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 biodiversity and conservation obligations

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 in addition to private study combined with online support.

Aimed at individuals employed in the conservation, planning and engineering sectors, this course has been re-developed to meet the needs of working graduates who wish to upskill or change careers. Provision of flexible learning opportunities is a key aim of this programme and the course is now open to students wishing to join the programme at any time during the academic year. To do this, prospective students register and pay for individual modules in a ‘select and pay-as-you-go’ fashion. Credits for modules taken may be accumulated over a period of up to six years.

Applications and Selections

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

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Continuous assessment, written exams and a research project thesis.

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.

Additional Requirements

Duration

2 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

15

Closing Date

Please refer to the review/closing date website.

Next start date

September 2018

NFQ level

Mode of study

Blended learning

ECTS weighting

90

Award

CAO

PAC code

GYS26

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 authorityand 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.

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Modules for 2017-18

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

Credits
You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
Optional
A module you may choose to study.
Required
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Semester
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (30 Credits)

Required EV528: Habitat Creation, Management and Restoration


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This module outlines habitat management, the differences are between habitat management, creation and restoration; why and when each is necessary. It assesses philosophical and ethical approaches to habitat management, creation and restoration. Principles of habitat management are summarised in relation to the objectives of common management techniques, with special reference to management for a number of different taxa. Students will assess the effectiveness of measures to create, manage and restore specific grasslands, wetlands, woodlands, aquatic and coastal habitats.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Differentiate between habitat management and habitat restoration strategies for a range of habitats
  2. Assess the effectiveness of habitat management strategies for different habitat types
  3. Develop habitat management guidelines
  4. Identify and evaluate best practice habitat restoration strategies
  5. Critique habitat creation strategies to compensate for habitat lost to development or to develop linkages as part of a climate change adaptation measure
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Habitat Management for Conservation. A Handbook of Techniques. Techniques in Ecology and Conservation Series." by Ausden, M.
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
  2. "Overview of methods to create and enhance farmland habitats in Ireland. Research report for Research Stimulus Report." by Carlin, C., Finn, J.A., O’hUallachain, D. and Gormally, M.
    Publisher: NUIG and Teagasc
  3. "Managing habitats for conservation." by Sutherland, W. & Hill, D.
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.
  4. "Guidelines for Management Planning of Protected Areas." by Thomas, L. & Middleton, J.
    Publisher: IUCN Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.
The above information outlines module EV528: "Habitat Creation, Management and Restoration" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required EV514: Ecological Survey Techniques


Semester 1 and Spring | Credits: 5

The course objective is to introduce students to a variety of techniques used for ecological field surveys. Methodologies include frame and pin vegetation quadrats, animal surveys using small mammal traps and freshwater surveys with reference to macroinvertebrate sampling and associated physical parameters. Data from field exercises are analysed and discussed in class with the objective of encouraging students to critically appraise data with reference to methodological limitations.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Design and execute appropriate ecological sampling design for both vegetation and animal communities
  2. Identify appropriate environmental variables and employ relevant techniques in collecting such data
  3. Plan monitoring programmes and assess both the effectiveness and the importance of the monitored site
  4. Analyse data gathered and critically assess the analyses of others
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Ireland" by Cabot, D.
    Publisher: New Naturalist Library
  2. "The wild flowers of Ireland." by Doogue, D & Krieger, C
    Publisher: Gill & Macmillan.
  3. "An Irish Beast Book." by Fairley, J S
    Publisher: The Blackstaff Press.
  4. "The natural history of Ulster." by Faulkner, J & Thompson, R.
    Publisher: National Museums Northern Ireland.
  5. "Offaly's wildflowers." by Feehan, J.
    Publisher: Offaly County Council.
  6. "Exploring Irish Mammals." by Hayden, T, Harrington, R & Clarke, B.
    Publisher: Town House Press.
  7. "Galway’s living landscapes: Part 1 Eskers." by Hennessy, R., Feely, M., Cunniffe, C. & Carlin, C.
    Publisher: Galway County Council.
  8. "Wetlands of Ireland: Distribution, Ecology, Uses and Economic Value." by Otte, M. L.
    Publisher: University College Dublin Press
  9. "Flora Hibernica." by Pilcher, J. & Hall, V.
    Publisher: Collins Press
  10. "Ireland. Smithsonian Natural History Series." by Viney, M.
    Publisher: Smithsonian Books.
The above information outlines module EV514: "Ecological Survey Techniques" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required EV527: Habitat Identification & Assessment


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This module explores what a habitat is and the factors that influence habitat assessments. Specific reference will be made to habitat requirements, attributes and properties, monitoring issues (such as establishing a baseline, recruitment and mortality) and conservation evaluation criteria etc. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the connections between these requirements with a view to producing an overall habitat assessment procedure. Fossitt's Guide to Habitats in Ireland (2000) will be used to identify and assess habitats.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Differentiate between different habitats and associated parameters
  2. Explain the interrelation between different parameters that comprise a habitat
  3. Assess and recommend appropriate survey methods
  4. Survey a range of habitat types using appropriate survey techniques
  5. Consider potential habitat attributes and properties which can be used to undertake an assessment of the condition of the habitat
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Assessment and reporting under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive – Explanatory notes & guidelines for the period 2007 –2012." by Evans, D. & Arvela, M.
    Publisher: European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity.
  2. "A Guide to habitats in Ireland." by Fossitt, J.
    Publisher: Heritage Council. Ireland.
  3. "Handbook of biodiversity methods: survey" by Hill, D., Fasham, M., Tucker, G., Shewry, M. & Shaw, P.
  4. "Best practice guidance for habitat survey and mapping." by Smith, G.F., O’Donoghue, P., O’Hara, K. &Delaney, E.
    Publisher: The Heritage Council.
  5. "Ecological Census Techniques: A Handbook" by Sutherland, W.J. (Editor)
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
The above information outlines module EV527: "Habitat Identification & Assessment" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required EV508: Introduction to Flora & Fauna of Ireland


Semester 1 and Spring | Credits: 5

This module is an introduction to the skills required to identify Irish plant and animal communities with special reference to legally protected species. The biogeography, life-cycles, distribution and ecology of a number of significant flora and fauna are assessed in addition to which their conservation status will be discussed in relation to ecological requirements. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the connections between their requirements and their conservation status.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify key elements of the flora and fauna of Ireland
  2. Appraise a number of locations to observe/describe the flora and fauna
  3. Distinguish between structure and morphology in relation to their ecology (e.g. plant architecture and pollination)
  4. Assess the life history and longevity of the species in relation to factors affecting various stages of the life cycle.
  5. Relate the flora and fauna observed to a range of features which provide a mosaic of habitats .
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Ireland" by Cabot, D.
    Publisher: New Naturalist Library
  2. "The wild flowers of Ireland." by Doogue, D & Krieger, C
    Publisher: Gill & Macmillan.
  3. "An Irish Beast Book." by Fairley, J S
    Publisher: The Blackstaff Press.
  4. "The natural history of Ulster." by Faulkner, J & Thompson, R.
    Publisher: National Museums Northern Ireland.
  5. "Offaly's wildflowers." by Feehan, J.
    Publisher: Offaly County Council.
  6. "Exploring Irish Mammals" by Hayden, T, Harrington, R & Clarke, B
    Publisher: Town House Press
  7. "Galway’s living landscapes: Part 1 Eskers." by Hennessy, R., Feely, M., Cunniffe, C. & Carlin, C.
    Publisher: Galway County Council.
  8. "Wetlands of Ireland: Distribution, Ecology, Uses and Economic Value" by Otte, M. L.
    Publisher: University College Dublin Press
  9. "Flora Hibernica" by Pilcher, J. & Hall, V.
    Publisher: Collins Press
  10. "Ireland. Smithsonian Natural History Series." by Viney, M.
    Publisher: Smithsonian Books
The above information outlines module EV508: "Introduction to Flora & Fauna of Ireland" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required EV515: Biodiversity Legislation & Policy


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This module explores how conservation legislation and biodiversity policy can be linked into day to day planning work at a strategic and local level. Emphasis is placed on understanding the connections between national biodiversity actions, species action plans and local biodiversity action plans.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Apply a range of measures to meet policy drivers and legal obligations in day-to-day work
  2. Interrelate different articles that comprise the Habitats Directive with measures to conserve the wider countryside and climate change adaptation strategies
  3. Critique the success of species action plans and conservation strategies to contribute to favourable conservation status
  4. Assess the effectiveness of site designation to benefit conservation
  5. Evaluate European Court Judgements issued throughout Europe including Ireland for failure to transpose the terms of the Habitats Directive
  6. Apply all the learning outcomes above to benefit biodiversity at national and local levels
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Nature and Biodiversity cases: Ruling of the European Court of Justice" by European Communities
  2. "Biodiversity in the Coastal Zone: Status and Governance: A Report for the Working and Educating for Biodiversity (WEB) Group" by Flannery, W, Kindermann, G, Lynch, K & Potito, A
  3. "Guidance on the maintenance of landscape features of major importance for wild flora and fauna – Guidance on the implementation of Article 3 of the Birds Directive" by Kettunen, M., Terry, A., Tucker, G. & Jones, A.
  4. "How effective are European agri-environment schemes in conserving and promoting biodiversity?’ Journal of applied ecology, 40(6)" by Kleijn, D. & Sutherland, W.
  5. "‘Does conservation on farmland contribute to halting the biodiversity decline?’ Trends in ecology & evolution, 26(9)" by Kleijn D., Rundlöf M., Scheper, J., Smith, H.G. & Tscharntke, T.
  6. "‘Bringing politics back in’. Domestic conflict and the negotiated implementation of EU nature conservation legislation in Ireland. Journal of environmental policy & planning" by Laffan, B. & O' Mahony, J.
  7. "Development and design of locally targeted HNV programmes in Ireland - The Aran Islands Case Study, pp. 74-75. In “Conserving Farmland Biodiversity – Lessons learned and future prospects. Teagasc" by McGurn, P. & Moran, J.
  8. "The status of EU protected habitats and species. Backing documents, maps, Article 17 forms. Volumes 1-3. National Parks and Wildlife Service. Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local" by NPWS
  9. "‘The ecological status of grasslands on lowland farmlands in western Ireland and implications for grassland classification and nature value assessment’, Biological" by Sullivan, C., Sheehy-Skeffington, M., Gormally, M. & Finn, J.
The above information outlines module EV515: "Biodiversity Legislation & Policy" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required EV507: Ecosystem Science


Semester 1 and Spring | Credits: 5

This module explores how the ecosystem can be assessed from a number of different perspectives including; i.e. geology, hydrology, soils, biodiversity, etc. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the connections between these parameters with a view to producing an overall integrated ecosystem assessment procedure.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Recognise the influence of abiotic factors such as geology and hydrology on the ecology of the ecosystem
  2. Interrelate different parameters that comprise an ecosystem
  3. Differentiate between a number of different ecosystem types
  4. Examine ecosystem function and apprise ecosystem services provided
  5. Identify and assess main landscape features
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Environmental science – Earth as a living planet" by Botkin, D.B. & Keller, E.A.
  2. "Ireland. New Naturalist Library." by Cabot, D.
  3. "Ecological concepts, pp. 43-78. British Ecological Society" by Cherrett, J.M.
    Publisher: Blackwell Scientific Publishing
  4. "Linking Geology and Biodiversity" by English Nature
  5. "Principles and methods in landscape ecology" by Farina, A
  6. "Land mosaics – The ecology of landscapes and regions." by Forman, T. R.T
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  7. "The making of the Irish landscape since the ice age" by Hall, V.
    Publisher: Collins Press.
  8. "Collins Press." by Holland, C.H. & Sanders, I.S.
    Publisher: Edinburgh: Dunedin Press.
  9. "Millennium ecosystem assessment" by n/a
    Publisher: Island Press
  10. "Ecology: The experimental analysis of distribution and abundance." by Krebs, C.J.
    Publisher: Pearson Education.
  11. "Measuring biological diversity." by Magurran, A. E.
    Publisher: Blackwell Publishing.
The above information outlines module EV507: "Ecosystem Science" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Year 2 (60 Credits)

Required EV535: Research Project


12 months long | Credits: 30

This module is undertaken by the student throughout the first and second year, with assessment taking place in the second year. The student carries out an individual piece of scientific work. The student will write up the research according to the requirements of an appropriate journal

