Skip to content
Home » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Click the title of one of the Frequently Asked Questions subjects below to view the answers. Or just Get in Touch if your question is not answered here.

Who can participate?

Is there a minimum age / age limit on students wishing to participate?
We normally ask that participants are at least 16 years of age. However, we have been known to make exceptions for mature people under the age of 17. There is no upper-age limit but people should be aware that it is quite strenuous work and participants should be physically fit. If you are taking medication, please notify our administrator upon arrival at the Field School. Please contact us if you are unsure whether you would be eligible to participate. Our 1-day courses have proven to be very popular with students from 14 to 17 years of age. Contact us for details.

I have no archaeological experience, can I still participate in the Field School?
Yes, prior experience is not necessary to participate in the Field School – archaeological methods are taught on site and are backed up by a series of lectures and field trips.

Do I have to be doing a degree in Archaeology / Anthropology to participate in the Field School?
No, we welcome people from all walks of life as long as they have an interest in Archaeology and are physically fit.

Do you accept volunteers?
We welcome applications from volunteers with a particular skill base e.g. drawing, GIS, osteoarchaeology, environmental analysis etc. We particularly welcome mature students/adults to the Field School. Former and new students who are interested in doing research projects on Achill Island will be given every assistance by the Field School e.g. use of library and other research facilities.

Enrolling and Fees

How do I enroll for the 2024 Achill Archaeological Field School?
Enrolling is a two step process:

  1. Fill in our application form, noting the details of your chosen course.
  2. Pay a deposit through our secure on-line shop. Payment can also by IBAN (bank to bank) transfer. To arrange this contact us directly.
  3. If you wish to enroll in our Trainee Supervisor course please contact us directly.

What is the final date for applications?
Applications must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the commencement of all AAFS courses. To find out about availability of any particular course, please contact:

How soon do I have to pay my deposit?
We recommended that you pay your deposit as early as possible to secure and guarantee your place at the Field School.  A Non refundable deposit of Euro 500 is required at the time of booking to secure your place, followed by one/two further payments which are payable on or before 8 weeks prior to the commencement of your course. The Field School also offers a deferred payment plan. Contact us directly for details.

What is included in the Field School fees?
Fees include Tuition and Academic Credit, Accommodation in a modern block of 2-room and 4-room units, many with en suite facility; a Common Room, fully equipped Kitchen, Dining area and Utility Room. The Accommodation block is located next door to the Archaeology Centre in Dooagh Village. There is a small shop in Dooagh, two minutes’ walk from the Field School. There is also a medium sized grocery store in Keel, which will be a regular stopping point in our routine, and a larger supermarket is located in Achill Sound to which weekly trips can be arranged. There are several pubs and restaurants within walking distance of the Archaeology Centre.

Can you provide financial assistance for people wishing to attend the Field School?
At the present time we cannot offer any help with the payment of course fees or with transport costs to Achill. You may wish to consider applying for External Scholarships.

Academic Credit

Will the academic credits transfer to my College or University?
Yes, we have not encountered any problems with the transfer of credits. However, to be on the safe side, you should confirm this with your college. If there is a problem we will do all we can to solve it. For your convenience, we have created a list of colleges and universities that have received Academic Credit for their students and to which credits have been successfully transferred. You will be required to complete an on-line academic credit application form upon booking one of our Modular or Trainee Supervisor courses. Academic Credit is available through the Department of Archaeology, University of Galway and is processed through the International Summer School of that university. For a full list of universities that accept our credits please view international universities list.

How do I enrol for credits?
To register for Academic Credit, you will need to complete and return the application form that you will find on our website at: AAFS Academic Credit Form 2024. Galway University will also require a copy of your Birth Certificate or Driving License for ID purposes in relation to the processing of your transcript for academic credit, upon successful completion of your course.

Getting to Achill

How do I get to the Field School?
If you fly into Dublin, you should get the Airport Bus into Heuston Train Station in central Dublin where you can catch a train to Westport in County Mayo. If you fly in to Shannon, you should get a bus from the airport to Galway City, which will connect with a bus to Westport. Students attending the modular courses should arrange to arrive in Westport before 5 p.m. on the Saturday prior to the commencement of their course in order to ensure connection with the Achill (450) Bus that departs Mill Street, Westport c. 6pm, arriving Dooagh c. 8pm. Upon completion of their course, students can avail of a public bus that leaves Dooagh Bus Terminus (1 minute walk from the Field School) at 8.15 am, arriving in Westport at c.10.30am, with plenty of time to catch the 1.15 pm train to Heuston Station in Dublin. Contact details for train & bus schedules are available on our Getting to Achill page. If you need further help with your travel arrangements, please contact us.

When can I arrive at the Field School?
You should try to arrive at the Field School the Saturday preceding your commencement date. Public transport on Sunday is strictly limited with long delays common, resulting in students arriving at the Field School late at night and with little time to relax prior to the start of the program on Monday morning. Students arriving on a Sunday should contact for information.

Is it possible to travel to Westport from Achill?
There is a local bus service (Bus Eireann service 450) between Dooagh and Westport.

Facilities on Achill

What type of accommodation is provided for students participating in the Summer Field School?
Students participating in the Field School stay in superior accommodation at the Field School Accommodation Block. Many rooms have ensuite facilities; there is a large kitchen and dining area with modern self-catering facilities. Electricity, heating, bed linen and laundry facilities are included in the course fees. Towels or food are not included. See our accommodation page for more information.

What type of clothing should I bring?
Each student should be equipped with wind & waterproof clothing (pants & jacket – essential), together with strong hiking boots, which they will find invaluable on site and on the weekly field trips, which often involve long distance hikes over wet and rough mountain terrain. During certain weather conditions (wet and humid), we do get some midges (insects) here on the island, so it would be advisable to bring some insect repellent and bite cream.

Is there a grocery shop near the Field School?
The nearest grocery shop is in Dooagh, a 2-minute walk from the Field School. There is another shop in Keel, a 15 minute walk away and a larger shop at Achill Sound, 10 miles away, which can be accessed by students via the local bus at weekends.

Is there a bank available on Achill Island?
Achill Island is served by a mobile bank from AIB (Allied Irish Banks) and bank services are available at the Post Office in Achill Sound. However, the mobile bank visits the island during the Field School hours and will not be accessible to the students. We suggest that you bring a credit card and arrive with sufficient cash for initial purchases on the island. There are two ATM machines on Achill, one at Dooagh Shop and another at Achill Sound. Card payment facilities, including cashback, are available from a number of businesses in Dooagh and Keel.

Is there a Church on Achill Island?
There is a Catholic Church in Pollagh – a 10 minute walk from the Field School centre and a Church of Ireland (Anglican) church at Dugort, some 4 miles distant from the Centre.

Is computer / internet access available at the Field School?
Yes Broadband (Wi Fi) is available at the Field School and also in our accommodation block and this is FOC to our students.

Is there phone coverage on Achill? 
Yes most of the island has good mobile network coverage.

Is there access to medical care on Achill?
Yes, there are two GPs (General Practitioners) on Achill at Pollagh (2-minute drive from the Field School) and at Achill Sound, as well as access to out of hours GP through WestDoc. There is also a Pharmacy at Achill Sound. The nearest major hospital is at Castlebar, about an hour away.

Other questions?

Please get in touch. We’re always happy to answer your questions.