Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) in Architecture

  • NFQ Level 8
  • Points Required 420*
  • Course Code AU925
  • Award Honours Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 5

Course Summary

Architecture is the art of planning and designing the built environment based on an understanding of humankind and our connection to the earth. It is a collaborative practice. The ethos of Architecture at ATU Sligo is the belief in the potential of architecture to transform places. We aim for a strong student-centred culture with dialogues between students and lecturers at its core. The challenges of the present demand a radical response to a future which demonstrates concern for both people and planet. This requires a deep understanding of place that tasks us all with the responsibility to innovatively respond to current and future issues, relating to daily living needs while protecting our climate. Our ambition is to impress upon our students their role in contributing to society as a new generation of architects for this region and beyond.

This programme provides education and training for the practice of architecture, taught in a way that makes explicit an understanding of and sensitivity to historical, contextual and cultural influences on the practice of design in a global, national, and local context.

 "Architecture is our primary instrument in relating us with space and time, and giving these dimensions a human measure"  Pallasmaa, 2005.

Architecture at ATU Sligo invites students to develop their own creative ideas and discover the multi-faceted processes of architecture in a stimulating and dynamic community of passionate academics, highly skilled architects and design professionals.


Our programme is the first programme of Architecture in the Creative West of Ireland. Situated on the Atlantic edge of Europe, the spirit of this place has inspired creativity through the ages producing world renowned writers, artists, musicians, and designers. Our programme aims to build on this lineage recognising the energy specific to this location on the edge of the Atlantic.

Our philosophical approach to architecture centres on:

  • Interpretation of Place
  • Regionally Transformative Architecture
  • Architectural Regeneration of Built Heritage
  • Human Experience and Perception of Space

Our progressive approach to architectural education builds on an established tradition of delivering undergraduate architectural design programmes for the last 20 years. We aim to empower students with a core belief in the spirit of a region and a desire to make a positive difference, along with learning to think outside the box and gain skills that employers value highly.


This programme provides education and training for the practice of architecture, taught in a way that makes explicit an understanding of and sensitivity to, historical, contextual and cultural influences on the practice of design in a global, national, and local context.

Students develop their own creative ideas and discover the multi-faceted processes of architecture in a stimulating and dynamic community alongside passionate academics, practicing architects and design professionals. Architecture design studio makes up over 50% of the programme for each of the five years, with students working in dedicated design studio spaces.

Design studios form the core element of the programme where design projects explore the programmes vision points: Interpretation of Place, Regionally Transformative Architecture, Architectural Regeneration of Built Heritage, Human Experience and Perception of Space and aim to strengthen the interaction of the natural and built environment.

There are multi-disciplinary projects with students from other ATU Sligo degrees. Students also participate in national exhibitions and design competitions. Also, annual field trips to European cities exposes students to a variety of forms of architecture and design.  

Students create an academic portfolio of design work by the end of the programme, which incorporates the thematic areas of the syllabus: Architecture Design Studio, Context and Theory, Technology and Environment, Theory and Design of Structures, Applied Technology Studio,  Visual Communication, Interdisciplinary Practice, Professional Studies, Regional Engagement,  Thesis, Elective modules.


The programme vision points are introduced and explored through the personal experience, dwelling and place-making. The fundamentals of critical thinking and the design process are introduced. The representational and communications skills of Architecture are developed through drawing, model making, writing and discussion.


Engages with the regions unique landscape and focuses on understanding the nature and context of site and the natural environment. Delicate and responsive, intimately sited architectural solutions integrating architecture with the landscape. Rural public realm. Detailed site analysis and ecology of landscape. Students develop more complex architectural skills and their understanding of the transformative role of architecture in society.


Examines a wider range of larger more complex settlements. The building typologies expand to consider in more detail the social, cultural and technological contexts. Impacts on the wider community and ecology are considered. Students are encouraged to develop independence to deliver detailed and resolved proposals and are developing awareness of architectural responsibility to society.


Studios are the core of the curriculum integrating theoretical and practical work, through the process of research and experimentation. Students build on skills developed through their first three years to participate confidently within a design team and enrich their design choices for complex buildings and sites


Studio continues to form the core of the curriculum integrating theoretical and practical work, through the process of research and experimentation, fostering an exchange of outcomes at regional, national and international levels. This year provides the opportunity for students to explore a particular chosen aspect of architecture in-depth drawing from the schools vision. Through time the research material accumulated will be for the collective benefit of future students and the community


‘Atlantic Technological University Sligo has applied to the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI), the Registration Body and Competent Authority for Architects in Ireland, for the accreditation and subsequent prescription of this degree. In February 2019 the Bachelors of Architecture degree (BArch) at ATUSligo was awarded Provisional Approval by the RIAI in line with the RIAI Qualifications in Architecture: Procedures for Prescription under the Building Control Act 2007 . The earliest that this qualification may achieve prescription under the Building Control Act 2007 is when the first cohort of students graduate from the programme in 2024. The procedures available at the link above set out the process indicating each stage clearly. Therefore, the Bachelors of Architecture degree (BArch) at Atlantic Technological University Sligo has begun this process but is not currently prescribed for the purposes of registration as an architect in Ireland under the Building Control Act 2007.

