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Ireland's Oldest Archaeological Field School


Benefit from 30 years of teaching experience.

historic achill island

Explore over 5,000 years of settlement.


Earn up to 9 semester credits.

Hut excavation at Slievemore, Achill Island

Achill Awaits

Do you want to learn to dig in one of Ireland’s most spectacular archaeological landscapes?

Located on Achill Island off Ireland’s rugged Atlantic coast, the Achill Archaeological Field School is a study abroad experience like no other.

Explore over 5,000 years of settlement and help extend our 30+ years long project investigating this dramatic coastal habitat.


2024 Archaeology Courses

Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Specialist Archaeology Courses available in 2024:
Introduction to Archaeology Courses
  • One Week Course
  • Residential On-Campus
  • Non-Residential Option
  • Ideal for Beginners
Accredited Archaeological Excavation Courses
  • 6, 4 & 2 Week Courses
  • Residential On-Campus
  • Up to 9 Semester Credits / 18 ECTS
  • Accredited with University of Galway
Trainee Supervisor Course
  • 8 Week Course
  • Residential On-Campus
  • Start your career in Archaeology
  • Open to AAFS alumni

2024 Archaeological Dig

Join us as we explore this intriguing deserted settlement on Achill Island.

Caraun Point

The 2024 excavation will continue our focus on two drystone dwellings and a shell midden at Caruan Point, on the northern coast of Achill Island. Prior work at this site uncovered artefacts dating to the 8th – 10th Century era.

Artefacts uncovered at Caraun Point, Achill Island

Post Medieval Origins?

Previous excavations on the site recovered a quantity of artefacts that included glass and pottery, along with animal bone and shellfish remains. One unexpected discovery was the presence of a probable Early-Medieval ringfort immediately to the west of our excavation. Habitation deposits associated with this site were evident beneath the post-medieval houses and some artefacts of 8th to 10th century date were recovered.

Surveying at Caraun Point, Achill Island

Learn Excavation Skills

Learn excavation skills while exploring this fascinating site. Digs nearby have yielded artefacts ranging from clay pipes to a neolithic polished stone axe and a bronze age carved stone head.


Weekly Field Trips

The daily project excavation is supplemented with weekly field trips to some of the numerous other sites of archaeological interest on Achill Island.

Field trip at Keem Bay, Achill Island

Quality That Counts

The high quality of tuition and long-established reputation of Achill Archaeological Field School ensures that your experience here really counts towards your educational or career goals.
9 Semester Credits

Our accredited excavation tuition offers up to 9 semester credit hours (18 ECTS) per course.

University of Galway

Our courses are accredited with the University of Galway.

Trainee Supervisors

The quality of our tuition is reflected in the fact we run trainee supervisor courses.

Global Recognition

Semester credits from our courses are accepted at hundreds of universities worldwide.


Why Choose Achill?

How Ireland's longest-running archaeological field school can benefit your studies.
30+ Years of Experience

We have been welcoming, hosting and educating international students for more than three decades.

Low Tutor-Student Ratio

We keep the tutor-student ratio low to ensure student welfare and the highest quality of tuition.

Spectacular Location

Achill Island is one of the most popular destinations on Ireland’s rugged Wild Atlantic Way.

Choice of Courses

Choose from a 6 week accredited excavation course, or a one week introductory course.

Accredited with University of Galway

Our accredited courses offer up to 9 semester credits from the University of Galway.

Single Campus Site

Accommodation and classroom tuition take place in the same purpose-built campus.

Explore Achill & The Field School


Our Blog

Stories from Achill Archaeological Field School, on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way
Students in excavated cottage site, Caraun Point, Achill Island

Read all about the Field School in our Blog

Get all our news and stories from our Blog. Keep up to date with recent digs and finds, new publications, and in-depth reports from our archaeological excavations on Achill Island.

Applications Open for 2024 Season
Details of 2024 courses available at Achill Archaeological Field School have been revealed, and applications are now open! For 2024 we will be hosting a two-week accredited course on Archaeological Field Studies, offering 3…


Don't just take our word for it ... see what past students have to say about Achill Archaeological Field School:
Students ready for a field trip

 I first attended the Achill Archaeological Field School in 2015 as a student. The experience was so spectacular that I returned in 2016 as a Trainee Supervisor. This experience reaffirmed my love of archaeology, Ireland, and academic pursuits.

They teach each aspect of the field experience and I when offered an opportunity to work as a Supervisor during the summer of 2018, I jumped at it and had a very rewarding experience, so much so that I am planning a return to the AAFS in 2019. Who wants to join me? “

Carolyne Howle