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Architecture, Planning & Urban Studies


Architecture, Landscape Architecture, City Planning & Environmental Policy lie at the heart of innovation and development. If the combination of art and science inspires you, and you are interested in designing buildings, planning the outdoor environment or solving complex issues that we experience in our everyday lives, then these degree programmes will unleash your creative potential. UCD has the widest range of facilities in Ireland, and the most established and respected courses to ensure that you achieve that potential.

UCD Architecture is Ireland’s longest-established and most prestigious architecture course. It is the only course of architecture in Ireland that is accredited by the recognised professional institutes of both Ireland (Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland – RIAI) and the United Kingdom (Royal Institute of British Architects – RIBA). The School of Architecture has also most recently secured the Substantial Equivalency with the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) in the USA.

UCD is currently the only university in Ireland to offer an undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture. This course is accredited by the Irish Landscape Institute (ILI) and recognised by the International Federation of Landscape Architecture [IFLA-Europe]. Our programmes are taught in unique facilities in the Richview/Newstead buildings on the Belfield campus. These include design studios, which are at the heart of both programmes, a well-equipped workshop and building laboratory, exhibition spaces and the best architectural library in the country. The studio programmes are largely taught by practising architects and landscape architects. These include many of the leading figures in their profession, whose work is widely recognised nationally and internationally, including the 2018 Venice Biennale Architectural Curators, adjunct professors, Yvonne Farrell and Shelly McNamara.

The UCD planning school is the oldest, largest and most respected planning and environmental policy school in Ireland. Most planners currently employed in Ireland were educated in the School. This career-orientated programme gives you the skills to envisage and enable real world change. The School enjoys strong relationships with both the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Irish Planning Institute (IPI). Planning and environmental policy involves understanding the world around us and building on such knowledge to create a better world. The Bachelor’s in City Planning & Environmental Policy is an employment focused degree, so if you are considering a career as a professionally qualified planner, urban designer or environmental policy analyst this is the degree for you. This exciting programme is about solving complex issues that we experience in our everyday lives. Where should we build our schools, shops and stadiums? What can we do to conserve our unique natural environment? How can we protect our cultural heritage? Planners, environmental policy experts and urban designers tackle such issues on a daily basis. They do so by promoting sustainable development to improve our quality of life and enhance the natural environment. If you would like to make a positive difference to how our world works, then this programme is for you.

UCD is building an environment that will support researchers across a broad spectrum of disciplines and that encourages collaborative research. Several research institutes and centres have been established to provide state-of-the-art resources and a critical mass of academics, including:


Among our accomplished alumni of UCD Architecture are:
  • Yvonne Farrell
  • Roisin Henegahan
  • Justin Kilcullen, Director of TrĂ³caire
  • Shelly McNamara
  • Kevin Roche
  • Duncan Stewart, Architect and TV Broadcaster
  • RuairĂ­ Quinn, Minister for Education and Skills