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What is Architecture?

‘Architecture involves everything that influences the way in which the built environment is planned, designed, made, used, furnished, landscaped and maintained’
- UNESCO/UIA charter for architectural education 2005

Why study Architecture at SETU Waterford

If you are a creative person who would like to be part of designing a better world you might like studying architecture. In SETU Waterford we are interested in sustainability, rural and urban landscapes; conservation and working with local communities. We are located in the City Centre campus at the Granary, opposite Garter Lane Arts Centre and not far from brilliant surfing beaches and the Comeragh Mountains.

The quality of life is good and affordable in Waterford. We are less than 2 hours form both Dublin and Cork. Our strong international links see many students from around the world coming to study with us. Our staff to student ratios are low ensuring dedicated time for each student. We have also introduced a work placement module which is unique in Ireland.  You can take our programme part time or full time.

We have a strong Alumni who support each other and keep in touch with us. We are very proud of the SETU Waterford Architectural Community which we have helped to create.

What is the Bachelor of Architecture (Hons)?

It is a 5-year honours degree course, designed in accordance with national and international guidelines on architectural education. The B.Arch.(hons) in SETU Waterford was the first outside of Dublin to receive full accreditation by the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) in 2005. It is also recognized under European Directive 2005/36/EC. Studying architecture in an accredited programme is the first step towards becoming a registered professional architect.

Architectural education at SETU Waterford is primarily about developing within each student a ‘design mind’ so that they can bring together in a creative way the complex challenges facing the future world of construction. Students are introduced to design methodologies and work in a ‘learning through doing’ environment in the studio where they explore architectural designs growing in complexity as they progress through the various years. Students learn the importance of culture, climate and craft in developing design ideas. Feeding into these studio-based projects are the supporting subjects grouped under the generic headings of ‘Cultural Context’, ‘Communications’, ‘Technology & the Environment’ and a suite of electives including Work Placement.

International links

Agreements have been signed with schools of architecture in France, Mexico and Germany facilitating exchange study programmes. Languages are taught as electives to encourage students to avail of these travel opportunities. Annual trips to European capitals take place in all stages of the course.


Human Capital Initiative project

The Department of Architecture & Built Environment at SETU along with the other five schools of architecture in Ireland are working on a ‘Human Capital Initiative’ project to make the curriculum more resilient to help combat climate change and address the housing crisis. The attached video gives an overview of a recent workshop organised by the staff and students of SETU and leading experts in community led housing. The event took place in the Granary Campus in Waterford city centre and in Garter Lane Arts Centre. There were attendees from all six schools of architecture along with local architects, planners and decision makers. The event was led by Máire Henry, Head of Department of Architecture & Built Environment SETU along with colleagues Kirstin Simpson and Juergen Bauer.


Scholarships & Awards

2019:  Luke O’Keefe (ATBIM4) overall winner at the World Skills BIM competition in Russia.

2019:  MOY Material’s bursary announced to be awarded annually to SETU Waterford ATBIM student. Danielle O’Byrne (ATBIM4) is the first recipient.

2018:  2 Architectural year 5 students shortlisted in annual RIAI awards.

2018:  President’s scholarship awarded to architectural student Neil Quinn, year 1 Arch.

2017:  President’s scholarship awarded to architectural student Dominika Kusnia, year 1 Arch.

2000-2013:The Department of Architecture has been part of the Renzo Piano Foundation scholarship worth €10,000 annually to 12 students around the world. Renzo Piano is a Pritzker award winning Architect. This scholarship has allowed 13 of our students the opportunity to work and study in Renzo’s offices in Paris and Genoa.:

2005-to date: Our Architectural students have been successful in gaining places on the OPW graduate training programme.

Bonus points

Applicants who have completed the Leaving Certificate and subsequently attended Further Education (eg.QQI/FET FETAC) or Higher Education (eg. HETAC) courses and/or gained relevant work experience may be eligible for the addition of Enhancement Points (Bonus Points) to add to their Leaving Certificate score where the Leaving Certificate eligibility criteria has been met, or admission to SETU Waterford where the Leaving Certificate eligibility criteria has not been met. Applicants must return a completed Supplementary Application Form and documentary evidence.

Year 1

Semester 1 Semester 2
Architectural Design Studio 1 Architechtural Design Studio 2
Cultural Context 1 Cultural Context 2
Structures & Environmental Science 1 Research & Academic Development 1
Techne Studio 1 Techne Studio 2
Visual Communication 1 Visual Communication 2

Year 2

Semester 3 Semester 4
Architectural Design Studio 3 Architectural Design Studio 4
Cultural Contex 3 Cultural Context 4
Structures & Environmental Science 2 Research and Academic Development 2
Techne Studio 3 Techne Studio 4
Choose one of the following electives (subject to availability): Visual Communication 3
*Detailing by Model Making
*Publications 1 * = Elective

Year 3

Semester 5 Semester 6
Architectural Design Studio 5 Choose one of the following electives:
Cultural Context 5 *Industrial Placement
Structures & Environmental Science 3 *Architectural Design Studio 6
Techne Studio 5 Cultural Context 6
Choose one of the following electives (subject to availability): Professional Practice 1 - Management
*Acoustics in the Built Environment Research & Academic Development 3
*Publications 2 * = Elective

Year 4

Semester 7 Semester 8
Architectural Design Studio 5 Architectural Design Studio 8
Conservation 2 Cultural Context 8
Cultural Context 7 Research & Academic Development 4
Techne Studio 6 Techne Studio 7

Year 5

Semester 9 Semester 10
Architectural Design Studio 9 Architectural Design Studio 10
Professional Practice 2 - Law Professional Practice 3 - Architectural Practice
Techne Studio 8 Techne Studio 9
Research & Acdemic Development 5

Leaving Cert: Minimum entry requirements for the Bachelor of Architecture (Hons)

2 subjects: H5
4 subjects: O6/H7
English or Irish: O6/H7
Mathematics: O6/H7

Advanced and Equivalent Entry for the Bachelor of Architecture (Hons)


Applicants who apply to the CAO by 1 February and have successfully completed a level 7 or 8 course in any discipline, but do not meet the Leaving Certificate eligibility criteria, may be considered for admission. 

Graduates from Bachelor of Architecture (Hons) may find employment in fields such as:

  • Architectural Design Offices
  • UI, UX
  • Urban Design,
  • Landscape Design,
  • Events Creation
  • Graphics
  • Film making
  • Researcher
  • Conservation Architect
  • Lecturing

Graduates from Bachelor of Architecture (Hons) may find employment in fields such as:

  • Architectural Design Offices
  • UI, UX
  • Urban Design,
  • Landscape Design,
  • Events Creation
  • Graphics
  • Film making
  • Researcher
  • Conservation Architect
  • Lecturing

The Department of Architecture has taught and research postgraduate options including Master by Research and PhD opportunities.


Course Leader

Mr Robin Stubbs

Lecturer -

Call: +35351302707

Email: [email protected]