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Environmental Sciences×

National University of Ireland, Galway, Full Time MSc Degrees in Environmental Sciences

We have 5 National University of Ireland, Galway, Full Time MSc Degrees in Environmental Sciences

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The. MSc in Environmental Leadership. will equip you with an advanced level of knowledge and problem-solving, management and communication skills in key areas relevant to the environment, marine and energy sectors. Read more

The MSc in Environmental Leadership will equip you with an advanced level of knowledge and problem-solving, management and communication skills in key areas relevant to the environment, marine and energy sectors.

It will provide you with a capacity and capability for environmental leadership relevant to your career trajectory.

The Environmental Leadership course sets out to equip you with the ability to contribute to regional, national and international sustainable development.

Why study this programme?

This course has a focus on cross-sector skills and competences that can be transferred from one topic/occupational area to another, so enabling national and international occupational mobility for its graduates. Cross-sector skills are of growing importance all over Europe and are considered to be relevant to occupations across several economic sectors.

The MSc in Environmental Leadership provides training in governance, management and communication, relevant to the environmental, marine and energy sectors, and will provide you with the competences to obtain employment in research, policy development or management.


The course structure is based on a 90 ECTS model, with 60 ECTS coming from taught modules, 45 credits of these are from core modules and 15 credits come from optional modules. A research project in Semester 3 accounts for the remaining 30 ECTS.

Core modules include: Natural Resource Governance, Environmental Problems & Solutions, Project Management, and Communicating Science & Research.

Optional modules include: Environment & Human Health, Marine Spatial Planning & Policy and Climate Change.

Target Audience and Potential Employment Opportunities

The target audience for this course include graduates with a degree in science, geography, engineering and the social sciences who wish to progress into managerial, advisory and decision-making roles. The course will be relevant to graduates from NUI Galway, other national or international institutions and those with relevant work experience who wish to advance further in their field.

The course will produce well-rounded, motivated, mobile and dynamic problem-solvers and leaders who can work in any area related to environment, marine and energy. The subject knowledge, transferable skills and thesis elements of the course are designed to provide you with the opportunity to carry out further research, work in the public or private sector, or create your own employment.

Graduates will acquire transversal and multidisciplinary skills in governance, communication and management, enabling them to take on roles within an industrial setting, or within a regulatory body or private consultancy firm. Careers such as project managers, consultants and advisors exist within public and private sectors in Ireland and elsewhere. In addition, the course will provide opportunities for some students to move into PhD programmes or other research roles.

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Galway’s identity is intertwined with the coast. The Discipline of Geography, with strong links with The Ryan Institute which identifies marine and coastal processes as a Priority Research Area, is delighted to offer a brand new structured postgraduate programme in NUIG. Read more


Galway’s identity is intertwined with the coast. The Discipline of Geography, with strong links with The Ryan Institute which identifies marine and coastal processes as a Priority Research Area, is delighted to offer a brand new structured postgraduate programme in NUIG. This programme is designed to train skilled personnel, who can advise on, organise and regulate an informed development of coastal and marine resources and activities in Ireland, the European Union and worldwide. Ireland’s coastal and marine environments are a vital natural resource. This value is reflected in a broad range of current EU directives and strategies aimed at taking full advantage of these resources while also enhancing our natural environments. The Irish Government has recently launched an integrated plan (Our Ocean Wealth), seeking to put into operation these EU policies for our coastal and marine resources. While rapid growth is expected as these new plans come into action, they are not without risks. A recent report by the Marine Institute outlined some challenges: a need to develop our environmental understanding; the challenge posed by climate change; protecting biodiversity; enhancing monitoring capability; greater integration of science, management and advice. The key to achieving the true sustainable development of our coastal and marine resources may be through new educational programmes. On the one hand, facilitating existing managers and planners through targeted learning in this expanding field, while on the other hand, training our current students to be the future decision-makers in these coastal and marine environments.

