MSc Environmental Science

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The study of Applied Environmental Science is critical for establishing policies in environmental assessment, evaluating potential change in environmental quality in response to various land use and other activities, and in development of management and conservation strategies, as well as contributing to policy formulation. This course has a heavy emphasis on practical training in fieldwork, laboratory analyses, information sourcing, data analysis, planning, reporting and communication.
You will work with an interdisciplinary team of experts covering the key aspects of Environmental Science, encompassing marine, freshwater and terrestrial systems. This is the only Applied Environmental Science course in Ireland to include a major input from civil engineering, relating particularly to water quality, hydrology and waste treatment processes.

Download the UCD Science Graduate Taught Courses brochure (pdf)

  • In collaboration with UCD School of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering relating particularly to water quality, hydrology and waste treatment processes.
  • This multi-disciplinary Master’s course provides fundamental training in key areas of Environmental Science encompassing marine, freshwater and terrestrial systems.  

Careers & Employability

Our graduates are building successful varied careers in environmental resources assessment, management and protection. A considerable number have been employed in environmental consultancy and national and International government agencies, such as Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Some graduates have also continued their studies at PhD level in the areas of fisheries, biomass fuels, soil, water engineering and invertebrate ecology.
The course gives due consideration to key legislative requirements and policy developments.

Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The UCD MSc Applied Science (Environmental Science) is designed for recent graduates in Science, Engineering or Architecture or graduates employed by Local Authorities, State or Semi-state agencies, Industry and Environmental consultants.

 The MSc in Applied Environmental Science is aimed at students who wish to further develop a career or enhance their current knowledge on environmental science issues and develop practical field and laboratory skills relevant to implementing environmental policies. We value students that are dedicated, motivated, and develop a specialist knowledge and apply a critical approach to address ever increasing environmental issues. We aim to provide a learning environment that directs students to current information and that develops key skills necessary to source, critically analyse, evaluate, synthesise and report relevant environmental information. This course is based on core and elective modules delivered as lectures, on-line resources, tutorials, practicals, field exercises and require both individual and group work. With the aim of developing a range of work related skills assessments include the preparation of reports, critical essays, computer based assignments, field surveys, presentations and group projects. A work placement in an agency servicing the environmental sector is undertaken during the third semester obtaining industry relevant skills. The course draws on a number of leading academic staff that actively participates in environmental research spanning a range of disciplines informing the material presented.       

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the theoretical background that underpins environmental issues.
  • Demonstrate awareness and working understanding of the legislation related to the environmental sector.
  • Demonstrate effective and clear oral and written communication skills and show an ability to use appropriate software typically applied to communicate within the environmental sector.
  • Have a good working knowledge of field surveying methods to obtain relevant environmental information and demonstrate a practical ability to conduct common faunal and flora surveying techniques.
  • Have the ability to source, evaluate and synthesise current scientific information related to environmental issues and produce industry ready reports with justifiable recommendations made and conclusions drawn.
  • Have the ability to work with environmental data, understand the methods used to collect different types of data, conduct descriptive and analytical statistics.
  • Through work experience develop an understanding of how the knowledge gained can be applied to the work environment and develop skills necessary to work effectively in the work place.

MSc Environmental Science (X062) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 9300
nonEU    fee per year - € 22600

MSc Environmental Science (X204) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 4630
nonEU    fee per year - € 11260

***Fees are subject to change
Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

Internship Opportunities*
Internship opportunities are available for at least a 6-week period in the environmental sector (including consultancies, government agencies and industry) over the Summer Trimester. Examples of previous placements are RPS Group, Dublin City Council, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Golder Associates and Dublin Urban Rivers Life Project.
*Placements are secured through a competitive process and are not guaranteed.

This programme is intended for applicants with a primary degree in Science, Engineering, Geography, Architecture or a related subject. An upper second class honours, or international equivalent is required.

  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.
  • Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the  English language requirements, may enter the programme upon  successful completion of UCD’s Pre-Sessional or International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information 
  • These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes 

Graduate Profiles
Hannah Fearon
RPS Environmental, Ireland

Overall, the course was an eye-opening experience with a great mixture of lab sessions, field work and lectures. The highlight of this course for me was definitely the opportunity to gain professional work experience and I would encourage anyone interested in following a career in the Environmental sector to seriously consider this course.

Betsy Townsend
Physical Scientist, US EPA
The MSc coursework paired with my 6-week placement at Dublin City Council prepared me for a career in the environmental sector, and gave me proficiency in the collection, processing, analyses, and interpretation of environmental data.

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Environmental Science FT (X062)
1 Years
Full Time
MSc Environmental Science PT (X204)
2 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised