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 in 2018/19. 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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Certificate in Cultural Heritage Tourism

Welcome to the Certificate Cultural Heritage Tourism page.

This course is not scheduled to run in 2018/19. 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.


Cultural heritage includes the full range of our inherited monuments, beliefs, traditions, buildings, customs and culture. It is an important part of Ireland’s identity, and contributes in a major way to the economy through the tourism sector. Heritage is a subject of active public and political debate. It contributes to the construction of national and local identities, and can promote positive dialogue across communities and ethnic groups.

This certificate is designed to foster a lasting appreciation of cultural heritage, both as a personal interest and as part of a long-term career option. The course will provide individuals and groups with the training to participate in the many community-led heritage initiatives undertaken in the Munster region and beyond.

Programme Details

The course commences in early October and will be taught one evening a week for 24 weeks. Students will take five modules for a total of 30 university credits, leading to the award of an NFQ Level 6 certificate. Students will carry out self-directed study to help with coursework and will participate in three one-day field excursions.

Course Outline

Module 1: The concept of heritage tourism in Ireland (5 credits)
This introductory module considers what is meant by the term ‘heritage tourism’ in relation to current understanding in Ireland. It will outline the diversity of cultural heritage, including physical artifacts and monuments, local history, and areas such as folklore, traditional music, etc. The history of cultural heritage tourism in Ireland is examined with reference to current practice.

Module 2: The practice of heritage tourism in Ireland (5 credits)
This module considers the activities associated with promoting heritage tourism in Ireland. It will examine how the State protects Ireland’s heritage, and the role that communities and individuals can play in this process. The module considers the ways in which heritage promotion is funded and how individuals and local groups can access information to support heritage initiatives. The module concludes with a discussion of heritage in digital media and the use of new technologies to promote tourism initiatives.

Module 3: Cultural heritage and national identity (5 credits)
These classes consider the social meaning of heritage, and the ethical aspects of heritage promotion. The module is aimed at encouraging students to consider the impact of heritage promotion on social and cultural identity. It also considers the political debates that surround specific heritage sites and events, and the issues associated with decisions about how to promote the past.

Module 4: Heritage tourism project (10 credits)
This involves a project design and feasibility study based on a proposed cultural heritage tourism initiative. Students will be encouraged to create a plan for the development and promotion of a heritage site or event, using what they have learned during the course. The aim of this module is to give students practical experience in the creation of a heritage attraction. The module involves some fieldwork, which is supported by briefing sessions and tutorial sessions.

Module 5: Management and marketing in heritage tourism (5 credits)
This module considers the foundations of management thinking and the different approaches taken in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Students will learn how to develop business plans and to conduct research towards a marketing strategy suitable for heritage projects and events. They will consider various aspects of management and motivation of staff.

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Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Flexi-option – a way to take one or more of the following MA modules:

  • AR6004 Archaeological Excavation: Planning and Research Design (5 credits)
  • AR6005 Archaeological Excavation: Strategy and Practice (5 credits)
  • AR6006 Post-excavation Analysis and Interpretation (5 credits)
  • AR6007 Case Studies in Archaeological Excavation (10 credits)
  • AR6013 Archaeological Survey and Remote Sensing (5 credits)

What are Flexi-Option Modules?

This is part of UCC’s commitment to flexible learning routes at postgraduate level. You can study single modules from taught postgraduate course, which will allow you to up-skill your previous qualification or to explore a new area of study.

What are the benefits?
Whether you want to get ahead at work, or to get into a new job, or to study simply for interest and personal enjoyment, a single module from one of our postgraduate courses may be suitable for you. As a registered UCC student, you will have access to extensive library and research facilities and the academic stimulation of a postgraduate peer group. On successful completion of each module, you receive a transcript of results as an official record of having completed the module.

How much will it cost?
There is an application fee of €35. The cost of each module is calculated as a proportion of the full fee for the postgraduate course that the module is part of (plus a small administration fee). Typically, a 5-credit module will cost about €500.

What is the time commitment?
This varies according to the timetable and requirements for each module. Classes take place on the UCC campus during the day. More details are available from the module coordinator, Professor William O’Brien.

Will I have to sit exams?
You will be required to undertake the prescribed assessment for each module you study. Assessment varies from module to module but will consist of written examinations, essays, portfolios, in-class tests, individual or group presentations, in any combination. Full details available in the online Book of Modules. 

Am I eligible?
You can apply to study a Flexi-Option module if you meet the entry requirements for the bigger postgraduate course that the module is part of. Entry requirements for all our postgraduate courses can be found in the UCC online prospectus.  

Can I accumulate credits through postgraduate Flexi-Options?
You may take up to 20 credits as Flexi-Option modules per annum. A single module can be worth 5, 10 or 15 credits. Flexi-option modules alone do not lead to the award of a qualification. Nor do they guarantee entry into a bigger postgraduate course. If you successfully complete a postgraduate flexi-option module(s) on a specific postgraduate course, you may be eligible for exemptions if you subsequently apply for and are admitted to that course. Such exemptions normally apply within a maximum of five years, although for some degrees a shorter exemption period may apply.

How can I apply?
To apply for one or more Flexi-Option modules, download and complete this form (Microsoft Word).

Please return completed forms by mail to:
Dr Mary Byrne,
Graduate School,
College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences,
Room G28, O’Rahilly Building,
UCC, Cork City.

Contact the Department of Archaeology for further information:   
+353 (0)21 4904048
Course Coordinator: Professor William O'Brien.

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