Courses in

Tourism and Heritage

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Heritage Studies

Discipline: Tourism and Heritage

Programme Code: 


Location: Galway - Dublin Road

NFQ Level: 8

Programme Duration: Four years

Mode of Study: Full time

Application Route: Apply through the CAO

Places: 30

CAO Round 1 Points: 200 (2016)

Why Study?

Heritage includes almost anything that one generation hands down to the next, or anything from the past that people identify with.

It involves the use of the past in the present – in tourist attractions, commemorations, museum exhibitions, conservation plans, national identities, local economies, etc. Today, the historic environment sector supports 40,000 jobs in Ireland and accounts for €1.5 billion revenue annually.

The BA (Honours) in Heritage Studies has an applied focus and is interdisciplinary in nature – linking heritage with history, geography, archaeology, tourism, genealogy, museum studies, folklore, literature, planning, computing, digital media, business and languages.

This programme is particularly appropriate for students wishing to acquire a broader knowledge and understanding of the built, cultural and natural heritages of Ireland, Europe and the wider world.

It will also provide you with an understanding of the role that heritage resource management plays in the safeguarding of archaeological and historic sites, national monuments, architecture, artefacts, archives, cultural landscapes and identities, habitats, flora and fauna.

Students learn through a combination of lectures, tutorials, active learning, class discussions, film viewings, practical learning in computer and language labs, and online learning. There is also a strong emphasis on offsite teaching, with fieldtrips to heritage sites, museums and interpretative centres. Students can do a Work Experience module and can study abroad for one or two semesters.

Programme Modules

Modules in Year 1:

• Learning and Innovation Skills
• Rural Field Studies or Tourism Geography
• Irish and European History, 400-1200
• Irish and European History, 1200-1600
• Natural Heritage and Geography 1
• Natural Heritage and Geography 2
• Ireland’s Linguistic Traditions
• Reading Irish Literature
• Computing and Information Systems
• Communications.

Electives: Gaeilge; Spanish; French; German

Modules in Year 2

• Urban Field Studies or International Tourism
• Modern Irish History and Memory
• Later Modern International History and Memory
• History of Art and Design
• Introduction to Archaeology and Built Heritage
• Approaches to Archaeology 1: Cartographic History and Field Monument Identification
• Irish Biogeography and Natural History
• Biogeography and Natural History
• Early Irish Literature
• Irish Folklore

Electives: Gaeilge; Spanish; French; German

Modules in Year 3

• Museum Studies
• Research Methods for Dissertations
• Irish Local History and Genealogy
• The Irish Musical Tradition: Cultural Histories
• Approaches to Archaeology 2: Ceramics History and the Study of Burials
• Database and Geographic Information Systems for the Humanities
• Historical Geography
• Modern Irish Literature
• Digital Heritage 1
• Digital Heritage 2

Electives: Gaeilge; Spanish; French; German; Work Experience; Event Management 1; Event Management 2; Rural Development; Contemporary Art in Rural Contexts; Historical Cultural Politics and Visual Production.

Modules in Year 4

• Dissertation
• Heritage Tourism 1
• Heritage Tourism 2
• Geography, Planning and Human-Environment Relations
• Irish Historiography
• Irish Cinematic History and Cultural Identity
• Policy Practice and Survey Methods in Built Heritage
• Curatorial Practice in Critical Heritage Contexts.

Electives: Gaeilge; Spanish; French; German; Biodiversity and Conservation; Environmental Impact Assessments; Entrepreneurship; Creativity and Innovation; European History Field Studies.


Career Opportunities

Employment opportunities exist in the following areas:

• Arts administration
• Antiques and collectibles
• Archaeology
• Archives
• Business
• Charities and NGOs
• Civic trusts
• Civil service
• Community development
• Conservation and restoration
• Creative digital media
• Environmental consultancies
• Family history centres
• Genealogical companies
• Government departments
• GIS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
• Heritage centres and agencies
• Hospitality
• Journalism
• Lecturing
• Leisure
• Libraries
• Local authorities
• Marketing
• Museums
• National parks
• Planning
• Public relations
• Publishing houses
• Research
• Retail outlets
• Rural development
• Start-up enterprises
• Teaching
• Technology companies
• Tour guiding
• Tourism agencies
• Visitor attractions
• World heritage organisations.


Follow-on Studies: 

Graduates of the BA (Honours) in Heritage Studies are recognised worldwide for entry to a wide range of postgraduate courses, including:

• Archaeology
• Archival Studies
• Arts Administration
• Business
• Computing
• Environment, Society and Development
• Geography
• History
• Irish Studies
• Journalism
• Librarianship
• Literature and Languages
• Museum Curatorship
• Planning
• Publishing
• Rural Sustainability
• World Heritage Management and Conservation

Graduates may also apply for entry to GMIT’s Level 9 MA in Heritage Studies (by research). Progression to a Level 10 PhD in Heritage Studies (by research) is also possible.

Essential Information: 

Graduates of the Honours degree are eligible to apply for progression to the Professional Master of Education (Secondary School/Post Primary Teacher Training), on completion of which they are qualified to teach Environmental & Social Studies to Junior Certificate and History to Leaving Certificate. Graduates are also eligible to apply for entry to the Professional Master of Education (Primary Teaching), to qualify as a primary teacher.

Download Document(s): 

Shane Cullen - Graduate 2015 - BA (Hons) Heritage Studies

Contact Us


Paul Gosling

Phone: 091-742027
eMail: Paul Gosling


Dr Mark McCarthy

Phone: 091-742411
eMail: Mark McCarthy