken through self-directed study. There will however be six individual tutorials arranged with the Programme Chair, which will provide feedback and support for both the Case Study and the Janus Report. There will in addition be a mock interview, held after the final submission and before the final viva. Students will be required to submit a case study, career evaluation (Janus) report and sit an oral examination at the end of the semester.

This element is delivered through one 15 credit module, which is:
ARCH 6201 - Case Study and Career Evaluation

Entry requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements?

The Professional Diploma in Architectural Practice programme is open to the following categories of applicants:

• Graduates of a recognised programme in architecture, equivalent to the TU Dublin BArch

• Other building professional who wish to take the programme of study as CPD

Application dates

Applications open in April 2022.

Assessment Info

The programme assignments combine reflective learning practices, case study analysis, management skills development (e.g. briefing documents, presentations) along with a Masters dissertation.


Masters Degree
Successful completion of all 6 modules (90 ECTS)
Exits available with Postgraduate Certificate (3 modules, 30 ECTS) or Postgraduate Diploma(5 modules, 60 ECTS)


1 year part-time.

Method of Delivery Classroom

Post Course Info

What are my career opportunities?
Successful graduates will be eligible to register as a professional who is entitled to call themselves an Architect.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Special Purpose Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

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    Course provider