BA (General)

BA (General)

The teaching of Archaeology in UCC centres on the BA degree programme offered by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Our aim is to produce graduates who have the following attributes.

• A broad and detailed understanding of the discipline of Archaeology, its theoretical concerns and methodologies
• A thorough familiarity with the archaeological record in Ireland
• A knowledge of different aspects of Irish archaeology in a European context
• A solid basis for postgraduate studies leading to an academic career
• Academic and skills training appropriate to a career in professional archaeology
• A life-long interest in archaeology as a source of personal enrichment.

We also aim to produce graduates who are strong reasoned advocates for the preservation of archaeological heritage in Ireland, both within their communities and in public life.

Structure

The BA degree in Archaeology is a three-year programme (CK101 in which the discipline is taken in combination with other subjects). Archaeology is one of some 30 subjects offered in different timetable groupings in the BA programme. Students may choose Archaeology as one of four subjects in First Year, taking two subjects in Second Year and Third Year.

Students in UCC can design their BA degree according to their own interests. Second and Third Year Arts students may opt to take 50 credits of Archaeology each year (‘Single Honours Archaeology’), 40 credits (‘Major in Archaeology’), 30 credits (Joint-honours Archaeology’), 20 credits (‘Minor in Archaeology’) or 10 credits if you are doing single honours in another subject.

Find out more
  • Please reading the following sections for further information on what each year involves
  • You can visit the University's Programme Page for information on applying, entry requirements, course practicalities, assessment, etc.

First Year BA (General) 2020/21

The First Year course in CK101 provides a general introduction to the discipline of Archaeology for students who have no particular background in the subject. Students are introduced to the aims and practices of archaeology as a modern scientific discipline and career option. The course also provides a general introduction to the archaeology of Ireland, spanning some ten millennia from the earliest human settlement of the island to the early modern era.

All First Arts Archaeology students take the following course module: 
AR1001 The Archaeology of Ireland in Context (15 credits)

This course has three sections:   
Part A:     Introduction to Archaeology

Part B:     The Archaeology of Prehistoric Ireland
Part C:     The Archaeology of Historic Ireland

The First Year course provides students with a solid foundation in the discipline of archaeology, with particular reference to the cultural heritage of Ireland. Students will acquire a broad understanding of the theoretical concerns and methodologies employed by archaeologists, which is essential to future learning in this field. Students will also gain a general appreciation of the archaeology of Ireland, from earliest times to the early modern period. Lectures will provide a broad framework of understanding for the discipline and for Irish archaeology. The lectures are supported by tutorials and field excursions, which will provide practical experience in the identification and interpretation of past material culture (artifacts, monuments and archaeological landscapes). This is essential background for anyone considering a career in Irish archaeology. At the end of the first year course the student will be in a strong position to acquire further knowledge of archaeology, as well as practical experience in this field.

Find out more
  • See Book of Modules for further module information.
  • Current students can refer to their First Year Information Booklet for further information.
  • See Online Timetable for department/module timetables.

Second Year BA (General) 2020/21

 

Second Year Archaeology: Degree Options

Single Honours Archaeology      

Students take 50 credits as follows - 
AR2016 The Development of Archaeological Though (5 credits) and AR2045 Introduction to Archaeological Fieldwork 10 (credits), plus seven modules from the following list of 5-credit modules (35 credits):

AR2014  Artefact Studies (5 credits)
AR2033  Chalcolithic and Bronze Age Europe (5 credits)
AR2034  The Archaeology of Early Medieval and Viking Britain (5 credits)
AR2037  Introduction to Environmental Archaeology (5 credits)
AR2038  Human Remains for Archaeologists (5 credits)
AR2042  The Archaeology of later Medieval Ireland (5 credits)
AR2044  Heritage Management and Archaeology (5 credits)
AR2047  The Iron Age in Western and Central Europe (5 credits)

Major in Archaeology

Students take 40 credits as follows - 
AR2016 The Development of Archaeological Though (5 credits) and AR2045 Introduction to Archaeological Fieldwork 10 (credits), plus five modules from the following list of 5-credit modules (25 credits):

AR2014  Artefact Studies (5 credits)
AR2033  Chalcolithic and Bronze Age Europe (5 credits)
AR2034  The Archaeology of Early Medieval and Viking Britain (5 credits)
AR2037  Introduction to Environmental Archaeology (5 credits)
AR2038  Human Remains for Archaeologists (5 credits)
AR2042  The Archaeology of later Medieval Ireland (5 credits)
AR2044  Heritage Management and Archaeology (5 credits)
AR2047  The Iron Age in Western and Central Europe (5 credits)

Joint Honours Archaeology      

Students take 30 credits as follows:
AR2016 The Development of Archaeological Though (5 credits) and AR2045 Introduction to Archaeological Fieldwork 10 (credits), plus three modules from the following list of 5-credit modules (15 credits):

AR2014  Artefact Studies (5 credits)
AR2033  Chalcolithic and Bronze Age Europe (5 credits)
AR2034  The Archaeology of Early Medieval and Viking Britain (5 credits)
AR2037  Introduction to Environmental Archaeology (5 credits)
AR2038  Human Remains for Archaeologists (5 credits)
AR2042  The Archaeology of later Medieval Ireland (5 credits)
AR2044  Heritage Management and Archaeology (5 credits)
AR2047  The Iron Age in Western and Central Europe (5 credits)

Minor in Archaeology    

Students take four modules from the following list of 5-credit modules (20 credits):

AR2033  Chalcolithic and Bronze Age Europe (5 credits)
AR2034  The Archaeology of Early Medieval and Viking Britain (5 credits)
AR2037  Introduction to Environmental Archaeology (5 credits)
AR2042  The Archaeology of later Medieval Ireland (5 credits)
AR2044  Heritage Management and Archaeology (5 credits)
AR2047  The Iron Age in Western and Central Europe (5 credits)

10-credit Archaeology for students taking Single Honours in another subject

Students take two modules from the following 5-credit modules (10 credits):

AR2033  Chalcolithic and Bronze Age Europe (5 credits)
AR2034  The Archaeology of Early Medieval and Viking Britain (5 credits)
AR2037  Introduction to Environmental Archaeology (5 credits)
AR2042  The Archaeology of later Medieval Ireland (5 credits)
AR2044  Heritage Management and Archaeology (5 credits)
AR2047  The Iron Age in Western and Central Europe (5 credits)

Find out more
  • See UCC's Book of Modules for further module information.
  • Current students can refer to their Second Year Information Booklet for further information.
  • See UCC's Online Timetable for department/module timetables.
Module Descriptions

AR2014  Artefact Studies  
Professor William O'Brien
This module aims to give students an appreciation of archaeological artefacts and the skills involved in their curation and analysis. A number of case studies are discussed in lectures, while analytical and drawing skills are developed in practical sessions. A museum field-trip also forms part of this course.

AR2016  The Development of Archaeological Thought 
Coordinator: Prof. William O'Brien
The course present a survey of the theoretical contexts in which archaeological research is situated. The emphasis is on the development and demise of Grand Narratives in archaeological theory over the past 150 years. The implications for research of these shifting paradigms are also considered. The course includes tutorials with student presentations.

AR2033  Chalcolithic and Bronze Age Europe 
Professor William O’Brien 
This module will examine developments in human society in western Europe from the Chalcolithic to the Late Bronze Age. The origins and early development of metallurgy will be considered. The thematic approach will explore the social and cultural context of human life in this period, drawing comparisons between developments in Ireland and other West Cork regions of Europe. The teaching includes a one-day field trip to relevant archaeological sites.
 
AR2034  The Archaeology of Early Medieval and Viking Britain
Mr John Sheehan and Dr Tomás Ó Carragáin
This module provides students with a broad overview of the archaeological evidence for societies in Britain in the period c.AD 400-800; and secondly, examines the changes that occurred in the period c.AD 800-1100, with an emphasis on the impact of the Vikings.
  
AR2037  Introduction to Environmental Archaeology  
Dr. Ben Gearey
This module will introduce students to environmental archaeology, palaeoeconomy and geoarchaeology. It will outline the main methods and approaches commonly employed and illustrate the practical application of these different techniques to the analysis of archaeological sites and their contribution to understanding of past landscapes and people. It will also situate
scientific approaches to the study of the past within the broader context of archaeological enquiry, demonstrating the importance of an integrated approach to the record.

AR2038  Human Remains for Archaeologists 
Dr Barra Ó Donnabháin 
This module introduces students to the use of human skeletal remains in Archaeology. Legal and ethical issues concerned with the retrieval of human remains are discussed, as are issues related to excavation and curation. Basic methods of analysis used in Archaeology are outlined. The module also introduces students to forensic archaeology and the approaches taken in the discovery of clandestine burials and the recovery of remains from such contexts.

