University College Cork


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

Our 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 which usually takes place at the end of Semester 2.

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 -

If you are applying for this course for future eligibility into the Profession Master of Education (PME), see the PME page for more information -

Subjects taught

Students take undergraduate second and third-year modules to the value of 60 credits.

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)
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)

At least one Human Geography module:

GG2010 Cities of Diversity (5 credits)
GG2014 Geography of Tourism (5 credits)
GG2023 Economic and Rural Geography (5 credits)
GG2041 Contemporary Human Migration and European Settlement (5 credits)
GG3009 Geography as Human Ecology (5 credits)
GG3010 Sustainable cities and communities (5 credits)
GG3027 Regional and Local Planning Issues and Policies (5 credits)
GG3037 Geography of Heritage (5 credits)
GG3038 Geographies of the Irish Diaspora (5 credits)
GG3043 Historical Geographies of Urbanism and the Anthropocene (5 credits)
GG3046 Geopolitics and Geostrategies (5 credits)

You can choose any five additional 5-credit modules offered in the department’s second and third-year undergraduate programme 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).

If you are taking the Higher Diploma in Arts – geography with a view to registering with the Teaching Council, please note that you need to take 15 credits each of physical and human geography.

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.

Application dates

Closing Date
Rolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.

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.


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

Enrolment dates

Start Date: 9 September 2024

Post Course Info

Geography is a diverse discipline with career paths as varied as your individual interests, including:

local/community development
environmental assessment and management
housing policy
regional development
TV news production/research
diplomatic service
financial services and global business
public relations
European space agency
market research
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