Sustainable Finance

The MSc in Sustainable Finance (formerly called the MSc in Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance) is designed to provide students with real-world insights into the application of finance in achieving sustainable outcomes for corporations, and the process of investing, financing, and building renewable energy projects.

It is estimated that achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 will require investments of $5-7 trillion annually across both the public and private sector. The estimated $2.5 trillion investment gap every year in the developing world is a significant challenge but also an opportunity for policy makers, investors and businesses alike.

In this respect, the course will advance your understanding of finance theory and the application of sustainability factors (with a focus on environmental issues) to financial markets. The course also features a strong low carbon energy component and aims to equip students with creative and analytical approaches to problem-solving in the sustainable finance context as well as enhance the students’ interpersonal and leadership skills. Additionally, our programme prepares our students with skills necessary in today’s world, such as coding and building green portfolios.

The programme is suitable for graduates with backgrounds not only in business, finance and economics, but in fields such as environmental science, physics, engineering, and math who are keen to pursue a career in the sustainable business and finance industry.

The programme can be undertaken on a part-time basis, thus enabling current professionals with the relevant background to combine working life with study. Note that this is not a dedicated part-time programme and students will be required to attend lectures, tutorials and complete group assignments in conjunction with the full-time cohort, for whom the schedule is primarily during working hours for a block of hours on several days a week. Modules in autumn trimester will be delivered in a compressed format meaning that modules are taught intensively over two 6 week periods, requiring additional attendance at lectures and tutorials. Employer support is therefore essential.

What will I learn?
As well as a comprehensive knowledge of finance, you will acquire an in-depth understanding of the practical integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in financial decision making. You will also develop the professional and personal knowledge and skills necessary for a career in the sustainable finance and impact investing field. Through this Masters you will gain:

1. A comprehensive understanding of the industries integrating sustainable development into financial markets, including the quantitative approaches to best model opportunities and risks, discussions of recent technological developments and a close connection to relevant professional organisations such as Sustainable Nation Ireland.

2. Critical awareness of the operation & functions of renewable energy commodity markets and the pricing implications.

3. Enhanced knowledge of the financing principles, project management requirements and developments in the area of renewable energy.

4. Strong emphasis on the development of interpersonal skills, leadership and problem-solving, as well as tracking recent activity at Irish and European levels, ensuring that graduates are well-informed on industry developments.

How will I benefit?
- As the only Masters in the world which has an in depth coverage of environmental and impact finance and green data science, this course offers an unrivalled level of specialisation in global clean energy and sustainable finance markets with significant career opportunities. Graduates of this programme are in high demand, both internationally and within Ireland.

- The invaluable knowledge of top-class academics combined with the participation of key figures from the areas of sustainable business and finance results in an especially rich and relevant curriculum. The breadth of the course content is reflected by the flexibility of the course (students can choose from three different pathways of completion) as well as the varied approach to assessment (examination, research papers, empirical projects, presentations, course work, internship/research project).

- It provides a springboard for a career in a wide range of public and private sector organisations, from asset management firms, venture capital funds, renewable energy and green data companies through to national governments and banking institutions.

The curriculum encompasses a substantial set of finance modules to ensure a deep financial background of every student, the major theoretical aspects of renewable energy and environmental finance, along with modules focusing upon the tools and techniques for evaluating a comprehensive range of global, regional and firm level environmental and financial issues.

Students must complete 12 core modules.

Knowledge of mathematics foundations will be required for several core finance modules in the Autumn Trimester. Mathematics foundations involving set theory, calculus, linear algebra, and probability and statistics will be tested.

In the Summer Trimester, students must complete 1 core module, plus 1 of 3 pathways as outlined below. With any possible internship opportunity students have to go through a competitive recruitment process, including interviews with employers, to be selected.

Subjects taught

Autumn Trimester:
Quantitative Methods for Finance
Financial Econometrics
Capital Markets and Instruments
Applied Derivative Securities
Financial Theory
Financial Analysis

Spring Trimester:
Sustainable Finance
Renewable Energy Finance
Energy Economics and Policy
Portfolio and Risk Management

Summer Trimester:
Ethics in Financial Services

Choose one pathway:
Pathway A
Green Data Science

plus 2 option modules
Mergers and Acquisitions
Financial Technology
Structured Finance

Pathway B
Green Data Science
Summer Internship

Pathway C
Research Dissertation

Please be advised that the above reflects the 2023/2024 curriculum structure and is subject to change each year. Option modules listed are indicative of what has been delivered in previous years and are also subject to change.

Entry requirements

Please review the entry requirements below. The UCD Smurfit Admissions Office staff have expertise in reviewing international qualifications from around the world and will be able to assess your application's comparability to the Irish entry requirement.

An honours bachelors degree in:
a. Business/Commerce including quantitative subjects such as Economics, Finance or Accounting or
b. a Finance-related-area, Mathematical Finance, Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, Environmental Science, Science, Computer Science, Engineering, Physics or Law.

with a minimum 2.1 award at NFQ Level 8 (or international equivalent) in a. or b. above.

Applicants should have demonstrated strong academic ability (a 1.1 or 2.1) in a number of quantitative modules in their degree, such as Mathematics, Statistics, or Econometrics.

Candidates may be asked to sit the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT).

Application dates

How To Apply?
Step 1: Collating Documentation
The first step is to collate the required documentation needed to assess your application. Please ensure that you have clearly scanned, titled and collated your documents in numerical order.

These can include but are not limited to:

Step 2: The Application Process
Once you have collated the required documentation and reviewed the entry requirements for your programme of interest, you can now apply online.

Apply Online
You must apply online using our dedicated student information portal. You will be required to enter contact details, upload your documents and answer two essay questions (each approximately 300 words). We would ask that you seriously consider both essays and answer these in the context of the programme you are applying to. Try to not replicate your CV and demonstrate what makes you different from other applicants. There are no right or wrong ways to complete these essays.

Application Deadlines:
Applications are assessed on a rolling basis and courses will close once they are filled. We advise you to apply as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Please note certain scholarships may require you to apply before a certain date – please refer to our scholarship page. If you have any questions in relation to deadlines or availability please email

Application Fee
You will then be asked to submit your application and pay the €50 application fee. No application can be assessed until the fee has been paid. You can apply for multiple programmes with the one application fee, but please be sure to mark your preferred course.

Application Review
Once submitted, it usually takes 2-3 weeks before a decision is made on fully completed applications. This time period can sometimes be longer and can vary at different times in the year and in different regions. We may offer you a conditional place based on the completion of a number of criteria, such as degree, English test, or another qualification. This reserves you a place on the course and once you have fulfilled this criteria we will issue you a full offer.

Acceptance is completed by paying a non-refundable deposit (varies from either €500 or €1000 depending on the programme. Most of our programmes require a €500 deposit). Your offer email will detail the exact deposit amount required. Once you have accepted you will then be supported by the Programme Office who will contact you with further course and start details.


12 months full-time, 24 months part-time.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: End of August 2024.

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
The MSc in Sustainable Finance (formerly called the MSc in Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance) from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School is highly regarded within the energy and renewables industry. Our graduates go on to occupy positions in both the public and private sectors.

96% of our graduates from this programme were employed after 6 months across a range of industry sectors. Source: Latest Graduate Outcomes Survey, published December 2022.

Potential careers for our graduates include:
ESG Analyst
Project Financing
Energy Trading
Business Development
Commodity Broker/Trader
Planning Officer
Research Analyst
Industrial Engineer
Policy Research

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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