This one year MSc programme is distinctive in several important ways. While we recognise the major environmental and sustainability challenges facing us, the main focus is not on the challenges themselves, which are well known, but rather on actions we can take to reduce the threats and enhance our resilience. Students come from a wide variety of countries and disciplines but share a common interest in a desire to learn what has been done, and what might be done, to address these challenges. All the modules are taught by active researchers and experiences practitioners. The first semester provided by National University Ireland Galway has a focus on rural landscapes, and focuses on practical methods to meet challenges in managing land and habitats to maintain essential ecosystem services and biodiversity. The second semester offered by University of Limerick focuses on urban areas, sustainable transport, industrial waste management and quantitative methods of assessing sustainability. In the third semester students have the opportunity to select a research topic which is based in either campus. On completion graduates receive a parchment jointly awarded by both universities. Graduates find relevant and interesting employment in many arenas, including conservation, business and industry, local authorities and consultancy companies.
This novel course is a multidisciplinary approach to environmental sustainability devised by UL and NUIG to respond to the continuing interest among students in an environmental/resource management taught MSc., and to market demands for graduates with more applied knowledge of the environmental sector. Strongly research led, it is unique in that it combines the expertise of both institutions in relation to urban form and function and landscape evaluation and management for conservation in a jointly awarded MSc postgraduate degree.
The 12-month long course comprises new modules taught only at postgraduate level and aims to provide participants with the skills, knowledge and experience that are needed to pursue successful careers in managing environmental resources sustainably. The course will help develop government policy and economic recovery by producing top quality graduates who can contribute to a smart economy and hasten implementation of green technologies. Given the pressure on and competition for limited resources, the course applies an evidence based approach to developing solutions for all system users. Graduates will become technically fluent in selected environmental science theory, policy development, implementation and best practice.
Students who undertake this course will:
•develop a technical and scientific understanding of sustainability issues and problems associated with management of resource use and management in relation to (a) urban form and function and (b) landscape evaluation and management for conservation.
•comprehend a range of policy responses in relation to enhancement of sustainability in Irish urban and rural settings, and selected international case studies.
•synthesise an understanding of the complexity of both natural and socio-economic-natural systems, together with an understanding of existing and innovatory sustainability policy options, to develop a competency in identifying and evaluating optimal policy options.