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Masters Degrees in Industrial Geology, Ireland

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The MSc in Geoinformatics addresses the growing need for science-trained postgraduates who are technically aware and competent to work in the field of geoinformatics, particularly as applied to environmental and resource management. Read more
The MSc in Geoinformatics addresses the growing need for science-trained postgraduates who are technically aware and competent to work in the field of geoinformatics, particularly as applied to environmental and resource management. This twelve month full-time course of study covers both the theoretical and practical aspects of geoinformatics, including Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS), satellite navigation systems, cartography, visualisation, programming and web services.

The course consists of 60 credits of taught modules, followed by independent research towards a dissertation worth 30 credits. In addition to the taught modules, you will have the opportunity to meet practitioners through regular seminars led by experts in the discipline from Ireland and abroad, visits to local geoinformatics enterprises and attendance at relevant Irish conferences. With an MSc in GIS and RS, you will be highly sought after by employers on graduation.

Visit the website: http://www.ucc.ie/en/ckr09/

Course Detail

The course introduces you to the foundational concepts of GIS, RS and cartography in the first teaching period, with lectures and practical classes which explore the underlying principles of the subjects. These skills are developed in the second teaching period with more advanced digital image processing, spatial analysis and computer programming, again taught through lectures and practical classes.

Running throughout both teaching periods are modules which develop your research skills and explore the applications, technologies and systems of geoinformatics. These modules are taught through a variety of methods which include workshops, seminars, fieldtrips, conferences, site visits, group projects and independent study.

Leading national and international geoinformatics practitioners are invited to lead seminars highlighting industrial, commercial and governmental applications and, where applicable, to demonstrate different equipment used in the discipline. You are encouraged to explore your own interests in geoinformatics through self-directed studies, oral presentations, networking with professional researchers and attending the annual national GIS and RS conferences held each autumn.

One of the highlights of the teaching period is the weekend field trip which allows students to gain hands-on experience with a variety of different instruments and to experience the complete data acquisition, processing, evaluation and presentation chain.

When you complete the taught modules you are eligible to undertake the research project in an area of your own choice within the geoinformatics discipline over a four month period from May to September. This research may be undertaken in the university or with the support of a commercial placement organised by you and culminates in a 15,000 word thesis. All students have a dedicated computer in the masters’ lab in the Department of Geography and are provided with student copies of relevant software as well as access to departmental equipment as necessary for research projects.

Further details on the content and modules are available on the Postgraduate College Calendar - http://www.ucc.ie/calendar/postgraduate/Masters/science/page05.html#geographical


During the two teaching periods, there are daily classes that typically consist of one to two hours of morning lectures followed by two to three hours of afternoon practical sessions in the computer lab. For every hour of taught classes, students are expected to spend two to three hours on self-directed study. An overnight stay may be required for attendance at the national conferences, depending on their location, but the weekend field trip is within easy travelling distance of Cork. Students are made aware of the dates of these events at the earliest opportunity and they are a compulsory part of the course.

Placement and Study Abroad Information

While there are no compulsory placement requirements as part of the course, you are actively encouraged to seek opportunities to develop your skills in a commercial environment as part of the independent research project. Several successful partnerships have been developed in this way, resulting in students having access to data and knowledge not available in-house and enabling them to undertake novel and innovative research that directly supports the work of a commercial or government enterprise.


Because of the very practical nature of the subject, there is a large element of coursework with some of the taught modules assessed entirely through computer-based exercises, written reports, projects and practical activities. Some modules are also assessed through a combination of coursework and examination at the end of each of the two teaching periods. Students are assessed on valuable transferable skills that include written, mathematical, problem-solving and oral assignments, many of which are completed individually or in small groups.


You will gain a wide variety of technical skills on this programme, including computer-based activities and use of field instruments. You are also made aware of the importance of theoretical concepts, policy initiatives and commercial constraints and limitations which impact on the use of geoinformatics in the workplace. Many transferable skills are also fostered through different learning approaches, including critical thinking, problem-solving, report writing, oral presentations, statistical analysis, independent research and time management.

How to apply: http://www.ucc.ie/en/study/postgrad/how/

Funding and Scholarships

Information regarding funding and available scholarships can be found here: https://www.ucc.ie/en/cblgradschool/current/fundingandfinance/fundingscholarships/

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Costs. Fees for 2016/17 TBC. 2015-2016 Irish/EU €8,500. Plus subsistence expenses (food etc.) associated with field trips, including the Tidal Energy module based at Queen’s Marine Laboratory, Portaferry, Northern Ireland. Read more
Costs: Fees for 2016/17 TBC. 2015-2016 Irish/EU €8,500. Plus subsistence expenses (food etc.) associated with field trips, including the Tidal Energy module based at Queen’s Marine Laboratory, Portaferry, Northern Ireland. Software necessary for assignments will be provided in UCC laboratories but may not be available for remote use. Optional sea safety training.


