GradDip Archaeology

Academic Year 2020/2021

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 60)

UCD School of Archaeology is the foremost archaeological research institution in Ireland and our teaching programme focuses on archaeology in Ireland and overseas. Our aim is to equip graduates to contribute to archaeology across the globe, with key concepts developed from understanding the internationally acclaimed Irish archaeological record. In the MA programme, this will include fieldtrips to iconic Irish sites and landscapes. Perspectives and practices from archaeological landscapes across the globe will be developed through the programme, and specialisation in different geographical areas strongly encouraged. Students will execute a variety of approaches to archaeological practice including desktop, experimental work in the UCD Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Ancient Technologies, field and lab-based techniques.


The Graduate Diploma (GDip) Archaeology in UCD is a Level 960 credit programmewhich will provide students with a high level of competency in conducting archaeological research in a variety of contexts, from the academic through to the professional.  Students will develop critical perspectives on different forms of archaeological practice including the archaeological sciences, theoretical perspectives on the past and the views of heritage stakeholders. Being located in Dublin places us in close proximity to key cultural and archaeological institutions including the National Museum of Ireland, National Monuments Service and the Discovery Programme. Students who achieve a GPA of 3.2 in the GDip can apply to upgrade to the full MA Archaeology programme

Careers & Employability

GDip students will gain considerable transferable skills and develop high employability: this will include the completion of field/lab work; independent research leading to the production of essay, project, report and portfolio writing; experience in making presentations orally and via posters; group work; and experience of working in the field. 

Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

The GDip is structured around dedicated Level 4 modules with a core and option framework. A small number of Level 3 (Advanced Undergraduate) modules may be taken as part of the GDip.

Core modules include training on researching archaeology in an Irish context and field and laboratory skills. Optional Level 4 modules include GIS and geospatial analysis, heritage management, aspects of experimental archaeology, archaeological landscapes and high-level disussion-led modules on prehistoric archaeology and historic archaeology. Students can also take up to 10 credits from the School's existing Level 3 modules.

A variety of assessment strategies are utilised, including classroom and field presentations, book reviews, review articles and essays. All Level 4 modules are assessed through continuous assessment only.

Students with an average grade of B or above at GDip can elect to upgrade to the full MA Archaeology programme in consultation with School staff and subject to appropriate fees being paid.

The GDip Archaeology is aimed at students who wish to develop a high level of competency in the study of human culture, societies and environments through time. Students will acquire key skills in archaeological research, survey and data management. Working in both the field and the classroom, they will enhance their core transferrable skills in critical thinking, reflection, problem solving, teamwork and report writing. The GDip is especially aimed at students whose primary degree is not in archaeology, but who have taken some archaeology modules within their degree. Students who have not achieved the requisite grade for direct MA entry may also be recommended to apply for the GDip. Subject to performance, GDip students may apply to upgrade to the full MA programme at the end of Semester 1. The GDip Archaeology offers an excellent grounding for students seeking future employment in the heritage sector as well as developing critical skills valued by employers in a range of other sectors.

We value and encourage students of all ages who are engaged, self-motivated, work well in a teamwork environment and demonstrate a capacity for critical and analytical thinking, especially across a range of disciplines. Excellent communication skills are also particularly valued. At graduate level, a capacity for independent study is strongly encouraged.

The School of Archaeology is committed to providing a learning environment that encourages students to develop their own ideas in collaboration with fellow students and School staff. Individual development and self-discovery is a key component of an archaeological training, as is sharing experiences and values as part of a team. Student-led discussion and debate are key elements in our programme design and implementation and strong links are maintained between School teaching and research in both the field and classroom. Regular research seminars by visiting academics allow our students to engage with cutting-edge research in European and World Archaeology.

The GDip Archaeology focuses on student-led approaches, with School staff supporting and guiding students through oral presentation, discussion and seminar-based learning. Assessment strategies are varied, ranging from traditional essays, to book reviews, poster presentations and reflexive field journals. We also incorporate field-based presentation and interpretation of archaeological sites and landscapes within our assessment. 

    • Appropriately select and apply discipline-specific archaeological skills and approaches, including archaeological fieldwork or laboratory techniques
    • Critically evaluate changes in human populations from prehistory to the present day, and evaluate their connection the modern world
    • Design and implement small-scale field or laboratory-based research projects, using appropriate professional methodologies and equipment
    • Develop a comprehensive and nuanced knowledge of Ireland’s internationally renowned archaeological record within its European and global context
    • Effectively communicate archaeological data and concepts through written, visual and oral media to specialist and non-specialist audiences
    • Gather, evaluate and critically assess diverse archaeological datasets, transforming them into knowledge
    • Reflect and articulate the roles of archaeology and the past in modern society, the tangible and intangible value of heritage, and the context of appropriate legislation
    • Understand and critique the latest archaeological practice and research in a global context
    • Work within large or small teams and independently, leading and being led as appropriate

    GradDip Archaeology (Z210) Full Time
    EU          fee per year - € 6105
    nonEU    fee per year - € 13270

    ***Fees are subject to change

    Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

    This programme is intended for applicants with a background in Archaeology, Anthropology, History, Geography, Environmental Studies or other cognate disciplines. A lower second class honours degree (2:2), or the international equivalent, is required.

    • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.

    Graduate Profile
    Elizabeth Elliot,
    Project Manager Fortune 500 company, USA
    In my current job as project manager for a Fortune 500 company, I leverage the skills I learned at UCD School of Archaeology on a daily basis. From day one, my enthusiastic and highly-skilled professors taught me to embrace innovation and question the status quo. While working on my thesis, they helped me develop strong analytical capabilities and project management skills. My experience studying in a different country, hugely enjoyable and memorable, gave me the invaluable experience of learning in a different culture. Thanks to my experience at UCD School of Archaeology, I developed a unique skill set that allows me to design and manage projects across the corporate cultural divide and create sustainable solutions that work.

    Students who take the GDip Archaeology and achieve a consistent grade of B or above can apply to transfer to the MA Archaeology programme.

    The following entry routes are available:

    Grad Dip Archaeology FT (Z210)
    1 Years
    Full Time
    Rolling *

    * Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised