UCC Postgraduate courses


Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Full-time; 2 Years Part-time
Teaching ModeFull-time, Part-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.
QualificationsHDip in Arts
NFQ LevelLevel 8
Closing DateRolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.
Non-EU Closing DateOpen until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.
Start Date9 September 2024

Course Outline

This course is for non-archaeology graduates who have a degree and would like to transfer their studies to the discipline of archaeology. The course is designed for those who have an active interest in archaeology and want to undertake a full-time course of study. It is also aimed at those currently employed in some branch of archaeology, who wish to obtain an academic qualification in the subject out of interest, or in order to change career. The Diploma is also designed for those who require a conversion course to apply for postgraduate studies in archaeology at UCC, such as the one-year MA course or the MPhil/PhD research degree. The course is suitable for overseas students who wish to study Archaeology in Ireland.

This is a full-time course over one academic year during which you will take modules in archaeology to the equivalent of 60 credits. The course is made up of modules from the second and third-year courses in the undergraduate BA degree. This means you will be able to take courses across Irish prehistory, the medieval and post-medieval period and gain experience in a range of methods, ranging from bioarchaeology and osteoarchaeology to palaeo-environmental archaeology and palynology, wetland archaeology. A professional practice and fieldwork module will give you experience in survey methods with your own site-based project, and in artefact studies, you learn how to record and document objects, again, in project based work. Staff in the department are internationally recognised experts in their respective areas and teaching is informed by their own research. Frequent field trips to Museums and field monuments also form part of various modules, introducing you to the range of archaeological sites in the Irish landscape.

You are required to take core modules to a value of 20 credits. You will choose the remaining 40 credits in consultation with the course coordinator, taking into account timetable constraints and the suitability of course combinations. Students with little previous knowledge of archaeology may also audit all or part of the first-year archaeology course.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years. Teaching is delivered in person in classrooms, labs and through fieldwork. Fieldtrips take place on weekends.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

You will have an average of six hours of lectures per week, with up to four one-day field excursions over the year.


The course will be assessed by a combination of formal, end-of-year examinations and continuous assessment of essays, projects, and field trip participation.

Why Choose This Course

The HDip in UCC is a great programme – intensive but manageable...

Dr Kevin Kearney, Graduate

Find Out More
The Higher Diploma is a great way/quick route of getting back into full-time education in Archaeology as an adult – without having to do a full three-year programme...

Barry Lacey, Graduate

Find Out More
I cannot think of a better grounding if you think you want to get into archaeology – you are going to find out what is your calling within archaeology...

Ed McMullen, Graduate

Find Out More

The course was excellent, with very good lecturers

Michael Lynch, Graduate

Find Out More

The Diploma is a conversion course that will allow graduates in other disciplines to study archaeology. It is designed for those who require a conversion course to apply for postgraduate studies in archaeology in UCC, such as the one-year MA course or the MPhil/PhD research degree. Completion of the Higher Diploma course does not guarantee a place on a postgraduate course. You are required to achieve a mark of 60% in the final diploma award to be eligible for postgraduate studies in archaeology.

Skills and Careers Information

For more information please contact the course coordinator Dr Katharina Becker.


It is intended for those who already have a 3- or 4-year primary degree, and who wish to study the subject of Archaeology intensively over one academic year.  The Higher Diploma in Arts is a conversion programme and applicants would not normally have studied the relevant subject to Honours Degree level previously.

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early for an early decision.

The closing date for non-EU applications is Open until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact