Higher Diploma in Arts


NFQ Level 8, Major Award

The Higher Diploma in Arts is a programme of study running for 9 months (full-time) or 18 months (part-time) from the date of first registration for the programme. It is intended for those who already have a 3 or 4 year primary degree, preferably in the area of Arts or the Sciences, and who wish to study one of the following listed subjects intensively over one academic year: Archaeology, Béaloideas, Celtic Civilisation, English, Folklore, French, Geography, German, Greek and Roman Civilisation, History, History of Art, Italian, Music, Nua-Ghaeilge/Modern Irish, Philosophy, Politics, Sociology, Spanish and Study of Religions. The Higher Diploma in Arts is a conversion programme and applicants would not normally have studied the relevant subject to Honours Degree level previously.

The Higher Diploma in Arts shall consist of modules to the value of 60 credits taken from a range of existing Second and Final Arts modules in the relevant subject. Suitable modules as well as attendance requirements and coursework are determined by the relevant departments/schools and approved by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. For any given subject, the programme of study to be followed may differ for each individual student, depending on the individual's background and preferred area of specialisation.

Graduates (other than those eligible to apply for the Masters Qualifying Examination) may be permitted to proceed to a Master's Degree programme, provided they sit (with the permission of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences) for a Higher Diploma in Arts in the relevant subject and attain at least Second Class Honours standard therein.

Registration with the Teaching Council
The Higher Diploma in Arts is recognised by the Teaching Council for teacher registration provided candidates have completed modules to the value of at least 60 credits in their chosen subject (80 credits for Music; 90 credits for Physical Education), with not less than 10 credits studied at third-year level or higher. In all cases, before registering for the Higher Diploma in Arts, students are advised to consult the relevant “Subject Declaration Form” on the Teaching Council website to ensure they will meet the Teaching Council requirements for their chosen subject. History: Students intending to register for the additional 10 credits in History in order to satisfy the Teaching Council requirements will select 10 credits from Year 1, in consultation with the School of History. Religious Education:  Students wishing to satisfy Teaching Council requirements will take 60 credits of RG courses (selected in consultation with the Programme Coordinator) plus ED6319.


  • Greek and Roman Civilisation: Students make take either LT1001 or GK1001 as part of their required 60 credits.
  • Nua-Ghaeilge/Modern Irish: Applicants intending to apply for the Higher Diploma in Arts (Nua-Ghaeilge / Modern Irish) must have passed GA1002 (or equivalent) or hold the Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge Fheidhmeach (from Ionad na Gaeilge Labhartha) or establish to the satisfaction of the Department (in interview and/or examination) that the applicant is suitable for the programme.  All applications will be assessed on an individual basis.
  • Students intending to apply for the MA (Archaeology) must hold an Honours primary degree, or equivalent, with a minimum of 60% in Archaeology. Candidates below this minimum mark who can demonstrate substantial professional experience in Archaeology may also apply.
  • The approval of a candidate's application to present for the Higher Diploma in Arts Examination in a particular subject shall remain valid only for a period of two years dating from the commencement of the session in which the application is considered and approved.
  • The Higher Diploma in Arts does not automatically provide access to a Master's programme, which in the first instance depends on the approval of the Department/School concerned.