GradDip Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 60)

The MSc and Graduate Diploma in Hunter- Gatherer Archaeology is for students interested in the fascinating and remarkable world of hunter-gatherers. It is often claimed that humans have spent 90-99% of their existence as hunter-gatherers. Understanding these ways of life provides vital perspectives on human identity and the challenges and opportunities societies face today. Anthropology provides information about recent hunter-gatherers, but archaeology is the only discipline that can understand our hunter-gatherer past, and hunter-gatherer archaeology therefore has a particular significance. Our programme will introduce students to key themes in the archaeology of past hunter gatherers, the relationship between past and present hunting and gathering communities, and the contemporary context of knowledge production about hunter-gatherers. Our primary focus is the archaeology of Homo sapienshunter-gatherers: we will include some discussion of non-Homo sapiens, but this is not a course on human evolution. 

You will develop skills in project design and independent research, data analysis and interpretation, communicating the past to different stakeholders, as well as how to develop different perspectives on the past. You will be part of a dynamic, friendly and international postgraduate community in a School with a 160-year history of exceptional archaeological research and you will form part of the UCD Hunter Gatherer Research Group.

In 2022 UCD will host the biggest conference on hunter-gatherers in the world! CHAGS13 (June 2022) is the Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies organized by the International Society for Hunter Gatherer Research (ISHGR). CHAGS meetings trace their origin to the ‘Man the Hunter’ meeting in Chicago 1966, often considered foundational to hunter-gatherer studies. The conference will bring c. 500 anthropologists, archaeologists, activists and members of hunting and gathering communities to Dublin. See information here (www.ucd.ie/archaeology/chags13/)

Careers & Employability

The MSc and Graduate Diploma will provide you with the skills required to develop a career in the archaeological profession or the heritage sector, or to go on to further academic study. Transferable skillsets such as critical thinking and project management will also provide you with an excellent grounding for future employment in other sectors. Graduates of this programme may progress to careers in: 

• Further research, whether academic or professional 

• Commercial archaeology and cultural resource management 

• The heritage sector & Tourism 

• State sector bodies 

• NGOs 

• Education

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

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The MSc and GradDip programmes are intended for applicants with a degree in archaeology, anthropology, or cognate disciplines such as geography, history, environmental studies, or professionals working in museums, heritage management or related areas. Contact us for advice and information, especially to consider relevant archaeological experience. 

MSc in Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology 


Programme co-ordinator: Professor Graeme Warren

Contact: graeme.warren@ucd.ie

The UCD MSc in Hunter-Gatherer archaeology is a new taught programme for 2021-22, aligning with UCD hosting CHAGS13 – the international Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies – in June 2022. Students will have an opportunity to get involved with the organisation and delivery of this flagship conference.

The programme will ask you to consider two fundamental questions:

  • Is there something distinctive about the archaeology of hunter-gatherers?
  • What is the value and significance of hunter-gatherer archaeology?

The aim is for you to find your own answers to these questions, and consequently, core modules place a strong emphasis on student-led activities and discussion. This will require a global consideration of key themes in the archaeology and anthropology of hunter-gatherers and a critical perspective on the contexts of knowledge production. The very idea that there are types of societies that can be defined as ‘hunter-gatherers’ is a product of particular contexts: a problematic blend of colonialism, racism and social evolutionary models that lies at the centre of modern Western thought. We will confront the issues that arise from this legacy. Our perspective is global, and from the deep past to the present. The main focus is on Homo sapiens – although we will consider other species of humans. This is not a course on human evolution, although the perspectives developed will be of value to those who study this. 

The programme is based around a spine of modules allowing you to focus on hunter-gatherer archaeology, with options providing the opportunity to develop complementary specialisms in: Archaeology;  European Prehistory, Experimental Archaeology; and World Heritage Management. Field and practical opportunities are provided throughout the programme. 

In Trimester One, the core modules include Material Culture, which is foundational to archaeological perspectives and Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology 1: key themes.This module provides an opportunity for you to generate a high-level introduction to the archaeology of hunter-gatherers and the range of interpretative frameworks, methods and techniques which have structured our practice. Your options are as outlined above. 

Trimester Two includes two core modules. Research Skillswill help you design and develop your dissertation project on hunter-gatherers, supporting you in identifying research questions, topics and methods. Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology 2: knowledge production in the presentasks you reflect on the relationship between archaeology and indigenous communities, the colonial legacy of archaeological thought and practice, the integration of different types of data and world views, and the communication of the results of our practice. The aim is to encourage a critical, self-reflexive awareness of how we practice our craft. This is then embedded in your capstone project, the MSc Thesis which is carried out in Trimester Three. This independent project is supervised by a member of UCD School of Archaeology staff. 

