BA (Hons) in Architectural Design

This is a programme that has a distinctive vision with a focus on re–imagining our existing built environment, the experience of how we use spaces and a connectedness to place. Through our progressive approach to architectural education we empower students with a core belief in the spirit of place and a desire to make a positive difference. The BA (Hons) in Architectural Design will provide graduates with the unique skills set desired by industry both nationally and internationally.

The undergraduate programme is characterised by four core themes:

Place – A connectedness to place through interpreting and responding to the characteristics embodied in existing buildings, with an awareness of the wider context and existing community and the occupation of space;

Existing Buildings – Our industry relevant re-use agenda develops the potential and sustainability of the built environment into the future with a focus on new and exciting ways to re-imagine our existing built environment through utilizing a broad spectrum of adaptive re-use typologies;

Interior – A vision of architecture where the interior environment is both influenced by, and influential upon, the whole built environment;

Environment – Integrated technologically informed solutions which acknowledge environmental responsibility as an underlying philosophy for design in the built environment.

We believe the genesis of a design is a narrative of people, buildings, and place at a point in time. From a grassroots level our projects are integrated into the local environment from a social, geographical, historical, and cultural perspective. While design solutions are required to be innovative there is a focus on the intimate dialogue between the user and the space they inhabit which manifests itself in a 1:1 relationship with the existing building. Student design projects are carefully considered in order to develop a skills base relevant to an ever-evolving field. They are multi-layered to facilitate collaboration with other disciplines and to engage with the local community and add value to the region.

The inaugural Yeats International Architecture Competition was conceived and realised by the architectural staff in 2015 and the entries were exhibited in the Liminal Spaces show in the Model Art Space, Sligo. ‘Both the BA (Hons) Architectural Design programme and the competition seek new territories of experimentation with place, through engaging with the transformative role of architecture. Each aims to stimulate both social engagement and dialogue around the identity of the local region, redefining the genius loci of this place at this time’ (Brady & Donohoe, Art Architecture and Place, 2015).

'Square Moon’ winner of Yeats International Architecture Competition for 2015, image courtesy of Loch Bo Films.

The learning experience is accessible, interactive, self−directed and supported in order to promote both independence and responsibility as part of a design team. Our graduates are confident, critical thinkers with a personal vision toward quality design, equipped to become active and enthusiastic participants within their local communities and with the potential to transfer these skills to a global context.

The Design Studio accounts for 50% of the programme in each year. It is complemented by modules in Representation, Digital Media, Architectural History and Theory, Architectural Science & Technology and Professional Studies.

Our dynamic studio culture is enriched by;

  • Innovative and exciting architectural design projects, from real-life scenarios integrated into the local environment, to imagined spaces in aspirational landscapes, providing a broad range of both industry relevant and transferable skills: residential, cultural, hospitality, commercial, educational, exhibition, community design, urban design and regeneration, landscape, conservation, restoration, furniture and lighting design
  • Multi-disciplinary projects with students from fine art, creative design, structural engineering, quantity surveying and construction project management
  • High contact time with tutors
  • Dedicated personal studio space
  • Annual Field trips to design capitals: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, London, Milan, Rome, Stockholm and Venice
  • Student exhibitions and design competitions
  • Erasmus exchange programmes with partner European universities offering the opportunity to study abroad for up to a year

Becoming an Architect

In Ireland the title ‘architect’ is protected by legislation. This means that if a person wishes to describe themselves as architects they must be admitted to the Register for Architects.

There are a number of routes to registration, but typically if you are studying in Ireland you will:

  1. Graduate with a prescribed degree in architecture.
  2. Obtain at least two years of approved postgraduate professional training;
  3. Successfully complete a prescribed examination in professional practice

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, 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. Graduates of the three-year or four-year courses in Architecture are not eligible for any class of RIAI membership or for Registration.

