Schools of Architecture

World architecture... what's happening generally....

Schools of Architecture

Postby Darragh » Sun Jul 16, 2000 4:14 pm

I have recently completed my Leaving Cert. , I have applied to the two degree courses in the republic and to Queens University Belfast. For diplomas/certs, I have applied to WIT and CIT.

Could anyone offer me their opinions as to the relative merits of the courses, particularly the playoff between Queens Belfast and UCD. The quality of the students from each of these courses is of much interest to me.

Any info would be greatly appreciated as the Leaving Results are out shortly. Thanks.

Postby JK » Mon Jul 17, 2000 7:32 pm

Afraid I don't know a thing about WIT or CIT however I have come into fairly frequent contact with graduates from DIT UCD and queens (I attended DIT between 82 and 88).

Basically all of the courses have their pro's and con's. As you will probably have noticed if you're keeping an eye on Archeire there has been a fair bit of concern about the course in Bolton Street expressed recently and from my own experiences there I would tend to think that the situation there has pretty much remained the same from when I graduated in 88.

Bear in mind that much of what has been said is probably on the part of Bolton Street students and graduates and although it all rings true you will probably find the same complaints (if you enquire) are made of all three colleges.

For what it's worth, professionally the three courses seem to produce graduates of much the same calibre and capability. In each case, in the end of the day each colleges graduates have particular weaknesses and strengths. No one college is 'overall' better than the others.

I have found that although the UCD course seems to produce very 'literate' architects in terms of both theory and professional practise that a significant number of their graduates tend towards a 'painting by numbers' view of architecture, in other words they all tend to be stamped from the same mould and you would be hard pressed to find much (initially at least upon graduation) in the way of independent thought from graduates of this course. On the other hand the UCD graduates have an excellent work ethic and are very well thought and in my day always seemed to have the upper hand on DIT graduates in terms of the kind of office that they ended up in (this is worth bearing in mind as your first two years post graduate pretty much mark out the rest of your career.

Bolton Street on the other hand does tend to leave (abandon?) the student to his own devices (some would say too much so) partly as a result or consequence of poor quality of staff and partly as a deliberate method of forcing the student to think for himself, and their graduates are much more individual both in terms of quality and personality. This can be very advantageous if the student has a lot of self confidence and can learn on his own however it requires a lot of individual talent and application to succeed in that type of environment and does seem a somewhat negative in the end of the day. Bolton Street graduates are quite employable and generally shape up well in a professional environment. I would add however that they take more time to come into their own professionally than the from UCD ,perhaps as a result of a lack of self confidence instilled by their educational background.

As to Queens, they always have had a bad press in this part of the world, interestingly enough however, they generaly seem quite happy with their course. When I was in College, Queens students were regarded as somewhat 'flakey' and of fairly poor calibre. A lot of this was based upon the fact that they always lagged badly behind the two southern colleges from the point of view of student design competitions. However I have worked with quite a number of Queens graduates and was very impressed so they're certainly doing something right.

Frankly, all of the Colleges have their advantages and disadvantages. (My own personal opinion is that architectural education in this island lags badly behind that in the UK). However I would say that irrespective of the College attended, the end of day standard is pretty much uniform. If I were asked to grade I would probably, rank UCD graduates as best. Remember that for all that Bolton Street cherry picks 'suitable' students by interview and aptitude tests that it is the UCD students (chosen at random irrespective of aptitude by examination points) who seem to be of the best overall quality. This would seem to say a lot about the teaching regime at UCD, I would guess that if they can achieve this kind of standard with a random sampling of leaving cert graded students then it should definitely be a good course for a student with even a modicum of talent and ability.

Finally, on the basis of Architectural Awards UCD graduates would appear to have been sweeping the boards over the last few years. It might be worth checking this statistically with the RIAI in Merrion Square.

Hope this is of some assistance

Old Lag

Postby hamm » Wed Jul 26, 2000 11:04 pm

There is probably no great difference in standard between the graduates of the two Dublin schools. Both have a number of committed staff. D.I.T however has the disadvantages of a significant number of deadwood lifers who can' t be got rid of, inadequate studio space, a management team whose principal interests appear not to include architectural education, and a fairly widespread sexist attitude. Given a free choice only a masochist would choose 5/6/7 years in D.I.T. Queens has improved significantly but many students there move on to another school after completing there first three years.

Postby ArchIT » Fri Aug 11, 2000 7:23 am

Having attended Bolton the late 80's -early 90's,it's comforting to know that students are still suffering needlessly to the extent that some of them will eventually opt out of the system altogether.This needless to say was a feature during my time there also.My advice to you would be to go to U.C.D., whose Architecture Degree Course has a number of options after 3rd.Yr.unlike Bolton St.The U.C.D. course is also validated by the R.I.B.A. and not the R.I.A.I.Another option is to study in England.The British Government will cover the cost of your fees.It is possible to work in a practice in England and attend college on a part-time basis and still have yor fees paid by the local educational authority.Best of luck whichever choice you make.