It is anticipated that students will form part of the UCD Hunter-Gatherer Research Group. The HGRG host seminars, workshops etc. The aim is to provide an informal environment for researchers to meet and discuss themes of interest (and eat cake). 

 

The MSc and Graduate Diploma in Hunter Gatherer Archaeology is for students interested in the fascinating and remarkable world of hunter-gatherers. It is often claimed that humans have spent 90 or 99% of their existence as hunter-gatherers. Understanding these ways of life provides vital perspectives on human identity and the challenges and opportunities societies face today. Archaeology is the only subject that can provide this information. Our programme will introduce students to key themes in the archaeology of past hunter gatherers, the relationship of past and present hunting and gathering communities, and the contemporary social context of knowledge production about hunter-gatherers. Our primary focus is the archaeology of Homo sapiens hunter-gatherers: we will include some discussion of non-Homo sapiens, but this is not a course on human evolution.

You will develop skills in project design and independent research, data analysis and interpretation, communicating the past to different stakeholders, as well as how to different perspectives on the past. You will be part of a dynamic, friendly and international postgraduate community in a School with a 160-year history of exceptional archaeological research and you will form part of the UCD Hunter Gatherer Research Group.

  • Demonstrate understanding and assess of the distinctive character and challenges of the archaeology of hunting and gathering communities and the opportunities this provides in global context)
  • Critically understand the use of analogy and ethnoarchaeology in the archaeology of hunter-gatherers 
  • Assess the social and political context of our archaeological knowledge of hunting and gathering communities and the problems and potentials associated with this 
  • Critically evaluate diverse sources of data on past and present hunting and gathering communities (archaeology, anthropology, genetic, linguistics etc) and transform them into knowledge 
  • Appropriately select and apply discipline-specific archaeological skills and approaches to resolve research problems and develop our understanding of hunter-gatherer communities
  • Communicate findings and ideas clearly and effectively in oral, written and visual
  • Work within large or small teams and independently, leading and being led as appropriate
  • Effectively manage projects and deadlines over the course of a year of intensive study
  • Design, structure, research and implement a significant piece of original research focused on hunter-gatherer archaeology, in the form of an MSc research thesis

Graduate attributes

Graduates from the MSc/GDip in Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology will have

  • H developed interpersonal, intercultural, and life skills necessary for flourishing in an increasingly global and digital society 
  • a strong knowledge of the hunter-gatherer past and the potentials of this for imagining and realising the future. 
  • ability to work independently and with peers in collaborative and flexible ways.
  • resourcefulness, creativity and problem-solving skills.
  • proficiency in collating, analysing and interpret scientific information.
  • an ability to evaluate, synthesise and communicate different views.
  • an understanding of the social and political context of knowledge production.
  • an understanding of the deep history of contemporary issues and of the potential of knowledge of the human past to creatively and critically shape the future.

They will be

  • Academically excellent, and have developed capacities to forge a career in hunter-gatherer research and/or advocacy as well as a broad range of other professional possibilities.
  • In possession of knowledge, skills, experience and attitudes needed to flourish in society. 
  • Intellectually flexible and culturally literate and globally engaged; with especially increased understanding of cultural diversity as it relates to hunter-gatherer societies and the value of this for present and future societies.
  • Committed to issues surrounding equality, diversity and inclusion in their professional contexts.

View All Modules Here

Core modules: 

                 Autumn Trimester: Hunter-Gatherers 1: key themes

                 Spring Trimester: Hunter-Gatherers 2: producing knowledge

                 Material Culture 

                 Research Project Skills 

Optional modules: 

In discussion with the Programme Coordinator, students will be advised to choose their options from one thematic area available in our other graduate programmes:

- Archaeology 

- European Prehistories 

- Experimental Archaeology & Material Culture 

- World Heritage Management 

Modules and topics shown are subject to change and are not guaranteed by UCD.

GradDip Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology (W503) 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. In terms of higher education, notwithstanding Brexit, UK students will still be eligible for the EU fee rate.

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.

 

- entry to MSc based on an Upper Second Class Honours (2H1) undergraduate degree (GPA 3.2, NFQ Level 8, or the international equivalent) in archaeology or anthropology, or other cognate disciplines (to be discussed with programme coordinator)

 

- entry to GradDip based on a Lower Second Class Honours (2H2) undergraduate degree (GPA 2.7, NFQ Level 8, or the international equivalent) in archaeology or anthropology, or other cognate disciplines (to be discussed with programme coordinator)

 

- If English is not your native language, proof of proficiency in English will be required, unless you took your primary degree through English. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL Internet Based Test is 90, on the IELTS system it is 6.5

The following entry routes are available:

Grad Dip Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology FT (W503)
Duration
1 Years
Attendance
Full Time
Deadline
Closed