Currently the BA (Hons) in Architectural Design programme cannot be considered for accreditation by the RIAI or prescribed under law, since it only provides a basis for two years subsequent postgraduate education. IT Sligo is preparing to seek accreditation and prescription in the future.

The RIBA is a professional body in the UK and the BA (Hons) in Architectural Design has been validated at Part 1 level by the RIBA; this forms part of the suite of qualifications and practical experience which are required for membership of the RIBA. Upon graduation, students may apply to RIBA Part 2 programmes of architecture.

The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is the statutory regulator and registration body in the UK; if you ultimately wish to use the title ‘architect’ in the UK, you must hold the appropriate ARB-recognised qualifications and practical training experience and be registered with the ARB. This qualification cannot be prescribed by the ARB, however graduates of the BA (Hons) in Architectural Design may be eligible to apply to undertake ARB’s Prescribed Examination at Part 1 level if they wish to gain equivalence at that level; Students successfully gaining equivalence at this level through ARB’s Prescribed Examination will additionally need to complete the full suite of required qualifications and practical training experience before being eligible for registration. 

The BA (Hons) in Architectural Design has been internationally validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) at Part 1 level. RIBA validation is a recognition of educational achievement that is world class.

The RIBA has had a long-standing involvement in promoting high quality and innovative architectural education throughout the world. Through validation, the RIBA identifies courses and examinations which achieve the standards necessary to prepare students for the professional practice of architecture’ (RIBA website

Graduates of BA (Hons) Architectural Design

Patrick Hoban obtained first class honours on the BA (Hons) in Architectural Design at IT Sligo in 2012. He then entered the Masters of Architecture (MArch) at Queens University Belfast where he successfully graduated in 2014. Patrick is now working with 2020 Architects and planning to begin his Part 3 in September 2017.

Claire Muldrew graduated from the BA (Hons) in Architectural Design at IT Sligo in 2012. She is currently Design Assistant & Purchasing Co-ordinator at Men At Work Design Build in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Claire is planning to begin her Masters in 2018.

Darren O’Connell graduated from the BA (Hons) in Architectural Design at IT Sligo in 2016. He is currently working with Rhatigan Architects in Sligo and planning to undertake his Masters in 2018.


Civil Eng. and Construction SG345 Honours Degree Abinitio

*New Common Points Scale

The new Leaving Certificate Common Points Scale from 2017 is not directly comparable with the scale that was in existence from 1992 to 2016.

Download the Grading Scale from

Applicants should list their CAO course choices in genuine order of preference and they will be offered the course highest up on their list that they are deemed eligible for, if any.

Entry Requirements

All applicants must apply through the CAO system. CAO applicants who are applying in the year of their Leaving Certificate are awarded a place based on Leaving Certificate points. The requirement for entry to the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Interior Architecture is six subjects at Leaving Certificate level. A limited number of places will be offered to mature students (over 23yrs of age) and graduates and transfers from other third level programmes. Students applying from outside the Republic of Ireland must demonstrate equivalency.

Non Standard Applicants may be called for interview and must present a portfolio demonstrating creative ability. Appropriate graduates from other programmes must apply directly to The Registrar’s Office of IT Sligo. Mature students apply through the CAO and will be called for interview. A request for supplementary information will be made including certified transcript of previous results. Places may be awarded based on this supplementary information.

Programme Transfer:

All prospective students wishing to transfer from other architectural or architecturally related programmes will be required to demonstrate they have met the required learning outcomes during an interview and portfolio review process as per procedures set out by the RIBA criteria which form part of the conditions for professional validation.

Career Opportunities

The BA (Hons) in Architectural Design programme has Part 1 accreditation by The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

The combination of expertise and accreditation will provide graduates with the unique skills set desired by industry both nationally and internationally. In addition RIBA Part I Accreditation can open pathways for graduates to progress onto RIBA Part II Architectural programmes and enhance their many possible career options.

Route to becoming an Architect

What subjects will I study?

Who do I contact?

Admissions Office
T: 353 (0) 71 931 8510