Geography HDip in Arts

Fact File

Course Code: CKA13 Full-time; CKA43 Part-time

Course Title: Geography

College: Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences


Duration: 1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time

Teaching Mode: Full-time, Part-Time

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

Qualifications: HDip in Arts

NFQ Level: Level 8

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU €6,000 full-time; €3,000 per year part-time In addition to classroom lectures, you are required to attend a week-long residential field trip in Ireland or in Western Europe. Costs vary depending on destination, ranging about €200-400. In addition, some modules include a field day costing around €15.

Entry Requirements: You will already have a primary degree, preferably in the area of the arts or sciences (see Detailed Entry Requirements).

Closing Date: Applications now closed for 2017/2018

Next Intake: September 2018


“Geography is the study of the Earth as the home of people” Yi-Fu Tuan

Geographers examine the cultures, economies, societies, physical landscape and environments of the Earth using a unique combination of the humanities, social and natural sciences.

We view the earth, its inhabitants and the processes that form and transform the world we live in using a spatial perspective. This particularly geographical way of looking at the world allows for an inter-disciplinary exploration of processes operating in specific places. As a student of geography, you will learn to view the world using this geographical lens.

Geographers examine geographical processes in a variety of thematic areas within geography including landscape, heritage, migration, culture, food, tourism, environment, economy, cities, climate geomorphology and development.

Registration with the Teaching Council:  For applicants who are taking the Higher Diploma with a view to Teaching Council subject registration, the Higher Diploma in Arts Geography is recognised by the Teaching Council for the purposes of a teaching subject at post primary level.  

Course Details

The Higher Diploma in Geography consists of modules taken from a range of existing second and third year geography modules.

In second year modules, you will have an opportunity to delve into problems in specific branches in Geography. There will also be a number of lectures and practical courses concerned with the ways in which geographical information is researched.

Third year modules focus upon understanding Geography as an academic discipline concerned with the ’togetherness of many things in space’, i.e. with analysis, understanding and explanation of how different kinds of physical materials, peoples, institutions and ideas interact, impinge on and coexist with one another in regional combinations of varying complexity over the Earth's surface.

Required Modules (25 credits):

GG2038 Geographical Research Methods (5 credits)
GG2022 Field Work (5 credits)
GG3001 Geographical Ideas (5 credits)
GG3006 Research Methods and Dissertation (10 credits)


At least one Physical Geography module:

GG2005 Quaternary Environments and Geomorphology (5 credits)
GG2016 The Atmospheric Environment (5 credits)
GG2025 Biogeography (5 credits) 
GG2037 Introduction to Geoinformatics (5 credits)
GG3007 Coastal Geomorphology (5 credits)
GG3012 Advanced Geographical Information Systems (5 credits)
GG3039 Dynamic Climatology (5 credits)
GG3041 Environmental Remote Sensing (5 credits)
GG3042 Climate variability and change (5 credits)
GG3051 Landscape Palaeoecology and Palynology (5 credits)

And at least one  Human Geography module:

GG2014 Geography of Tourism (5 credits)
GG2023 Economic and Rural Geography (5 credits)
GG2024 Social Geography (5 credits)
GG2040 Geographies of Environment and Sustainability (5 credits)
GG2041 Contemporary Human Migration and European Settlement and Society (5 credits)
GG3009 Geography as human ecology (5 credits)
GG3027 Regional and Local Planning Issues and Policies (5 credits)
GG3037 Geography of Heritage (5 credits) 
GG3043 Historical Geographies of the City (5 credits)
GG3045 Food Geography (5 credits)
GG3046 Geopolitics and Geostrategies (5 credits)
GG3048 Environmental Economic Geography
GG3049 Historical Geographies of Ireland: Social, Economic and Cultural Transformations 


Any five additional 5-credit modules such that the overall composition of the modules taken, including required modules, contains at least 30 credits from the third year course (GG3xxx modules)

You are advised to consult the timetable and balance the load between first and second semesters. Please note that some 3rd year modules require a 2nd year pre-requisite module.

The Higher Diploma in Arts (Geography) can be taken part-time (over 2 years)

Please see the College Book of Modules for information and descriptions of modules for the current academic year. 

Registration with the Teaching Council:  For applicants who are taking the Higher Diploma with a view to Teaching Council subject registration, the Higher Diploma is recognised by the Teaching Council for teacher subject registration in Geography.   In general, if you wish to qualify as a teacher, you are advised to refer to the school curriculum and match the modules to that broad field. Modules are chosen in consultation with the programme coordinator in September.  

Many subjects have discipline-specific requirements and you are advised to check the requirements for the subject area by consulting the following:

Please see the College Book of Modules for information and descriptions of modules for the current academic year. 

Detailed Entry Requirements

It is intended for those who already have a degree, preferably in the area of Arts or the Sciences
The Higher Diploma in Arts is a conversion programme and applicants would not normally have studied the relevant subject to Honours Degree level previously.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 

Application Procedure

Application for this programme is on-line at Places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here. For full details of the application procedure click How to apply.

Please note you will be required to answer specific additional supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme. A copy of these supplementary questions are available to view here: CKA13AdditionalQuestions (50kB) (50kB) and CKA43AdditionalQuestions (50kB) (50kB)

The Higher Diploma in Arts programme is NOT a secondary school teacher training programme.  Graduates must also complete the Professional Master of Education to qualify as a Secondary School Teacher.  Please see for further details.

Course Practicalities

The course involves 60 credits of undergraduate geography courses. GG2022 consists of a week-long required residential field course and in some modules there may be elements of shorter non-residential field work.


Second and third year lecture modules are assessed using a combination of end-of-year examinations and continuous assessments. Details can be found in the UCC Book of Modules. GG3006 Research Methods and Dissertation is assessed on the quality of the research, analysis and written report. Topics are chosen from a range of themes specified by the Geography Department and research is carried out in consultation with a departmental supervisor. Fieldwork, library and laboratory work (as appropriate) is an essential part of the dissertation.

Who Teaches This Course

Staff of the Department of Geography

Further Contact Information

EU Application queries:

Margaret Coakley

Graduate Studies Office
T: +353 (0)21 490 2645

Non-EU/International Application queries:

Carmel Jordan
International Education Office
E: c.
T: +353 (0)21 490 4733

Contact us

E: Dr. Una Ni Chaoimh

P: + 353 21 490 2518
W: Website

Related Courses:

Professional Master of Education (second level teacher training programme)

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