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International Study Programs



University College Cork, Ireland

About This Program

“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.


Course Delivery

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.

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. www.ucc.ie/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.


Geography is much more than maps and capitals. It is a diverse discipline with career paths as varied as your individual interests, including:

  • planning
  • local/community development
  • environmental assessment and management
  • housing policy
  • regional development
  • TV news production/research
  • geo-informatics
  • journalism
  • diplomatic service
  • financial services and global business
  • public relations
  • European space agency
  • market research
  • teaching
  • tourism
  • academic teaching and research
  • museum/heritage management

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.  

Learning Outcomes

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.

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.

CHECK OUT the other colleges and universities IVC represents

Course Outline

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)
GG3041 Environmental Remote Sensing (5 credits)
GG3042 Climate variability and change (5 credits)

And at least one  Human Geography module:

GG2010 Cities and People (5 credits)
GG2014 Geography of Tourism (5 credits)
GG2023 Economic and Rural Geography (5 credits)
GG2040 Geographies of Environment and Sustainability (5 credits)
GG2041 Contemporary Human Migration and European Settlement and Society (5 credits)
GG3003 Contemporary Studies of the European Union (5 credits)
GG3010 Global Urbanism (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)


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)

Course Info

Course Code : CKA13

College : Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

Duration : 1 Year

Qualifications Level : Level 8 Higher Diploma

Fees :

All fees listed below are in Euros (€).  

Registration Fee


Tuition Fee - International Fees


Medicover Standard (O'Driscoll O'Neil Insurance)


The above figures represent what UCC expects will be your reasonable international fees. Other fees may not have been included (e.g. living expenses).  

As expenses are subject to change, the above figures may be changed at any time without notice by UCC.  Please check with your IVC-assigned Visa Counselor or Documentation Officer periodically for any changes.

When estimating your cost of living for an academic year, i.e., one nine-month period from September to May inclusive, include rent, weekly supermarket shopping, some meals on campus, electricity bills, heating bills, refuse bills, parking fees, mobile phone expenses, travel, clothing, snacks on campus, socialising, health, books and materials.

Intake Dates :

The  next intake date is 11-September-2017.

IVC however, will be accepting application only until FEBRUARY 28, 2017.  This 7-month preparation period includes:

  • Review by the department/school for your eligibility;
  • Processing by the Admissions Office;
  • Enrollment;
  • Processing of insurance;
  • Seeking accommodation;
  • Processing of your student visa application.

View IMPORTANT INFORMATON about APPLYING for an Irish Student Visa

Make sure you apply early!  We allow two months to coordinate with the university, arrange accommodation and insurance. The next five months is reserved for the visa application process. 

Entry Criteria

Admission and entry requirements for this qualification are in accordance with the academic regulations of University College Cork.  As an international student, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Academic Achievement.  You must already have a degree from a recognised third-level institution, preferably in the area of Arts or the Sciences.  As the Higher Diploma in Arts is a conversion programme, you are not required have previously studied the relevant subject to Honours Degree level or Master's.


If you did not meet the academic requirement or there is no equivalency for your country, let us know!  Send your inquiry HERE.

  • English language proficiency.  If English is not your native language, you must provide proof of English language proficiency to a standard of any ONE of the following exams:
    • IELTS (Academic Test): Overall band score of 6.5 with no individual section less than 5.5
    • TOEFL iBT: Overall score of 90. Minimum scores per section as follows: Listening and Writing - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20
    • Cambridge Proficiency Exam: Grade C
    • Cambridge Advanced Exam: Grade B
    • Pearson PTE: Minimum score of 63 with no section score below 59

Your English certificate must be up to date which means it should be less than two years old.

You are required to complete a full application for the program AND satisfy all other entry criteria as required by the program team and provide such evidence as required by the university, including, but not limited to:

  • Academic transcripts
  • College diploma
  • Professional references
  • Professional registration details
  • Curriculum Vitae and
  • Identity documents.

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