How you become an architect in Ireland, RIAI, RIBA, IT Sligo, Interior Architecture & @ecologicalbuild

I was at IT Sligo a few weeks back for their end of year show, awards and at the announcement that the Interior Architecture BA (Hons) Degree achieved accreditation as RIBA Part 1 validation from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). In fact the Institute of Technology Sligo has now become the first higher education institution on the island of Ireland to offer an Interior Architecture degree that is formally accredited by the architecture profession. This is an incredible achievement by the staff and students at IT Sligo and is well deserved.

The visit really opened my eyes about what the Interior Architecture course was about; specialising in designing and repurposing existing buildings and truly focussing on the purpose of ‘place’. The course facilitates collaboration with students from other disciplines and to engage with the local community and add value to the region. The exhibition also included constructed examples of air-tight construction with materials from Ecological Building Systems where students worked alongside students from the Building Science & Technology courses:

Image of Airtight construction from Ecological Building Systems

Special thanks to Niall Crosson from Ecological Building Systems for the image

What’s interesting however is how this ties in to how you become an architect in Ireland. The RIAI has a specific section on their website on ‘How to become an architect’ and it lists the Schools of Architecture in Ireland. But it should be remembered that under the European Directive 2005/36/EC on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications which lists architectural qualifications for all of the EU Member States you are now able to qualify in another Member State and that having the appropriate qualifications recognised under the Directive entitles you to practise as an architect in any Member State. What this means is that students from IT Sligo can go to the UK (for example or any other member state) and complete RIBA (Part 2 & 3) and return to Ireland as architects. And so they should be able to I say. What’s interesting is that while all this was going on with the RIBA, what was the RIAI doing when effectively we have an educational establishment providing half the course in Ireland and then having to complete the course in another European country. The next obvious stage for IT Sligo would be to offer Part II (Masters) and Part III (Professional Practices) Courses/examination which I would wholeheartedly support.

Don’t forget also that any budding architects from the UK (or any other EU member state) that would like to work on existing buildings can come to IT Sligo to complete the first part of the RIBA exemption process and complete their Degree in beautiful Sligo.

For more information on the RIBA Part I Accredited Interior Architecture Course CLICK HERE

For more information on the RIBA Accreditation for the Interior Architecture Course at IT Sligo CLICK HERE

Editors Note (Novemeber 2016) – To progress to ARB Part 1 recognition the SligoIT student will need to take further prescribed examination(s):

5 thoughts on “How you become an architect in Ireland, RIAI, RIBA, IT Sligo, Interior Architecture & @ecologicalbuild

  1. Hi Mark;

    As a graduate of the program in IT Sligo I couldn’t agree more with you about the course. The ability to re-design and repurpose the abundance of abandoned and disregarded buildings over Ireland is certainly the more sustainable approach to architecture in Ireland. IT Sligo now offers the Part 2 in Interior Architecture on campus, but I stand to be corrected but I don’t think any student has undertaken the course yet.



  2. Good afternoon.

    My husband is a french interior architect. He provises lessons to french students in Britain, and also works with particulars : extension for houses. He ‘s got commercial projects too.
    Three years ago, he found a job with Hays Consultant as a projetc architect for Oreal : a french agency based in Nantes which works for a famous Supermarket called “E. Leclerc”. He managed a small team of junior architects and architectural technicians.
    We are looking for living in Ireland, but we don’t know if the french architecture license has an equal level such as RIBA or RIAI ? Or if he can work in your country with his 19 years experience.

    We thank you in adavance for your answer.

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