Global Change - Ecosystem Science & Policy

Global change refers to planetary-scale changes occurring in complex socio-ecological systems, which are affected by climatic and non-climatic drivers (e.g., changes in human society). Understanding the intricate, medium- to long-term changes in our land, air and water requires advanced scientific knowledge in measurement, modelling and prediction. This should in turn inform the science-policy interface.
This joint international MSc in Global Change is the response to these global change challenges and will suit graduates wishing to develop a scientific career in ecosystem research as well as those aiming to contribute to evidence-based environmental policy. Students will study at both UCD, Dublin and Justus Liebig University (JLU) Giessen, Germany where you will be involved in active research groups, contributing to their ongoing ecosystem and policy consultancy studies.

Visit our website to discover more about this unique opportunity to study in both Ireland and Germany and make a difference.

Subjects taught

UCD Core Modules
LAW41730 Foundations of Enviro Law SBES
BIOL40780 Designing Global Change Research Projects
ENVB40130 Global Change Ecology
BIOL40140 Science and Policy
ENVB40040 Environmental Impact Assessment
ENVB40370 Data Anal. & Interpretation
BIOL40120 Work Placement (Global Change)
BIOL40130 Research Project (Global Change)

Optional module (5 CP needed)
BOTN40270 Biology and Ecology of Coastal Wetlands
ENVB40310 Peatlands and Env. Change
MEEN40090 Energy Systems and Climate Change
ENVB40410 Management of Sustainable Fisheries (On-line)
ENVB30130 Ecology & its Appl. O/L
ENVB40540 Ecological Mapping and QGIS

JLU Core Modules
BIOL40680 Global Change: Modelling and Advanced Techniques
BIOL40690 Adaptation to Global Change (JLU)
BIOL40580 Policy Consulting - Environmental Policy and Development Cooperation (JLU)
BIOL40230 Resource Economics and Environmental Management (JLU)
BIOL40160 Biodiversity Informatics (JLU)
BIOL40740 Sustainable agro-ecosystems

Options JLU (6 CP needed)
BIOL40600 - Economic Development & World Agricultural Markets (JLU)
BIOL40710 Into the footsteps of a researcher (JLU)
BIOL40570 World Food Economy (JLU)
ENVB40550 Humanitarian Disasters and its Impact on Transition Management (JLU)
BIOL40700 Stress Ecology (JLU)
BIOL40750 Global Governance
ENVB40560 Natural Resources & Eco (JLU)
BIOL40660 Methods in Global Change Research
ENVB40560 - Natural Resources and Ecosystem Services (JLU)

Entry requirements

This programme is intended for applicants with a Bachelor degree in an appropriate life sciences discipline, such as biology, agriculture or environmental science (including zoology, ecology, biochemistry, geology and physics). A bachelor degree (NFQ Level 8) with honours 2(2) (GPA 2.48 or higher) 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.
These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes

Application dates

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Global Change: Ecosystem Science & Policy FT (F038)
Duration 16 Months
Attend Full Time
Deadline Rolling*
* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised


16 Months, full-time
Mode of delivery: Face-to-Face

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2024/2025 September.

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability
-Graduates may pursue roles as policy advisers, scientific analysts or researchers in government, international organisations, NGOs, research institutes or consulting companies. There are also many opportunities for further studies. The skills you acquire, particularly through the completion of the minor thesis, provide a strong foundation for PhD research.
-Prospective employers include the Environmental Protection Agency, governmental departments, European Commission; European Environment Agency and International organisations (e.g. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; United Nations Environment Programme; International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Food and Agricultural Organisation).

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time

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    Course provider