Environmental Sciences (PgDip), M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 12 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
Trinity College Dublin ,
The taught M.Sc. degree in Environmental Sciences, as the first of its kind in Ireland, has an established pedigree, attracting students with diverse academic backgrounds from Ireland and abroad.
  • Overview
  • Programme outline
  • Key facts
  • Admission requirements
  • Fees and funding


This full-time, intensive course is intended for administrative and scientific workers and new graduates with an appropriate environmental science related background, although applications from graduates with different backgrounds are also welcomed. It comprises a series of taught modules encompassing a variety of current environmental themes, followed by a five-month, research project. There is also the possibility to opt for a diploma course in Environmental Sciences, consisting of the taught modules only.

The course provides students with a wide range of knowledge and skills relating to the expanding subject of Environmental Science. It aims to provide a firm scientific understanding of current environmental issues that will be of relevance to those interested in environmental management and related areas. The course provides a foundation of understanding of current environmental policies and legislation, and builds upon this with practical and theoretical courses that include subjects such as ocean and coastal management, water resources and pollution, climate change and environmental impact assessment. Theory and practice are closely linked to develop field, analytical, and presentation skills, including dedicated modules relating to data analysis and Geographic Information Systems. The course provides the opportunity to develop interests in particular areas of Environmental Science through tutorials, seminars and an extended desk study.

Following successful completion of the taught part of the course, students embark on a closely supervised research project intended to expand the skills and knowledge base acquired in earlier modules. Previous research projects have covered a diverse range of subjects including: groundwater contamination; atmospheric heavy metal deposition; environmental education; sewage processing systems; bio-indicators of marine pollution; and the impacts of erosion in African lakes, oean chemistry and climate change: and radon in natural and work environment.

Previous graduates of this M.Sc. course have been employed by a range of agencies involved in environmental protection, as environmental consultants and in local government. Many graduates have gone on to do further research in a range of environmentally related disciplines. Graduates from the course have pursued their interests in environmental sciences throughout the world.

Programme Structure

Courses included:
  • Induction week and Introduction to environmental science, 5 credits: This module will act as an introduction to the MSc programme and provide grounding in some of the key concepts. Teaching comprises seminars, activities and fieldtrips designed to introduce the course, the staff, the University and current environmental issues.GIS will form a core component of this module.
  • Environmental and chemical analysis, 5 credits: This module covers the operating principles of a range of techniques that are used in the chemical analysis of environmental samples. Students will have the opportunity to apply the techniques to a range of environmental sample types such as sediments and waters. Techniques include: classical methods of analysis (e.g. titration), electrometric methods (conductimetry, potentiometry), optical methods (colorimetry, atomic spectroscopy), and chromatography (ion chromatography, gas liquid chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography), assessment of
    method performance, quality control and quality assurance. Visits to laboratories in other institutions are included.
  • Hydrology and Groundwater quality, 5 credits: This module comprises lectures, seminars, fieldwork and practical work (mapping and data handling) relating to water in the environment. After an introduction to the hydrological cycle and water balances, it outlines the fundamentals of hill slope hydrology, river flow and its relationship to catchment characteristics, before going on to consider aspects of hydrogeology, such as aquifer characteristics and groundwater flow and surface water – groundwater interactions. The module then considers groundwater chemistry and water quality, which are then related to specific pollution problems and management options. This module links closely with ES 7041: Environmental Chemical Analysis.
  • Earth system science I: Deep time, 5 credits: This module covers the scientific basis necessary to understand environmental and climate change through Earth history. Topics include an introduction to the Earth’s timescale, evolution of the early Earth, the role of plate tectonics and volcanism in Earth system science, weathering and environmental chemistry in the Archean, evolution of the atmosphere, extreme environmental change, mass extinction events in Earth history and causes and consequences of major
    glaciation events. The module provides the tools to read and comprehend the scientific literature relating to environmental change throughout geological time. A series of computer based problem solving practical classes will introduce the topic of radiogenic isotopes and geochronology. Lectures on specific topics, their wider consequences and practical significance will be developed through whole class discussions.
  • Earth system science II: Environmental and climate change, 5 credits: This module covers the scientific basis necessary to understand Environmental (including Climate) change from first principles. Topics include the biogeochemistry of carbon and nitrogen, ocean circulation, heat and mass transfer fundamentals, as well as the tools to read and comprehend the scientific literature providing evidence of changes occurring through time. Lectures on specific topics and their wider consequences will be developed through whole class discussions on their practical significance.
  • Environmental policies, 5 credits: The application of successful management strategies requires a wide knowledge of the environment and the pressures on it. This module introduces students to environmental policy making and implementation through lectures, expert and practitioner-led workshops, set readings and research activities. Examples of environmental policy will be covered at a range of scales from global to local, involving public, private and civil society actors. The module will encourage critical analysis of environmental policy tools, techniques and outcomes, and develop group work and policy briefing writing skills.
  • Waste and Energy management in Urban Environments, 5 credits: This new module introduces current issues in urban management and sustainability. Topics include technical, operational and environmental aspects of waste management in cities, including site visits and workshop style discussions of material. The waste management component will be delivered by Dr Tim Walker, Head of waste management at Belfast City Council. A second part of the module will focus on energy management.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 12 months
  • Study intensity Full-time
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
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Academic Requirements

Applications for admission are accepted from:

  • holders of first or upper second class honors degrees, or their overseas equivalent, awarded by recognised universities, institutions and degree awarding bodies.
  • holders of other degrees or relevant qualifications including professional qualifications, who have at least three years work experience in an environmental profession.

Late applications from well-qualified applicants may be considered provided all the places on the course have not been allocated.

Applications must be made online. For further information on applying to taught courses in Trinity College is available from Trinity Graduate Studies.

Work Experience

At least 3 year(s) of work experience are required.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • EUR 12566 International
  • EUR 6288 EU/EEA


StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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