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MSc Biodiversity and Land-Use Planning

Course Description

Course Outline

This blended-learning course applies an evidence-based approach to developing pragmatic solutions for environmental problems with particular emphasis on integrating biodiversity within land-use planning. Students will learn how to deal effectively with the potential environmental impacts of development manner and in compliance with environmental legislation. The modular course is devoted to formal scientific and policy coursework delivered in a flexible learning format, comprising a mixture of face-to-face contact once every five weeks in addition to private study combined with e-tutorial on-line support. Key areas covered include Appropriate Assessment, Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment.

Core Modules

Ecosystem Science (5 ECTS)
Introduction to Flora & Fauna (5 ECTS)
Ecological Survey Techniques (5 ECTS)
Biodiversity Legislation & Policy (5 ECTS)
Habitat Identification & Assessment (5 ECTS)
Habitat Creation, Management & Restoration (5 ECTS)

Environmental Impact Assessment (5 ECTS)
Strategic Environmental Assessment (5 ECTS)
Appropriate Assessment (5 ECTS)
Climate Change & Biodiversity (5 ECTS)
Water Framework Directive & Biodiversity (5 ECTS)
Invasive Species & Biodiversity (5 ECTS)

Research Project (30 ECTS)

Visit the MSc Biodiversity and Land-Use Planning page on the National University of Ireland, Galway website for more details!

(Student Profile)

R. Fallon

I found the MSc course to be both challenging and extremely interesting. The teaching staff and guest lecturers were extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic and the student interaction was of significant benefit. The modules provided me with a solid background in ecology and built on this to provide in depth, relevant guidance and knowledge in relation to key areas of habitat management and European Directive requirements, as well as providing practical fieldwork and case studies

The project aspect offered me the opportunity to undertake an in-depth analysis of a topic of interest aswell as providing a solid grounding in methodological research and results presentation.

Having completed the course I am now confident in undertaking a rigorous examination of the environmental and ecological aspects of development proposals and am familiar with the legislative requirements for the protection of biodiversity and the wider environment.

I would recommend this course to anyone with an interest in sustainable development and the planning process and consider it to be a valuable and key resource in my professional work.

(Student Profile)

O. Duggan

I did the MSc Biodiverisity and Land Use Planning at NUIG in 2011-3013. I had been looking for a course which was based on solid teaching in ecology but which also offered practical training in the various assessment tools (EIA, AA, SEA) and the MSc BLUP met these criteria and more. The course of study, assessment and examination is rigorous and requires commitment but the course content is so interesting, the field trips are great and the interaction with other class participants make for a very rewarding learning experience. I found the quality of teaching, the variety of assessment methods and the course organisation to be of a very high standard. This course gave me the foundation in environmental science that I needed to further my career in the environmental field. I am currently working as Policy Officer for Birdwatch Ireland.


Entry Requirements

The programme is open to individuals who have obtained a Level 8 primary degree or its equivalent in an appropriate discipline. Students who do not have an academic background but have relevant experience may be required to attend an interview.

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Recipient: National University of Ireland, Galway

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