Course Overview

The landscape has become an increasingly important and significant concept in today’s Ireland, and is a central avenue for both academic research as well as for contemporary heritage management.

Drawing on a range of expertise in prehistoric and historic landscapes, the MA (Landscape Archaeology) offers an intensive one-year programme in landscape archaeology. The course provides a critical understanding of landscapes, and their components, character and relevance, in today’s society. The landscape has become an increasingly significant concept in modern Ireland, and is a central part of both academic research and contemporary heritage management

A strong element of the programme is the field-based teaching, held in various archaeological landscapes around Ireland. A series of Field Survey workshops is also part of the programme, teaching you the basics in manual surveying, total station survey and geophysical surveys, as well as high precision GPS survey.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

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 and these include staff members of other academic departments 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


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

Next start date

September 2016

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

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

Closing Date

6th May 2016

Next start date

September 2016

NFQ level

Mode of study


ECTS weighting




PAC code

GYA80 full-time |
GYA81 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: via tutorial you are introduced to Adobe Photoshop. The module also consists of a week’s field school in the Burren, Co. Clare.

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

€6,015 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Tuition

€5,791 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Non EU

€13,250 p.a. 2015/16

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: