Course Overview

The Ryan Institute (RI) MSc in Environmental Leadership will equip graduates with an advanced level of knowledge and problem-solving, management and communication skills in key areas relevant to the environment, marine and energy sectors. It will equip them with a capacity and capability for environmental leadership relevant to their career trajectory. The course has a focus on cross-sector skills and competences that can be transferred from one topic/occupational area to another, so enabling national and international occupational mobility for its graduates. 

 

Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

  • Dr Caitriona Carlin, BSc, PhD
  • Dr Kathryn Cormican, BBS, MBS, PhD
  • Dr Thomas Van Rensburg BSc, PGDip, PhD
  • Dr Jerome Sheahan MSc, PhD
  • Dr Frances Fahy, BA, PhD
  • Dr Liam Carr, BSc, MSc, PhD
  • Prof Peter Croot, BSc, PhD
  • Dr Benjamin Thébaudeau, BSc, PhD
  • Prof Ulf Strohmayer, Dipl. Geog, PhD
  • Dr Gesche Kindermann, BSc, PGDip, MSc, PhD

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

The programme is open to individuals who have obtained a Level 8 primary degree (2.2 or higher) or its equivalent in an appropriate discipline, including Science, Geography, Engineering and some of the Social Sciences with a focus on environmental policy and planning.

Additional Requirements

English language proficiency: IELTS 6.5
Duration

1 year

Next start date

September 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

15

Closing Date

 Please view the offer rounds website.

Next start date

September 2018

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting

90

Award

CAO

PAC code

GYS33

Course Outline

The course structure is based on a 90 ECTS model, with 60 ECTS coming from taught modules which account for either 5 or 10 credits each. A research project over the summer accounts for the remaining 30 ECTS.

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 (90 Credits)

Required EV604: Environmental problems & Solutions


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module utilises case studies to focus on environmental problems and their solutions. It explores best practice in the use of mitigation strategies to ameliorate environmental damage. Special reference will be made to the complexities in solving environmental problems (e.g. social, economic & cultural factors and environmental policy drivers). Particular emphasis will be placed on enhancing student competences to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to environmental problems.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Differentiate between good and poor environmental practice relating to a range of developments.
  2. Evaluate appropriate mitigation strategies for specific developments.
  3. Design sustainable solutions to environmental problems
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Effective Judicial Protection and the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive in Ireland (Modern Studies in European Law)." by Ryall, A.
    Publisher: Hart Publishing.
The above information outlines module EV604: "Environmental problems & Solutions" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required EC5103: Natural Resource Governanace


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

The term “environmental governance” has been widely used in relation to the concept of sustainable development. The module takes a capital based approach to the study of sustainability. In this regard particular attention will be given to the relationship between social capital, natural capital and physical capital and institutions and regimes that govern these forms of capital in the context of natural resource management.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. The module is designed to equip students with a strong grasp of economic behaviour and regime analysis to critically analyse natural resource management and policy that are fundamentally linked to the research activities of faculty and research staff. The programme has the following objectives: The course will introduce students to the different meanings and theoretical approaches of the governance concept;
  2. The course will critically evaluate the relationship between different forms of capital and economic sustainability, environmental governance and natural resource regimes;
  3. To provide a theoretical framework for understanding the behaviour of agents and decision makers with respect to strategic interactions and the environment
  4. To provide students with the necessary analytical skills to undertake a rigorous evaluation of natural resource projects governed by regimes including common property regimes
  5. To provide students with generic modelling and policy analysis skills
  6. To discuss the capital approach to sustainability and link this to regime analysis
Assessments
  • Written Assessment (50%)
  • Continuous Assessment (50%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "The theory of externalities, public goods and club goods." by Cornes R. and Sandler, T.
    Publisher: New York
  2. "Social capital: a multifaceted perspective." by Dasgupta, P. and Serageldin, I
    Publisher: World Bank, Washington
  3. "Games of strategy" by Dixit, A.K., Skeath, S. and Reilly, D.H.
    Publisher: New York, WWW Norton
  4. "Governing the commons." by Ostrom, E.
    Publisher: Cabridge CUP
  5. "Foundations of social capital" by Ostrom, E. and Ahn, T.K. 2003. Foundations of social capital.
    Publisher: Edward Elgar. Cheltenham
  6. "Institutional change and economic performance" by North, D.C.
    Publisher: CUP Cambridge
  7. "Managing the global commons; the economics of climate change" by Nordhaus, W.D.
    Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press
The above information outlines module EC5103: "Natural Resource Governanace" and is valid from 2015 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required IE446: Project Management


