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Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Heritage Studies

Discipline: 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: 160 (2020)

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 (PDF 323KB)
 Irish and European History, 400-1200 (PDF 315KB)
• Irish and European History, 1200-1600 (PDF 323KB)
• Natural Heritage and Geography 1 (PDF 311KB)
• Natural Heritage and Geography 2 (PDF 300KB)
• Ireland’s Linguistic Traditions (PDF 311KB)
• Reading Irish Literature (PDF 308KB)
• Computing and Information Systems (PDF 308KB)
• Communications. (PDF 305KB)

Electives: Gaeilge (PDF 306 KB) Spanish (PDF 308 KB); French; (PDF 302 KB) German (PDF 310 KB) Tourism Geography (PDF 303KB)  Rural Field Studies (PDF 303KB)

Modules in Year 2

• Modern Irish History and Memory (PDF 361KB)
• Later Modern International History and Memory (PDF 373KB)
• History of Art and Design (PDF 312KB)
• Introduction to Archaeology and Built Heritage (PDF 311KB)
• Approaches to Archaeology 1: Cartographic History and Field Monument Identification (PDF 311KB)
• Irish Biogeography and Natural History (PDF 300KB)
 Biogeography and Natural History (PDF 304KB)
• Early Irish Literature (303 KB)
• Irish Folklore (317 KB)

Electives: Gaeilge 2A (PDF 306KB) ; Gaeilge 2B; (PDF 307KB) Spanish 2A; (PDF 307KB) Spanish 2B;(PDF 304KB) French 2A (PDF 300KB); French 2B (PDF 300KB) German 2A (PDF 311KB) German 2B (PDF 311KB) Urban Field Studies (PDF 300KB) International Tourism (PDF 303KB)

Modules in Year 3

• Museology: Introduction to Principals & Practice  (PDF 311KB)
• Research Methods for Dissertations (PDF 316KB)
• Irish Local History and Genealogy (PDF 347KB)
• The Irish Musical Tradition: Cultural Histories (PDF 316KB)
• Approaches to Archaeology 2: Ceramics History and the Study of Burials (PDF 312 KB)
• Database and Geographic Information Systems for the Humanities (PDF 311KB)
• Historical Geography (PDF 342KB)
• Modern Irish Literature (PDF 282KB)
• Digital Heritage 1(PDF 301KB)
• Digital Heritage 2 (PDF 301KB)

Electives: Gaeilge 3A (PDF 304KB), Gaeilge 3B (PDF 307KB) Spanish 3A (PDF 308KB) Spanish 3B (PDF 308KB) French 3A (PDF 297KB) French 3B (PDF 300KB) German 3A (PDF 309KB) German 3B (PDF 311KB) Work Experience (PDF 309KB); Event Management 1 (PDF 306KB) Event Management 2 (PDF 306KB) Rural Development (PDF 301KB) Contemporary Art in Rural Contexts (PDF304KB) Historical Cultural Politics and Visual Production. (PDF 302KB)

Modules in Year 4

• Dissertation (PDF 326KB)
• Heritage Tourism 1 (PDF 307KB)
• Heritage Tourism 2 (PDF 311KB)
• Geography, Planning and Human-Environment Relations (PDF 363KB)
• Irish Historiography (PDF 335KB)
• Irish Cinematic History and Cultural Identity (PDF 301KB)
 Policy Practice and Survey Methods in Built Heritage (PDF 306KB)
• Curatorial Practice in Critical Heritage Contexts. (PDF 315KB)

Electives: Gaeilge 4A (PDF 315KB); Gaeilge 4B (PDF 306KB); Spanish 4A (PDF 306KB); Spanish 4B (PDF 314KB); French 4A (PDF 297KB); French 4B (PDF 299KB); German 4A (PDF 309KB); German 4B (PDF 310KB); Biodiversity and Conservation(PDF 311KB); Environmental Impact Assessments (PDF 310KB); Entrepreneurship (PDF 301KB); Creativity and Innovation (PDF 317KB); European History Field Studies. (PDF 308KB)


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

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Contact Us

Joint Programme Chairs:

Mark Mc Carthy
Tel: +353 (0)91 742411
Email: Mark McCarthy

John Tunney
Tel: +353 (0)91 742102
Email: John Tunney


Head of Department:

Diarmuid Ó Conghaile
Tel: +353 (0)91 742232  
Email: Diarmuid Ó Conghaile


School Office:

Michelle Healy
Tel: +353 (0)91 742209
Email: Michelle Healy

Clare Divilly
Tel: +353 (0)91 742183
Email: Clare Divilly