Environmental Policy

MSc Environmental Policy
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

Please note the accredited version of this programme, MSc Environmental Policy (W271) is a 'Specialist Degree' accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) in the UK and is only available to UCD internal students progressing from UCD's Planning, Geography and Environmental Policy degree or UCD's City Planning & Environmental Policy degree. All other eligible applicants should apply for the alternative non- accredited version of the programme MSc Environmental Policy (W269).

The programme takes an international perspective on environmental issues and explores the increasingly complex environmental challenges that societies and governments face across the globe, addressing contemporary environmental debates such as Climate Change, Water Policy, Energy Security and Sustainability, and Urban Resilience. Teaching is focused on areas and skills within environmental policy-making, and an integrated group-project module provides practice-based insights into the policy-making process. Students can enhance their own specialist research interests during the completion of a thesis or internship in the third trimester. Students may gain practical experience in policy analysis, environmental assessment, cost-benefit analysis, public participation, and risk management. Key professional skills for future career development include leadership, problem-solving, communication, media skills, report writing, group work, presentation skills and project management. UCD Environmental Policy has an established international track record as a leading research centre in environmental policy and is in the Top 150 QS World University Rankings by subject area.

Who should apply?

Full Time option suitable for:

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

Vision and Values Statement
The environment poses some of the most complex and pressing challenges facing individuals, societies and policy-makers across the globe. These challenges range from global to local scale as policy-makers grapple with building more sustainable and resilient societies, while balancing environmental goals with economic and social objectives. The aim of the MSc Environmental Policy is to produce graduates with the professional knowledge, skills and tools necessary to address these pressing issues and to pursue careers in the environmental field where they will contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future. We want to create critical thinkers and evidence-based policy practitioners that are instilled with a strong theoretical understanding and research capability. The interdisciplinary nature of the MSc Environmental Policy programme fosters these values. While having a core focus on environmental policy, it also includes a solid foundation in technical skills and an understanding of sustainable development. The program balances all of these branches of education including core skills (e.g. GIS and Environmental Assessment), core knowledge (e.g. Environmental Economics and European Environmental Policy) and sustainable development tools. The programme fosters a learning environment that draws on the research and expertise of our academic staff, combined with insights from innovative practitioners in the environmental field. The primary teaching space for this programme is the existing facilities in the Planning and Environmental Policy Buildings in UCD Richview, including lecturing and studio facilities, and GIS laboratories. The program provides a blended-learning experience, including traditional lectures but also interactive studio based learning. Assessment includes continuous assessment, unseen exams and evaluation of non-traditional student work (e.g. presentations).

Subjects taught

All students undertake 90 credits across a range of modules that help them develop foundational knowledge and skills in policymaking, and equip them to employ these new skills to manage a diverse range of contemporary environmental challenges. In addition to taught modules, students undertake a practice-based studio module, and can also pursue their own specialist interest through completion of a thesis, an internship, or an academic research project.

Stage 1 - Core
Tools for Sust Development ENVP40040
Environmental Economics & Climate Policy ENVP40100
Research for Environmental Pol ENVP40170
European Environmental Policy ENVP40180
Applications of Enviro Policy ENVP40190
Environment and Development ENVP40240

Stage 1 Options
Environmental Policy ThesisENVP40030
Internship - Research ProjectENVP40160

Entry requirements

This programme is intended for applicants with a degree in any discipline such as social sciences and arts, environmental sciences, law, business studies or engineering.

An honours undergraduate degree (NFQ Level 8) with a minimum upper second class honours or international equivalence 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 http://www.ucd.ie/alc/programmes/pathways/

These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes

Application dates

How to apply?

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Environmental Policy (Accredited) FT (W271)
Duration 1 Years
Attend Full Time
Deadline Rolling*

MSc Environmental Policy FT (W269)
Duration 1 Years
Attend Full Time
Deadline Rolling*

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


1 year full-time.

Post Course Info

Career & Graduate Study Opportunity
To date, our graduates have been very successful in gaining employment in environment related fields in a diverse range of public, private and NGO organisations. Past graduates are now working for a number of agencies both nationally and internationally including private (e.g. Samsung Electronics; Wisetek; Citi Bank; AWN Consulting; EnvEcon; Irish Water), public bodies (e.g. Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs) and NGO organisations (e.g. Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice; Plant life Economy Foundation; Amazon Environmental Research Institute Brazil; publicpolicy.ie; Global Action plan Ireland), in a range of environmental positions (e.g. environmental consultants; policy officers; researchers; climate officers; environmental justice officers). Our graduates have also gone on to pursue further study (PhDs).

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time

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    Course provider