Course Overview

This course is for students with an interest in the environment who want to influence how natural resources will be used in the future. During the course students acquire analytical skills to address major environmental challenges such as sustainable development of natural resources, environmental governance or climate change.

Within this innovative programme students achieve rigorous training in economics applied to natural resources and they can focus on their specific interests by choosing one optional module in semester 2.

Students can specialise in the fields of Environmental Economics, Marine Economics, Renewable Energy Economics and Agricultural Economics.





Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who Teaches this Course

The programme is taught by a team of highly-respected lecturers and researchers in the area of Natural Resource Economics, with particular expertise in the fields of Environmental Economics, Marine Economics, Renewable Energy Economics and Agricultural Economics.

In addition, a number of industry experts from Teagasc, the Marine Institute, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) are actively involved in the programme by delivering seminars and supervising projects.

The combination of theory and industry involvement equips students with important skills for future employment.

Requirements and Assessment

Semester One: December. Semester Two: May. Exams and assignments are completed within each module. Students submit the dissertation before a date in the summer determined by the Programme Board.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Students admitted to the course will normally hold a primary degree with Second Class Honours Grade 1 or equivalent, which will have included the study of economics to intermediate level. Students who hold a Higher Diploma in Economics with Second Class Honours Grade 1, or equivalent, may also apply.

Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time

Next start date

September 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

25 (20 E.U.; 5 non-E.U.)

Closing Date

Please refer to the offer rounds/closing date webpage.

Next start date

September 2018

NFQ level

Mode of study


ECTS weighting



PAC code


Course Outline


Semester 1


  • Microeconomic Theory
  • Natural Resource Governance
  • Data Management and Survey Techniques Econometrics

Semester 2


  • Public Sector Economics
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis and Evaluation
  • Economic Modelling


Options to Specialise in Renewable Energy Economics and Policy Marine Economics and Policy Agriculture Economics and Policy

A number of internships in environmental, agricultural, energy or marine research institutes and/or development agencies, will also be offered. These will be competitive placements, which will allow the student to apply the skills learned on the programme in a real-world environment.


Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

There are opportunities in environmental economics, development economics and agricultural economics, and graduates have gone on to do PhDs or have found employment in government departments, international environmental and development agencies, in land and coastal area-management, and in renewable energy sectors.

"The natural resource sectors have proven to be quite resilient in the downturn with the Agriculture sector regaining all lost output that occurred at the time by 2011. Both the Agri-Food and the Marine sectors have in recent times have prepared extensive development strategies as part of the Food Harvest 2020 and the Ocean Wealth strategies.
As a sector it differs from other sectors given both the dependence upon natural resources and degree to which outcomes within the sectors depend upon regulation. Given the disciplines historic strengths in environmental economics and public economics, a focus on the economics of the natural resource sectors seems a natural fit."

-Prof. Cathal O’Donoghue, Head, Rural Economy and Development Programme, Teagasc

"The Marine Institute would like to express its support for the new Masters being proposed ...... The marine sector in Ireland has received increased attention in recent years.  Its development as an economically active, commercially viable, environmentally and socially sustainable sector is in keeping with some of the most important European and Irish economic, social and environment policies."

-Caroline Bocquel, Director Corporate Services, Marine Institute

NREP Annual Fieldtrip

The seagoing training for the M. Econ Sc. Natural Resource Economics and Policy programme is held in Cork, Ireland each year on board the RV Celtic Voyager. This training is collaboration between the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training and the Social and Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) at NUIG. This is a unique opportunity for students of natural resource economics to experience the multidisciplinary scientific research methods used to survey the marine environment through the core disciplines of oceanography, fisheries biology, benthic ecology and geosciences.

The sea going field trip focuses specifically on economic activities taking place in Cork Harbour and a hands-on examination of the methods by which marine scientists collect data that can be used by economists for modelling and analysing the impacts of economic activities on the marine environment. This data used include wave, swell and weather readings from an offshore marine monitoring platform, acoustic mapping of the seabed, the variety and size of commercial fish species in Cork Harbour and its approaches and data on pollutants in water column and seabed. On completing the trip the students complete an assignment as part of their Cost Benefit Analysis module where they are invited to respond to a request for proposal (RFP), issued by Providence Resources Ltd, to scope out a CBA for a proposed pipeline from a newly developed oil and gas field south of Cork Harbour. The case study CBA is intended to provide information that will allow for the economic assessment component of a final Project Impact Statement (IS).

Work Placement

The three month internships that form part of the 12-month programme also allows students to apply the skills learned during the course in a real-world environment.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

The three month internships that form part of the 12 month programme also allows students to apply the skills learned during the course in a real-world environment.  Host organisations have inlcuded the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,200 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Tuition

€5,976 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

€14,250 p.a. 2018/19
Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.

Find out More

Dr Thomas van Rensburg
T: +353 91 493 858

What Our Graduates Say


Nalumu Elizabeth Eleiton |   SEMRU

The MSc in Natural Resource Economics and Policy at NUIG is an excellent choice for students with an interest in environmental economics and I highly recommend it for international students.The course was very practical and included a field trip aboard the RV Celtic Voyager aimed at enhancing knowledge and appreciation of marine science that is also incorporated into marine policy formulation.

Noreen Brennan |   PhD Researcher at NUI Galway

I found the MEconSc in Natural Resource Economics and Policy to be a thorough, well organised course which covered a range of issues such as resource sustainability, renewable energy and marine resource economics. The courses were interesting and topical and also provided students with lectures from various industry experts and research field leaders throughout the year. The work placement was a fantastic experience, allowing me to work with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. This, as well as the course work and research conducted through my dissertation enabled me to pursue a PhD in environmental economics.

Gavin Landgraf |   Second Lieutenant - US Marine Corps

In 2015, the US-Ireland Alliance offered me a George J. Mitchell Scholarship to study for a year in Ireland. As a student of economics, I chose NUIG for my studies specifically because of its M.Sc. in Natural Resource Economics and Policy. NUIG’s program stood out among other postgraduate economics programs because of its particular focus on environmental and natural resource economics. The course is remarkably strong in its quantitative training. In the fall, students complete rigorous modules in econometrics and statistics, learning skills which they are then required to put into practice in the spring. I found it easy to develop strong working relationships with my lecturers, one of whom arranged a summer placement for me at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Dublin. At ESRI, I am working on a project with one of Ireland’s top environmental economists to value two salmon fisheries on the West Coast. My dissertation, which is based on the project, will be presented to a government client and published in an academic journal.

Ed Knapp |   PhD Researcher at NUI Galway

I truly enjoyed my year in the Natural Resource Economics Programme at NUI Galway. I had the opportunity to work closely with instructors from the University and external research centres, gain student teaching experience and work in paid research placements. After completing this programme I was offered a position with a Galway consulting firm, but ultimately chose to begin a PhD fellowship in Galway. Other students in our class have gone on to positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Public expenditure and Reform. I strongly recommend Galway to prospective students. NUI Galway is a particularly welcoming and valuable experience for international students like myself.

Mohit Agrawal |   ‎Ph.D. Candidate in Economics, Yale University

As a Master’s student in Economics, I was impressed by NUI Galway’s students, faculty, and facilities. The program size was small, allowing me to learn from and become friends with my fellow students in a collegial atmosphere. The faculty were fully dedicated to students, easy to talk to, and well-versed in their fields. Meanwhile, the facilities at NUI Galway were top-notch, with great computer labs, libraries, and social spaces. Lastly, I enjoyed living in Galway, with its historic city center and scenic seaside promenade; Galway was a perfect launching pad for trips across Ireland and Europe. During my time in Galway, I gained a unique understanding of economic policy in the context of Ireland and the Eurozone. I strongly encourage international students to consider study at NUI Galway.