Course Overview

Archaeology is the study of past peoples and societies. By understanding how they adapted and changed over time, you as an archaeologist will gain insights into the development of the contemporary world. This programme gives a grounding in a variety of aspects of Irish and European archaeology, stretching from the first arrivals of ancient peoples to the continent to today’s society.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Who Teaches this Course

  • Dr Stefan Bergh 
  • Dr Michelle Comber 
  • Prof Elizabeth Fitzpatrick 
  • Dr Carleton Jones  
  • Mr Conor Newman 
  • Dr Kieran O'Conor 
  • Ms Maggie Ronayne

Requirements and Assessment

Assessment is by continuous assessments, essays and exams.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

The HDip is open to students with a NQAI Level 7 or Level 8 primary degree in any discipline (other than Archaeology), who wish to acquire an academic qualification in Archaeology. A basic knowledge of and interest in archaeology is desirable. Applicants who do not have the required academic qualifications may also be entitled to apply under the university’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

Additional Requirements

Duration

1 year, full-time | 2 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2019

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

25

Closing Date

You are advised to apply early, which may result in an early offer; see the offer round dates

NFQ level

Mode of study

Taught

ECTS weighting

60

Award

CAO

Course code

1HDA1 (full-time) | 1HDA2 (part-time)

Course Outline

Students will take an approved selection of six modules within the Second and Final Year BA undergraduate programme to the equivalent of 30 ECTS, along with a 10 ECTS module Reading the Past in Practice, and a 20 ECTS dissertation module, Archaeology and Place.  Reading the Past in Practice, and Archaeology and Place, both have fieldwork components. Part-time students will take courses to the equivalent of 30 ECTS in Year 1 and courses to the equivalent of 30 ECTS in Year 2.

The modules on offer include:

  • Hunters and Farmers in Early Europe
  • Interpretation in Archaeology
  • Gaelic Peoples: Identity and Cultural Practice
  • Castles, Colonists and Crannogs 1100–1350
  • Europe in the Bronze Age
  • Public Archaeology

Module details for the full time course

Module details for the part time course

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

Credits
You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
Module
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Optional
A module you may choose to study.
Required
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Semester
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (60 Credits)

Required AR343: Public Archaeology


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module AR343: "Public Archaeology" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AR246: Castles, Colonists & Crannogs 1100-1350


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module AR246: "Castles, Colonists & Crannogs 1100-1350" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AR3100: Metal, Warfare, and Chiefdoms - The Bronze Age Roots of European Civilization


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

This course focuses on investigating the types of societies that occupied Europe in the Bronze Age. A range of themes will be addressed including patterns of production, exchange and interaction, the exceptional social and economic developments in the Aegean region, the role of warfare, and patterns of metalwork deposition and hoarding. Following these thematic treatments, we will investigate the nature of Bronze Age societies by focusing on how the concept of ‘chiefdoms’ has been developed and used by anthropologists and archaeologists. This will involve a close look at some Polynesian chiefdoms that have been used as interpretive models to help understand Bronze Age European societies and specific European case studies focusing on Wessex in England, Denmark, and the Munster region in Ireland.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Summarise and critique the salient points of a piece of archaeological writing
  2. Critically assess the merits and demerits of various explanatory models and theories put forward regarding the nature of societies in Bronze Age Europe
  3. Compose an organized, logical argument
  4. Discuss how ethnographic-based models of chiefdoms have been used by archaeologists to model European Bronze Age societies
  5. Demonstrate a developed understanding of the international context of the Irish Bronze Age
  6. Apply knowledge of key international archaeological issues and sites
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Prehistoric Europe" by Timothy Champion... [et al.]
    ISBN: 0121675521.
    Publisher: London ; Academic Press, c1984.
    Chapters: 6, 7
  2. "The Oxford illustrated prehistory of Europe" by edited by Barry Cunliffe
    ISBN: 0198143850.
    Publisher: Oxford ; Oxford University Press, 1994.
    Chapters: 5, 6, 7, 9
  3. "Symbols of Power at the Time of Stonehenge." by Clarke, D., T. Cowie, A. Foxon (eds.)
    Publisher: National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland
    Chapters: 4
The above information outlines module AR3100: "Metal, Warfare, and Chiefdoms - The Bronze Age Roots of European Civilization" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AR5100: Archaeology and Mythical Landscapes of Atlantic Ireland


