(MSc) Biodiversity & Land-Use Planning via blended learning

College of Science
School of Natural Sciences

Course overview

This Master of Science (MSc) course provides you with the crucial skills and knowledge needed to manage biodiversity resources sustainably. The programme’s objectives are:
• To integrate an international perspective and new research
findings into a biodiversity and land use approach
• To provide research-led opportunities that will help find
solutions for conservation and planning conflicts
• To develop expertise within local authority and public/private
sector staff so they can meet international

Key facts

Entry requirements

The programme is open to individuals who have obtained a Level 8 primary degree or its equivalent in an appropriate discipline. Students who do not have an academic background but have relevant experience may also apply.

Duration: 2 years, part-time

Next start date: September 2016

ECTS weighting: 90

Average intake: 15

Closing date: Please refer to the review/closing date website.

Mode of study: Blended learning

Course outline

This part-time course extends over 24 months and runs in two-year cycles continuously from September through to the end of August of the second year. The modular course is devoted to scientific and policy coursework delivered in a blended learning format, comprising a mixture of face-to-face contact (approximately 12–15 hours per module) in addition to private study combined with online support. Students are expected to carry out both individual and group projects and to prepare written reports and oral presentations on relevant subjects.

The programme has been jointly developed with Galway County Council. It is designed to enhance the skills of local authority and
private consultancy staff and to help to ensure compliance with the Habitats Directive’s requirements. The programme assists in meeting such legal obligations as Strategic Environmental Assessments, Environmental Impact Assessments, and Appropriate Assessments.

Applications and selections

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

Who teaches this course?

Dr Caitriona Carlin PhD
Dr Eve Daly PhD
Professor Martin Feely PhD
Dr Mike Gormally PhD
Dr Ronan Hennessy, PhD 
Mr Tiernan Henry MSc
Dr Gesche Kindermann PhD
Ms Elaine O’ Riordan MSc
Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington PhD

Requirements and assessment

Continuous assessment, written exams and a research project thesis.

Find out more

Dr Gesche Kindermann
Course co-ordinator
T: +353 91 493 863 | E: gesche.kindermann@nuigalway.ie

PAC code


Fees for this course

EU (Total): €6,815 p.a. 2015/16
 - Tuition: €6,591 p.a. 2015/16
 - Student levy: €224 p.a. 2015/16
Non-EU (Total): €13,750 p.a. 2015/16



Industry profile

Martina Moloney

County Manager, Galway County Council

"Galway County Council has worked with NUI Galway on the development of this part-time MSc Programme. It is designed to meet an identified training need. Through a blend of applied learning approaches, it will enhance the skills of existing Local Authority staff and help ensure compliance with the requirements of the Habitats Directive in a professional and cost effective manner. It will assist with meeting legal obligations such as Strategic Environmental Assessment, Scoping and Appropriate Assessments."


Ronan Hennessy

Executive Planner, Dublin City Council

"Having completed the course I am now confident in undertaking a rigorous examination of the environmental and ecological aspects of development proposals and am familiar with the legislative requirements for the protection of biodiversity and the wider environment. I would recommend this course to anyone with an interest in sustainable development and the planning process and consider it to be a valuable and key resource in my professional work."

Oonagh Duggan

Policy Officer, Birdwatch Ireland

"I did the MSc Biodiverisity and Land Use Planning at NUIG in 2011-3013. I had been looking for a course which was based on solid teaching in ecology but which also offered practical training in the various assessment tools (EIA, AA, SEA) and the MSc BLUP met these criteria and more. The course of study, assessment and examination is rigorous and requires commitment but the course content is so interesting, the field trips are great and the interaction with other class participants make for a very rewarding learning experience. I found the quality of teaching, the variety of assessment methods and the course organisation to be of a very high standard. This course gave me the foundation in environmental science that I needed to further my career in the environmental field."

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