Field Studies in Europe: Ireland – GY 449

Aran Islands, IrelandIreland with its long history of occupation, colonization, invasion, emigration, and immigration, together with its diverse geology, geomorphology, culture, history, and heritage, is an ideal location to study the intricacies of human-earth relationships in a dynamic modern setting.

Located on the westernmost edge of Europe, and a member of the European Union, Ireland welcomes over 11 million visitors each year and during the last decades has evolved into a forward-thinking center of globalism and multiculturalism.

This course is designed to immerse each student in all things Irish, past and present, and through readings, field visits, excursions, and exposure to the Irish people and culture develop an understanding of the complexity, interdisciplinarity, and global interconnections that exist in Ireland and throughout our global community. This is a unique opportunity for students to experience the real Ireland.

Course Overview

Draft Itinerary/Course Outline: GY 449-800, Summer I, 2021

Days Location Reading Topics
1 Fly to Dublin 1 and 2
2-3 Dublin City: EPIC Irish Emigration Museum, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Christchurch, National Gallery, Trinity College – Book of Kells, Guinness Storehouse Readings Viking City, Emigration, Art, Education, Euro capital
4-5 Glendalough, Co. Wicklow: Wicklow Mountains Readings Glacial geomorphology, Monastic Village
6-8 County Wexford: Irish Heritage Center, Hook Lighthouse, Moat Hill Farm, Raven Nature Reserve, Kilmore Quay Readings Sustainable farming, Conservation, Fisheries – Maritime
9-10 County Tipperary Readings Eco-village, Sustainability
11-13 County Clare: The Burren, Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Site Readings Karst geomorphology, Cave exploration
14-16 Aran Islands Readings Island and culture, The Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking community)
17 Travel back to Dublin Readings
18 Fly to USA

*This is intended as a general outline only and is subject to revision.


Ms. Pitts will meet with each student twice before departure to discuss the course outline, required texts, and readings, general expectations, packing lists, dietary restrictions, etc.

On-site orientation will occur prior to each new location and will be provided either by more, or the tour guide/education specialist at that location. Academic preparation will be carried out by Ms. Pitts and/or the provider as warranted.

Required Materials

  • The Course of Irish History, 5th Ed., Edited by T.W. Moody, F.X. Martin, and Dermot Keogh with Patrick Kiely
  • A Book of Migrations, Rebecca Solnit, 2nd Ed. 2011, Verson
  • Course readings from each location in-country: Blackboard


None. This course is open to all UA students, freshman through senior, who have at least a 2.5 GPA.

Grading Procedures

Grades are calculated based on performance in the following areas:

  1. Reading assignments and responses prior to the field portion of the class
  2. Active participation in all field activities and excursions
  3. Field notes and assignments
  4. Daily journal reflections
  5. Research Paper
Grade Component Points Due Comments
Reading responses 200 Prior to travel BBL
Participation 200 Daily  in-country
Field Notebooks 200 Last day of trip in-country Hardcopy
Journal Reflections 200 1 week post return BBLTurnitin
Research Paper 200 1 week post return BBLTurnitin

More Information

As a native of Ireland, I am very excited to share my love and personal knowledge of this great little island. I have always wanted to develop this course and am so pleased to finally be offering this opportunity to UA students.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have about the course or Ireland in general! Slan and beannacht!

Mary Wallace Pitts,