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Environmental Policy

MSc Environmental Policy
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)
This one year Masters is designed to equip students with essential knowledge about environmental sustainability, and policy and governance frameworks for environmental action, while also developing key professional tools to enable graduates to apply new skills creatively in their future careers. 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.

During the one year degree you will have the opportunity to study both core and specialised modules in environmental policy. Teaching is focused on areas and skills within environmental policy-making, such as:

Environmental Economics
Climate Policy
Energy Transitions
Urban Risk and Resilience
Policy Design and Analysis
European Environmental Policy and Politics
Research Methods Training.

You also have the opportunity to choose specialist option modules from a broad, interdisciplinary range.

Students also undertake an integrated group project (Professional Tools for Sustainable Development) to provide practice-based insights into environmental policy-making. Finally, you will have the opportunity to further enhance your specialist interests during the completion of a thesis in the third semester.

Who should apply?
Full Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

As the MSc provides both introductory and specialised modules in Environmental Policy, we welcome applications from students with a background in a diverse range of academic subjects including social sciences and arts, environmental sciences, law and business studies, engineering, humanities and cultural/media studies.

Vision and Values Statement
The environment poses some of the most complex and pressing challenges facing societies, policy-makers and planners 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 by including modules on 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).

Programme outcomes:
On successful completion of the programme students should be able to: Appreciate environmental policy research, develop skills as autonomous researchers, and recognize the value of research as an input into improved policy making and policy implementation.
Understand how environmental policy is operationalised within the wider political, institutional and legal frameworks, and understand the social, economic and political context that informs approaches to achieve sustainable development.
Apply their professional knowledge using tools and transferable skills to generate integrated and evidence-based responses to environmental challenges, including climate change, to achieve a more resilient and sustainable future.
Demonstrate effective research, policy analysis tools and evaluation skills and the ability to develop evidence-based policy proposals.
Communicate effectively verbally, graphically and through written documents and to communicate concepts, knowledge and conclusions to peers, specialist and non-specialist audiences within an interdisciplinary environment.
Work effectively both on their own and as part of a team in an interdisciplinary context.
Understand the challenges and responsibilities of assessing tradeoffs in their response to environmental challenges and be open to critically assessing, debating and reflecting on these, and acting in the interests of the common good.
Acknowledge the spatial consequences of policy approaches, and recognize the importance of fairness in environmental policy processes and outcomes.

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.


1 year full-time.

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

Careers & Employability
The MSc in Environmental Policy is designed to provide you with key knowledge, skills and professional tools to work in environment-related careers. These employment areas include:

Policymaking and Public Sector
Policy and Environmental Consultancy
Management (e.g. corporate environmental responsibility)
Media and Communications
Research and Teaching
Environmental NGOs and Lobby Groups
Environmental Regulatory Bodies

Further enquiries

Contact Name: Katie O'Neill
Contact Number: +353 (0)1 716 1781

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Core
European Environmental Policy

Tools for Sust Development

Environmental Risk and Behaviour

Research for Environmental Policy

Environmental Economics & Climate Policy

Env Politics & Energy Transitions

Environmental Assessment

Geographical Information Systems for Policy and Planning

Governing Nature

Stage 1 - Option
Environmental Policy Thesis

Internship - Research Project


A structured combination of foundation and specialised modules, practice-based learning and independent research

An opportunity to tailor your studies to your specialist interests

A focus on developing key professional skills, knowledge and tools

The School has an established international track record as a leading research centre in environmental policy

An interdisciplinary learning environment

Application date

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:
MSc Environmental Policy FT (W269)
1 Years

Full Time

Rolling *

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

Course fee

MSc Environmental Policy (W269) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 7640
nonEU fee per year - € 19200

MSc Environmental Policy (W271) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 8705
nonEU fee per year - € 24800

***Fees are subject to change

Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see

The College of Engineering & Architecture also offer scholarships for non-EU students, for more information see:

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 2019/2020 September

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