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


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

Next start date

September 2021

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

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

QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

Please refer to the review/closing dates website.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




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

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

€6,716 p.a. FT; €3,400 p.a. PT 2021/22

Fees: Tuition

€6,576 p.a. FT; €3,295 p.a. PT 2021/22

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. FT; €105 p.a. PT 2021/22

Fees: Non EU

€16,216 p.a. 2021/22

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant—please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €3,500 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 €140.

Postgraduate fee breakdown = tuition (EU or NON EU) + student levy as outlined above.

Find out More

Conor Newman
T: +353 91 493 407

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  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)