Placement

The Dubin School of Architecture TU831 BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology programme includes structured industry placement in the second semester of Year 3, which is achieved through the Professional Practice Placement: Architectural Technology module.

The architectural technology placement module is designed to ensure transfer of classroom learning to experiential learning in the workplace, while also developing further skills and competences through work in practice. It also gives the student an insight into the role of the professional Architectural Technologist within the construction industry in Ireland. 

 

The TU831 BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology Professional Practice Placement module is the principal module in Year 3 of the programme, and aligns with the 10 ECTS Professional Studies: Placement Support module which runs concurrently and also supports the students  work based learning. It provides for work placement of 12 weeks duration in a professionally recognised architectural or building design practice. It provides the vehicle for application and consolidation of the learner’s technical knowledge and understanding developed in Semesters 1-5 of the programme in a work placement setting. 

The Professional Practice Placement module provides the learner with experience in the application of construction technologies in the building design process, including the preparation of the documentation and drawings necessary to meet the requirements of regulation and legislation and industry systems.  

With the guidance of academic and office mentoring, the module aims to support the learner in developing a deeper understanding of the capacity required of an Architectural Technologist to be able to respond to and progress an architectural design through the application and integration of technologies, materials, structural and environmental design criteria, building regulations, codes & standards, working both as an individual and as part of a team.  

In the week prior to the formal commencement of the placement period, the learner is introduced to the professional context through the supporting 10 ECTS Professional Studies: Placement Support module lectures outlining  the legislative, regulatory and contractual context within which the construction industry operates, the composition and operation of the design team, the relative roles of the architect, architectural technologist, structural engineer, mechanical & electrical engineer, quantity surveyor and other design consultants. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of the placement module the student will be able to:

  • Prepare a Curriculum Vitae. 
  • Assist in the technical development of an architectural design through the preparation of working drawings to industry standards and in compliance with current Building Regulations, especially in relation to access, egress and energy performance provisions.
  • Review structural and M&E engineering drawings in relation to the architectural drawings for a selected project in the office. 
  • Assist with the preparation of a Fire Safety Certificate application. 
  • Assist with the preparation of a Disability Access Certificate application. 
  • Assist in the preparation of a written specification and scheduling documentation in support of a construction tender drawing package.
  • Attend and report on a site meeting and/or design team meeting, and engage in practice CPD as arranged through the placement mentor.
  • Work competently under direction within an architectural design team.  
  • Record the work experiences in a reflective journal and e-portfolio and present verbally to the academic team at the conclusion of the semester. 

Content

Over the course of the placement module, Each placement practice will enable students to have exposure to the following range of practice activities:

  • Planning and development control in Ireland (Planning & Development Acts, Planning & Development Regulations) 
  • Form and content of a planning application Building Control Act and Regulations
  • Introduction to the TGD's in practice and an example of the contents of a compliance report
  • Management of design process; Management of construction process. 
  • ISO 9001, ISO 14001, Standard Forms and Templates, CAD standards, Document Control in an architectural setting.
  • Brief analysis
  • Information production programme
  • Technical drawings/Specification/Schedules/ Document register/Quality control.
  • Performance report
  • Architectural design process: outline, scheme, planning, detailed design building regulations, production information, review and audit
  • Production information, drawings, specifications, design team, design coordination, technical coordination and checking, cost control / Bill of Quantities, H&S provisions
  • Tender process
  • Design team information and communication on site
  • Contractors team information and communication
  • Presentation skills (verbal and graphical)
  • Understanding the requirement for CPD 

Placement team

The Placement Team comprises the Placement Coordinator and Placement Lecturers.  The Placement Coordinator leads the PPP module and works with the Year Team to establish a suitable placement opportunity for each student. Each student is assigned a Placement Lecturer who oversees the students and works with the placement practice and Practice Mentor to ensure that that the student succeeds in gaining the required range of practice experience. 

The Placement Coordinator will seek to identify suitable placement companies for all students. Students are encouraged to source their own placement, especially if they wish to find placement local to where they live. Such placements must be approved by the placement team before final confirmation. All placements must be capable of providing students with a range of insights and experience. 

Placements generally take place in registered architectural practices, in which students have the opportunity to experience the full range of activities associated with the practice of architecture, from design to construction. Placements also take place in other Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) companies including architectural technology practices, construction companies with BIM offices and building manufacturers. In such instances it is important to ensure that the student will be exposed to a full range of relevant activities. The Placement Lecturer will establish any such gaps as part of their liaison with the Practice Mentor and will agree how these can be addressed.

