Adult/Continuing Education

Adult/Continuing Education

Welcome to our Adult/Continuing Education page. Please see our sections below for evening and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes that we currently offer.

Certificate in Arts (Archaeology)

Welcome to the Certificate in Arts with Archaeology page.

This course is not scheduled to run this coming year. Please check back again, or contact us for details on future scheduling.

Applications for this Certificate are currently made through UCC Adult and Continuing Education at

Please contact us at or +353 (0)21 4904048 if you have any further queries regarding the course or the application process.


Archaeology is an exciting subject that investigates important developments in the human story over millions of years. The subject has long captured the popular imagination through the discovery of famous artifacts and sites. Archaeologists are like CSI detectives of the past, using a range of scientific methods in pursuit of material evidence about our origins and history. The study of Archaeology offers a life-long interest, as well as a professional career qualification with many employment opportunities. Archaeologists in Ireland work in the State heritage sector, in the National Monuments Service and the National Museum, as well as for local authorities in county museums and planning offices. There is also a strong commercial sector, where archaeologists work in survey and excavation connected to construction projects, and in areas such as environmental impact assessment, heritage conservation and tourism. This Certificate is designed to foster a long-term interest in Archaeology, both as a personal interest and as a career option. The course was also established to support the work and interests of local historical societies in the Munster region.

Programme Details

A one-year taught programme that will provide a general introduction to archaeology as an academic and a professional discipline. The course includes a general survey of the archaeology of Ireland over the past ten thousand years, including our most famous artifacts, monument and landscapes. Students will gain an appreciation of the contribution that archaeology can make to cultural heritage tourism and community.

The course will commence in early October and will be taught one evening a weeks over the following six months. Students will take four modules, which will be taught consecutively to a total of 20 University credits.

Course Content

Module 1: Introduction to Archaeology (5 credits)
This module will introduce students in a general way to archaeology. The lectures will examine the historical development and current concerns of this discipline, and its different theories and methods. Students will be taught the principles of archaeological chronology, and the way we date ancient sites and artifacts. The classes will introduce the work of the modern archaeologist in a professional capacity, including excavation and field survey, and different types of laboratory work. Other topics include the study of human remains, environmental studies and experimental archaeology.

Module 2: The Archaeology of Prehistoric Ireland (5 credits)
This course covers the period from the end of the Ice Age to the adoption of Christianity. Topics include the first settlers in Ireland, the arrival of farming, Newgrange and the megalithic tomb traditions, c.8000–3000 BC. The earliest use of metal and the transition to the Bronze Age will be considered, as well as the many changes in settlement, ritual and society during that period. Lectures will examine the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age in Ireland, c.1500 BC to AD 400, to explore Ireland’s contacts with the continental Celts and the Roman World.

Module 3: The Archaeology of Historic Ireland (5 credits)
This course deals with the archaeology of the early historic period in Ireland, from ogham writing and the arrival of Christianity in the fifth century AD to early modern era. The lectures examine the archaeology of the early Church, the 'Golden Age' of Irish metalworking and art, early medieval settlement and economy, and Viking Ireland. Later classes will examine the archaeology of the medieval castle and the great monastic foundations, as well as rural settlement in medieval Gaelic Ireland, plantation archaeology and the industrial heritage of recent centuries.

Module 4: Archaeology Field Project (5 credits)
This module will enable students to carry out a research project on the archaeology of their home area. The basic principles and methods of archaeological field survey will be taught in the classroom. This will be accompanied by a one-day field excursion to visit examples of major monument types in the Irish landscape. There will also be a visit to an archaeological excavation. This module will highlight the important contribution Archaeology can make to community development, heritage tourism and landscape conservation.

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Department of Archaeology


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