AR2042 The Archaeology of Later Medieval Ireland, AD 1100–1550
Dr Colin Rynne
This module provides students with an overview to the archaeology of later medieval Ireland, c. AD 1100- c.1550. The main emphasis will be on the principal theoretical and methodological approaches applied to the study of settlement forms, economy, society and material culture in Ireland, in the later medieval period. The teaching includes a one-day field trip to relevant archaeological sites.

AR2044 Heritage Management and Archaeology
Dr Colin Rynne
This module will provide students with an overview of heritage management and the archaeological resource in Ireland. It examines several aspects of the heritage/cultural resource management of archaeology in Ireland. These include heritage education, conservation/regeneration, heritage interpretation, cultural tourism, the management of historic buildings and landscapes and role of heritage in the construction of identities. The teaching includes a one-day field trip to relevant archaeological sites.

AR2045  Introduction to Archaeological Fieldwork (10 credits) 
Mr Nick Hogan & Ms Connie Kelleher
This module aims to introduce students to the principles and methods of archaeological field survey. Topics covered include the organisation of archaeology in Ireland; the legal framework for Irish archaeology and heritage protection; documentary and map studies; and many different approaches to site investigation, from the use of aerial reconnaissance to geophysical survey. Students are required to carry out a field survey project. The module then moves on to examine excavation practice in modern archaeology, ending with an overview of underwater archaeology detailing its history and development. The teaching includes field trips to relevant archaeological sites.

AR2047  Celts, Germans and Scythians – The People of the European Iron Age
Dr Katharina Becker
This module will introduce the Iron Age of Western and Central Europe, reviewing the archaeology of contemporary communities from Ireland to Slovenia and Austria to Denmark, as well as the main interpretative issues of the period. The diversity of archaeological expression, as well as shared characteristics and role and effect of the interaction with Greeks, Etruscans and Romans, will be a focus in discussing the emergence and decline of Iron Age societies during the Hallstatt and La Tène periods. Students will be introduced to sites, characteristic artefacts, historic events and places and shifts in interpretation of these in recent research, such as the issue of the Celts. A two-day field trip to Navan Fort, Co. Armagh and Corlea, Co. Longford is part of this module.

Third Year BA (General) 2020/21

 

Third Year Archaeology: Degree Options

Single Honours Archaeology 

Students take 50 credits as follows -
AR3030 Dissertation (10 credits) and AR3047 Professional Practice in Archaeology (5 credits), plus seven modules from the following 5-credit modules (35 credits):

AR3037  The Viking World and Ireland (5 credits)
AR3039  The Archaeology of the Early Irish Church (5 credits)
AR3045  The Industrial Archaeology of Ireland, AD1750-1930 (5 credits)
AR3050  Archaeo-palynology (5 credits)
AR3051  Wetland archaeology and palaeoenvironments (5 credits)
AR3053  Landscape Archaeology (5 credits)
AR3054  Late Iron Age Ireland and the Roman World (5 credits)
AR3055  Transitions in Prehistory: Ireland on the Third Millennium BC (5 credits)
AR3056  The Archaeology of Post-medieval Ireland, AD 1550-1750 (5 credits)
AR3061  Ireland’s Golden Age: Art and Craft AD 600–1200

Major in Archaeology

Students take 40 credits as follows -
AR3030 Dissertation (10 credits) and AR3047 Professional Practice in Archaeology (5 credits), plus five modules from the following 5-credit modules (25 credits):

AR3037  The Viking World and Ireland (5 credits)
AR3039  The Archaeology of the Early Irish Church (5 credits)
AR3045  The Industrial Archaeology of Ireland, AD1750-1930 (5 credits)
AR3050  Archaeo-palynology (5 credits)
AR3051  Wetland archaeology and palaeoenvironments (5 credits)
AR3053  Landscape Archaeology (5 credits)
AR3054  Late Iron Age Ireland and the Roman World (5 credits)
AR3055  Transitions in Prehistory: Ireland on the Third Millennium BC (5 credits)
AR3056  The Archaeology of Post-medieval Ireland, AD 1550-1750 (5 credits)
AR3061  Ireland’s Golden Age: Art and Craft AD 600–1200

