Faculty led

St Andrews University Scotland

In 2022, we established a new partnership and collaborative course with St Andrews University, Scotland. This course will be led by Medieval History Professor Alison Beach from the School of History at St Andrews and the Blackfriary Archaeology Field School Staff.

The History and Archaeology of Medieval Monasticism: Scotland and Ireland

This five-week course offers students the opportunity to experience the history of medieval Scotland and Ireland first-hand. The course will comprise two weeks of study in St Andrews and three weeks at the Blackfriary in Trim, Ireland participating actively in the excavations of a thirteenth-century Dominican priory. Course also includes travel to various monastic sites in Scotland and Ireland. The course will include both traditional classroom-based lectures and seminars and archaeological training and experience.

Apply here: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/study-abroad/at-st-andrews/global-summer-school/medieval-monasticism/?fbclid=IwAR0BboBSeXibiakqsZ0n-ujDQTW4pZmKwCYiXm98ZVm3LliTW6FH6gdHr2g

Ohio State University, USA

From 2013 – 2019, we collaborated with Dr. Alison Beach (formerly of the Department of History, Ohio State University) and Ohio State University in a monastic history and archaeology course which brought a group of students along with Dr Beach and staff to excavate at the Blackfriary. Students received credit for attending the course, attending lectures in Ohio State beforehand, and were required to do project work while in Ireland culminating in a multi-media presentation. Once in Ireland they engaged with site work for the full day; in the evenings they regularly worked with Prof. Beach on a research question which they arrive at through in-depth discussion and guided study. In addition, they went on several field trips to visit significant archaeological sites. Their advance classroom work gave them an introduction to the nature of monasticism in Europe in the medieval period, and in particular to the society of the time and the place of the monasteries in it. The experience in Ireland brings a physical dimension to that knowledge.

In light of her dedication to her students we are delighted that she has been awarded the Ronald and Deborah Ratner Distinguished Teaching Award.

The award recognizes faculty for developing new courses, original materials, and/or innovative methods and venues for delivery, as well as for making a difference in students’ educations, lives, and careers. Recipients of the award are chosen based on the excellence of their records as well as on their vision of how they will continue to grow as a teacher.


“I loved my time at the Blackfriary! It was the best choice I made in college. It was an amazing learning experience and the people were fantastic!” Brady Nye OSU 2014

Other Institutions

We are always interested in collaborating with faculty members who have an interest in creating courses centred on the immersive experience of excavation and access to upstanding historic remains.

In the past we have worked with a number of institutions to provide custom built programs suited to their requirements.

  • Indiana State University, USA
  • Saint Mary’s College Notre Dame, USA
  • Ithaca College, USA
  • SUNY Cortland, USA
  • University of North Dakota, USA
  • University of Maryland, USA
  • Ohio State University, USA
  • The Institute of Field Research, USA
  • Maynooth University, Ireland
  • Learn International, Ireland
  • Flinders University, Australia
  • La Trobe University, Australia