Academic Credit is offered through NUI Galway. This is available as transferable ECTS/or American Semester credits. Click here for a list of International Universities and colleges for which students have previously received credit through an NUI Galway archaeological fieldschool.

Course Overview:

The Irish Fieldschool of Prehistoric Archaeology (IFPA) combines cutting edge research into prehistoric societies with first-class and practical hands-on education. We want our students to understand the research questions with which we approach our surveys and excavations, to think critically about the techniques we employ and to become fully engaged in the interpretive process.

We offer three courses: a two-week lecture, tour and survey course, a four-week excavation and recording techniques course and a one-week experimental archaeology course. We also offer the discounted opportunity of combining two courses into a five or six-week course, or - for the ultimate introduction to Irish prehistory - combine all three into a seven week course.

2018 Programme Details:


Session 1: May 21st - June 1st                    3 Semester Credits/6 ECTS Credits      

Course title: Irish prehistory and archaeological survey (2 weeks)


Session 2: June 3rd - June 29th             6 Semester Credits/12 ECTS Credits

Course title: Archaeological excavation and recording techniques (4 weeks)


Session 3: July 2nd -July 6th                 TBC Semester Credits/TBC ECTS Credits

Course title: Experimental archaeology and the material culture of the Irish Early Bronze Age (1 week)


Session 4: July 16th - Aug 10th                 6 Semester Credits/12 ECTS Credits

Course title: Archaeological excavation and recording techniques (4 weeks)


Session 5: Aug 13th - 24th                          3 Semester Credits/6 ECTS Credits

Course title: Irish prehistory and archaeological survey (2 weeks)


Tuition, fees and accommodation:

Irish prehistory and archaeological survey (2 weeks) €1,750

Experimental archaeology (1 week) €900

Archaeological excavation and recording techniques (4 weeks) €3,450

Combined 5 week course (sessions 2 & 3 or sessions 3 & 4) at the discounted price of €4,200

Combined 6 week course (sessions 1 & 2 or sessions 4 & 5) at the discounted price of €4,800

Combined 7 week course (sessions 1, 2 & 3 or sessions 3, 4 & 5) at the discounted price of €5350

Join us for the entire summer - 13 weeks (sessions 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5) at the discounted price of €8500


Programme Outlines:

Irish prehistory and archaeological survey (2 weeks)

The two-week survey course will cover geophysical survey, drawing, digital photography, photogrammetry, total station survey and3D modelling. It will also include visits to some of Ireland’s most famous prehistoric sites, the National Museum and several of our less-well-known prehistoric gems. 

During this course we conduct original research on sites of high archaeological potential and students complete written projects on that work. During the summer of 2017, we discovered two previously unrecorded enclosures in the vicinity of a large later prehistoric barrow.

Archaeological excavation and recording techniques (4 weeks)

The four-week excavation course will cover techniques of archaeological excavation, drawing, digital photography, photogrammetry, total station survey, 3D modelling, context recording, osteoarchaeology and environmental sampling. Students will receive weekly lectures and tutorials from visiting professors, as well as from our fieldschool staff.

In 2018, we will excavate the first barrow ever excavated in Co. Clare and place trenches across several other enclosures identified in our 2017 geophysical survey. We expect to find human bone and students will likely get first-hand experience of its excavation, recording and analysis. 

Experimental Archaeology and the material culture of the Irish Bronze Age (1 week)

The one-week experimental archaeology course will concentrate on later Bronze Age materials and include workshops on bronze casting and pottery production. All materials will be provided and students will be allowed take a selection of what they make away with them.

Further information

Self-catered accommodation is provided in the nearby village of Lisdoonvarna. Click here for further details. Lisdoonvarna is well served by buses from Ennis and Galway, and transfers to from Ennis town or Shannon airport (both easily accessible from Dublin or Galway) can also be arranged. At weekends students are free to explore the nearby Burren or visit nearby Ennis town and Galway city. Optional weekend tours will also be available.