 To use the title 'Architect' in Ireland a person must be named on the Register of Architects (Building Control Act 2007). Programmes in architecture in Ireland are initially accredited by the RIAI and then recommended to the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government for ‘prescription’, which means legal recognition as a qualification in architecture. Eligibility for admission as an architect to the Register for Architects and to Membership of the RIAI follows successful completion of an RIAI accredited degree programme in architecture followed by two years of post-graduate practical experience working with a registered architect together with a successful outcome in an RIAI accredited Professional Practice Examination.’

Please follow this link for more information on the RIAI accreditation for Architecture at ATU Sligo.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO courses at ATU Sligo are available for download below:

A portfolio is NOT required for entry to this programme.

Career Opportunities

The qualification is for the profession of architecture. However, a diverse range of career opportunities in the creative industries exists, utilising the skills taught through the education of an architect.


"NOJI Architects fully support the creation of a Bachelor of Architecture programme for the North Western region. It will lead to an increase in high-calibre students graduating and staying to work in the region. Architectural practices are always looking for the best degree-educated students to employ, now we have them on our doorstep.”

NOJI Architects RIAI 'Future Award' Winner 2018

"The university has top-class facilities with dedicated design studio spaces. I love the West of Ireland and the projects are integrated into the local environment. It is a self-directed and very well supported learning experience. There is high contact time with tutors.

I love the annual field trip to European design capitals. In first year we went to Lisbon and Porto. There is also the possibility of completeing an Erasmus exchange with partner European Universities."

Robert Savage, Bachelor of Architecture (Hons) in Architecture

Did you know?

Our Bachelor of Architecture (Hons) in Architecture programme includes lots of wonderful aspects.

  • Regional ethos and high contact time with tutors.
  • Students work in dedicated design studio spaces.
  • Architecture studio makes up over 50% of the programme for each of the five years, complemented by Representation, Architectural History and Theory, Building Science & Technology and Professional Studies modules.
  • Progressive approach to architectural education based around a dynamic studio culture.
  • Projects are integrated into the local environment from a social, geographical, historical, and cultural perspective.
  • Multi-disciplinary projects with students from fine art, creative design, structural engineering, quantity surveying and construction project management.
  • An accessible, experiential, self−directed and supported learning experience.
  • Annual field trips to European design capitals.
  • Participation in student exhibitions and design competitions.
  • Erasmus exchange programmes with partner European universities.
  • Broad range of transferable skills.

Final Year YAADA students take part in a creative showcase each year. Check out the Yeats Academy of Arts, Design and Architecture Yearbook to see their work.

Course Format

Semester 1

Architectural Design Studio 125
Architectural Design Studio 225
Architectural Design Studio 330
Architectural Design Studio 430
Architectural Design Studio 545
Research + Engagement: Design05

Semester 2

Architectural Technologies & Environment 105
Theory and Design of Structures 105
Visual and Material Culture 1 (Introduction & Historical Survey)05
Visual Literacy05

Semester 3

Architectural Drawing & Communication 105
Technology Studio 105
Architectural Context & Theory I05

Semester 4

Architecture Technologies and Environment 205
Architectural Context & Theory 205
Yeats Academy Creative Interdisciplinary Practice I05

Semester 5

Technology Studio 205
Theory and Design of Structures 205
Archaeology of Buildings Theory05
Architectural Drawing and Communication 205

Semester 6

Architectural Drawing and Communication 305
Architecture Technologies and Environment 305
Architecture Context and Theory 305

Semester 7

Theory and Design of Structures 305
Technology Studio 305
Professional Studies 1 and BIM05

Semester 8

Advanced Architecture Technologies 105
Professional Studies 2: Conservation and Historic Intervention 05
Research + Engagement: Introduction05

Semester 9

Advanced Architecture Technologies 205
Research + Engagement: Dissertation 105
Research + Engagement: Regional05

Semester 10

Research + Engagement: Dissertation 205

Semester 11

Professional Studies 3: Preparing for Practice05