Postby duncan » Sat Aug 12, 2000 2:54 pm

im going back in september to D.I.T. after a year out, ive finished 3rd year, i have worked on building sites in germany, 4 months in an architects in galway and am now working on a big site in galway city centre.

i am concerned as to the quality of architecture in general and i have tried to do something, small as it is, about it

in bolton street, d.i.t, the quality of the education we are getting, in my view, is not too good. but we as the student body are trying to organize things as to improve this situation.

it is a challenge that i hope next year will be taken up by all irish students of architecture, irish architects and others intereseted

i would recomend going to bolton st. i am looking foreward to going back. it should be a very interesting year to say the least.

good luck
duncan crowley
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Postby duncan » Sat Aug 12, 2000 3:15 pm

Quality of Architecture

is this talked about by students and staff and those working in the "real world"

does anybody know what it is, i think its a serious attempt to come up to answers to the question of "what is a sustainable universe"

in my 4 years and 1 out of college theres been very very litle real talk done by anyone as to this question

i am looking foreward to going back in a few weeks, i plan to have a lot of FUN, as that is one of the most important thnigs in life

sin è
slan libh
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2000 1:00 pm

Postby ja&c » Mon Sep 11, 2000 1:54 pm

darragh, hi, my name is ************* and i am a student in DIT Bolton street.
i can tell you right off the bat whats happening here in Bolton street.

i realise its a bit late posting this reply as the offers have already gone out and all that sthit but, fukk it, i'll tell you anyway 'cause i like biaatching about bolton street.

if you come here, you will spend a sthit load of time worrying about the 'standard of education' in the college.
most people don't give a sthit but i and a few others do.
i'll leave it up to you to decide whether or not it is a good thing for a student to be freaking about his or her future, whether or not he or she is gonna' graduate with a piece of paper worth anything more than a sheet of cheap toilet paper.
that is of course if the 'inquest' scheduled for april by the RIAI (those are the guys who decide what happens in architecture in ireland) doesn't close us down.

far be it from me to 'rank upon' any member of staff but you will run into some serious problems with them, and i'm not talking about the everyday lecturer/student problems, i'm talking having serious doubts about a particulars credentials.

anyway, i'll leave it at that, if you are in the mood for a good old '70's' style student versus lecturers war, come here.
if however you are interested in attending a university, with such facilities as on campus accomodation, lecturers which aren't broken, students who don't absolutely HATE ALL ARCHITECTS and places to actually do stuff like play basketball or football -

G. O. E. L.S E W.H. E. R E.


Postby Sarah » Tue Oct 10, 2000 9:06 pm

Let's all go to Queens!!!! Why should I kill myself studying to get 500 odd points when I'd only want to piss off out of D.I.T after a few months! But I bet they're all the same really.........
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Postby D.Archer » Thu Jan 11, 2001 12:52 am

I go To Carlow IT and the course aint half bad, they are starting a new system with a new lecturer in charge of the course, so It is changing and They are trying to make it a 3 year course Diploma, rather than a 2 year cert. Only Probs is that I have to up sticks and go to a new collage for my 3rd year!
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Postby Fiachra » Thu Nov 08, 2001 3:52 pm

I'm in second year Arch in Scotland, as I did not achive the 500+ points to go to UCD, I did not apply to Bolton St as I was advised against it.

I am completly content here in Scotland, and I would strongly advise any Irish students interested in architecture to give it a look. I consider myself lucky to be studying abroad, as it brings with it many benifits, ie cultural diversity and different forms of design and materals than that of Ireland.

Don't limit your self to Ireland, look wider afield, I strongly advise taking a long hard look at Scotland!
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Postby Barry » Mon Nov 12, 2001 3:23 pm

My God...
Hav'nt things changed at all in the last 15 years?
There was a time when a DIT Architectural qualification was reputedly the best around ....based one would suppose on the quality of its graduates. It must be said however, that in my opinion this was in spite of, rather because of the facilities and standard of tutoring.
I have lectured and tutored in colleges abroad, where an evaluation of the tutors is made by the students at the end of each term. These pro forma evaluation sheets are completed annonimously by the students. It is easy to assess them and easy to determine genuine responses from individual subjective grieviences.
It is a very effecient way of monitoring the tutorial staff who make progress through the system based upon performance rather than nepotism or long term service. It is only fair that the means of assessing tutors should apply.
The maturity of the students who frequent this forum also seems questionable. Rarely does one encounter an objective, rational point of view. Too often there appears to be personal diatribes, emotional and highly subjective attacks upon individuals. Remember, it is the failure of the administration on the whole if they are supporting staff who are not performing. Liase with your student union, talk to the administration. They must be held accountable...although I must acknowledege that having had similar experiences during my time in bolton Street I understand the level of frustration experienced.
Nonetheless, the approach must be objective..or the power of the argument will be lost.
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