This is a highly opportune time for an MSc in Coastal and Marine Environments: physical processes, policy and practice. This MSc programme, theoretically informed and with a strong field-based and applied focus, is offered in direct response to newly emerging discourses on the long term health of coastal and marine environments. It seeks to challenge and facilitate students to engage with but go beyond established scientific conceptual and theoretical perspectives, engage new ways of understanding the complexities of our evolving physical coastal and marine environments, and develop critical insights that can support policy and practice in sustaining these increasingly vulnerable environments.


The MSc in Coastal and Marine Environments is a full-time postgraduate course delivered over 3 semesters (12 months). The programme was devised by a team of academics from the Discipline of Geography who have been involved in priority EU-funded and US National Science Foundation (NSF) research on contemporary and future challenges facing coastal and marine areas, including the ANCORIM (Atlantic Network for Coastal Risk Management) (INTERREG) and MARNET (Marine Atlantic Regions Network) (FP7) projects, as well as local and national-level projects on the same. The team is engaged in a broad range of scientific investigation of the physical environment, with an excellent international publication record. Students will become active members of ongoing research programmes and will learn the research and publication process.

There is a strong focus on the formulation of coastal and marine policies and strategies; the identity and role of stakeholders; the nature and impact of local, national and European governance; and the historic and contemporary approaches used to understand the physical processes that control the characteristics of our coast. Development of skills is supported by a significant focus on practical and field-based learning, including short field courses in Ireland and work placements.

It is directed at graduates from Geography, Natural Sciences and other related disciplines in the social and natural sciences, and at professionals in the field who are interested in furthering their knowledge of coastal and marine environments. Students will be required to conduct socially relevant research that addresses the roles of agencies and policy structures in coastal and marine environments.


With coastal and marine resources increasingly promoted as being central to revitalising the Irish economy, the coming years will require well-informed and educated leaders who understand the complexities of the interaction between the economy and health of these environments. This, added to the broader national and European focus on the coastal zone and the urgent need for more Higher Education courses which recognise the renewed importance of sustainability of coastal and marine activities and the multifunctional facets of these areas, should present graduates of this course with opportunities across various fields ( coastal and marine science, environmental consultancy, local/regional/state management agencies, government and policy institute research, politics and governance of the environment, sustainable energy, research laboratories and programmes, teaching, heritage, tourism, etc.). The work placement programme will aid in professional development and offer links with potential employers, giving our students realistic and desirable career opportunities, and built-in work experience upon graduation.

PhD Entry: the MSc Programme can be used as a platform for potential doctoral PhD candidates for research programmes in Geography and our partners in NUIG, especially the Ryan Institute, and abroad. This will encourage the growth and visibility, at home and abroad, of the coastal and marine priority theme research clusters in NUIG.

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This novel course applies a multidisciplinary approach to environmental sustainability based on the specialisms of NUI Galway and University of Limerick. Read more
This novel course applies a multidisciplinary approach to environmental sustainability based on the specialisms of NUI Galway and University of Limerick. You investigate biodiversity and conservation during Semester 1 in NUI Galway, and evaluate urban sustainability in UL for Semester 2. Much of the teaching is delivered through fieldwork in Semester 1 and there is usually a European fieldtrip in Semester 2. You spend Semester 3 undertaking a research project, based at either institution. Assessment is ongoing and there are no exams. You avail of facilities from both colleges throughout the year and will graduate with a jointly awarded degree.


Semester 1: NUI Galway
Ecosystem Assessment: Appraise geology, hydrology and biodiversity to undertake ecological assessments. 10 ECTS
Biodiversity and Conservation: Assess Nature Conservation legislation, policy and practice in Ireland. 5 ECTS
The Environment and Human Health: Evaluate benefits to health from biodiversity. 5 ECTS
Environmental Problems and Solutions: Critique and develop innovative solutions to real world problems. 10 ECTS

Semester 2 University of Limerick
Material and Energy Flows: Review attributes of material and energy flows within urban systems. 9 ECTS
Urban Form and Transport: Evaluate impacts of urban form and transport:on the environment. 9 ECTS
Urban Household Sustainability: Analyse attributes of household consumption and explore household sustainability. 6 ECTS
Sustainable Life-cycle Engineering: Judge policies and design approaches to tackle problems facing the electronic sector. 6 ECTS

Semester 3 Research Project: 30 ECTS. Individual dissertation based either at NUI Galway or University of Limerick



You learn how to undertake assessments to comply with legislation.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

You pitch your year-long environmental role to a panel.

Varied Assignments

Formal reports to using technology: film, wiki, poster, leaflet formats.

Applied Community Knowledge

You learn how to value stakeholders and engage communities.

Direct experience of sustainable problems and issues

You learn from policy-makers and practitioners working in the field.

This multidisciplinary course equips you with the necessary skills and knowledge to apply to today's competitive workplace.


Graduates gained employment in Ireland, UK, USA, Australia, and elsewhere, in diverse areas such as: University researcher; PhD student; industry based environmental management, environmental analyst, environmental consultant, environment, health and safety officer, environmental quality control officer; consultancy based climate change researcher, waste management officer, agri-environment advisor. Graduates also work for biomedical companies and local authorities.


Apply online to http://www.graduateschool.ul.ie



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The world’s climate is rapidly changing due to global warming, and will continue to do so for the decades and centuries ahead. This poses major challenges for future agricultural systems to provide food and other bioresources for the 9 billion people that will occupy the planet by 2050. Read more
The world’s climate is rapidly changing due to global warming, and will continue to do so for the decades and centuries ahead. This poses major challenges for future agricultural systems to provide food and other bioresources for the 9 billion people that will occupy the planet by 2050.

The 1 year MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) provides students with the skills and tools for developing agricultural practices, policies and measures addressing the challenge that global warming poses for agriculture and food security worldwide.

The MSc CCAFS programme is a partnership with the international CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), which is led by the CGIAR and Future Earth, and currently involves over 700 partners worldwide http://www.ccafs.cgiar.org.

Graduates of the MSc CCAFS programme will be equipped to pursue roles associated with local, national and international efforts to promote sustainable agricultural production, global food security and climate change adaptation.

There is now a growing recognition of how different agriculture systems can contribute to climate change, past and present. Hence, the dual challenge of adapting future agricultural systems to climate change, must also include mitigation of the effects of agriculture on climate change.

The MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is aimed at students who want to combine scientific, engineering, technical, social or policy skills so that they are better equipped to understand and make significant contributions regarding adaptation and mitigation of climate change impacts on global agriculture and food security.

As the climate change challenge for sustainable development and sustainable business on the planet intensifies, there will be a need in all organisations for personnel skilled in both climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies/approaches for the development of greener economies, agrifood systems and low-environmental footprint supply chains.

Graduates of the MSc CCAFS will be well positioned and competitive for positions in research, policy, enterprise, business, administration and other activities across a wide range of public and private sector institutions internationally. Career mentoring, advice, strategy and facilitation will be provided to all students on the MSc CCAFS to ensure that MSc CCAFS graduates rapidly enter employment in relevant institutions and activities where they can build from their interests, experience and training.



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Water security is a major concern facing humanity and engineers are the primary professionals tackling this issue. Read more

About the Course

Water security is a major concern facing humanity and engineers are the primary professionals tackling this issue. Annually, more than 3.4 million people die from water related diseases while 1 in 9 people world-wide do not have access to safe and clean drinking water and 1 in 3 people world-wide are affected by water scarcity. In addition, population growth, urbanisation, climate change and increasing energy demands, are placing unprecedented pressures on our finite water resources. This 1-year MSc programme aims to equip students with the skills needed to design solutions to deliver safe/clean water. The programme will also give opportunities to students to study the economics and management of large projects.

Programme Objectives

The MSc in Water resources Engineering will provide students with the technical competences to provide solutions to water security issues. Core modules will address technical aspects of water provision, water resource management and water / wastewater treatment. A primary objective of the programme is to ensure that students have a thorough understanding of modern hydrological modelling tools. The programme has a strong emphasis on the design of hydrological systems, with students working in groups to solve real-world problems. Graduates of this programme will be in a position to make significant contributions to solving water resource problems in both industry and academic roles worldwide.