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

This field-based module explores the interplay between myth, legend and landscape in Atlantic Ireland. It introduces the student to the archaeologies and topographies of some of the landscapes that were the settings for tales in the four major cycles of early Irish literary tradition, with a special focus on the Connacht landscapes associated with tales from the Mythological Cycle, the Ulster Cycle and the Fenian Cycle. Among these are the extensive cliff-top fort of Dún Aonghasa, the mythical abode of the Fir Bolg, perched at the edge of sea cliffs on Inis Mór, Aran Islands; Crúachan and Carn Fraoich in County Roscommon and their associations with the mythical King Ailill and Queen Medb and the warrior Fraoch; The Caves of Kesh at Keshcorran and the Otherworld encounters of Finn mac Cumaill, and Queen Meabh's Cairn on the summit of Knocknarea, County Sligo. The module, which incorporates the results of archaeological surveys and excavations in these landscapes, will discuss how monuments and their settings became mnemonic pegs for tales and how they themselves may also have been the very sources of the tales.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe the archaeology of some of the renowned landscapes associated with myths and legends in Atlantic Ireland.
  2. Discuss the range of ritual and funerary monuments that generally constitute ‘mythical’ landscapes and how they were perceived in the medieval mind.
  3. Evaluate the influence of prehistoric archaeological landscapes on the generation and maintenance of stories about the gods and mortals in early Irish tradition.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "When they Severed Earth from Sky: How the Human Mind Shapes Myth." by E.J.W. Barber
    Publisher: Princeton UP
  2. "Landscape of the Monuments: A Study of the Passage Tombs in the Cuil Irra Region" by S. Bergh
    ISBN: 9171929452.
    Publisher: Arkeologiska undersokningar, Skrifter nr 6
  3. "Memory, Myth and Long-Term Landscape Inhabitation" by A.M. Chadwick & C. Gibson
    Publisher: Oxbow
  4. "The Western Stone Forts Project: Excavations at Dún Aonghasa and Dún Eoghanachta" by Claire Cotter
    ISBN: 9781905569694.
  5. "Landscape and Myth in North-Western Europe." by M. Egeler
    Publisher: Brepols
  6. "The Táin" by Thomas Kinsella,Louis Le Brocquy
    ISBN: 0192803735.
    Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  7. "Dictionary of Celtic Mythology" by James MacKillop
    ISBN: 0198691572.
    Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  8. "The Wisdom of the Outlaw: The Boyhood Deeds of Finn in Gaelic Narrative Tradition." by J.F. Nagy
    ISBN: 0520052846.
    Publisher: U of California Press
  9. "Coire Sois, The Cauldron of Knowledge" by Tomas O Cathasaigh,Matthieu Boyd
    ISBN: 9780268037369.
    Publisher: U of Notre Dame Press
  10. "Early Irish History and Mythology" by T.F. O'Rahilly
    Publisher: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
  11. "Archaeology and Celtic Myth" by John Waddell
    ISBN: 184682494X.
    Publisher: Four Courts PressLtd
  12. "Rathcroghan. Archaeologiacl and Geophysical Survey in a Ritual Landscape" by J. Waddell, J. Fenwick, K. barton
    ISBN: 9781905569311.
    Publisher: Wordwell
  13. "The Burren and the Aran Islands" by Carleton Jones
    ISBN: 1903464617.
    Publisher: Collins Pr
  14. "An introduction to early Irish literature" by Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin
    ISBN: 9781846821769.
    Publisher: Four Courts Pr Ltd
The above information outlines module AR5100: "Archaeology and Mythical Landscapes of Atlantic Ireland" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AR2102: People, Ritual and Death: Life in Early Prehistoric Europe