Learning Outcomes
  1. Construct a well-thought through scientific project idea
  2. Apply appropriate methodologies and research skills
  3. Develop expertise in experimental design and planning
  4. Acquire good practice in data recording
  5. Become skilled at suitable scientific data analyses: be able to evaluate, examine and understand research data
  6. Synthesise current thinking and apply it appropriately
  7. Write a scientific paper based on research according to the guidelines of an appropriate journal
  8. Present oral and written scientific work
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module EV535: "Research Project" and is valid from 2015 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required EV5101: Water Framework Directive (WFD)


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This module explores the linkages between the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and conserving biodiversity. It outlines how different EU countries have defined targets such as "good ecological status". Case studies illustrate that increases in the resilience of biodiversity in aquatic ecosystems can be achieved by balancing sustainable water use with the long-term protection of available resources, while recognising limitations to the legislation. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the WFD and connections with other plans and programmes.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Summarise and compare the components of the Water Framework Directive
  2. Determine the ecological requirements of water-dependent habitats and species designated under the Habitats Directive
  3. Identify and critique the limitations of the Water Framework Directive
  4. Review a range of monitoring programmes devised to meet the obligations of the Water Framework Directive
  5. Identify and assess linkages with other nature conservation obligations
  6. Evaluate the effectiveness of the Water Framework Directive
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "The implications of the EU Water Framework Directive for plans, plan making and development control." by Brooke, J. & Cork, M.
    Publisher: Department for Communities and Local Government
  2. "Introduction to the new EU Water Framework Directive" by European Commission
  3. "CIS Guidance Document No. 11: Planning Process," by European Commission
    Publisher: EC
  4. "Water Framework Directive Monitoring Programme." by Environmental Protection Agency
    Publisher: EPA
  5. "River Basin Management Planning - A practical Guide for Public Authorities," by Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
    Publisher: DEHLG
  6. "Classifying ecological status under the European Water Framework Directive: the need for monitoring to account for natural variability. Aquatic Conservation:Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems" by Irvine, K.
    Chapters: 14: pp. 107–112
  7. "Using historical data, expert judgement and multivariate analysis in assessing reference conditions and benthic ecological status,according to the European Water Framework Directive." by Muxika, I., Borja, A., Bald, J.
    Chapters: Marine Pollution Bulletin Volume 55; Issues 1-6: pp. 16-29
The above information outlines module EV5101: "Water Framework Directive (WFD)" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required EV534: Invasive Species & Biodiversity


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This module explores how the local biodiversity can be impacted by a range of invasive species. In particular, this module focuses on the impacts of invasive species on native biodiversity and on the role of humans as vectors of invasive species and minimising the impacts of invasive species. In addition, it outlines the role of planning authorities in supporting resilient ecosystems through invasive species eradication or control programmes. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how invasive species become established and will look at case studies highlighting current thinking on control or eradication measures.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Apply legislative obligations and implement policy measures against invasive species
  2. Identify a number of invasive plants and animals, and determine the role of humans in different mechanisms of dispersal/spread and colonisation
  3. Assess impacts of invasive species on a range of habitat types
  4. Evaluate eradication and biosecurity strategies in terms of cost-effectiveness, time, efficacy, local community participation and implementation
  5. Prepare, produce and implement control and eradication guidelines
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Alien invasive species in Irish water bodies. pp 61-69. EPA (2007-W-MS-2-S1) STRIVE End of Project Report" by Maguire, C., Gallagher, K., Christine Maggs, C., Dick, J., Caffrey, J. O’Flynn, C., Fitzpatrick, U., Kelly, J. & Harrod, C.
  2. "The ecology, distribution and invasiveness of Gunnera L. species in Connemara, western Ireland. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 111B. 3" by Sheehy Skeffington, M. and Hall, K.
  3. "Invasive species in Ireland. Unpublished report to Environment & Heritage Service and National Parks & Wildlife Service." by Stokes, K., O'Neill, K. & McDonald, R.A.
    Publisher: Quercus, Queens University Belfast,
  4. "Ecophysical traits of invasive and non-invasive introduced Impatiens species." by Ugoletti, P., Stout, J.C. and Jones, M.B.
    Publisher: Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 111B. pp1-14
The above information outlines module EV534: "Invasive Species & Biodiversity" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required EV529: Environmental Impact Assessment


