Course Overview

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

Applications are now closed for 2021. Applications for part-time courses will reopen in April 2022.

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Applications System. This course is listed under Adult Learning & CPD Courses Application.

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).




Key Facts

Entry Requirements

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.


Additional Requirements


2 years, part-time

Next start date


A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date


NFQ level


Mode of study

Blended Learning

ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline

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
  • Protocols
  • 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?

Career Opportunities

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.

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€979 p.a.

Fees: Tuition

€944 p.a.

Fees: Student levy

€35 p.a.

Fees: Non EU

€1,479 p.a.

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
NUI Galway
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.


  • Adult Learning Prospectus

    Adult Learning Prospectus PDF (3.4 MB)

  • Short Courses Series 2021

    Short Courses Series 2021 PDF (4.9 MB)

  • Postgraduate Prospectus 2021

    Postgraduate Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)