Choosing a course is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make! View our courses and see what our students and lecturers have to say about the courses you are interested in at the links below.
Each year more than 4,000 choose NUI Galway as their University of choice. Find out what life at NUI Galway is all about here.
About NUI Galway
About NUI Galway
Since 1845, NUI Galway has been sharing the highest quality teaching and research with Ireland and the world. Find out what makes our University so special – from our distinguished history to the latest news and campus developments.
Colleges & Schools
Colleges & Schools
NUI Galway has earned international recognition as a research-led university with a commitment to top quality teaching across a rang of key areas of expertise.
Business & Industry
Guiding Breakthrough Research at NUI Galway
We explore and facilitate commercial opportunities for the research community at NUI Galway, as well as facilitating industry partnership.
- Alumni, Friends & Supporters
At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
Diploma in Gemmology
College of Science
This Diploma in Scientific Studies (Gemmology) provides an introduction to the science of gemmology for people with a general interest in gemstones, as well as for those working in the jewellery and related trades. The programme aims to provide the student with a broad introduction to the study of gemstones. It teaches a range of laboratory–based techniques used to identify gemstones and provides the student with hands-on experience in identification protocols using a comprehensive collection of gemstones. The programme also includes studies of typical geological settings of gemstones during lectures and field trips to Connemara.
Who is this course intended for?
The course is open to everyone and is designed for those with no previous training in gemmology. It is suitable as an introductory course for people with a general interest in gemstones, as well as for those working in the jewellery and related trades.
There are no specific entry requirements for the Diploma in Gemmology. Candidates who are 21 years or over on or before January 1st of year of entry may gain entry to the programme on the basis of mature years. Candidates under 21 years should meet the minimum matriculation requirements as outlined in the Frequently Asked Questions section.
2 years, part-time
Next start date: September 2013
ECTS weighting: 30
Average intake: Unlimited
Closing date: Please contact the Programme Co-ordinator.
NFQ level: 7
The programme consists of lectures, laboratory demonstrations and practicals including tuition on good practice in the identification of gemstones from the programme’s teaching collection which comprises in excess of 200 cut stones. The programme also focuses on the examination of these gemstones using a range of laboratory instruments including binocular microscope, refractometer, spectroscope, polariscope and conoscope.
The programme includes the following topics:
- The Dynamic Earth
- Earth History
- Earth Materials
- The Formation and Geological Settings of Gemstones
- Global Distribution of Gemstones
- The Crystallography and Mineralogy of Gemstones
- The Optical Properties of Crystals Gemstone
- Properties and Instrumentation
- Recording Gemstone Properties/Identification
- Fashioning of Gemstones
- Synthetic Gemstones (Enhancements and Imitations)
- Systematic Recording of the Physical and Optical
- Properties of Gemstones
There are also two, one day field trips to Connemara to study crystals and minerals in their natural settings
Applications and selections
Requirements and assessment
All modules in the Diploma are individually assessed. Assessment is by examination (written and practical) at the end of each semester and by continuous assessment.
This is a two-year, part-time programme. Classes are held one evening per week (Wednesdays).
Find out more
For as long as I can remember I have had an interest in gemstones. This fascinating course takes you through the geological formation of gemstones, identifying gemstone properties and most of all, hands on practical experience with gemmological equipment and specimens. This course helped me get back to learning something exciting and new and made learning fun again. It impressed me so much that I am currently pursuing a career in gemmology. Most of all, what made the course experience all the more worthwhile was the care and dedication shown by the course lecturers ensuring that everyone was learning together and that the course was enjoyable for all.