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UCC Postgraduate courses


Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Full-time; 2 Years Part-time
Teaching ModeFull-time, Part-Time
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

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

Our Higher Diploma in Arts - Geography is a conversion course intended for those who already hold a degree in Arts or Science subject other than Geography.  This qualification is often considered by those seeking to develop a geographical perspective on the world in preparation for further study and employment, or by those wishing to add Geography as a second-level teaching subject. 

The Higher Diploma in Arts Geography consists of modules to the value of 60 credits selected from a range of existing second and third year Geography modules covering the main thematic areas in Geography along with the methods used in geographical enquiry. The module requirements leave scope for students to tailor the programme to their own interests.

All Higher Diploma in Arts – geography students are required to attend a week-long residential field methods course which usually takes place at the end of Semester 2.

If you are applying for this course to gain a teaching subject please consult with the Teaching Council subject Declaration form to view specific requirements for this subject.

If you are applying for this course for future eligibility into the Profession Master of Education (PME), see the PME page for more information.


Students take undergraduate second and third-year modules to the value of 60 credits.

All students will take four core modules as follows (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)

The remaining modules can be selected from the second and third-year module offerings subject to the following requirements:

At least one Physical Geography module

  • GG2005 Quaternary Environments and Geomorphology (5 credits)
  • GG2037 Introduction to Geoinformatics (5 credits)
  • GG2046 Atmosphere, Weather and Climate (5 Credits)
  • GG3007 Coastal and Marine Geomorphology (5 credits)
  • GG3012 Advanced Geographical Information Systems (5 credits)
  • GG3041 Environmental Remote Sensing (5 credits)
  • GG3051 Landscape Palaeoecology and Palynology (5 credits)

At least one Human Geography module

  • GG2010 Cities of Diversity (5 credits)
  • GG2014 Geography of Tourism (5 credits)
  • GG2023 Economic and Rural Geography (5 credits)
  • GG2041 Contemporary Human Migration and European Settlement (5 credits)
  • GG3009 Geography as Human Ecology (5 credits)
  • GG3010 Sustainable cities and communities (5 credits)
  • GG3027 Regional and Local Planning Issues and Policies (5 credits)
  • GG3037 Geography of Heritage (5 credits)
  • GG3038 Geographies of the Irish Diaspora (5 credits)
  • GG3043 Historical Geographies of Urbanism and the Anthropocene (5 credits)
  • GG3046 Geopolitics and Geostrategies (5 credits)

You can choose any five additional 5-credit modules offered in the department’s second and third-year undergraduate programme such that the overall composition of the modules taken, including required modules, contains at least 30 credits from the third-year programme (GG3xxx modules including required modules).

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

If you are taking the Higher Diploma in Arts – geography with a view to registering with the Teaching Council, please note that you need to take 15 credits each of physical and human geography.


Geography modules are assessed using a combination of end-of-year examinations and continuous assessments. Details of the assessment used in each module can be found in the UCC Book of Modules

Part-time Option

The Higher Diploma in Arts - Geography can be taken part-time. It is taught during weekday working hours over two years.

Why Choose This Course

Entering into Geography at UCC at first seemed daunting, especially since I had worked for a number of years before deciding to return to college. However, my nerves quickly eased ...

Kate Nevin, HDip Student

Find Out More

The integrating nature of geography has become a major asset in a world of constant change. Its unique combination of humanities social and physical sciences allows geographers to develop a perspective on the world that is especially relevant to key global issues such as climate change, migration, food security, and urbanisation.

You will gain transferable skills including:

  • an understanding of the spatial dimensions of physical, environmental and human phenomena
  • an appreciation of the importance of a broad, international, and comparative perspective
  • problem-solving
  • critical thinking
  • independent learning
  • self-directed research
  • report writing and public presentations.

Skills and Careers Information

You will gain technical geographical skills including:

  • computer cartography and geographical information systems
  • remote sensing
  • quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • social surveys and analysis
  • landscape evaluation/planning.

Geography is a diverse discipline with career paths as varied as your individual interests, including:

  • planning
  • local/community development
  • environmental assessment and management
  • housing policy
  • regional development
  • TV news production/research
  • geo-informatics
  • journalism
  • diplomatic service
  • financial services and global business
  • public relations
  • European space agency
  • market research
  • teaching
  • tourism
  • academic teaching and research
  • museum/heritage management


It is intended for those who already have a 3 or 4 year primary degree, preferably in the area of Arts or the Sciences, and who wish to study the subject Geography 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.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

  • Please detail your computing/technical/IT skills.

Note: 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. See the PME page for more information.

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