Course Overview

Landscape change is of immense significance in modern Ireland, and is central to both archaeological research and contemporary cultural and natural heritage management. From a discipline that is recognized internationally for its expertise in Landscape Archaeology, this MA offers a one-year, intensive education in landscape archaeology. From a foundation in landscape theory, the programme provides a critical understanding of landscapes, and their components, character and relevance to contemporary society. There is a strong emphasis on field-based learning in a wide diversity of archaeological landscapes around Ireland. Field Survey workshops form part of the programme, teaching the basics in manual surveying, total station survey and geophysical surveys, as well as structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry and GNSS (GPS) survey techniques.

To view the Discipline of Archaeology website please click HERE.

Scholarships available
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System. An interview forms part of the selection process.

Who Teaches this Course

  • Dr Stefan Bergh 
  • Dr Carleton Jones 
  • Mr Conor Newman 
  • Dr Michelle Comber 
  • Dr Elizabeth FitzPatrick 
  • Dr Kieran O'Conor 
  • Ms. Maggie Ronayne 
  • Mr. Joe Fenwick 
  • Ms. Angela Gallagher

In addition, up to 15 guest lecturers contribute to the course. These include staff members of other academic discliplines in NUI Galway and archaeologists from the National Roads Authority, from local authorities, from private consultancies, from other academic institutions and from The Discovery Programme.

Requirements and Assessment

Course modules are assessed through a combination of essays, class projects, assignments and/or seminar presentations, to a total of 450 marks (50% of the total). The dissertation of 15,000 words comprises the remaining 450 marks (50%).

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

A NQAI Level 8 degree in Archaeology awarded at Second Class Honours Grade 2 standard overall with at least a Second Class Honours Grade 2 in Archaeology or its equivalent in education and professional experience. An interview forms part of the selection process.


Additional Requirements

Duration

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

Next start date

September 2020

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

12 (The programme is offered subject to a minimum number of 6 registered applicants).

Closing Date

Please refer to the review/closing dates website.

NFQ level

Mode of study

Taught

ECTS weighting

90

Award

CAO

Course code

1LA1 full-time | 1LA2 part-time

Course Outline

The history of landscape archaeology is explored, as are contemporary philosophical treatments of the concept of landscape. Various issues surrounding the protection, management, and presentation of archaeological landscapes are considered and case-studies are used to examine the wide range of such landscapes and their components. There is emphasis on fieldwork training and a critical understanding of the range of sources used. Students are provided with a basic foundation in GIS and its applications in archaeology and are introduced to electronic survey and digital mapping, geophysical prospection, and data processing. Practical demonstrations and field exercises are an important element of the programme.

Programme content (subject to change):

  • Landscape Perspectives 
  • Interpreting Landscapes 
  • Managing Landscapes 
  • Investigating Landscapes   
  • Digital Landscapes  
  • Geographical Information Systems and Landscape Archaeology  
  • Dissertation

The programme is based on six modules:

  • Landscape perspectives: you are introduced to the fascinating world of landscape studies, and its theoretical foundations.
  • Interpreting landscapes: this module focuses on how different archaeological landscapes can be read and interpreted based on case studies reaching from the Neolithic to the present day.
  • GIS and Landscape Archaeology: this is an introduction to the basic concepts of GIS, and via tutorials you will gain basic proficiency in a selection of archaeological applications in ArcGIS 9.3.
  • Managing landscapes: the role of archaeology in the planning process is explored. You are also introduced to the politics of landscape and Public Archaeology.
  • Investigating landscapes: the wide range of sources and methods used in landscape archaeology are explored, with a focus on their potential and limitation.
  • Presenting landscapes: introduction to  Adobe Photoshop. The module also consists of a week’s field school in the Burren, Co. Clare.

Module for Full Time Course

Module for 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 (90 Credits)

Required AR601: Landscape Perspectives


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

This module aims to provide a critical understanding of landscapes in general and of landscape archaeology and related theory in particular. The module also explores the background and historical development of landscape studies.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the landscape concept in archaeology.
  2. Discuss the relationship between the landscape concept in archaeology and that of neighbouring disciplines.
  3. Identify and discuss the principal theoretical approaches applied in landscape archaeology.
  4. Identify and discuss the development of the landscape concept in archaeology.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module AR601: "Landscape Perspectives" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AR602: Interpreting Landscapes


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

This module aims to exemplify the wide range of landscapes studies in archaeology by focussing on the reading and interpretation of different thematically identified landscapes and their components. Relevant case studies are examined on various themes such as ‘Landscapes of memory: Megalithic tombs in Neolithic Ireland’; ‘Elite landscapes’; ‘Landscapes of Kingships in Medieval Ireland’; ‘The famine landscape’. Field classes form a central part of the teaching in this module.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Define and discuss the landscape approach on various aspects of the archaeological record.
  2. Describe how archaeologists formulate Research Designs informed by the landscape concept.
  3. Identify key research issues in landscape archaeology.
  4. Evaluate the landscape narrative in different social and chronological settings.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module AR602: "Interpreting Landscapes" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AR6105: Geographical Information Systems and Landscape Archaeology


