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BSc Sustainability (DN240/STS1)

Undergraduate (Level 8 NFQ, Credits 240)
Academic Year 2024/2025
Internships Available
Study Abroad
Scholarships Available
Sustainable Development Goals
Duration:
4 Year(s)
Next Intake:
2024/2025 September
General Entry Requirements (A-Level)

ABB / BBBD / BBB + D AS Level

General Entry Requirements (IB)

29

Subject Requirements (Mathematics)

GCSE A/ A Level D (or AS Level C)

IB SL 6 / HL 4

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
Visit the UCD Global Undergraduate Entry Requirements webpage.

Curricular information is subject to change.

The Sustainability course reflects the integrated interdisciplinary approach required in sustainability research, policy and practice. First Year is structured so that students are able to progress into one of the following degree subjects in Second Year:

  • Sustainability with Environmental Sciences
  • Sustainability with Social Sciences, Policy & Law
  • Sustainability with Business & Economics

Sustainability is the great challenge of our time. It is enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals and achieving it will require an integrated approach to the protection of the Earth and its inhabitants. This unique programme combines the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainability, enabling specialisation in one of those dimensions complemented by knowledge and skills from the others. Core modules provide a global perspective on sustainability and include interdisciplinary research, a professional placement, field work in Ireland and Europe and guest lectures from leading researchers, advocates and practitioners.

Graduates will enjoy careers as consultants, managers and advisers in large organisations and private businesses. An interdisciplinary education in sustainability theory, policy and practice will equip you to work in areas such as renewables, clean technology management and energy efficiency, or advise industries on social and environmental strategies.

Many opportunities also exist in international organisations such as the UN, the European Environment Agency and the European Commission, government departments and state agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Parks and Wildlife Service and in local authorities and Non-Governmental Organisations.

 

About this Course

The Sustainability with Environmental Sciences degree subject has a particular emphasis on the science and technology to understand and address climate change and the degradation of our natural environment. It has a great degree of flexibility to enable you to draw on a range of relevant modules from across the disciplines of science, engineering and agriculture.

You may choose to become progressively more focused on earth sciences including climate change, environmental biology including conservation and environmental management or aspects of engineering and technology, including transport, waste management and sustainable energy solutions. You will also develop a range of attributes such as critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork and ethical competency, which will be transferable to a range of settings.

The Sustainability with Social Sciences, Policy & Law degree subject focuses on the social, legal, governance and justice dimensions of sustainability. Progressing towards sustainability to ensure a healthy planet and population requires significant societal adaptation and behavioural change. How we can encourage the required transformations to ensure that new policy and legal frameworks deliver just outcomes, and that environmental concern is coupled with quality of life considerations, is a core focus of this specialisation. If you are interested in human behaviour, social justice, wellbeing, institutions, policy, interdependence and global relations, then this is the degree subject for you.

The Sustainability with Business & Economics degree subject shines a light on the business and economic dimensions of sustainability – understanding how systems and resources work, and building the knowledge, skills and practices of working with people and strategy to get things done. This degree subject focuses on supporting you to better understand the world of business and economics, and make interdisciplinary connections to all aspects of sustainability. It offers flexibility to enable you to draw on a range of modules from relevant disciplines in the social sciences, humanities, business and law or choose to become more focused on particular aspects of sustainability in business such as global supply chain management, design of environmental economic policies, corporate responsibility, or sustainable business practices and working in interdisciplinary teams.

  • Sustainability with Environmental Sciences

Sustainability with Environmental Sciences is one of the degree subjects available through the common entry Sustainability course. Students study a common first year for the three Sustainability degree subjects and at the end of first year, students choose their degree major. Assuming students meet all the academic requirements, students are guaranteed their degree major, which they study in second, third and fourth year. Each year has a range of interesting core (compulsory) modules related to each of the three areas of sustainability, as well as option modules in your degree major. Indicative modules included are as follows:

First Year
In the first year you study core modules focusing on sustainability concepts and skills, along with core and option modules from each of the three degree subjects. Modules include: Introduction to Sustainability • Sustainability Challenges • Principles of Scientific Enquiry • Practical Statistics • Mapping a Sustainable World • Environmental Change & Policy • Business in Society • Economics 

Second Year
Modules include: Sustainability Research Tools • Careers & Innovation in Sustainability • Mathematics • Chemistry • Global Environmental Change • Life on Earth • Weather, Climate and Climate Change • GIS for Sustainability • Animal Behaviour • Principles of Microeconomics 

Third Year
You will participate in an international field course and have opportunities including an overseas exchange for one trimester and/or a substantial internship. Modules include: Sustainability Field Trip • Working with Biological Data • Waste Management • Systems Ecology • Wildlife Conservation and Fisheries Management • Geoscience for Sustainability • Social Policy, Social Justice and the Environment • Marketing: An Introduction

Fourth Year
Modules include: Internship in Sustainability • Sustainability Research Project • Global Change Ecology • Environmental Assessment • Geomaterials and Geoenergy • Life Cycle Assessment 

  • Sustainability with Social Sciences, Policy & Law

Sustainability with Social Sciences, Policy & Law is one of the degree subjects available through the common entry Sustainability course. Students study a common first year for the three Sustainability degree subjects and at the end of first year, students choose their degree major. Assuming students meet all the academic requirements, students are guaranteed their degree major, which they study in second, third and fourth year. Each year has a range of interesting core (compulsory) modules related to each of the three areas of sustainability, as well as option modules in your degree major. Indicative modules included are as follows:

First Year
In first year you study core modules focusing on sustainability concepts and skills, along with core and option modules from each of the three degree subjects. Modules include: Introduction to Sustainability • Sustainability Challenges • Principles of Scientific Enquiry • Practical Statistics • Mapping a Sustainable World • Environmental Change & Policy • Business in Society • Economics

Second Year
Modules include: Sustainability: Research Tools • Careers and Innovation in Sustainability • Human Rights & Social Justice • Introduction to GIS for Sustainability • Quantitative Research Methods • Sociology of the Environment • Environment, Social Policy & Human Wellbeing • Chemistry • Microeconomics

Third Year
In third year, you will participate in Sustainability In Action – an international field course in the Autumn – and have opportunities including an overseas exchange for one trimester (Spring) and/or a substantial internship (Summer). Other modules on offer include: Social Inclusion Law • Applied Ethics • Global Historical Geographies • Environmental Management • Global Inequalities • Principles of Environmental Biology & Ecology • Social Policy, Social Justice and the Environment • Marketing: An Introduction 

Fourth Year
In your final year, you will participate in a team-based interdisciplinary research project on a sustainability challenge, mirroring a workplace environment. You will also deepen your knowledge within your degree subject and have the opportunity to focus on particular aspects of sustainability such as gender justice, environmental assessment, sustainable cities, and communities, and European environmental policy.

  • Sustainability with Business & Economics

Sustainability with Business & Economics is one of the degree subjects available through the common entry Sustainability course. Students study a common first year for the three Sustainability degree subjects and at the end of first year, students choose their degree major. Assuming students meet all the academic requirements, students are guaranteed their degree major, which they study in second, third and fourth year. Each year has a range of interesting core (compulsory) modules related to each of the three areas of sustainability, as well as option modules in your degree major. Indicative modules included are as follows: 

First Year
In first year you study core modules focusing on sustainability concepts and skills, along with core and option modules from each of the three degree subjects. Modules include: Introduction to Sustainability • Sustainability Challenges • Principles of Scientific Enquiry • Practical Statistics • Mapping a Sustainable World • Environmental Change and Policy • Business in Society • Economics 

Second Year
Modules include: Sustainability Research Tools • Careers and Innovation in Sustainability • Introduction to Quantitative Economics • Principles of Microeconomics • Marketing: An Introduction • Foundations of Finance • GIS for Sustainability • Chemistry 

Third Year
In the third year, you will participate in an international field course and have opportunities including an overseas exchange for one trimester and/or a substantial internship. Modules include: Sustainability In Action (Field Course) • Intermediate Microeconomics • Economics of the Environment • Sustainable Operations & Supply Chain Management • Business Across Borders • Consulting with NGOs • Principles of Environmental Biology & Ecology • Development Geographies 

Fourth Year
Modules include: Internship in Sustainability • Sustainability Interdisciplinary Project • Business Strategy • Public Economics • Business and Sustainability • Entrepreneurship in Action 

Below is a list of all modules offered for this degree in the current academic year. Click on the module to discover what you will learn in the module, how you will learn and assessment feedback profile amongst other information.

