HDip Archaeology

Graduate Taught (level 8 nfq, credits 60)

The Higher Diploma (HDip) in Archaeology is a one year (full time) or two year (part time) 60-ECTS credit degree programme. It is designed for people who do not have a previous qualification in archaeology but who wish to consider a postgraduate degree in the subject

The programme comprises the final two years of our undergraduate programme compressed into a single academic year. This includes:

  • Core modules on archaeological theory, methods, approaches to landscape and material culture as well as key issues in heritage management and Irish archaeology
  • Optional modules in areas including prehistoric and medieval archaeology, scientific archaeology and other thematic areas.
  • Production of a 10-credit independent research project.

Careers & Employability

Following the HDip students are eligible to apply for the GDip/MA programmes in Archaeology. Alternatively, the  HDip provides a strong basis for careers in archaeology, cultural heritage, tourism, government organisations, museums, as well as media, education, journalism, publishing, arts and cultural companies, environmental consultancy etc.

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 HDip is designed for students with little or no prior archaeological training, and will fast track you through the advanced stages (Levels 2 and 3) of our undergraduate programme.

The Higher Diploma in Archaeology is a Level 8 course within the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and runs for a year (Full Time) or two years (Part Time). The majority of students who study for the Higher Diploma already have an Honours Bachelor Degree; although holders of Ordinary Bachelor Degrees are also still able to do a Higher Diploma. In either case,a minimum 2.1 or an equivalent of a UCD GPA of 3.2. is required. 

For most students,  the Higher Diploma offers a way for students with no archaeological qualifications to begin to study archaeology at 3rd Level. As such, the Higher Diploma does not require the previous qualification to be in archaeology or a related discipline. If completed successfully, the Higher Diploma may offer a pathway for students to study for a Masters degree in archaeology.

The HDip Archaeology is an intensive programme aimed at students who have little previous archaeological experience but who wish to obtain a postgraduate qualification in archaeology. It serves as apoint of entry into the GDip and MA programmes in archaeology and is particularly suitable for students who may have a primary degree in an entirely unrelated subject or significant professional experience without a primary degree.  The HDip programme provides a detailed knowledge of the archaeology of Ireland in its global context, a broad range of the archaeological skills required to discover the past, and an appreciation of cultural diversity over space and time, while developing  key transferable skills in research, time management and academic writing. The programme encourages students to think critically, and creates a solid foundation for further study. 

We value and encourage students of all ages or backgrounds who are self-motivated, work well in a teamwork environment and demonstrate a capacity for critical and analytical thinking. Excellent communication skills are also especially valued. The programme is aimed at students who are interested in the study of human culture, societies and environments over time, as well as those with a specific interest in archaeology as a profession. 

We are committed to providing a learning environment that encourages students to develop their own ideas in collaboration with fellow students and School staff. Archaeology is interdisciplinary, bridging the Arts and Sciences, and combines an exciting and varied range of approaches to developing knowledge and value of our archaeological heritage. Individual development and self-discovery is a key component of an archaeological training, as is sharing experiences and values as part of a team. Regular research seminars by visiting academics allow our students to engage with cutting-edge research in European and World Archaeology and strong links are maintained between School teaching and research in both the field and classroom.

Our teaching programme focuses on both Irish and international material, integrating the latest research carried out by staff to highlight Ireland’s important position within the global archaeological community. We use a range of learning approaches, from traditional lectures and seminars to fieldtrips, laboratory and practical elements; our students engage with key archaeological sites and landscapes within Ireland through field-based teaching across a range of modules. Assessment strategies are varied, ranging from traditional essays to project plans, poster presentations and reflexive field journals. Field teaching is an essential part of archaeology, and a number of modules have elements of fieldwork. Please note that owing to the nature of the programme, participation in the School’s ongoing summer field excavation is only possible for part-time students. 

  • Apply discipline-specific archaeological skills and approaches, such as archaeological fieldwork or laboratory techniques
  • Communicate through written, visual and oral media to specialist and non-specialist
  • Conduct independent and self-planned evidence-based research projects, reflectively using appropriate professional methodologies and equipment
  • Develop a detailed knowledge of Ireland’s internationally-renowned archaeological record, underpinned by the global context
  • Develop a detailed understanding of key changes in human society globally from prehistory to the present day, and how this influences the modern world
  • Develop an advanced understanding of the latest international archaeological practice and research
  • Gather, evaluate and interpret archaeological data, transforming it into knowledge in interdisciplinary context and communicating your results effectively
  • Participate in field and laboratory-based archaeological projects
  • Reflect upon the roles of archaeology and the past in modern society, the value of heritage and the context of appropriate legislation
  • Work within large or small teams and independently, leading and being led as appropriate

HDip Archaeology (Z212) Full Time
nonEU    fee per year - € 14350
EU          fee per year - € 6670

HDip Archaeology (Z213) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 3990
nonEU    fee per year - € 7180

***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.

The Higher Diploma can act as a precursor to our other taught postgraduate programmes, the Graduate Diploma and MSc in Archaeology

The following entry routes are available:

HDip Archaeology FT (Z212)
1 Years
Full Time
HDip Archaeology PT (Z213)
2 Years
Part Time

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