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The Kay Mahon Bursaries

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). Up to four bursaries at €3000 each will be awarded to students who have registered for one of our full-time one-year Masters programmes.

Closing Date: Applications are closed for the 2024/25 academic year. 

The award of the Mahon Bursaries will be announced in the middle of July 2024. There will be an award ceremony in the first trimester of the programme.

The Mahon Bursaries are intended to support students undertaking one of our full- time, one-year campus-based Masters 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, 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 research facilities for students registered to one of the Graduate Taught programmes.


  • A Mahon Bursary cannot be held in conjunction with another UCD Fee Scholarship. It is the responsibility of the applicant to advise the School if they are in receipt of other UCD tuition funding and which scholarship they intend to keep.
  • 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 the 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 (opens in a new window)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.

Contact UCD School of Archaeology

Newman Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 8312 | E: archaeology@ucd.ie