The programme covers a range of engineering and non-engineering topics relevant to the marine renewable energy industry, which is expected to grow rapidly in the coming decade. This will lead to a requirement for engineers with good knowledge of engineering fundamentals as well as detailed knowledge of how wind, wave and tidal devices will be designed, deployed and operated. A key aspect of the programme is the provision of specially-developed advanced modules in marine renewable energy which are not available in any other master’s course. This is an all-Ireland programme, hosted by UCC, delivered in partnership with the following academic institutions: Cork Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Queen’s University Belfast, University College Dublin and the University of Limerick.

Course Details

Students take 90 credits as follows:

In Part I students must take the five core modules (unless these or equivalent courses have already been taken), to a total of 25 credits. Students also choose electives from the list below, or may, with the approval of the Programme Director, choose other modules from the University’s Calendar.

NB: For the purposes of this programme it has been agreed that all non-UCC modules are treated as either 5 or 10 credits.

Part II consists of a Marine Renewable Energy Research Project (NE6020), to the value of 30 credits, completed over the summer months, either in industry or in an academic research laboratory in one of the partner institutions. Projects are offered subject to availability of suitable proposals from industry, and will be offered to students based on order of merit of results achieved in Part I. Students are also encouraged to make efforts to secure their own placement from suitable industrial hosts, outside of the list provided.

In every case, the final choice of modules is subject to the approval of the Programme Director of the MEngSc (Marine Renewable Energy). Students may take a maximum total of 15 credits only of undergraduate modules on this programme.

Part I
Core Modules
CE4020 Environmental Hydrodynamics (5 credits; UCC)
NE6003 Wind Energy (5 credits; UCC)
NE6005 Ocean Energy (5 credits; UCC)
NE6010 Advanced Topics in Marine Renewable Energy (5 credits; All institutions)
NE6906 Tidal Energy (5 credits; QUB; 1-week block)

Elective Modules

Students select modules to the value of 35 credits from the following list, (or from elsewhere in the UCC Calendar, subject to approval):

AC6301 Innovation Finance (5 credits) (UCC)
NE3003 Sustainable Energy (5 credits; UCC)
CE4013 Harbour & Coastal Engineering (5 credits; UCC)
CE6024 Finite Element Analysis (5 credits; UCC)
EE4001 Power Electronics, Drives & Energy Conversion (5 credits; UCC)
EE4010 Electrical Power Systems (5 credits; UCC)
EV4012 Environmental Impact Assessments (5 credits) (UCC)
GL6007 Practical Offshore Geological Exploration (5 credits; offered subject to availability of survey vessel time) (UCC)
IS6306 Technology Business Planning (5 credits) (UCC)
LW6104 Intellectual Property Law for High-Tech Entrepreneurs (5 credits) (UCC)
NE6007 Energy Systems Modelling (5 credits; UCC)
NE6901 Control Systems (5 credits; NUIM - EE612)
NE6902 Maintenance & Reliability (5 credits; CIT - MANU8003)

Part II
NE6020 Marine Renewable Energy Research Project (30 credits; All institutions; Summer)

Application Procedure

Application for this programme is on-line at http://www.pac.ie/ucc. Places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here (http://www.ucc.ie/en/study/postgrad/how/applicationclosingdates/). For full details of the application procedure click How to apply - http://www.ucc.ie/en/study/postgrad/how/

Course Practicalities

You will be studying a range of engineering and non-engineering topics relevant to a career in the marine renewable energy industry.

The programme will include modules in engineering topics such as Wind Energy, Wave Energy, Tidal Energy, Ocean-Structure Interactions; Ocean Energy Device Design; Control Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Grid Integration and Storage; Marine Operations & Robotics.

The course content will be delivered via blended learning, with some modules presented in traditional lecture format, and some modules delivered remotely using e-learning technologies. All modules will have a significant element of continuous assessment throughout the year. The Tidal Energy module is delivered during a one-week field visit to the Portaferry research laboratory of Queen’s University Belfast.

A significant element of the programme is a R&D project carried out in conjunction with either an industry partner or an academic research group, with the final three months spent working on the project on placement with the partner.

Non-engineering topics available include Intellectual Property Law; Innovation Finance; Environmental Impact Assessment; Practical Offshore Geological Exploration.


Taught modules (total >= 60 ECTS): will be assessed via a mixture of continuous assessment (assignments and mini design projects) and traditional examinations. This depends on the contributing institution, for example in NUIM, coursework and project-based learning is emphasised. The project module (30 ECTS) will be assessed by means of: oral presentation and seminar; logbook; written report, with input from the industrial placement supervisor.

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