Semester 1 and Spring | Credits: 5

This module introduces Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) with regard to European and Irish legislation. It covers the principles of environmental assessment theory and survey methods. This module focuses on the theory and methods of environmental assessment and the decision-making contexts in which these are employed. It explains the procedural stages of, and selected methodologies for, environmental assessment and provides practical experience in applying them. A critical review of the quality of Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) in Ireland is undertaken and recent trends in European Court Judgements (ECJ) are discussed.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Apply EIA best practice methodology
  2. Differentiate between and select appropriate surveys to predict environmental impacts
  3. Evaluate a variety of mitigation strategies in relation to EIA
  4. Prepare and produce an EIS
  5. Critique the effectiveness of environmental impact assessment process
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (70%)
  • Oral, Audio Visual or Practical Assessment (30%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Draft Guidelines for Planning Authorities and An Bord Pleanála on carrying out Environmental Impact Assessment." by Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government
    Publisher: DoECLG
  2. "Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA): Guidance for Consent Authorities regarding Sub-threshold Development." by Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government
    Publisher: DoEHLG
  3. "Guidance on EIA Screening." by European Commission
    Publisher: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. EC
  4. "Methods of Environmental Impact Assessment." by Morris, P. and Riki, T.
    Publisher: Routledge
  5. "Environmental Impact Assessment of National Road Schemes – A Practical Guide." by National Roads Authority
    Publisher: NRA
  6. "Best practice guidance for habitat survey and mapping." by Smith, G.F., O’Donoghue, P., O’Hara, K. & Delaney, E.
    Publisher: The Heritage Council.
  7. "A handbook on environmental impact assessment." by Scottish Natural Heritage
    Publisher: SNH
The above information outlines module EV529: "Environmental Impact Assessment" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required EV532: Climate Change & Biodiversity


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

The Convention on Biological Diversity identified Climate Change as one of five global drivers of biodiversity loss. This module on Climate Change and Biodiversity introduces students to the scientific evidence for climate change, direct and indirect impacts on biodiversity, and the policy approaches driving the climate change adaptation process in Ireland. The module outlines the vulnerability of Irish biodiversity to climate change. In the module, special emphasis is given to assessing the resilience of biodiversity to help mitigate climate change impacts. It includes case studies to highlight the implications for biodiversity in implementing climate change adaptation strategies.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Interpret projected climate change impact scenarios and differentiate between a range of associated mitigation and compensation strategies
  2. Critique the implications of climate change impacts for nature conservation policy and practice
  3. Consider climate change in preparing and planning for Natura 2000 site conservation targets
  4. Prepare and produce biodiversity guidelines in light of climate change impacts and climate change adaptation strategies
  5. Evaluate the role of spatial planning to implement adaptation strategies
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Biodiversity and Climate Change in Ireland Briefing Paper Submitted to Comhar SDC" by Coll, J. Maguire, C., Sweeney, J.
  2. "Conserving biodiversity in a changing climate: guidance on building capacity to adapt." by DEFRA
    Publisher: DEFRA
  3. "Climate change and biodiversity adaptation: the role of the spatial planning system NECR004." by Natural England
  4. "Climate Change 2007. The Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)." by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
    Publisher: Cambridge Unviersity Press,
  5. "Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Development. Case Studies from South Africa." by Pierce, S., Cowling R., Sandwith, T. and MacKinnon, K.
    Publisher: World Bank,
  6. "Mainstreaming Conservation in Infrastructure Projects. Case Studies from Latin America." by Quintero J. D.
    Publisher: World Bank,
  7. "The Role of Indigenous Peoples in Biodiversity Conservation. The Natural but Often Forgotten Partners." by Sobrevila, C.
    Publisher: World Bank,
  8. "Adapting to Climate Change. Lessons Learned, Work in Progress and Proposed Next" by Vergara, W.
The above information outlines module EV532: "Climate Change & Biodiversity" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required EV530: Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)


