UCC Postgraduate courses


About This Course

Fact File

  • Title


  • Code


  • 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

    €6,130; €3,130 (Year 1 Part-time); €3,130 (Year 2 Part-time)
    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees


  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Open for EU applications, check rounds closing under How To Apply

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    30 June 2023

  • Start Date

    11 September 2023

Course Outline

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

The 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 (GG2045) which usually takes place at the end of Semester 2.

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

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, further information is available here.


Students take undergraduate second and third-year modules to the value of 60 credits. GG2045 consists of a week-long required residential field module and in some other modules, there may be elements of shorter non-residential field work.

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)

And 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 and Society (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 (see lists above) 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).

Additional Teaching Mode Information

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


Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Course Practicalities

You are advised to consult the timetable (https://www.ucc.ie/en/build/roombookings/mytimetable/) and balance the load between first and second semesters. Please note that some 3rd year modules require a 2nd year pre-requisite module.

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.

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

Students opting to take the part-time option over two years are recommended to take GG2045 and GG2038 in their first year and GG3001 and GG3006 in their second year.


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. www.ucc.ie/modules 

Who teaches this course

Staff of the Department of Geography:  See here for further details

Why Choose This Course

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.

English Language Requirements

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

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.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €6,130; €3,130 (Year 1 Part-time); €3,130 (Year 2 Part-time).

The Non-EU fee for this course is €16,700.


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

International Students can pay in two equal instalments once they have paid the appropriate deposit. The initial payment is due on registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay?

You can 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 continental Europe. Costs vary depending on destination, ranging about €200-400. In addition, some modules include a field day costing around €15.

How Do I 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.

  • For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
  • Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.

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

The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June 2023

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact