This United Nations (UN) Environment affiliated postgraduate diploma will provide existing or future water professionals with the necessary knowledge to design and implement freshwater quality monitoring and assessment programmes. The programme is offered in a part-time, online format that facilitates study in your own time. It will be useful to staff in higher level education institutes who wish to gain a specialised postgraduate qualification in surface and groundwater monitoring, quality assurance and control, and data analysis and presentation. Rivers, lakes and groundwaters are covered in detail and there is an option to study biological and ecological methods, the use of particulate material in monitoring and to take part in a field workshop either abroad or in Ireland during the second year of the programme.
On successful completion of this course, students will be able to describe the steps involved in designing a monitoring programme and the different factors that must be considered in each step of the design. They should also be able to identify appropriate monitoring approaches in relation to specific monitoring objectives, select suitable methods for use in the field and laboratory and describe the advantages and disadvantages of those methods. Experience will be gained in analysing monitoring data using a range of graphical, statistical and GIS-based approaches and in writing water quality assessment reports suitable for technical and non-technical audiences. Students will also prepare a quality assurance plan for a selected monitoring programme.