Incoming Stage 1 undergraduates can usually select an Elective in the Spring Trimester. Most continuing undergraduate students can select up to two Elective modules (10 Credits) per stage. There is also the possibility to take up to 10 extra Elective credits.

Module ID Module Title Trimester Credits
Stage 1 Core Modules
     
ACC10730 Business in Society Autumn

5

GEOG10140 Mapping a Sustainable World Autumn

5

SCI10010 Principles of Scientific Enquiry Autumn

5

SUST10010 Introduction to Sustainability Autumn

5

GEOL10060 Introduction to Earth Sciences Autumn and Spring (separate)

5

STAT10050 Practical Statistics Autumn and Spring (separate)

5

ECON10040 Economics and Sustainability Spring

5

ENVP10010 Environment Change & Policy Spring

5

SUST10020 Sustainability Challenges Spring

5

Stage 1 Core Modules
     
Stage 1 Options
     
BIOL00010 Fundamentals of Biology Autumn

5

BIOL10140 Life on Earth Autumn

5

MATH10310 Calculus for Science Autumn

5

MATH10350 Calculus in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Autumn

5

PHYC10050 Astronomy & Space Science Autumn

5

ACC10060 Introduction to Accounting Autumn and Spring (separate)

5

BMGT10140 Business Plan Autumn and Spring (separate)

5

GEOL10050 Earth and Humanity Autumn and Spring (separate)

5

ACM10090 Climate Change:Causes & Consequences Spring

5

ARCH10150 Anthropology: an introduction Spring

5

BIOL10030 Cell and Plant Biology Spring

5

BIOL10110 Cell Biology & Genetics Spring

5

BSEN10020 How Sustainable is My Food? Spring

5

CHEM10050 Basis of Organic and Biological Chemistry Spring

5

DSCY10060 Energy, Climate Change & Policy Spring

5

GEOG10080 Dynamic Earth Spring

5

GEOG10100 People, Places, Regions Spring

5

GEOL10030 Field Geology, Level 1 Spring

5

LAW10440 Law in Europe Spring

5

MATH10290 Linear Algebra for Science Spring

5

MATH10340 Linear Algebra in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Spring

5

MATH10410 Mathematics & Science Education & Communication Spring

5

PHYC10200 Conceptual Physics Spring

5

There will be opportunities to apply for exchange programmes and an international field trip is a core component of the third year experience. Students will also have the opportunity to research and apply for international internships with relevant industries and employers. Placements are secured through a competitive process.

Please visit the UCD Global Exchanges page here to find further information about the application process.

Sustainability with Environmental Sciences



Students have the opportunity to complete a Professional Placement module worth 5 credits. This module provides students with an opportunity to undertake a placement in industry (6-10 weeks) in the summer following Third Year.

Students in recent years have completed internships in RPS Group, KPMG, Wind Energy Ireland and Environmental Consultants.

Placements are secured on a competitive basis and are subject to change each year.



Sustainability with Social Sciences, Policy & Law



Students have the opportunity to complete a Professional Placement module worth 15 credits. This module provides students with an opportunity to undertake a placement in industry (6-12 weeks) in the summer following Third Year. Students in recent years have completed internships in EY, RPS Group, Nolan Transport, Sonairte and Dublin City Council.

Placements are secured on a competitive basis and are subject to change each year.



Sustainability with Business & Economics



Students have the opportunity to complete a Professional Placement module worth 15 credits. This module provides students with an opportunity to undertake a placement in industry (6-12 weeks) in the summer following Third Year.

Placements are secured on a competitive basis and are subject to change each year.



More information about the internship module and application process.


  • Sustainability with Environmental Sciences

An interdisciplinary education in Sustainability theory, policy and practice will equip you to work in areas such as renewables, clean technology management and energy efficiency, or advise industries on social and environmental strategies.
Many opportunities also exist in international organisations such as the UN, the European Environment Agency and the European Commission, government departments and state agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Parks and Wildlife Service and in local authorities and Non-Governmental Organisations.

  • Sustainability with Social Sciences, Policy & Law

Graduates from this degree subject will have highly developed analytical skills, methodological and research competency, flexibility and the ability to deal with complex problems requiring interdisciplinary solutions. These attributes are in significant demand in the public and private sectors. For example, corporate businesses, private consultancy firms, banking and education, as well as in civil society organisations, state agencies and transnational organisations such as the UNDP, European Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, and Teagasc.
Students will be well equipped to undertake further study at Masters and Doctoral levels in a range of disciplinary areas.

