We have compiled some of the most Frequently Asked Questions here for your information; if the answer to your question is not here, please contact us with your query.
Where is the DIG project?
The current Dig project is at Ferrycarrig, in Co. Wexford, Ireland. This site is part of a long-term research project, part of a broader community heritage project, in association with the Irish National Heritage Park.
For other research locations, see here.
When will registration open?
- 2019 courses are now open apply here.
Students wishing to register for the credit course should consult the website of the Institute for Field Research directly.
How to register for university credit?
Students may apply for the credit courses (Winter or Summer) directly through the Institute for Field Research. This is FOUR WEEK program.
Students also have the option of a two week credit program, hosted by Maynooth University. Applications must be made directly through the relevant program page.
Who can apply?
Most courses are open to undergraduate, graduate and post graduate students undertaking any major, and from any university in the world. Students must be 18 years or over, to participate. The courses are designed to support student development and are relevant to those who are not yet enrolled in university as well as current or graduate students. If you are not a student, you can also attend through our sister organisation, Cultural Tourism Ireland.
There are pre-requisites for some courses. See the Courses page for further information.
What is the cost to attend the field school?
Please click here for the 2019 tuition fees.
When do the courses start?
The start date and availability is outline in the information on our Courses page. This is updated regularly as new courses are available.
Is there financial aid/scholarships/volunteer positions available?
The IAFS has no funding for students however there is funding available from other sources:
- (UK) Tessa and Mortimer Wheeler Memorial Travel Award: deadline Jan 15 (annually)
- Institute for Field Research Scholarships
- American Archaeology Abroad
- SAA Jane C. Waldbaum Archaeological Field School Scholarship
YOUR UNIVERSITY: find out if you may be eligible for funding from your own college or university.
What is included in tuition fees?
This will depend on the course that you enrol in. All tuition fees include a student pack and any mandatory field trips.
Students are responsible for their own travel costs. This includes flights to and from Ireland, transport to the programme location, and independent travel undertaken by students during free time.
Do I need previous knowledge of archaeology or Irish history?
Absolutely not. There is no pre-requisite for previous archaeological training or knowledge for the basic archaeology excavation methods course. In fact, many of our students attend prior to undertaking an archaeological component to their anthropology degree, or are enrolled in a cognate degree programme, such as forensics, geology, or earth sciences. Students are required however to familiarise themselves with the project prior to arriving in Ireland. There is ample information available on this website, click here to read more.
There is a pre-requisite of specific field excavation experience for the advanced excavation methods course, and the bio-archaeology course; this however can be achieved by participating in the basic archaeology excavation methods course.
You will also be given recommended readings to prepare you for your training.
Are there any other requirements?
As part of application assessment, we require all students to provide the name and contact details of an academic reference. We will contact them directly to request a recommendation. This is a mandatory requirement for all applications; no place will be offered until this has been received, assessed and the application thus approved.
When is the application deadline?
Winter: The application deadline for the Winter program is the Nov prior to the program.
Summer: The application deadline for each season is April of that year*. Registration opens at the end of September, for the following summer season.
*Late applications considered.
How do you apply for the field school?
Students must fill in the on-line enquiry form to receive an application packet. Applicants will be contacted shortly afterwards with an on-line application form and application packet. Applicants must read the Terms & Conditions before filling in the Booking form. If you are unsure which course is suitable for you, please consult Courses page, or email us with your query.
Do I need to make a deposit to secure a place at the school?
Yes, but only after you have submitted your application form, and your application has been approved (see requirements, above). Once your application is approved, you will be issued with an invoice for a deposit. Deposits may be paid through PayPal (additional fees apply) or international bank transfer only. There is no option to pay by credit card. Tuition fees must be paid in full eight weeks prior to your start date.
How long is spent on site each day?
Each working day is from 9am to 5pm (or 4.30pm in the Spring, due to daylight hours). The working week is Monday-Friday; weekends are free, unless a field trip is specified in your course itinerary.
There are two breaks during the working day, a morning tea break, and an afternoon lunch break. Excavation is carried out in most weather conditions so students should be suitably attired to be outside for the full day.
Do I need a passport and visa to enter Ireland?
You will need a passport to enter Ireland if you are travelling from outside the EU. Most airlines require that passengers have a passport, even if you are travelling from an EU member state.
