Visiting Students

Visiting Students

The Archaeology Department is a vibrant and welcoming place and its staff members are leading scholars in their respective fields. We have always valued the very positive contribution that visiting students make to the learning environment, and to life generally, at UCC.

We teach a wide range of courses and almost all of them are available to visiting students. In addition we run two courses designed specifically for visiting students - The Early Start Programme in Irish Archaeology, which runs in late August/September and AR2111 Irish Archaeology: Prehistoric, ‘Celtic’ and Historic, which runs in Semester 2 (Spring Term). Our courses are particularly popular with students of Anthropology, but we very much welcome the opportunity to introduce visiting students with no previous academic experience of Archaeology or Anthropology to this exciting field of study.

Dr. Tomas Ó Carragáin ( is the designated academic advisor for visiting students within the Department. Any queries about eligibility or suitability of courses should be directed to him. For more general queries, and for information about applying to study at UCC as a visiting student contact the International Education Office (, or see their website. For further details on studying archaeology here and on what options are available to you, please see the information sections below.

(AR2200) The Early Start Programme in Irish Archaeology

The Early Start Programme in Irish Archaeology provides visiting students with a unique perspective on Ireland’s cultures, history and landscapes. Through illustrated lectures, class discussion, and field-trips to spectacular archaeological monuments, students gain an understanding of the broad sweep of Ireland’s history from the initial settlement of the island after the last Ice Age, to the birth of the modern era in the seventeenth century AD. The course is designed to suit both archaeology / anthropology majors and students with no previous experience of these subjects. About half of the contact time is in the form of field-trips, which constitute a crucial part of the learning experience. As well as a range of sites in the Cork region, we explore Dublin city and its hinterland, Galway city and the stunning limestone landscapes of the Burren and the Aran Islands. The course is worth 10 UCC credits and runs for three weeks in late August/September, after which time students join standard Autumn Semester classes with their Irish counterparts.

For further information please follow this link

(AR2111) Irish Archaeology: Prehistoric, 'Celtic' and Historic

For visiting students who are at UCC during the Spring Semester, we offer AR2111 Irish Archaeology: Prehistoric, ‘Celtic’ and Historic. This 10 credit module provides them with a stimulating overview of Irish archaeology and an opportunity to engage in an authentic way with Ireland’s landscapes, cultures and history. It is suitable for students with no previous academic experience of Archaeology or Anthropology as well as students studying these subjects in their home universities. Through the study of artefacts, monuments, landscapes and texts, students gain an understanding of the broad sweep of Ireland’s history, from the initial settlement of the island after the last Ice Age, to the birth of the modern era in the seventeenth century AD. A third of the contact time is in the form of field trips to a wide range of sites from fascinating but little-known local ruins to the world famous Rock of Cashel.

Other Modules Available

There are several courses on aspects of Irish archaeology from early prehistory to the industrial archaeology of the nineteenth century also available to Visiting Students. These courses look beyond Ireland to consider subjects such as European Prehistory and Viking Archaeology. In addition, a number of modules focus on particular aspects of the discipline including the artefact studies, environmental archaeology and the study of human remains. Many of the modules incorporate field trips to some of Ireland’s most important sites and landscapes.
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Please contact Dr Tomás Ó Carragáin ( should you require further inforamtion on other modules available for your upcoming academic term.

Certificate in Irish Studies

Both the Early Start Programme and AR2111 count as core courses in the Certificate in Irish Studies - an interdisciplinary programme available to visiting students who are at UCC for a full academic year. Students choose from a wide range of courses on various aspects of Irish history and culture offered by departments such as Irish, Folklore and History. Several other Archaeology modules have been designated as electives for students undertaking this programme. Students are awarded a certificate on successful completion of these modules.

Visit the Programme's webpage for more details.

Postgraduate Study Options

There are a range of posgraduate study options for Visiting Students at the Department:

The Higher Diploma in Arts (Archaeology) is an intensive one-year programme designed as a conversion course for those who have a primary degree in another discipline but who want to work or pursue postgraduate research in Archaeology.

For those with a degree in Archaeology or cognate discipline, we offer one-year taught MA programmes in the areas of Museum Studies and Human Osteoarchaeology. We also welcome applications from overseas students who wish to undertake MPhil or PhD research with us.

Find out more

Module Loads and Credits

UCC has long experience in dealing with course load and credit questions, with a very wide range of American campuses. At this stage we have a detailed knowledge of the kind of information which American study abroad advisors, programme managers and faculty need to know about in order to assess whether UCC is a suitable campus for you and how courses and programmes are organised here.

The academic year at UCC is divided into two teaching periods, Period 1 and Period 2, which are equivalent to the Fall and Spring Semesters, respectively. Visiting students may also apply for Full Academic Year and Early Start Semester programmes. The latter runs from the end of August / beginning of September until Christmas.

Courses at the university are taught in modules. A module represents a self-contained fraction of a student’s workload for the year. The size of a module is indicated by its credit weighting. The number of credits allocated to each module will vary depending on the fraction of work it accounts for. Most modules equal either 5 or 10 credits. A standard 5 credit module normally consists of 24 lecture hours. UCC students take modules to the value of 60 credits per academic year and no more than 35 credits in any one teaching period/semester.

It is important to note that these credit weightings are not equivalent to the credits awarded by an American institution. In general, a 5 credit UCC module will be awarded either 2.5 or 3 credits in the American academic system. As a broad rule of thumb, a student coming here for a full academic year may expect to take modules to the value of 60 UCC credits; this amount should be halved for semester programmes. The average weekly lecture load should therefore be of the order of 10-12 hours. Normally, 30 U.S. credits will be awarded for a satisfactorily completed year course load; the semester equivalent is usually 15 U.S. credits. However, it is the sending university or agency which ultimately decides on the number of credits to be awarded and not the receiving university, University College Cork in this case.

Advice on changes in module choices, course loads etc. is available from the Educational Advisor, International Education Office (, who can assist students in putting together an appropriate package of modules. Where Archaeology modules are involved, assistance may also be sought from Dr. Tomás Ó Carragáin(

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