Project Description

All IFR field school applicants should familiarize themselves with IFR COVID-19 Practices before beginning the enrollment process. Program logistics are subject to change as health and risk management experts provide new recommendations and best practices. Each field school syllabus includes specific information about COVID-19 as related to travel regulations and recommendations, accommodations, local protocols, face mask policy and managing COVID-19 cases or outbreaks.

Due to widely available vaccines in the United States and, in response to the strong recommendation of national medical experts, IFR policy requires that all field school participants be vaccinated prior to their field school. Students enrolled in a IFR program are encouraged to schedule their vaccine appointment as soon as possible if they still intend to participate in their field school. Please contact IFR Staff if you have any questions or concerns.

You may want to refer to the following websites to stay informed of COVID-19 case numbers and regulations/policies for Ireland:

Please also click on the following link to review the Irish Heritage Schools Safe Operating Procedures for COVID-19 which will be enforced in tandem with other site-specific requirements to be outlined and updated over the course of the enrollment period in the syllabus. This document will be updated shortly before the beginning of the field school.

IHS Safe Operating Procedure COVID-19


Built in 1,169 CE, Ferrycarrig is crucial to our understanding of the earliest stages of the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland. Probably one of the first permanent Norman fortifications to be built in Ireland, the site comprised a ringwork castle placed on a natural promontory overlooking the River Slaney and Wexford town. Today, the bank and ditch are all that remain above the ground but archaeological excavations in the 1980’s and our own work in winter 2018 uncovered significant evidence of the fortifications and original 13th century structures preserved below ground.

Ferrycarrig is located within the Irish National Heritage Park, an open-air museum which recreates the key stages in Ireland’s past, providing a stunning backdrop to the archaeological research site. Students will be exposed not only to archaeological investigation at the site but also to the many and myriad ways by which the public is presented, view and interpret the archaeological record.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Program Dates: Jan. 5 – Feb. 2, 2022

  • Enrollment Status: Closed

  • Tuition: $4,820

  • Course Type: Field Archaeology, Medieval, Community/Public

  • Payment Deadline: Dec 1, 2021

  • Instructors: Dr. Denis Shine & Dr. Stephen Mandal
  • Orientation: Rescheduled to December 5, 2021 at 9 am PST/ 12 pm EST / 5 pm GMT

  • Academic Credit: 6 Semester Credit Units (Equivalent of 9 Quarter Units)

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The directors welcome emails and inquiries about the research elements of this project. More general information (tuition, health insurance, and payment schedule) can be found under the ‘Students’ tab above. Any further questions may be addressed to IFR staff. Additional details about research, course schedule, travel, accommodation, and safety can be found on the syllabus. Contacting the directors or the IFR office is encouraged and appreciated. It may help you determine if this field school is a good fit for you.

Dr. Denis Shine
Dr. Denis Shine
Dr. Shine is a director of the Irish Heritage School. His research interests lie in the sub-disciplines of ethno-archaeology and community archaeology.
Dr. Stephen Mandel
Dr. Stephen Mandel
Dr. Mandal is the Director and co-founder of the Irish Heritage School and a leading Irish archaeologist.


Coming soon!

Tuition Includes:

  • Cost of Instruction
  • Cost of Academic Credit
  • Room & Board
  • All Local Transportation
  • Health & Evacuation Insurance

Student Fees

This program requires an online application — there is a $25 fee to submit an application. Once admitted, a payment of the nonrefundable deposit fee is required to secure a place in the program(s). The Tuition balance (total program cost minus the deposit fee) must be paid prior to the Tuition deadline as listed above under “Course Details.” A $100 late fee will be added to all accounts not paid in full by the Tuition deadline.

Deposit: A nonrefundable $500 deposit fee is required to secure a seat in the program. This deposit is part of the total Tuition and NOT in addition to it.

Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy: If you paid the deposit fee but did not cancel your participation by the Tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full Tuition regardless of attendance at any IFR program. Please carefully read our Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy for further information. In the event that IFR must cancel a field school, all accepted students will be notified as soon as possible and will receive a refund of all tuition paid including the deposit fee. IFR offers students the opportunity to transfer to another field school, permitting that there are spots available and the program director approves the student to participate in their field school. Upon approval of the program director, IFR staff will make the arrangements to transfer the student’s application and payments.

Credit Card Processing Fee: A 3.5% processing fee is automatically incurred for all credit/debit card/online payments.

Academic Credit Opt Out: Students who wish to participate in an IFR field school without earning academic credit units may do so and receive the following discounts: $300 off a full program (4 or more weeks in length) or $200 off a short program (2-3 weeks in length).

Trip Cancellation Insurance: Please consider purchasing a travel interruption insurance policy that will cover your travel cost and the cost of the IFR program once you make a commitment to attend a field school.

The added risk of COVID-19  should be a “covered event” in your policy.
Please note that the cost of coverage varies, based on your age, the program duration and geographical location.
You may get help and advice from your insurance broker and we offer the links below to help you educate yourself on these insurance products.
Travel Insured International offers coverage for Trip Cancellation or Interruption for Any Reason (review coverage based on your state).
– Compare quotes from different companies offering Trip Cancelation insurance plans.


Students will stay with local families in Co. Wexford. Home Stay students live with local families, and experience true home life in provincial Ireland. Students will be brought to the site daily. Students should understand that the host families are in rural settings, requiring taxis to reach the town of Wexford. Breakfast and dinner will be provided along with a packed lunch. Students are encouraged to avail of their free time at weekends and explore Ireland.

Most students will be in a twin room and so will share with one other student. Our current policies dictate that mask wearing indoors will not apply in the homestay environment, which will be considered a bubble during your stay in Ireland. Regular hand washing should also be practiced in homestays.

Travel Info

Due to ongoing uncertainties regarding the travel regulations related to COVID-19, IFR will assess the local conditions closer to the travel date (5-6 weeks prior to the program beginning) and will make Go/No Go decisions then. We urge you to participate in the mandatory orientation meeting when we will discuss the latest travel information and regulations. We also suggest you consider postponing the purchase of your airline ticket until after the program orientation.

Students attending this program must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least three weeks prior to travel.

According to IFR protocol students must arrange a RT-PCR test for COVID-19 for themselves in their home location within 72 hours prior to arrival at the destination and upload proof of negative result to their IFR application portal.

After demonstrating they tested negative, students must take all precautions possible to ensure they remain COVID-19 free prior to and during travel to the field school. Students should plan to travel in the safest manner that they are able (e.g., avoid flights with long layovers and multiple connections). In addition, we require the following from all students: use of a face mask during travel to, from, and on airlines, ferries, trains, busses, and the like; regular washing of hands; and, in so far as possible, maintain social distancing of 6 feet / 2 meters in airports and other spaces.


Students will be met at Dublin Airport (in the coach park) at 12 noon on Wednesday, January 5th. Details on the meeting location at the coach park will be emailed to students. Normally we meet students in the Arrivals section of the airport, but airports are now restricted zones, and so we will meet in an outdoor setting (there is shelter if it is raining on that day). If students are not availing of this coach transfer, they are to arrive at the Irish National Heritage Park in Wexford by 2pm on the same day. A travel sheet, detailing how to get to the Heritage Park, will be circulated to all students.

Early arrival:  If you arrive before January 5th you will need to arrange accommodation and return to the airport for the coach transfer by 12pm on January 5th, or the Irish National Heritage Park in Wexford by 2pm on January 5th.

Late arrival: If you arrive too late for the coach transfer, you will need to make your own way to Wexford (there are details of the options for this in the Orientation presentation document and in the travel sheet). If you missed your connection or your flight is delayed, please call, text or email the field school director(s) immediately. A local emergency mobile phone number will be provided to all enrolled students.


Citizens of the US and Canada do not require visas to enter Ireland. You will need your passport to be valid for at least 90 days and will enter on a tourist visa. Citizens of other countries are asked to check the embassy website page at their home country for specific visa requirements

No other vaccinations are required for entry to Ireland but anyone working in archaeology in Ireland needs to have an up-to-date tetanus shot. 

Student Safety

The IFR primary concern is with education. Traveling and conducting field research involve risk. Students interested in participating in IFR programs must weigh whether the potential risk is worth the value of education provided. While risk is inherent in everything we do, we do not take risk lightly. The IFR engages in intensive review of each field school location prior to approval. Once a program is accepted, the IFR reviews each program annually to make sure it complies with all our standards and policies, including student safety.

Students attending IFR international programs are covered by a comprehensive Health Insurance policy that includes physical illness or injury, mental or chronic conditions. No deductible and 100% of costs are covered up to $250,000. In addition, we provide Political and Natural Disaster Evacuation policy, which allow us to remove students from field school location if local conditions change. Our field school directors are scholars that know field school locations and cultures well and are plugged in into local communities and state institution structures.

Students attending IFR domestic programs (within the US) must have their own health insurance and provide proof upon enrollment. IFR field school directors are familiar with local authorities and if in need of evacuation, local emergency services and/or law enforcement will be notified and activated.

The IFR has strong, explicit and robust policy towards discrimination and harassment in the field. If students feel they cannot discuss personal safety issues with field school staff, the IFR operates an emergency hotline where students may contact IFR personnel directly.

Call (877-839-4374) or email ( if you have questions about the safety of any particular program.