Citizens of the EU do not require a visa to enter Ireland.
A visa is not required for citizens of Australia, Canada and the United States when entering Ireland for a period of under 90 days. Please ensure your passport is valid for the duration of your trip (and at least 6 months from your travel dates), and check your airline’s policy. For citizens of countries outside the EU and those listed above, please refer the Visa & Passport page on the Discover Ireland for visa requirements.
What else can I do in Ireland?
There is tons to do in Ireland and we love showing off our beautiful country to visitors! If you have not travelled to Europe or Ireland before, you can find information about travel, visas and other useful country facts on the Discover Ireland website.
If you can, plan to take some time before or after your trip to do some travelling, see some more of the country, or take a trip to another European country!
I want to book my flights – what day will I start and finish?
This will depend on the programme you are enrolled in; your start day is either a Sunday or Monday.
Our working week is Monday-Friday. You should arrive in good time to deal with jet-lag (a day or two before your start date). Your departure day should be, at the earliest, the day after your last day on site. If you are travelling home from Dublin Airport to, or through, the USA on your route home, please allow time to arrive to the airport at least three hours before your scheduled departure time to go through security and US Pre-Clearance (immigration) at Dublin Airport – see here for more information.
How do I get to Wexford?
See here for information on getting to Wexford from Dublin Airport and Dublin city.
What do I need to bring with me/pack?
The weather in Ireland is notoriously unpredictable. Students must pack a good waterproof jacket and waterproof pants, and sturdy waterproof closed-toe shoes (hiking boots or similar). In addition, students should pack clothes suitable for layering up on cold, chilly days, and light weight clothing for warm days.
We recommend fleece and thermal tops and shirts for layering, and t-shirts or tank tops for warm weather. Long pants are required for comfort as you will spend a lot of time kneeling. Shorts are not advised if you want to avoid scratches and stings from thistles and nettles, and bruises from kneeling. Also, long trousers will protect from insect bites and thus from associated illnesses.
We advise against wearing jeans as if it rains and you get wet, these take a long time to dry, and can be uncomfortable.
Bring a hat to keep the sun off your head, and a pair of work gloves to protect your hands. Pack sunscreen (at least SPF 30!) to protect your skin from sun and wind burn.
Pack separate clothes and a clean weather proof coat for days off. You must provide your own toiletries, medicines and anything else you require for your trip. While some of these will be available locally, please ensure you have a sufficient supply of any prescription medication etc. that may not be available in Ireland. Check that your accommodation has towels.
Do I need to bring my own trowel?
A trowel is a personal piece of equipment for archaeologists. We have plenty of trowels for students to use, however, you may want to have your own. If you want to buy and bring your own trowel, we recommend a pointing type archaeology trowel, four to five inches in length – the Marshalltown archaeology trowel and WHS 4″ pointing trowel are typical. You should be able to buy a trowel in any good hardware store. There are plenty of on-line sources also. Remember to pack this into your hold luggage, as it may be confiscated by airport security if you pack it in your cabin luggage.
Are there any specific health concerns I should be aware of?
Archaeological excavation is a strenuous physical activity. In addition, the associated course activities includes walking for sustained periods on uneven terrain, standing, sitting or kneeling for long periods, and lifting and carrying tools, equipment and archaeological material. You may walk for several hour a day, and cover several miles, on hills and steep terrain. You need to be fit and able to participate.
If you suffer from any health concern that may affect your safe participation in this activity, you should speak to your physician before applying.
For information on vaccinations, please refer to physician for recommended vaccinations, and those appropriate for your needs.
What else do I need to know before I travel?
We recommend that you consult your home country Foreign Travel Advice department to identify any health and safety concerns that may be of relevance to you, and for information on local customs and laws.
How much money should I bring?
This depends on the type of accommodation you choose, and how much travel and adventuring you plan to do while in Ireland. For travel around Ireland and further afield, most national and international travel hubs are based in Dublin (central train (Heuston, Connolly) and bus (Busaras) stations, Dublin International Airport) – as Wexford is a regional town, you must travel to Dublin to continue on to most destinations.
There are banks and ATMs in Wexford; most business will take MasterCard and Visa; American Express is not so common. Check with your bank before you travel.
For general safety and security reasons, it is never a good idea to travel with large quantities of cash.