UCD School of Archaeology is delighted to offer the Kay (Cathryn) Mahon Bursaries. Ms Mahon had a life-long passion for archaeology - especially Irish archaeology, and these bursaries are funded from the generous bequest that Kay made to UCD to assist students to study archaeology (a brief biography of Kay Mahon is provided below). The bursaries will be awarded to students who have registered for either the MA in Archaeology, MSc Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture or MSc in World Heritage Management & Conservation on the receipt of the bursary. In 2018/19, it is intended that three bursaries of €6,000 each will be awarded.

Closing Date: Friday, 7th June 2019

The award of the Mahon Bursaries will be announced in the middle of July 2019. There will be an award ceremony early in the first semester.

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The Mahon Bursaries are intended to support students undertaking either the MA in Archaeology, MSc Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture or MSc in World Heritage Management and Conservation. Three bursaries are being offered to students registered to one of these one-year, full-time campus-based programmes (or who will register for it on receipt of a bursary). As such, applicants should be in receipt of a full or a conditional offer at the time of their bursary application.

Applications should include CV (where this has not already been uploaded as part of an existing application), and a personal statement explaining why you wish to study for a postgraduate archaeology degree at UCD and highlighting how you feel the bursary would impact your ability to do so. Successful applicants will be given the opportunity to assist the School in developing the School reading room as a resource for students registered to one of Graduate Taught programmes.

Application (CV and statement) should made both in hard copy to:

The Mahon Bursaries,
UCD School of Archaeology,
Newman Building,
University College Dublin,
Dublin 4

and online to archaeology@ucd.ie.


  • A Mahon Bursary cannot be deferred and must be taken up the academic year that it is awarded for.
  • Students who are awarded a Mahon Bursary and do not complete the programme will be required to return the full amount of the bursary to UCD School of Archaeology.

Cathryn Mahon, "Kay" as she was known to all her friends and family, was born in Milford, CT, USA, in 1935 to Irish immigrant parents and was especially conscious of her Irish heritage. She had a life-long passion for archaeology-especially Irish archaeology. In her own words, "…the subject of archaeology has been my avocation and being childless, I would like to assist students who otherwise might not have the opportunity to study Irish archaeology or participate in a dig."

Kay attended university in Florida and spent her professional life working at Stanford University in California in the School of Engineering, assisting professors with their grant writing and management. Kay lived in various parts of the world throughout her life, including the Middle East and Puerto Rico. She loved to travel and had a keen interest in the way other cultures lived and celebrated their respective heritages. During her retirement years, she traveled to China to study ancient art practices, to Israel to visit with life-long friends and to Ireland to research her own family history.

It was very important to Kay to support the continued study of Irish culture, history and people. The gift to the University College Dublin is Cathryn Mahon's legacy and a testament to the significance of her Irish heritage. She was hopeful that her generous gift would help to encourage students of archaeology to focus on their own Irish heritage and continue to value the rich history of the beautiful country of Ireland.