Geography - Conversion Course

Course Outline
"Geography is the study of the Earth as the home of people" Yi-Fu Tuan

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

We view the earth, its inhabitants and the processes that form and transform the world we live in using a spatial perspective. This particularly geographical way of looking at the world allows for an inter-disciplinary exploration of processes operating in specific places. As a student of geography, you will learn to view the world using this geographical lens.

Geographers examine geographical processes in a variety of thematic areas within geography including landscape, heritage, migration, culture, food, tourism, environment, economy, cities, climate geomorphology and development.

Registration with the Teaching Council: For applicants who are taking the Higher Diploma with a view to Teaching Council subject registration, the Higher Diploma in Arts Geography is recognised by the Teaching Council for the purposes of a teaching subject at post primary level.

Why Choose This Course

The breadth of the Higher Diploma in Geography qualification enables you to be more adaptable to variations in employment opportunities than the graduates of many narrower specialisms. The integrating nature of geography has become a major asset in a world of constant change in which many employers seek adaptability and flexibility, rather than narrow technical knowledge which is soon outdated.

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.

Entry requirements

It is intended for those who already have a degree, preferably in the area of Arts or the Sciences
The Higher Diploma in Arts is a conversion programme and applicants would not normally have studied the relevant subject to Honours Degree level previously.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website.


Full-time 1 year
Part-time 2 years
CKA13 (Full-time), CKA43 (Part-time)

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years

Careers or further progression

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 much more than maps and capitals. It 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

Further enquiries

Contact details for this course
Dr. Ray O'Connor
+ 353 21 4205164

Subjects taught

The Higher Diploma in Geography consists of modules taken from a range of existing second and third year geography modules.

In second year modules, you will have an opportunity to delve into problems in specific branches in Geography. There will also be a number of lectures and practical courses concerned with the ways in which geographical information is researched.

Third year modules focus upon understanding Geography as an academic discipline concerned with the 'togetherness of many things in space', i.e. with analysis, understanding and explanation of how different kinds of physical materials, peoples, institutions and ideas interact, impinge on and coexist with one another in regional combinations of varying complexity over the Earth's surface.

Required Modules (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)


At least one Physical Geography module:

GG2005 Quaternary Environments and Geomorphology (5 credits)
GG2016 The Atmospheric Environment (5 credits)
GG2025 Biogeography (5 credits)
GG2037 Introduction to Geoinformatics (5 credits)
GG3007 Coastal Geomorphology (5 credits)
GG3012 Advanced Geographical Information Systems (5 credits)
GG3039 Dynamic Climatology (5 credits)
GG3041 Environmental Remote Sensing (5 credits)
GG3042 Climate variability and change (5 credits)
GG3051 Landscape Palaeoecology and Palynology (5 credits)

And at least one Human Geography module:

GG2014 Geography of Tourism (5 credits)
GG2023 Economic and Rural Geography (5 credits)
GG2024 Social Geography (5 credits)
GG2040 Geographies of Environment and Sustainability (5 credits)
GG2041 Contemporary Human Migration and European Settlement and Society (5 credits)
GG3009 Geography as human ecology (5 credits)
GG3027 Regional and Local Planning Issues and Policies (5 credits)
GG3037 Geography of Heritage (5 credits)
GG3043 Historical Geographies of the City (5 credits)
GG3045 Food Geography (5 credits)
GG3046 Geopolitics and Geostrategies (5 credits)
GG3048 Environmental Economic Geography
GG3049 Historical Geographies of Ireland: Social, Economic and Cultural Transformations


Any five additional 5-credit modules such that the overall composition of the modules taken, including required modules, contains at least 30 credits from the third year course (GG3xxx modules)

You are advised to consult the timetable and balance the load between first and second semesters. Please note that some 3rd year modules require a 2nd year pre-requisite module.

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

Please see the College Book of Modules for information and descriptions of modules for the current academic year.

Registration with the Teaching Council: For applicants who are taking the Higher Diploma with a view to Teaching Council subject registration, the Higher Diploma is recognised by the Teaching Council for teacher subject registration in Geography. In general, if you wish to qualify as a teacher, you are advised to refer to the school curriculum and match the modules to that broad field. Modules are chosen in consultation with the programme coordinator in September.

Many subjects have discipline-specific requirements and you are advised to check the requirements for the subject area by consulting the following:
-Curricular Subject Requirements: Teaching Council: Curricular Subject Requirements
-Subject Declaration Forms (including a self-assessment checklist of whether you meet the requirements for your subject area): Teaching Council Subject Declaration Forms

Please see the College Book of Modules for information and descriptions of modules for the current academic year.


Course Practicalities
The course involves 60 credits of undergraduate geography courses. GG2022 consists of a week-long required residential field course and in some modules there may be elements of shorter non-residential field work.

Assessment method

Second and third year lecture modules are assessed using a combination of end-of-year examinations and continuous assessments. Details can be found in the UCC Book of Modules. GG3006 Research Methods and Dissertation is assessed on the quality of the research, analysis and written report. Topics are chosen from a range of themes specified by the Geography Department and research is carried out in consultation with a departmental supervisor. Fieldwork, library and laboratory work (as appropriate) is an essential part of the dissertation.

Application date

Applications for 2019 start dates will open on November 1st 2018.

EU Applicants: UCC operates a rounds closing date system for the majority of postgraduate taught courses, which means we offer places four times a year on a rolling basis. Some courses have one specific closing date, please check your course prospectus page for this information.

The UCC rounds EU application system closing dates for postgraduate taught courses are below. We advise applicants to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of Applications:

For all completed applications received by January 11th 2019
Offers will be made:Offers will be made by January 25th 2019

For all completed applications received by March 1st 2019
Offers will be made: Offers will be made by March 15th 2019

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2019
Offers will be made: Offers will be made by May 15th 2019

For all completed applications received by July 1st 2019
Offers will be made: Offer will be made by July 15th 2019

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity for places.

While there is no official closing date for Research courses applicants are advised to submit their application at least two months ahead of their proposed start date. There are four official Research start dates – September/October, January, April and July.

Non-EU Applicants:

Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

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

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date 9 September 2019

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!