Cork College of FET Tramore Road Campus


Cork College of FET Tramore Road Campus


Cork College of FET Tramore Road Campus


Cultural & Heritage Studies

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Cultural Anthropology – Bachelor of Arts Degree Preparation (Foundation)

This highly renowned course is over 25 years in existence. This dynamic course delivered with experience and expertise includes the subject areas of Irish archaeology, folklore, local history, genealogy and the arts. It is ideally suited to both young and mature students who wish to progress to the Bachelor of Arts (in UCC and other universities). Many Leaving Certificate students use this as a steppingstone to university using the QQI links scheme.

This course prides itself in motivating students to achieve their individual goals. In addition, students secure work within the Heritage Industry. The course incorporates an extensive off-campus field-trip programme, visiting national monuments; archaeological sites and excavations; libraries and archives; and private heritage enterprises. It allows students to meet real-life entrepreneurs to gain effective practical experience in the field.


There are no formal entry requirements: Selection for the course is based on an interview, where successful candidates will display an express interest and aptitude for Irish heritage and cultural studies.

This course has traditionally attracted a range of students of all ages, from young to mature, and works well because of this unique mix. It is equally open to the young school-leaver and/or the recently retired and all ages in between.


One year full-time.


  • Student Services: €250
  • QQI exam fees: €50*
  • Workshops: €50
  • Field Trips: €200
    Total: €550

Please note that only debit cards/visa/mastercard payments are acceptable for payment. The College cannot accept cash/cheque.

* Note: Students with medical cards are exempt from paying the QQI exam fee.


  • QQI Level 5 in Cultural & Heritage Studies (5M2154).


The following subjects may be offered:

Archaeology - 5N0762

Offers a comprehensive survey of the archaeology of prehistoric and medieval Ireland. It also covers the research techniques and archaeological approaches, including excavation and survey that allow students to develop their own informed view of the past. Fieldtrips to archaeological sites will be part of this subject.

Folklore & Ethnology - 5N1274

Explores the unwritten aspects of Irish identity: mythology, ritual, tradition and custom. As cultural anthropology, the study explores everything from Ireland’s different belief systems to a full account of Irish vernacular material culture (currachs, baskets, furniture). It also teaches practical skills in ethnographic collection and presentation.

Local History - 5N1296

Is an excellent course on how to conduct in-depth historical research and analysis in local history, using a range of primary and secondary historical sources. It includes a major section on genealogical research skills and broadens students’ knowledge and awareness of the regular and constantly developing online digital sources.

Literary, Visual & Performing Arts - 5N2465

Offers a rare opportunity to explore the very best of the arts in Ireland. In the visual arts, there is an examination of Irish film, painting, sculpture and architecture: in the literary arts, we examine Irish drama, the short story, poetry and literary figures: in the performing arts, music (both traditional & contemporary), dance and theatre. Overall, students develop a full appreciation of the Arts and its industry in Ireland.

Cultural & Social History - 5N0780

Takes the conventional perspectives of history (economic and political) and places them in the background while emphasising instead aspects of Ireland’s past in respect of food, dress, family, daily life, manners, customs, women, work, health, disease etc. This exploration of cultural and social history is particularly valuable for those intending to work as historical interpreters and tour-guides.

Political Studies - 5N1837

Word Processing - 5N1358

This subject equips learners with the necessary skills to use a word processing application to produce a variety of documents.

Work Experience - 5N1356

Each year students undertake the organisation and realisation of a major cultural project. These exhibitions and displays are developed with the help of industry professionals to provide invaluable real-world experience.

Communications - 5N0690

This subject facilitates learners to acquire communication skills relevant to vocational and personal development. Learners will explore the use of modern information and communications technology, in personal and vocational life.

