Welcome to the Department of Geography, the National University of Ireland Maynooth, and County Kildare in the Republic of Ireland!
On behalf of all staff, I would like to bid you a very warm welcome to the Department of Geography’s new web site. Situated in the beautiful South Campus of National University of Ireland, Maynooth, in the scholarly surroundings provided by the countryside of County Kildare in Ireland, and yet only 40 minutes drive from Dublin City Centre, The Department of Geography stands as one of the leading centres for Geographical teaching and research in Ireland.
The Department of Geography at NUI Maynooth was established in 1971 and is located in the University’s Faculty of Social Sciences. The Department currently has 17 members of academic staff, 4 members of academic staff on fixed term contracts, an Administrative Assistant, an Executive Assistant and a Technician. The Department is based in Rhetoric House, a converted 19th century student residence on NUI Maynooth’s South Campus.
Academic activity in the Department is grouped under five main headings: undergraduate programmes, taught postgraduate programmes, research degrees, research activities, and service to the wider community.
Dr. Jan Rigby, Head of Department
Most undergraduate students take Geography at NUI Maynooth as part of the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree programme, whereby Geography is taken with two other Social Sciences or Arts subjects in first year and then either with one other subject in second and third years (the Double Honours degree) or on its own (the Single Honours degree, open only to students who reach a certain level of performance in first year). Geography may also be taken as a minor subject in a range of other specialist BA programmes. In addition, undergraduate Geography modules are offered as part of the part-time evening degree course leading to the BA in Local and Community Studies. NUIM programmes are modularised with specific modules accredited on the basis of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Each year of study normally accrues 60 ECTS credits, equivalent to 1500-1800 hours of work. Undergraduate programmes normally take three years to complete. Students can elect to spend up to one of their three years at a university elsewhere in Europe (as part of the Erasmus scheme) or in North America. They can also take an extra uncredited year abroad as part of the BA International programme.
The Department offers three one year taught Masters Programmes:
A course designed for graduates and public policy officials interested in securing an advanced knowledge of climate change, climate change modelling, impact assessment, and potential mitigation strategies in an Irish context.
(Run jointly with NIRSA and the Department of Sociology)
A course designed for graduates with an interest in advanced debates within contemporary Human Geography, especially relating to planning and spatial development, sustaining communities, the knowledge economy and society, and in acquiring training in research methods.
A course designed for graduates and for professionals wishing to enhance their knowledge of GIS and Remote Sensing and their capacity to apply technology to collect and analyse spatial data sets.
The MLitt degree and PhD programme are research degrees normally taken over a minimum of two and three years respectively. Applicants are generally expected to hold a good upper second or first class honours degree in Geography or a cognate subject AND a Masters degree in Geography or a cognate subject. Some candidates choose to register for an MLitt and subject to satisfactory performance transfer to the PhD degree normally at the end of their first year. Applicants should consult the staff pages to identify potential supervisors for their research proposals.
Research in the Department is structured around three thematic areas ; Environmental and Climate Change, GIS and Remote Sensing, and Society and Space. In addition, the Department has a number of individual specialisms in the areas of geomorphology, historical and landscape studies, and learning and teaching in Geography. Each thematic area is of a different breadth and magnitude and involves different forms and intensities of collegial interaction. To date, the Department has avoided artificial clustering and enforced collaborative work and each of these three thematic areas has emerged organically. Nevertheless, each is linked to ongoing work within the three NUIM Research Institutes ICARUS, NCG, and NIRSA, and the strategic planning which takes place within the Institutes has provided structure and shape to Departmental research activities.
Departmental staff provide extensive service to academic bodies within Ireland and to an extent beyond, perform editorial roles for leading international journals, serve as external examiners on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and for PhD theses, and act as External assessors for national and international grant-awarding bodies. Departmental staff also contribute to wider society as Chairs, Directors, Board members, Advisors, advocates and activists for a range of international, national, and county level public, private, and voluntary initiatives. Finally, a number of members of staff have an important media profile, regularly appearing on national television and radio, and featuring in newspaper coverage.