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

This course focuses on a critical understanding of daily life in Europe during the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. c. 10 000 BC to c. 2000 BC. The course introduces evidence from various parts of the European continent to create a context for the understanding of people’s lives in early prehistoric Ireland. One aspect of the course is to understand the reasons for the varied subsistence patterns, their development and change in different parts of Europe. Another central aspect is to critically examine the role of ritual in people’s daily life and its material expression in the treatment of the dead. The societal meaning and function of large scale monument-building that develops in the Neolithic forms another important part of the course. A theme running through the course is the focus on the interplay between social, ritual and subsistence aspects of life within people’s daily routine. The course is structured thematically illustrating the above aspects by using case studies from a wide range of chronological and geographical contexts within Europe.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically interpret the evidence for the development of prehistoric communities and societies in Europe
  2. Discuss the evidence for the development of prehistoric societies in Ireland in a wider context
  3. Demonstrate critical understanding of the nature of prehistoric evidence, its chronology and classification including awareness of problems in the use of classification tools
  4. Recognise selected key artefacts and site types from the relevant periods in Europe
  5. Interpret the interplay between ritual and daily life in prehistoric societies
Assessments
  • Written Assessment (90%)
  • Continuous Assessment (10%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Britain Begins" by Cunliffe
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
  2. "Prehistoric Britain" by Darvill, T
    Publisher: Routledge
  3. "Stone Age studies in post-glacial Europe" by Randsborg, K
    Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
  4. "Europe in the Neolithic.The creation of new worlds" by Whittle, A
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  5. "Prehistoric Archaeology of Ireland" by Waddell, J.
    Publisher: Wordwell
  6. "The megalithic monuments of Britain and Ireland" by Scarre, C.
    Publisher: Thames and Hudson
  7. "The Significance of Monuments" by Bradley, R.
    Publisher: Routledge
The above information outlines module AR2102: "People, Ritual and Death: Life in Early Prehistoric Europe" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AR337: Gaelic Peoples - Identity and Cultural Practices


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module AR337: "Gaelic Peoples - Identity and Cultural Practices" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AR236: Interpretation in Archaeology


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module AR236: "Interpretation in Archaeology" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AR245: Archaeology in Practice


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module AR245: "Archaeology in Practice" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AR3101: Landscape and Archaeology: Context and Practice