Joint Honours Archaeology

Students take 30 credits as follows -
AR3010 Dissertation (5 credits) and AR3047 Professional Practice in Archaeology (5 credits), plus four modules from the following 5-credit modules (20 credits):

AR3037  The Viking World and Ireland (5 credits)
AR3039  The Archaeology of the Early Irish Church (5 credits)
AR3045  The Industrial Archaeology of Ireland, AD1750-1930 (5 credits)
AR3050  Archaeo-palynology (5 credits)
AR3051  Wetland archaeology and palaeoenvironments (5 credits)
AR3053  Landscape Archaeology (5 credits)
AR3054  Late Iron Age Ireland and the Roman World (5 credits)
AR3055  Transitions in Prehistory: Ireland on the Third Millennium BC (5 credits)
AR3056  The Archaeology of Post-medieval Ireland, AD 1550-1750 (5 credits)
AR3061  Ireland’s Golden Age: Art and Craft AD 600–1200

Minor in Archaeology

Students take four modules from the followin 5-credit modules (20 credits):

AR3037  The Viking World and Ireland (5 credits)
AR3039  The Archaeology of the Early Irish Church (5 credits)
AR3045  The Industrial Archaeology of Ireland, AD1750-1930 (5 credits)
AR3051  Wetland archaeology and palaeoenvironments (5 credits)
AR3053  Landscape Archaeology (5 credits)
AR3054  Late Iron Age Ireland and the Roman World (5 credits)
AR3055  Transitions in Prehistory: Ireland on the Third Millennium BC (5 credits)
AR3056  The Archaeology of Post-medieval Ireland, AD 1550-1750 (5 credits)
AR3061  Ireland’s Golden Age: Art and Craft AD 600–1200

10-credit Archaeology for students taking Single Honours in another subject    

Students take two modules from the followin 5-credit modules (10 credits):

AR3037  The Viking World and Ireland (5 credits)
AR3039  The Archaeology of the Early Irish Church (5 credits)
AR3045  The Industrial Archaeology of Ireland, AD1750-1930 (5 credits)
AR3051  Wetland archaeology and palaeoenvironments (5 credits)
AR3053  Landscape Archaeology (5 credits)
AR3054  Late Iron Age Ireland and the Roman World (5 credits)
AR3055  Transitions in Prehistory: Ireland on the Third Millennium BC (5 credits)
AR3056  The Archaeology of Post-medieval Ireland, AD 1550-1750 (5 credits)
AR3061  Ireland’s Golden Age: Art and Craft AD 600–1200

Important:

  • Students are not allowed to register for Geography GG3051 if they are taking Archaeology module AR3050
  • Students are not allowed to register for Greek and Roman Civilisation GR3029 if they are registered for module AR3054
Find out more
Module Descriptions

AR3010 Research Project/ Dissertation (5 credits; compulsory for Joint Honours/30-credit Archaeology students)
Coordinator: Dr Colin Rynne
Students are required to submit at 3,000–4,000 word dissertation. This can involve library research on a suitable archaeology topic, drawing on published sources. It may also include primary analysis of a body of archaeological material, such as a fieldwork project, once this data analysis has a substantial analytical component.

AR3030  Dissertation (10 credits; compulsory for Single Honours/50 credit and Major/40 credit Archaeology students)
Coordinator: Dr Colin Rynne
Students are required to submit at 6,000–8,000 word dissertation. This can involve library research on a suitable archaeology topic, drawing on published sources. It may also include primary analysis of a body of archaeological material, such as a fieldwork project, once this data analysis has a substantial analytical component.

AR3037  The Viking World and Ireland
Mr John Sheehan
This module begins with an introduction to the Viking Age and its background. The activities and impact of the Scandinavians in Ireland are then considered. Topics that are explored include regionalisms, economies and identity. The teaching includes a one-day field trip.

AR3039 The Archaeology of the Early Irish Church
Dr Tomas Ó Carragáin
This module provides students with an opportunity to explore the rich archaeological evidence for early medieval kingdoms and communities in Ireland, c. AD 400-1150. It allows them to develop critical understandings of the subject and encourages them to engage with current debates. Themes considered include the origins of the period, settlement patterns and daily life, agriculture and trade, burial archaeology, identity and gender, the archaeology of kingship, and the evidence for ritual practice and religious beliefs.

AR3045 The Industrial Archaeology of Ireland, AD1750–1930
Dr Colin Rynne
This module provide students with an overview of the archaeology of industrial society in Ireland, c.AD 1750-1930. The main emphasis will be on an introduction to the main theoretical and methodological approaches applied to the study of settlement forms, economy, society and material culture in Ireland in the later historical period. The teaching includes a one-day field trip to relevant archaeological sites.

AR3047 Professional Practice in Archaeology
John Sheehan and visiting speakers
This module will introduce students to the practice of professional archaeology in Ireland and the various career prospects that exist. The organization and profile of archaeology is examined, as is the economic and societal environment within which the profession operates. The legislative and administrative aspects of State archaeology are considered in respect of the work of central and local government agencies, and the commercial environment of private sector archaeology is reviewed. The role of the museum sector is examined, as is the cultural heritage management and tourism sectors.

AR3050  Archaeo-palynology
Dr Ben Geary
This module will introduce students to palynology, the analysis of sub-fossil pollen. It aims to provide students with a rigorous grounding in pollen analysis within the context of archaeological sites and questions, with a focus ranging from site to landscape. It will also highlight the role of palynology within broader environmental archaeological frameworks in Ireland and further afield.

AR3051  Wetland Archaeology and Palaeoenvironments
Dr Ben Geary
This module will introduce students to wetland archaeology, the archaeological study of wetlands including peat bogs, river floodplains and coastal environments. It will present the importance of such contexts for the integrated study of archaeology and environmental archaeology. It will contrast the forms of information provided by wetland environments with terrestrial contexts and demonstrate the importance of information from both contexts for an integrated understanding of past human activity. The module will also highlight the particular methodological approaches to investigating wetland sites.

AR3053  Landscape Archaeology
Prof. William O'Brien
This module provides a general introduction to the theory and methodologies of landscape archaeology, with particular reference to recent research in Ireland. The lectures will explore different theoretical perspectives that can be applied to an understanding of 'landscape' in archaeology, and also the approaches employed in the analysis of these locations. Students will be introduced to different landscape types through case-studies drawn mainly from research undertaken in the Department of Archaeology. The module concludes with a detailed examination of the archaeological landscape of Lough Gur, Co. Limerick, where students are taken on guided field excursions.

AR3054 Late Iron Age Ireland and the Roman World
Dr Katharina Becker
This module examines the archaeological record of Ireland in the first half of the first millennium AD. This includes the newly emerged evidence for settlement, subsistence and economic activities. The evidence for different types of interaction with the Roman world is presented. The history and archaeology of the Roman Empire will be briefly outlined and the concept of Romanisation explored in a variety of case studies. These will also include areas outside the Empire such as Scotland in order to contextualise the Irish evidence. This is a joint module with the Department of Classics and co-taught by Dr David Woods.

AR3055 Transitions in Prehistory: Ireland in the Third Millennium BC
Professor William O’Brien
This module explores the archaeology of Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic (Copper Age) societies in Ireland during the third millennium BC. Various themes of continuity and change are considered with reference to monument traditions (henges, timber circles and wedge tombs), changes in funerary practice and religious belief, new forms of settlement, as well as important innovations in technology and material culture.

AR3056 The Archaeology of Post-medieval Ireland, AD 1550–1750
Dr Colin Rynne
This module will review the archaeology of post-medieval Ireland, from the plantation period to the development of demesne landscapes in the early eighteenth century. Particular attention will be placed on introducing the current methodological approaches, and how post-processual theoretical brands have been and applied to the study of settlement forms, economy, society, and material culture in Ireland during the post-medieval period.

AR3061 Ireland’s Golden Age: Art and Craft AD 600–1200
Dr Griffin Murray
This module examines the rich artefactual heritage of Ireland's Golden Age during the early and high medieval periods. This was a time when craftsmanship in Ireland reached its highest point, producing objects of global significance. The 'Tara' brooch, Ardagh chalice, Cross of Cong, Book of Kells, and the stone high crosses are all explored in detail. The module investigates the different stylistic and technical influences in this period of change, including Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Carolingian, Viking, and Romanesque. It also examines key artefacts from areas of Irish influence in Britain and the Continent. Furthermore, it examines the major sites of craft production, the position of craftsmen in Irish society, the role of royal and church patronage, and the use of objects as agents of power and devotion in medieval society.

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