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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.
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.
Applications and Selections
The next intake for this course will be in September 2022.
Please visit our How to Apply page for Application tips and Supporting Documents information.
Who Teaches this Course
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 course. Classes are held one evening per week (Wednesday 6:30 - 9:30).Notice: with the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 coronavirus, we have decided to move classroom-based courses and blended learning seminars to a fully online teaching mode for the academic year 2020/21. The teaching schedule for the 2021/22 academic year will be reviewed over the coming months in line with government restrictions and social distancing guidelines. This decision has been made to ensure the safety of students & staff and our desire to continue to provide upskilling and professional development opportunities for all. If you have any queries regarding the format of online delivery mode, please contact your course administrator for further details.
Entry requirements for part-time students can be found in our FAQs section (i.e. age, english language requirements etc.).
There are no specific entry requirements for the Diploma in Gemmology.
2 years, part-time
Next start date
A Level Grades ()
Mode of study
The course consists of lectures, laboratory demonstrations and practicals including tuition on good practice in the identification of gemstones from the course’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 course 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
Why Choose This Course?
Students of this course find employment in gemmological work (quality control, authentification) and jewellery (retail and design) trades. Students may also find work as valuators for the insurance industry.
Who’s Suited to This Course
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.
Related Student Organisations
Fees: Student levy
Fees: Non EU
A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment. Students must be registered as unemployed and in receipt of one of the following:
- Job-seekers Benefit
- Job-seekers Allowance
- One-parent family allowance
- Disability allowance
- Community Employment Scheme
- Carer’s Allowance
- Signing for social insurance contribution credits
Please download the 2021_22 Fees Scholarship Form for more information.
Find out More
Dr. Alessandra Costanzo
Earth and Ocean Sciences
School of Natural Sciences
Tel: 091 492087
Fax: 091 494533
What Our Students Say
Georgina Callanan | Past Student
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.