Oriel is a Professor at the Welsh School of Architecture, which she joined as a Senior Lecturer in May 2012. She studied for her undergraduate degree and PhD at Cambridge and did her diploma at the Architectural Association. She has a doctorate in the environmental history of architecture. She ran her own architectural practice, Oriel Prizeman Ltd in Cambridge for over 16 years specialising in the repair and adaptation of listed houses. She has taught design studios at the University of East London, the University of Cambridge and at the Royal College of Art.