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

The module is an introduction to GIS and the archaeological application of this important tool. A series of lectures is followed by a number of tutorials in ArcVeiw 10.2.2. The aim with this module is to acquaint the student with the application of GIS in Archaeology in general and in Landscape studies in particular.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically discuss the role of GIS in landscape studies.
  2. Relate various theoretical frameworks to the use of GIS.
  3. Understand the basic functionality of GIS software and its application in landscape archaeology.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module AR6105: "Geographical Information Systems and Landscape Archaeology" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AR6106: Creating a Dissertation in Landscape Archaeology


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This module aims to actively support the writing of the 15 000 word dissertation in landscape archaeology. The main focus of the module is the construction of a coherent and logical Research Design of the student’s planned dissertation. The understanding of the critical importance of a well thought through and logically structured research design as a vehicle towards a successful dissertation is the main aim of the module. The identification of relevant methodologies to defined research aims in current landscape research forms another important building block. One part of the module is focusing on writing about landscape archaeology for the general public.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify key landscape research issues on a given topic
  2. Identify and formulate relevant methodologies linked to a given topic
  3. Create a coherent Research Design in landscape archaeology
  4. Create an archaeological article aimed at the general public
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module AR6106: "Creating a Dissertation in Landscape Archaeology" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AR6107: Dissertation


15 months long | Credits: 40

The dissertation forms a central part of the programme and consists of individual research presented as a project (max 15,000 words). The dissertation topic should be explicitly focused on issues informed by a landscape approach in archaeology and clearly positioned within the theoretical framework of landscape studies. Paramount to the successful completion of your dissertation is a well-defined topic as well as a realistic time plan for the work.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Design and execute a research project
  2. Communicate research questions, methods and results
  3. Apply critical analyses in areas relating to landscape archaeology
Assessments
  • Research (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module AR6107: " Dissertation" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AR603: Managing Landscapes


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

The module focuses on the role of landscape archaeology in the planning process and the conditions for a landscape approach in heritage management. The concept of landscape characterisation is also addressed, as is its role in heritage management. The students are also introduced to the politics of landscapes and public archaeology in today’s society.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically assess the role of a landscape approach in heritage management.
  2. Understand that archaeology is a social undertaking that needs to relate to communities whose heritage and culture is being investigated.
  3. Demonstrate a general understanding of the Laws, Acts and Conventions etc. that inform heritage management in Ireland.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module AR603: "Managing Landscapes" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AR604: Investigating Landscapes


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module offers a critical understanding of the wide range of sources and methods used in landscape archaeology, with a focus on their potentials and limitations. A central component of this module comprises two field classes; one to various research institutions and archives in Dublin, the other to archaeological landscapes in Connemara. These field classes introduce the student to various aspects of the sources and methods in landscape studies.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe and discuss the main sources and methods available in landscape archaeology.
  2. Evaluate the role of these sources and methods.
  3. Define the potentials and limitations of the main sources used in landscape archaeology.
  4. Critically identify the most suitable sources and methods to be applied within your own research.
  5. Show an ability to critically select sources and methods for a given research topic.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module AR604: "Investigating Landscapes" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AR622: Presenting Landscapes


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This module aims to raise the student’s proficiency in interpreting and presenting landscape archaeology. The field school element gives the students an opportunity to – in a real life situation – put into practice the wide range of practical and theoretical skills they have acquired during the course. A significant part of the field school project is its presentation in several media. Prior to the field school the students are, via tutorials, taught the basic functionality of Adobe Photoshop.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify relevant research issues in a given situation and formulate a research design.
  2. Undertake a landscape analysis with relevant questions and methodologies.
  3. Present research outcome to both an academic and public audience.
  4. Understand the basic functionality of Adobe Photoshop.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module AR622: "Presenting Landscapes" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates are employed in many areas of the profession, while others choose to continue their studies through the medium of doctoral research. Graduates seeking employment after the completion of the course commonly find work in archaeological consultancies, in the State sector and in local authorities and are usually engaged in landscape assessment and surveys, pre-development impact assessments, and excavations.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

 

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,600 p.a. FT; €3,355 p.a. PT 2020/21

Fees: Tuition

€6,376 p.a. FT; €3,187 p.a. PT 2020/21

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. FT; €168 p.a. PT 2020/21

Fees: Non EU

€15,550 p.a. 2020/21

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant—please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your full-time tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay full-time 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

Dr Stefan Bergh
T: +353 91 492 052
E: stefan.bergh@nuigalway.ie

Quick Links

 

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Downloads

  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2020

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2020 PDF (21 MB)