Sustainability & Climate Action for Enterprise

University College Cork

Sustainability & Climate Action for Enterprise

Course Outline
Are you concerned about environmental sustainability? Are you someone who is interested in achieving real systems change across enterprise and industry? Do you want to know how business can play a part in the transition to a sustainable society? If so, then the Higher Diploma in Sustainability and Climate Action for Enterprise may be just right for you!

The world faces unprecedented environmental challenges. Growing public awareness and concerns over climate change and environmental sustainability are pushing businesses to place sustainability at the heart of business strategy, operations and decision-making.

The transition towards a sustainable and zero carbon business presents a tremendous opportunity for companies to drive innovation, increase competitiveness, manage risk and stimulate growth and you can play a role in it. Radical technological innovations, different business models, and new competences and skills are needed. The transition will require interdisciplinary approaches, combining and considering technological, economic, social, managerial and environmental aspects.

Through a blend of academic coursework, interdisciplinary insights, business case studies and application, peer learning and individual reflection, you will become part of a community of business leaders that will lead the transition to sustainable business practices. During this course you will also develop a deep reconsideration of skills and competences needed to deliver such a transition. These include the ability to combine and consider engineering, economic, social, managerial, legal, and environmental constraints by embracing interdisciplinarity, complexity, and systems thinking.

The inter-disciplinary approach of the Higher Diploma in Sustainability in Enterprise is particularly suited to address the complex challenges of the transition to a low carbon economy. The course also draws on the interdisciplinary strengths and capabilities within the Environmental Research Institute. It builds on the strength of UCC's ongoing commitment and success in their Green Campus initiative, which embeds sustainability in all university strategies while also delivering sustainability on the ground. The strong links between learning, research and teaching have been key to UCC's success in sustainability and this approach will underpin the successful delivery of the programme. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the sustainability challenge, the Higher Diploma benefits from its reach across a number of Colleges and Schools

The Higher Diploma will produce a community of leaders equipped to lead the transition to sustainable enterprise practices through decarbonisation. Participants will gain a comprehensive insight into the key principles and theories associated with business, management and the circular economy, while developing transferable leadership skills and identifying business opportunities through innovative frameworks.

Apply now and become a future leader in sustainability in enterprise

Subjects taught

Core Modules (50 credits)

CE5010 Progressing toward Sustainable Industry (5 credits)
CE5011 Environmental Engineering - Wet (5 credits)
PE3011 Sustainability and Environmental Protection I (5 credits)
CE5009 Circular Economy Energy & Environmental Systems (5 Credits)
FE2012 Sustainability in Modern Business (5 credits)
MG5005 Marketing Ethics and Sustainability (5 credits)
EC3156 Environmental Economics: The Problem of Climate Change (5 credits)
UW0005 Sustainability (5 credits)
CE4025 Leadership in Sustainability in Enterprise (5 credits)
NE5003 Sustainable Energy (5 credits)

Elective Modules (choose 10 credits)

FE5001 Marketing and Communications for Sustainable Food Production and Consumption (5 credits)
EV4012 Environmental Impact Assessments (5 credits)
SC3029 Sociology of the Environment (5 credits)
MG5006 Management in Practice (5 credits)
MG2003 Consumer Behaviour & Sustainable Consumption (5 credits)
EV4002 Environmental Monitoring and Assessment (10 credits)

Additional Teaching Mode Information
The teaching delivery is mainly face-to-face. Some elements of the teaching will be delivered using a hybrid model, including synchronous online lectures and pre-recorded material.

Course Practicalities
This is a full-time programme requiring a significant time commitment. Lectures will be scheduled on weekdays. This will include a mix of daytime and evening lectures.

Entry requirements

Applicants must have a primary degree (NFQ Level 8) with Second Class Honours Grade 2, or equivalent, in any of the following: Science, Engineering, Medicine and Health, Business, Management, Law, Sociology, Geography, or a related discipline.

A quota will be allocated to applicants who do not meet these entry requirements. These applicants will be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning and assessed on the following factors:

Academic achievement
Prior Work Experience
Letter of Reference
Personal Statement

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency: See our English language proficiency requirements.

Application dates

Applications for 2023 will open shortly.

2022 Application Information:

Candidates are advised to apply early as high demand is anticipated and places are limited.

Applications will only be assessed when all supporting documentation has been received. Please ensure that you have the documentation below available at the time of application.

For mainstream applications, you will need:

Copies of transcripts and parchments for any previous relevant educational qualifications

Personal / Motivation Statement - In 300 words or less, please state:

1) Why you wish to study this programme at University College Cork
2) How you meet the programme entry requirements.
Current CV

Copy of an up-to-date University-approved English language exam e.g. IELTS, TOFEL, Duolingo etc., for non-native English speakers
For applications considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), you will need:

Copies of transcripts and parchments for any previous relevant educational qualifications
Current CV
References where applicable

Personal / Motivation Statement - In 500 words or less, please state:

1) Why you wish to study this programme at University College Cork
2) How you meet the programme entry requirements.

Copy of an up-to-date University-approved English language exam e.g. IELTS, TOFEL, Duolingo etc., for non-native English speakers.


1 year full-time.

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
What sort of jobs would this course prepare me for?

This programme would ideally prepare candidates for leadership roles in environmental sustainability and decarbonisation within business and enterprise. However, the skills acquired as part of this programme would also be highly applicable to other roles within enterprise.

Are there any career workshops included as part of this course?

Students will have access to the UCC career services. Main activities will include:

Career coaching to formulate individual career action plans leading to employment, reflecting on:

Where are they now in their careers?

Where do they want to be?
Strategies for gaining employment on completion of the programme.
Job readiness workshops will be built into the programme as outlined below:

Positioning oneself for job readiness: Setting realistic career objectives; Understanding strengths and skills; Learning from successful role models; Developing a career management strategy.

Moving forward into a job: Taking action by developing career goals and implementing them;

Creative job-hunting both on-line and off-line; Written applications, CVs and interview preparation and implementing career plans.

Participants will be given the opportunity to meet employers by attending UCC organised recruitment fairs, jobs roadshows and other events where employers will be invited on campus to meet students.

Will I get exposure to business, industry and enterprise in this course?

This course will have direct input from a number of enterprises, via guest lectures, industrial-based projects and site tours.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Higher Diploma (Level 8 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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    Course provider