• Curriculum focused on emerging subject area of environmental sustainability
  • Delivery via blended learning teaching methodologies
  • Medium-term up-skilling for career advancement and/or re-skilling for career change or specialisation
  • Entry requirement of Science or Engineering Diploma or higher


The Specialist Diploma in Environmental Sustainability will not run this coming year. As an alternative the new Specialist Diploma in Corporate Environmental Planning may be of interest. This is a related course which will start in September 2019.

Closing Date:


Final Review date for applications

What Type of Course is it?
This one-year, part-time Diploma course aims to develop knowledge around the issues and opportunities associated with achieving and maintaining environmental sustainability in industry and business sectors and to develop the associated technical and soft skills.

Delivered via blended learning the course will equip participants with state-of-the-art reference materials to support module topics. Participants will gain knowledge of the generation, distribution and conservation of sustainable energy; product, process and service design that minimises environmental impact; and policy, legislation and compliance in the area. A focused project module and the practical and applied nature of programme delivery will require participants to apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios and engage in discussions with fellow students and module tutors which explore the key concepts in environmental sustainability and challenge their way of thinking.

How Will I Benefit?
The course is intended for those who wish to focus their skills with a view to moving into specialist and hybrid environmental roles e.g. internal environmental policy consultants, waste minimisation specialists, energy optimisation advisors.

On completion of the course participants will have highly marketable, up-to-date and confidence-building knowledge and skills relevant to the green economy. They will have practiced and been assessed on a range of technical and transferable skills which will be beneficial at the personal, enterprise and community levels.

If graduates so wish they can progress to the B.Sc. in Science & Technology Studies (NQF level 8) with credit for their studies. In this case they will be exempt from one elective stream in the Degree cycle.

Learning Objectives
On completion of the course students should have:

  • An appreciation of environmental factors, standards and policies which impact on the medical device, bio-pharma and general manufacturing sectors
  • Specialised knowledge and skills in the areas of environmental policy, compliance and auditing
  • Developed insight of national and international issues in relation to green energies and the green economy in general
  • Technical knowledge and skills in the design of products and process with a view to minimizing environmental impact by streamlining processes, decreasing waste and optimising reuse, recycling and waste disposal
  • Built their management and leadership capabilities to facilitate organisational change towards environmentally sustainable processes, products and procedures

The course is offered over one academic year (September to May) on a part-time basis. Two taught modules are complete each semester (September to December and January to May) while the project is completed over the academic year.

Blended Learning
The course is delivered by blended learning on a part-time basis. Candidates will receive learning materials in both online and in hard copy format for each module. Materials will be specifically designed for independent study and will be supplemented by supporting reading material and interactive learning resources where appropriate. The course requires attendance on campus for approximately 10 hours per module, or one Saturday every month between September and May. Between campus visits you will interact with tutors and peers via an online learning system.

This Specialist Diploma consists of four inter-related taught modules and a project, each worth 6 ECTS, giving a total of 30 ECTS. The course allows students to specialise in the management of environmental impact and sustainability and to explore associated issues and opportunities.

The four taught modules are:

  • Environmental Management Systems
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Design for Environment
  • Sustainable Energy

The project topic is chosen by you in consultation with your supervisor.

Assessment of the taught modules is through continuous assignments, written examinations and in some cases practical laboratory sessions. Exams take place at the end of each semester. The project is assessed through staged delivery of a project report. The award mark is based on an average result of all five modules.

This course is intended for those who wish to focus their skills with a view to moving into specialist and hybrid environmental roles e.g. internal environmental policy consultants, waste minimisation specialists, energy optimisation advisors. It will also be of interest to entrepreneurs interested in the opportunities afforded by the green economy.
The fees for the course are 1,900 euro for E.U students and 2,400 euro for non-E.U students. This fee includes:

  • Registration
  • Tuition fees
  • Course materials
  • Examinations and assessments

Subventions for Employed Students

This course has been approved by ULearning Skillnet for a fees subsidy of up to 20% for students whose company is a member of the ULearning Skillnet Network. See www.ulearning.ie for further details.

Subventions for Unemployed Students
The following fee subventions may be available for this course:

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) for ex. Dell workers (100%)
Springboard: A number of free training places are also available for unemployed students who meet the Springboard eligibility criteria. Check out www.bluebrick.ie/springboard for further details.
ULearning Unemployed Subvention (100%). Please see www.ulearning.ie for further details

Prospective students on the following allowances may be eligible for a 30% reduction in fees:

  • Jobseekers benefit
  • Jobseekers allowance
  • One-parent family allowance
  • Disability allowance
  • Social insurance contribution credits

A separate scholarship application form applies and is available in the Apply Online section.

Entry Requirements
Applicants must be in receipt of the Diploma in Science & Technology Studies or a related Diploma or higher qualification.

Alternative Entry
Applicants may use experience in addition to academic qualifications to demonstrate that they satisfy the course prerequisites.

Next Steps

Applications should be made online at www.nuigalway.ie/apply.

  • Supporting documents include form of ID (birth cert/passport/drivers licence) and transcript of exam results obtained.