Placement Coordinator  

The Placement Coordinator is a member of the BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology and will be assigned at the commencement of each academic year. The Placement Coordinator's responsibilities include:

  • Identifying and establishing links with suitable architectural practices and AEC companies for the purposes of placement.
  • Preparing documentation and formal communication with placement practices and companies.
  • Preparing the students in advance of placement.
  • Liaising with the TU Dublin Careers Service to arrange CV and interview preparation workshops to enable students focus on their career development.
  • Gather student profiles of each student to identify relevant  personal details such as geographic location, preferences for workplace opportunities and any other relevant information.
  • Vet placement positions for suitability and relevance to the area of academic study of the student. 
  • Disseminate information about the participating organisations to the student cohort, including job specifications and any other information. 
  • Support students in submitting CV’s to prospective placement practices and companies and arrange interviews between the students and the organisations, if required. 
  • Confirm that each student has access to and has studied the SharePoint Work Placement Handbook. 
  • Complete and retain the Placement Contract between TU Dublin and the student.
  • Assign Placement Lecturers to oversee and monitor students over the course of their placement. 

Placement Lecturer

Each student will be assigned a Placement Lecturer to monitor their performance and engagement over the course of placement. The Placement Lecturer's responsibilities include: 

  • Acting as primary examiner for each student’s placement.
  • Reviewing and retaining the weekly diary from each student while they are on placement.  
  • Visiting each student and their mentor at least once in their placement organisation.  
  • Send an evaluation form for the student to their mentor in the placement organisation, review and retain the completed evaluation form.
  • Arranging for the presentations by the student cohort on their return from placement.
  • Reviewing and retaining the final report from the student.  

Placement Practices

It is generally expected that placement will take place on the premises of the assigned practice. Responses to Covid may require periods of remote engagement and this may be accommodated as required. 

The student will be an employee of the Placement Practice for the duration of placement and will be expected to conform with all relevant rules, regulations and codes as apply to other employees. This includes Health & Safety regulations, timekeeping, dress code and giving advanced notice for any periods of absence where this is necessary. Students will be expected to arrive in work on time and remain until the end of working day, or until an assigned task has been completed. 

The student must also comply with all professional and ethical requirements regarding confidentiality, security and copyright of documentation.  

Duties of Placement Practices

The student should be given meaningful work which relates to their programme of study.

  • The Placement Practice must assign a Placement Mentor for each student. The Placement Mentor will be the primary contact between the Placement Practice and the TU Dublin Placement Lecturer for the duration of their placement.
  • Each student brings two and half years of practice-focused technical training to their placement and as such they are capable of carrying out meaningful work for the Placement Practice. 
  • Each Placement Practice will undertake to pay their student at the legal minimum training wage for an adult worker over 18 years of age, at a minimum.
  • The Placement Practice must provide an appropriate induction for the student upon commencement of their placement and inform them of any Health & Safety or other relevant procedures within the organisation.
  • All Placement Practices  must have adequate public liability and employers’ liability insurance in place.
  • The Placement Mentor must sign the student’s weekly job diary and also review the final report. If this documentation is not compliant with any copyright, legal or confidentiality issues within the organisation, they must inform the student of this fact.
  • The Placement Mentor must ensure that the final evaluation form for the student is completed and submitted to the placement coordinator at the end of the placement.
  • The Placement Practice may require the student to sign a contract of employment with them. This contract is separate and distinct from the placement contract that the student signs with TU Dublin.

Placement Process  

Work placement is an essential part of the BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology programme. It will involve the student working alongside professional and experienced architectural technologists and architects in a working environment appropriate to their area of academic study. Only placements where students are able to implement learning from their programme of study will be considered appropriate.  

The process includes a preparatory phase prior to the commencement of placement. The students are made aware of the value of the placement programme for their own career path and also the need for academic achievement in each year of the course to ensure the best placement opportunities for themselves. The student must engage fully with the process.

Assignment of placements​​​​​​​

The Placement Coordinator will make every effort to ensure that all students are assigned a satisfactory placement. 

Placement positions sourced by the Placement Coordinator will be assigned with regard to the student’s location and academic achievement. If a student is offered a placement position, they are expected to accept that offer.

When a student identifies a potential work placement opportunity themselves, they will submit whatever information they have about it to the Placement Coordinator who will vet it for suitability and relevance before the student proceeds. A student can organise a work placement in an organisation outside of Ireland, subject to the same vetting.  

Practice visits

The student will be visited at least once in their work premises by their assigned Placement Lecturer. The student, the Placement Mentor and any other relevant organisation representative will be present for the visit. The student’s progress at the time of the visit will be discussed by all. Any issues arising will be clarified and dealt with in an appropriate manner. This visit is arranged by the Placement Lecturer individually with the student and their Placement Mentor. The mentor will also have the contact details of the Placement Lecturer and Placement Coordinator should the need to make contact separately arise. 

If you are interested in being a Placement Practice, please email cormac.alle@tudublin.ie