UCC Postgraduate courses


About This Course

Fact File

  • Title


  • Code

    CKA13 Full-time; CKA43 Part-time

  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time

  • Teaching Mode

    Full-time, Part-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.

  • Qualifications

    HDip in Arts

  • EU Fees 2018

    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    You will already have a primary degree, preferably in the area of the arts or sciences See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Applications processed in rounds: See How To Apply section for full details

  • Start Date

    10 September 2018

Course Outline

“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.

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. 

Additional Teaching Mode Information

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

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can also apply online at PAC.

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


**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

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. 

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. www.ucc.ie/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:  See here for further details

Why Choose This Course

The breadth of the Higher Diploma in Geography qualification enables you to be more adaptable to variations in employment opportunities than the graduates of many narrower specialisms. The integrating nature of geography has become a major asset in a world of constant change in which many employers seek adaptability and flexibility, rather than narrow technical knowledge which is soon outdated.

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 much more than maps and capitals. It 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 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. 

View the grades comparison table

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website .

Fees and Costs

The fee for this course is €6,000 .

Part-time students:

If your course is offered full time and part time, the fee for part time courses is half the full time fee.


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

EU student fee payment:

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment:

Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.

How can I pay?

By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie .

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.

Non-EU Fees

The 2017/2018 Postgraduate Fees Schedule is available here

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to PAC in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

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

Please log into PAC for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application system PAC opens for applications in early November of each year.

Questions on how to apply?

EU students contact graduatestudies@ucc.ie

International students contact internationaloffice@ucc.ie

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

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 www.ucc.ie/en/pec01 for further details.

Irish/EU Closing Date Rounds

Irish/EU places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here

Apply Now

Contact details for this course

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