Over the past number of years, the following events were organised to coincide with the annual festival of Life-long Learning:

  • Ciseán: A Celebration of Irish Traditional Basket Types.
  • Reilig: Decoding Irish Gravestones.
  • Scéal: Story-telling Festival.
  • Photographic Exhibition of the Stone Circles of West Cork.
  • Fulacht Fiadh: Bronze Age Cooking Experiment.
  • Brigid: Celtic Goddess and Saint.
  • High Cross: An Exhibition of Ireland’s Medieval Sculptural Traditions.
  • Amhrán: A Celebration of Traditional Singing.
  • Táin Bó Cuailnge: Ireland’s Epic Saga.
  • Spin’r Spout: Children’s Street Games.
  • Inis Meáin: A World Apart.
  • Tobar: The Magic and Mystery of Ireland’s Holy Wells.


For full details on progression opportunities see these links:

University College Cork (and other Universities):

Candidates should look upon this course as an excellent foundation course for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in the Department of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Science at University College Cork. In addition to the BA Degree (CK101), students can also gain access to BMus (CK103 & CK104) and BA Film and Screen Media (CK105). New direct links with other courses (BA Geography and Archaeology (CK 107) are in development.

A definitive number of places on the BA Degree (CK101) have been set aside for students who achieve FOUR distinctions or higher in the Cultural and Heritage Studies Course. On average, 10 to 15 students progress to university each year
Additionally, there is an excellent placement record in UCC for mature students who complete the course.

This course also facilitates direct entry into Degree Programmes in other Universities (NUI Maynooth, University College Dublin, University College Galway &c.) Please check their websites for details.

MTU (and other TUs):

There is a direct link from this course to Degree Programme CR041 Tourism (BBus) in MTU.
In addition, a number of students have continued their studies in various heritage and humanities-based courses in ATU (Galway Mayo Institute of Technology), SETU (Waterford Institute of Technology).

Rojin Mostafavi and Lee Nagle, who graduated from Cultural & Heritage Studies in 2015. Both students used the course as direct access route to University College Cork where they continue their studies: Rojin following a course of study in Bachelor of Arts Degree programme and Lee in the Department of Government.


Each Wednesday students partake in an extensive field-trip programme off campus, visiting cultural, heritage and tourism-based institutes and enterprises. This allows the students to share the expertise of management and staff and realise a clear awareness of employment needs and potential. There are visits to local museums, libraries, heritage centres, archaeological sites, national monuments, public and private developments and initiatives.
There is a winter field trip to Newgrange, Tara and the National Museum while an extensive 5-day trip to the Burren, Galway and the Aran Islands is undertaken towards the end of the academic year.


Graduates have been successful in securing employment in a wide range of different areas:

  • Tour Guides and Information Officers in National Monuments under the care of OPW (Office of Public Works).
  • Public and Private Heritage Centres.
  • Archaeological Excavation and Post Excavation.
  • Museums, Libraries & Archives.
  • Genealogical Research Centres and Initiatives.

Employers include:

  • Office of Public Works (The Heritage Service).
  • Fáilte Ireland, Local Authorities.
  • Regional Enterprise Groups.
  • Tourism, Heritage & Arts Projects in receipt of National Grant Support.

A number of students have used the course to develop their own enterprises in the Cultural Tourism Area. They have set up their own tour businesses (Walking Holidays, Language Schools, Summer Schools, Harbour Cruises) in addition to working in craft shops, leader-funded programmes and on excavations and community heritage projects.


Cultural & Heritage Studies field trip to Nano Nagle Place

Cultural & Heritage Studies students were afforded a very warm welcome and excellent tour on their field-trip to Nano Nagle Place.

Danielle O’Donovan presentation on management and challenges of running the centre

Danielle O’Donovan presentation on management and challenges of running the centre.

Sorcha O'Brien Education Officer Nano Nagle Place

Sorcha O’Brien Education Officer Nano Nagle Place.


Mumming Play poster

Mumming Play – a performance by the students of the Cultural and Heritage Studies course in CSN.

A wild and chaotic folk drama. The Battle Between Carnival & Lent. The last time such a play was performed in Cork was 1685.


Cultural & Heritage Studies

Short Testimonials


Shane Lehane, Course Director
Tel: (021) 2067 615