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This module refers to the interface between landscape and archaeology, focusing on landscape and place theory, legislation and practice for archaeologists, with reference to Irish and international case studies.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of landscape and place theory
  2. Discuss national and international conventions and practice in the areas of landscape and heritage generally, and from the perspective of the practice of archaeology
  3. Situate the practice of landscape archaeology in the wider context of interdisciplinary discourses on landscape, place, heritage and community
  4. Critically assess landscape archaeology, theory and practice
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Placeways" by Eugene Victor Walter
    ISBN: 0807842001.
    Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
  2. "Landscapes of Cult and Kingship" by edited by Roseanne Schot, Conor Newman, Edel bhreathnach
    ISBN: 9781846822193.
    Publisher: Four Courts Press
  3. "Heritage and Beyond" by Council of Europe
    ISBN: 9789287166364.
    Publisher: Council of Europe
  4. "Wisdom sits in places" by Keith H. Basso
    ISBN: 0826317243.
    Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  5. "Irish Contemporary Landscapes in Literature and the Arts" by Marie Mianowski (Editor)
    ISBN: 9780230319394.
    Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  6. "Senses of place" by edited by Steven Feld and Keith H. Basso
    ISBN: 9780933452954.
    Publisher: School of American Research Press
  7. "Landscape Values: place and praxis" by edited by Tim Collins, Gesche Kindermann, Conor Newman and Nessa Cronin
    ISBN: 9781908358431.
    Publisher: Centre for Landscape Studies, NUI galway
  8. "Decoding the landscape" by edited by Timothy Collins
    ISBN: 0954397800.
    Publisher: Centre for Landscape Studies, NUI Galway
  9. "Exploring the history and heritage of Irish landscapes" by Patrick J. Duffy
    ISBN: 9781851829651.
    Publisher: Four Courts Press
  10. "Landscape Interfaces: Cultural Heritage in Changing Landscapes" by edited by Hannes Palang and Gary Fry
    ISBN: 1402014376.
    Publisher: Kluwer Academic Press
  11. "Handbook of Landscape Archaeology" by Bruno David (Editor), Julian Thomas (Editor)
    ISBN: 9781598746167.
    Publisher: Left Coast Press
  12. "Order and History: Isreal and Revelation" by Erich Voegelin
    Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
    Chapters: Introductiion
  13. "Theory and Practice in Heritage and Sustainability" by Elizabeth Auclair and Graham Fairclough (eds)
    ISBN: 9781138778900.
    Publisher: Routledge
    Chapters: 1
  14. "The kingship and landscape of Tara" by Edel Bhreathnach, editor
    ISBN: 1851829547.
    Publisher: Four Courts Press for The Discovery Programme, c2005.
  15. "Space and place" by Yi-Fu Tuan
    ISBN: 9780816638772.
    Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
The above information outlines module AR3101: "Landscape and Archaeology: Context and Practice " and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AR325: Minor Dissertation


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

Assessments
  • Research (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module AR325: "Minor Dissertation" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AR2100: Making Sense of Art: Style, Symbol and Story


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

The sublime artistic achievements of the 8th century such as the Book of Kells, the Tara Brooch and the Ahenny crosses, represent the climax of an artistic tradition that began with the convergence of Celtic and Roman art styles in Ireland and Britain in the early 1st millennium AD. Germanic art of Dark Age Europe, which is dominated by fantastical animals, was incorporated into the Insular palette from the 5th century AD. Using case-studies, this course focuses on iconography, symbol and narrative, as well as cross-cultural influences acting on Insular art of the first seven centuries AD, as these islands transitioned from paganism to Christianity.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of Insular art from its late prehistoric genesis to the ‘Golden Age’ of the 8th century AD
  2. Evaluate the broader European context of Irish art during this period
  3. Analyse the role of symbolism and iconography in Irish art of the period through case studies
  4. Discuss visual semiotics
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "From Durrow to Kells: The Insular Gospel-books 650-800" by Henderson, G.
  2. "From Ireland Coming: Irish art from the early Christian to the late Gothic period and its European context" by Hourihane C.
  3. "Celtic Art. From its beginnings to the book of Kells" by Megaw, R and Megaw, V.
  4. "The Work of Angels, Masterpieces of Celtic Metalwork, 6th-9th Centuries AD" by Youngs, S.
The above information outlines module AR2100: "Making Sense of Art: Style, Symbol and Story" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates have found employment in various areas in the state sector and in the heritage and tourism sectors. Others have taken the course to continue their studies to Master’s level or through doctoral research.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

 

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,965 p.a. FT; €2,980 p.a. PT 2019/20

Fees: Tuition

€5,741 p.a. 2019/20

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. FT; €112 p.a. PT 2019/20

Fees: Non EU

€13,250 p.a. 2019/20

Please note:  The fee payable by EU students is listed under "Fees: EU".  This field is the sum of the student levy + tuition.  Fees are payable each year and are subject to change year-on year.

Full time Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant—please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224. 

Postgraduate fee breakdown = tuition (EU or NON EU) + student levy as outlined above.

Find out More

Professor Elizabeth FitzPatrick
T: +353 91 492 670
E: elizabeth.fitzpatrick@nuigalway.ie