Semester 1 and Spring | Credits: 5

The module introduces Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) with regard to European and Irish legislation. The module focuses on the systematic approach and methods promoted by the SEA process, including stakeholder engagement and consultation. In addition, it outlines opportunities to embed biodiversity within the SEA process and the decision-making contexts in which these are employed. Links between EIA and SEA a covered.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Differentiate between range of terms and concepts as they apply to the SEA process
  2. Consider the role of the public in participating in the SEA process.
  3. Incorporate biodiversity into the SEA proces
  4. Apply a variety of SEA tools at specific stages in the SEA process to take account of biodiversity impacts.
  5. Evaluate case studies with regard to effectiveness and evolving best practice.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Implementation of SEA Directive (2001/42/EC): Assessment of the Effects of Certain Plans and Programmes on the Environment Guidelines for Regional Authorities and Planning Authorities." by Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government
    Publisher: DoEHLG
  2. "SEA. Best Practice Guidance Note on Transboundary Consultation and Land Use Plans." by Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government
    Publisher: DoEHLG
  3. "‘Decision support framework for establishing objectives, targets and indicators for use in SEA’, Impact assessment and project appraisal 24" by Donnelly, A., Jones, M.B., O’Mahony, T. & Byrne, G.
    Chapters: pp 151-157
  4. "Development of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Methodologies for Plans and Programmes in Ireland (2001-DS-EEP-2/5) Synthesis Report." by Scott, P. & Marsden, P.
    Publisher: EPA
  5. "The relationship between the EIA and SEA Directives. Final Report to the European Commission." by Sheate, W., Byron, H., Dagg, S. & Cooper, L.
    Publisher: Imperial College London
The above information outlines module EV530: "Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required EV531: Appropriate Assessment


Semester 1 and Spring | Credits: 5

This module explores how an Appropriate Assessment (AA) is undertaken. It provides a framework to enable course participants understand legislative requirements and key term to judge the likely impacts taking into account ‘individual’, ‘in combination’ and ‘cumulative’ effects. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the AA process and connections between AA and assessments undertaken to comply with other environmental directives such as EIA and SEA. Case studies will highlight best practice and current legal advice.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Differentiate between a range of terms and concepts as they apply to the process of undertaking an Appropriate Assessment
  2. Interrelate different stages that comprise an Appropriate Assessment to Local Authority functions involving SEA, EIA etc.
  3. Distinguish the steps involved in the AA Screening process
  4. Evaluate cases with regard to current thinking and evolving best practice.
  5. Critique the effectiveness of the Appropriate Assessment process.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government" by ) Appropriate Assessment of Plans and Projects in Ireland - Guidance for Planning Authorities. DoEHLG
  2. "Guidelines for the Assessment of Indirect and Cumulative Impact as well as Impact Interactions. EC" by European Commission
  3. "Assessment of Plans and Projects significantly affecting Natura 2000 sites -" by European Commission
  4. "Guidance document on Article (4) of the Habitats Directive" by European Commission
  5. "Appropriate Assessment - Obligations Under Irish Law, Law and the Environment" by Flynn, T
    Publisher: University College Cork
  6. "Integrated Biodiversity Impact Assessment: Streamlining AA, SEA and EIA Processes. Best Practice Guidance. STRIVE Report Series No.90. Final" by González, A., Hochstrasser, T., Fry, J., Scott, P., Carvill, P., Jones, M. & Grist, B.
The above information outlines module EV531: "Appropriate Assessment" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Our obligations to protect the environment under EU legislation mean that this course will play a pivotal role for those currently working in or who wish to enter the planning or engineering professions in local government or as private consultants. Graduates of this course will ensure that governments, local authorities and private consultancies will help implement sustainable policies that contribute to economic recovery while managing limited biodiversity resources.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

 

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,015 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Tuition

€6,791 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

€14,750 p.a. 2018/19

For further information on Postgraduate funding opportunities and scholarships please see here.

 

Find out More

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

What Our Students Say

Ronan

Ronan Hennessy |   Executive Planner, Dublin City Council

I found the MSc course to be both challenging and extremely interesting. The teaching staff and guest lecturers were extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic and the student interaction was of significant benefit. The modules provided me with a solid background in ecology and built on this to provide in depth, relevant guidance and knowledge in relation to key areas of habitat management and European Directive requirements, as well as providing practical fieldwork and case studies. The project aspect offered me the opportunity to undertake an in-depth analysis of a topic of interest aswell as providing a solid grounding in methodological research and results presentation. 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

Oonagh Duggan |   Policy Officer, Birdwatch Ireland

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.