Programme Structure and Content

This is a 90ECTS programme, one full year in duration, starting in September and finishing August. The programme comprises an individual research project and thesis (30 ECTS), an integrated group design project (15 ECTS) and a number of taught (core and elective) modules (55 ECTS).

The core taught modules include: Hydrology & Water Resources Engineering, Hydrological Modelling, Design of Sustainable Environmental Systems, Water Quality, Water Resources in Arid Regions, and Applied Field Hydrogeology. Sample elective modules include: Computational Methods in Engineering, Global Change, Offshore & Coastal Engineering, Environmental Economics, Project Management, and Estimates and Costing of Engineering Projects.

The Integrated Group Design Project involves the design of components of a water supply and/or treatment system and will be typical of real-world water resources engineering project. Each student will also complete an individual minor research thesis in the area of water resources engineering. This thesis accounts for one third of the overall programme mark.

What’s Special About CoEI/NUIG in this Area

• Water engineering has been taught at graduate level at NUI Galway for over 40 years. During this period students from over 50 countries have graduated from NUI Galway.
• The MSc in Water Resources Engineering is a re-launch of NUI Galway's International Postgraduate Hydrology Programme established by the late Prof Eamonn Nash. Many of the staff who lectured on the Hydrology Programme contribute to the current programme; so the recognised tradition of world-class teaching in water engineering at NUI Galway continues.
• Currently NUIG staff are involved in large-scale funded research projects in water resources, facilitated by the world-class research facilities at NUI Galway.


"It was a privilege and a pleasure to participate in the Galway MSc programme with world renowned hydrologists, excellent technicians and support staff, and Irish and international students. The comprehensive programme provided an excellent basis for my subsequent career in hydrology."
Charles Pearson, MSc Hydrology, NUIG, 1990 Graduating Class
Regional Manager, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, New Zealand

"I am fortunate enough to have completed a world-class course in Hydrology at National University of Ireland, Galway which was taught by world-leading academics and researchers. Since my course completion in 1990, I have been able to play a key role in hydrologic application and research in Bangladesh and Australia based on the knowledge I gained from my studies in Galway."
Professor Ataur Rahman, MSc Hydrology, NUIG, 1990 Graduating Class
Water and Environmental Engineering, School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, University of Western Sydney

"NUI Galway gave me priceless experiences; it was my first travel outside the Philippines. Being a graduate of NUI Galway opened doors of opportunities for me. My being who I am now started with my NUI Galway experience and I will always be grateful to the institution, to my friends and to my former professors."
Dolores San Diego-Cleofas, MSc Hydrology, NUIG, 1995 Graduating Class,
Assistant Professor at University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Phillipines

How to Apply

Applications are made online via the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC): https://www.pac.ie
Please use the following PAC application code for your programme:
M.Sc. Water Resources Engineering - PAC code GYE23

Scholarship Opportunities

There are a number of funding opportunities for International Students planning to attend NUI Galway. Information on these can be found at: http://www.nuigalway.ie/international-students/feesfinance/internationalscholarships/

The College of Engineering and Informatics will also award the Nash Scholarship in Water Resource Engineering. This is in memory of our deceased colleague, Eamonn Nash who was our Professor of Engineering Hydrology for many years, and was a well-known in the international engineering community. The “Nash cascade” and “Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient” were named after him, and these still feature in scholarly publications. Over four hundred senior hydrologists throughout the world received their post-graduate hydrological education at this University. Please visit our website for more information on scholarships: http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/internationalpostgraduatestudents/feesandscholarships/

The MSc in Water Resources Engineering is accredited by Irish Aid as an eligible course for their International Fellowship Training Programme (IFTP). Through the IFTP, Irish Aid provides funding for students from eligible developing countries to undertake postgraduate studies on selected courses in colleges and universities in Ireland. More information on Irish Aid Fellowships can be found on the website of the Irish Council for International Students at:

Further information is available on our website:

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