  • Sustainability with Business & Economics

An interdisciplinary education in Sustainability theory, policy and practice will equip you to work in areas such as renewables, clean technology management and energy efficiency within organisations, or advise industries on social and environmental strategies. Many opportunities also exist in global professional service firms and consultancy, and international organisations such as the UN, the European Environment Agency and the European Commission, government departments and state agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Parks and Wildlife Service and in local authorities and Non-Governmental Organisations.

Non-EU Undergraduate Fee information can be found here.

UCD offers a number of competitive undergraduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD undergraduate degree programme. For information on Undergraduate Scholarships, please see the UCD International Scholarships webpage.

The following advice is for Non-EU applicants. For Irish/EU/UK students, please apply via MyUCD.

The following entry route(s) are available:
 
BSc Sustainability (STS1) - Face to Face
Undergraduate Degree (Non EU)
Entry in Sep 2024
Full Time - Apply from Oct 2023 Apply

By studying an undergraduate degree in the Science programme, you will be joining a global community of scientists and will be taught by world-class researchers at the forefront of research in one of the most innovative and diverse programmes in Ireland, encompassing biology, sustainability, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, mathematics and computer science. Faculty who teach on the Science programme draw on their research to provide an inclusive and equitable education for scientists who will be leaders and innovators in a range of industries and research institutes working towards a sustainable and equitable future. 

The curriculum is informed by the following research:

  • Exploring and understanding the processes that drive and can mitigate and enable adaptation to global change from evolutionary, environmental and social perspectives at levels ranging from molecular and genetic to individual, ecosystem and landscape

  • Translating fundamental discoveries to a greater understanding of health and disease, with the ultimate aim of informing novel drug discovery

  • Performing fundamental and applied research with a focus on current societal challenges including the energy transition, environmental change, geohazards and access to natural resources

The College of Science offers a range of degree subjects within the Science and Sustainability common entry courses that embed sustainability principles and are working towards the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • Good Health and Well-being (SGD 3)

  • Quality Education (SDG 4)

  • Affordable and Clean Energy (SGD 7)

  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9)

  • Sustainable Cities and Communities (SGD 11)

  • Responsible Consumption and Production (SGD 12)

  • Life Below Water (SDG 14)

  • Life on Land (SDG 15)

The programmes at UCD are designed to equip students with the best education in their chosen field, while at the same time embedding the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) in their education where most relevant.

SDG3
SDG4
SDG 7
SDG 9
SDG 11
SDG 12
SDG 14
SDG 15

When choosing what to study at university, I didn’t want to limit myself to a specific field but knew I wanted sustainability to be my focus. Something that drew me to this course was the freedom of choice – in only my first year, I’ve been able to take a range of interdisciplinary modules and discover interests I never knew I had. The Sustainability modules encourage us to think critically and apply a future-focused lens to the wide range of subjects we study. I can’t wait to delve deeper into my chosen degree subject of Environmental Sciences over the next few years and hopefully start a career that brings about positive change.

Hannah Kerr, Sustainability with Environmental Sciences Student

As someone with a strong interest in tackling social issues and working to mitigate further environmental destruction, choosing this course has been the single best decision for me. There’s a wide variety of modules so you can explore the path of study most of interest. I was exposed to a multitude of exciting topics ranging from global climatic inequalities, agriculture and sustainable land-use to education for sustainable development. This helped me gain thoughtful insights into a whole range of climate justice issues, which will undoubtedly prove essential for any career relating to climate change mitigation and adaptation. My eyes are now open to the injustices of the world and I feel equipped with the skills, knowledge and ambition to make a difference.

Laoise Markey, Sustainability with Social Sciences, Policy & Law Student

Studying Sustainability has been and continues to be a unique and rewarding experience. During my first two years, I have had both a broad introduction to sustainability and the opportunity to specialise within it by choosing the Business and Economics degree subject. Choosing Sustainability gave me the ability to select from a wide choice of modules offered, which reflects the multidisciplinary nature of the course. I have found that this course and its students are especially well supported by its director and coordinators. The combination of systems and future-focused thinking that exists at the core of this degree is a huge advantage for sustainability students both in university and the wider world.

Colm Flanagan, Sustainability with Business & Economics Student

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BSc Sustainability (DN240/STS1)

Undergraduate (Level 8 NFQ, Credits 240)