MSc in Environmental Sustainability


Program Description

MSc in Environmental Sustainability

This new online Masters in Science is a flexible, innovative, negotiated learning course that takes on board the training needs of a broad spectrum of end-users by giving you the opportunity to select modules that best align with your training needs and career objectives. For some, this will involve upskilling but equally the course will facilitate a career change. It not only offers flexibility for you to negotiate your own learning but also gives you the opportunity to study at your own pace and in your own time, online.

The Master's degree requires students to complete a research project and of course, you can choose to take a smaller selection of our modules as part of the Module to Masters initiative. Individual modules may be taken as part of your CPD (Continuing Professional Development).

This course draws on the significant teaching and research experience of world-class educators from nine schools in UCD to provide the widest coverage of environmental topics. The course will focus on delivery of the knowledge and skills required to address sustainability challenges across a broad spectrum of activities.

Sustainability is generally defined as efforts to meet our present needs without compromising those of future generations. It, therefore, encompasses not only use of environmental resources but also social and economic goals and captures the interactions between all three elements. With a growing body of environmental legislation and regulation, businesses are challenged to work within a sustainability framework while at the same time maximising employment provision and profitability. Equally, those within the regulation or policy environment must have the knowledge base to address the complexities of the ‘sustainability’ challenge. This degree programme has been designed taking on board the training and information needs of all sectors and will be subject to regular review to respond to their constantly evolving needs.

What will I study?

The MSc will provide you with the theoretical background, practical training and ancillary workplace skills needed for a successful career in your chosen field. You will negotiate your learning needs with the assistance of our academic staff. Nine schools contribute to the course capturing the significant strengths of UCD Science and Engineering in renewable energy resources, sustainable energy systems, environmental engineering and resource management, water quality assessment, protection/management and conservation science. The opportunity exists to harness these strengths within a negotiated and distance learning framework, offering you, the student, flexibility to gain a broad understanding of sustainability issues or to specialise more deeply in one of these particular fields of study.

The course aims to develop your understanding of the environmental issues and sustainability goals facing society. You will be challenged to apply your scientific and technical knowledge to develop solutions to local and global problems and needs. Through discussion and research work you will learn to handle complex issues, analyse and interpret scientific data and information, use your judgment and ultimately communicate your findings and ideas. The course will develop your capacity for self-directed learning, within a supportive framework facilitated by online fora, discussion boards and virtual tutorial/classroom sessions.

How will I study?

Lectures will be delivered through UCD’s online environment using a variety of media, including for example virtual classroom seminars, discussion boards and podcasts. Formative assessments will be used to help you develop and critically assess your own understanding of the material presented. All modules will have a high continuous assessment component. For some modules, you will be expected to attend for an end of semester written examination.

On completion of the degree course, graduates will be able to

  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the theoretical background that underpins environmental/energy/sustainability issues.
  2. Demonstrate familiarity with the range of data collection and analyses methods necessary to inform decision making in the working environment.
  3. Demonstrate familiarity with legislative and regulatory controls within your chosen field of study.
  4. Demonstrate the analytical and technical skills required for experimental research and/or the application of scientific information depending on your chosen desk-based or research project.

Career Opportunities

Successful completion of this course will provide you with the professional competitive advantage to choose from careers in the application of green energy technology, environmental engineering, environmental monitoring, and protection, resource and waste management, consultancy, research, heritage, conservation and education either within regulatory bodies or in a wide range of industries, both multinational organisations as well as small and medium-sized enterprises. The course also opens up opportunities to pursue further studies including up to PhD level.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must hold a minimum of a 2.2 honours level degree in a science, engineering or related discipline. Applicants with pass degrees and who also have substantial relevant work experience may also be considered. If English is not your native language, proof of your proficiency in English will be required, unless you have taken your primary degree in English, in an English speaking country. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL Internet Based Test is 100, on the IELTS system it is 6.5. The original certificate of completion of an English language test must be enclosed with the application. In all cases, the test results must not be more than 2 years old.

Are there any additional costs?

Students are not required to make any payments other than their tuition fees except for the purchase of a recommended text for at most two modules. All other materials used are freely accessible. Finally, some modules require attendance at UCD for final exams. The cost of travel/accommodation should be budgeted for by the student.

Course Prospectus

For a full course description, you can download our course brochure here: MSc Environmental Sustainability Negotiated Learning V1 (pdf) and course prospectus here: Online Environmental Sustainability Prospectus (pdf)

Last updated Jan 2018

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About the School

Welcome to UCD Online, where you can achieve a globally recognised qualification through flexible online learning. University College Dublin has been providing students with the highest quality teachi ... Read More

Welcome to UCD Online, where you can achieve a globally recognised qualification through flexible online learning. University College Dublin has been providing students with the highest quality teaching and learning experience for over 150 years. We are now offering our world class education and qualifications through a selection of online courses. Read less
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