Course Outline
Geographers examine the cultures, economies, societies, physical landscape and environments of the Earth using a unique combination of the humanities, social and natural sciences.

The Higher Diploma in Arts - Geography is a conversion course intended for those who already hold a degree in Arts or Science subject other than Geography. This qualification is often considered by those seeking to develop a geographical perspective on the world in preparation for further study and employment, or by those wishing to add Geography as a second-level teaching subject.

The Higher Diploma in Arts Geography consists of modules to the value of 60 credits selected from a range of existing second and third year Geography modules covering the main thematic areas in Geography along with the methods used in geographical enquiry. The module requirements leave scope for students to tailor the programme to their own interests.

All Higher Diploma in Arts – geography students are required to attend a week-long residential field methods course (GG2045) which usually takes place at the end of Semester 2.

The Higher Diploma in Arts - Geography can be taken part-time (over 2 years - by day)

If you are applying for this course to gain a teaching subject please consult with the Teaching Council Subject Declaration Form to view specific requirements for this subject.

Why Choose This Course
The integrating nature of geography has become a major asset in a world of constant change. Its unique combination of humanities social and physical sciences allows geographers to develop a perspective on the world that is especially relevant to key global issues such as climate change, migration, food security and urbanisation.

You will gain transferable skills including:
- an understanding of the spatial dimensions of physical, environmental and human phenomena
- an appreciation of the importance of a broad, international and comparative perspective
- problem solving
- critical thinking
- independent learning
- self-directed research
- report writing and public presentations.

Subjects taught

Students take undergraduate second and third-year modules to the value of 60 credits. GG2045 consists of a week-long required residential field module and in some other modules, there may be elements of shorter non-residential field work.

All students will take four core modules as follows (25 credits):

GG2038 Geographical Research Methods (5 credits)
GG2022 Field Work (5 credits)
GG3001 Geographical Ideas (5 credits)
GG3006 Research Methods and Dissertation (10 credits)

The remaining modules can be selected from the second and third-year module offerings subject to the following requirements:

At least one Physical Geography module:
GG2005 Quaternary Environments and Geomorphology (5 credits)
GG2025 Biogeography (5 credits)
GG2037 Introduction to Geoinformatics (5 credits)
GG2046 Atmosphere, Weather and Climate (5 Credits)
GG3007 Coastal and Marine Geomorphology (5 credits)
GG3012 Advanced Geographical Information Systems (5 credits)
GG3041 Environmental Remote Sensing (5 credits)
GG3051 Landscape Palaeoecology and Palynology (5 credits)

And at least one Human Geography module:
GG2010 Cities of Diversity
GG2014 Geography of Tourism (5 credits)
GG2023 Economic and Rural Geography (5 credits)
GG2041 Contemporary Human Migration and European Settlement and Society (5 credits)
GG3009 Geography as human ecology (5 credits)
GG3010 Global Urbanism
GG3027 Regional and Local Planning Issues and Policies (5 credits)
GG3037 Geography of Heritage (5 credits)
GG3038 Geographies of the Irish Diaspora
GG3043 Historical Geographies of the City (5 credits)
GG3045 Food Geography (5 credits)
GG3046 Geopolitics and Geostrategies (5 credits)
GG3048 Environmental Economic Geography


Any five additional 5-credit modules offered in the department's second and third year undergraduate programme (see lists above) such that the overall composition of the modules taken, including required modules, contains at least 30 credits from the third year programme (GG3xxx modules including required modules)

Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Entry requirements

It is intended for those who already have a 3 or 4 year primary degree, preferably in the area of Arts or the Sciences, and who wish to study the subject Geography intensively over one academic year. The Higher Diploma in Arts is a conversion programme and applicants would not normally have studied the relevant subject to Honours Degree level previously.

English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements.

International/non-EU applicants
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Application dates

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.

3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

- Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC

- Any supplementary items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.

5. Rounds
For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates.

Questions on how to apply?
Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.

Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

Please detail your computing/technical/IT skills.

Note: The Higher Diploma in Arts programme is not a secondary school teacher training programme. Graduates must also complete the Professional Master of Education to qualify as a Secondary School Teacher. Please see for further details.

The closing date for non-EU applications is 15 June.

Assessment Info

Geography modules are assessed using a combination of end-of-year examinations and continuous assessments. Details of the assessment used in each module can be found in the UCC Book of Modules.


Full-time 1 year, Part-time 2 years

Additional Teaching Mode Information
The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: 7 September 2020

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
You will gain technical geographical skills including:
• computer cartography and geographical information systems
• remote sensing
• quantitative and qualitative research methods
• social surveys and analysis
• landscape evaluation/planning.

Geography is a diverse discipline with career paths as varied as your individual interests, including:
• planning
• local/community development
• environmental assessment and management
• housing policy
• regional development
• TV news production/research
• geo-informatics
• journalism
• diplomatic service
• financial services and global business
• public relations
• European space agency
• market research
• teaching
• tourism
• academic teaching and research
• museum/heritage management

More details
  • Qualification letters

    HDip in Arts

  • Qualifications

    Higher Diploma (Level 8 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider