Are IHS programs proceeding in 2020?

We have made the extremely difficult decision to cancel all our 2020 summer field schools. We came to this decision based solely on concerns for the well-being and safety of our staff, students, partners and homestay families. We hope to still maintain a skeletal project presence in Ferrycarrig to keep the public archaeology component of the project going in 2020. However, this presence on site is contingent on how the Covid-19 epidemic develops and we will post updates on this page.

What is proceeding in 2020?

Our John’s Hall project in Birr continues apace (see here). We are also delighted to be launching two online courses – fully credited – in Forensic Anthropology (here) and Physical Anthropology/Archaeology (here) in partnership with Maynooth University. These courses will deliver the same great content – just sadly missing our preferred outdoor classroom!

We will be launching the Virtual Heritage School our virtual archaeology and heritage world across social media. This will feature online lectures and talks on Irish history, book and tv reviews, children’s activities, an insight into the courses we offer and a whole lot more – all from the safety of your home. Get involved and let’s support each other and stay connected as a community through the Covid-19 crisis!

We are also hoping to run a community excavation later in the year, but again this will be contingent on how the Covid-19 epidemic develops, so watch this page for updates.

Where can I find out more information on Covid-19 in Ireland?

We strongly recommend students keep updated on Covid-19 only from official health service sites. In Ireland, our Health Service Executive, provides up-to-date verified information on Covid-19 at

If I sign up for an IHS program and it’s cancelled, will I receive a refund?

As above all our summer schools are cancelled and refunds will be issued by ourselves or direct from our partners. We do however suggest students strongly consider switching to a later IHS program (see below), and/or avail of one of our online courses. For future programs IHS will always issue a refund in the unlikely event that they are forced to cancel a program.

If I sign up for a future program that is not cancelled, but my parents or home institution will not allow me to travel, will I receive a refund?

Yes and No(!)

For programs we deliver with the Institute for Field Research (IFR), students who pay the full tuition and ask for a refund BEFORE the final payment date (listed on each program web page) are entitled to a refund of the tuition paid, minus the non-refundable deposit. For other IHS programs please see our payment Terms and Conditions here.

I signed up for a program this summer. Will my flight be refunded if a program is cancelled?

Students are responsible for purchasing their own airline tickets. Currently, all travel insurance policies exclude Covid-19 infections. We have consistently advised students to hold off on purchasing airline tickets until as late as possible – and/or pay an additional fee for ‘flexi’ fares or cancellation insurance.

What else is the IHS doing to help students?

At the IHS we are doing all we can to assist our students. If you have any queries at all please email and one of our Course Directors will get back to you personally.

As stated we are also currently exploring other options including establishing field school sessions outside our normal time slots and creating online tutorial sessions, so students attend our programs fully prepped. We will keep the page updated with developments on these initiatives.

Remember we will be operating in 2021. Some of those programs are already open (see here), with lots more to follow soon.