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

Project management is a means to an end and not an end in itself. The purpose of project management is to foresee or predict as many of the potential pitfalls and problems as soon as possible and to plan, organise and control activities so that the project is successfully completed in spite of any difficulties and risks. This process starts before any resources are committed, and must continue until all the work is completed. The primary aim of this course is to improve the effectiveness of people engaged in project management. It focuses on the essential concepts and practical skills required for managing projects in dynamic environments. This course aims to provide learners with a solid understanding of the fundamentals of project management and to equip them with simple yet powerful tools that will empower them to meet their full potential in the area of project management thus enabling them to implement successful projects on time, within budget and to the highest possible standard.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Understand the critical influencing factors for successful project management and execution.
  2. Understand the key reasons for failure and to comprehend the impact and implications of project failure on the individual, team and organisation.
  3. Specify an effective project plan, which is consistent with the business plan of the company
  4. Demonstrate the ultimate success of the plan through successful project implementation
  5. Be capable of using appropriate tools to schedule a project and associated activities and tasks
  6. Be capable of using tools to analyse the health of a project portfolio and to select relevant projects that align with the overall portfolio.
  7. Understand the concept of cross functional team working
  8. Gain a solid grounding in transferable skills such as problem specification, team working, and the ability to synthesise and apply acquired knowledge to the solution of problems
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Project Management: A Managerial Approach" by Meredith, J.R. and Mantel, S.J.
  2. "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)" by Project Management Institute
The above information outlines module IE446: "Project Management" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required ME520: Research Methods


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 10

The aim of this course is to equip candidates with appropriate skills to conduct autonomous research. It is essential for the effective generation, collection analysis and interpretation of scientific knowledge.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Understand the process, methods and tools of conducting systems related research
  2. Plan, design, and implement a significant research project in an area of enterprise systems
  3. Formulate alternative research ideas and research questions
  4. Develop a literature review
  5. Develop a conceptual model
  6. Be familiar with alternative qualitative and qualitative research designs
  7. Design a data collection protocol
  8. Analyse and organise scientific data
  9. Synthesise, present and report research findings in an acceptable manner
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Real World Research" by Robson, C.
  2. "Research Methods for Business Students" by Saunders et al.
The above information outlines module ME520: "Research Methods" and is valid from 2015 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

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 ST238: Introduction to Statistical Inference


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This module is an introduction to the ideas and commoly used techniques in analysing data from experiments and observational studies. Participants learn the role of probability in statistical inference, review the ideas in sampling distributions, learn concepts of interval estimation and hypothesis tests, learn standard one and two-sample procedures for quantitative data, learn basic enumerative data analysis, and simple correlation and linear regression

Learning Outcomes
  1. Understand the difference between Probability and Statistics and the role of Probability in solving statistical inference problems.
  2. Perform probability calculations about the sample mean and use them to make inferential statements.
  3. Understand some basic ideas about interval estimation; be familiar with Type I and Type II errors in hypothesis tests and be able to calculate the p-value and power of various statistical tests.
  4. Find confidence intervals and perform hypothesis tests about a single population mean, a single population proportion, the difference between two population means, and a single population variance.
  5. Analyse enumerative data through chi-squared goodness-of-fit and contingency table tests.
  6. Calculate and interpret the linear correlation coefficient for relating two variables.
  7. Fit the least squares line to data pairs, and make statistical inferences about the slope of the underlying population equation, and perform basis prediction.
  8. Understand the basics of some survey designs.
  9. Understand when and in what ways a randomised block experimental design is often superior to the completely randomised design.
Assessments
  • Written Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Modern elementary statistics" by Freund, John E
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
  2. "Elementary Statistics – a step by step approach" by Bluman, A
    Publisher: McGraw Hill
  3. "ntroduction to Probability and Statistics" by DeVeaux & Velleman,
    Publisher: Hinde, J, & Newell, J.
The above information outlines module ST238: "Introduction to Statistical Inference" and is valid from 2015 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required EV5102: Communicating Science and Research


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

Research communication aims to generate support for engaged research, to inform decision making and policy, and engage the general public. This module provides an introduction to research communication and community engagement and enables students to critically engage with different communication methods. This module explores different ways and technologies for communication in relation to different audiences and examines the range of social media tools available and their use in a science communication/public engagement context.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the thoretical background that underpins research communication with different audiences.
  2. Assess the efficiency and relevance of different approaches to research communication
  3. Define current practice in relation to communication and social media use and relate this to best practice.
  4. Appraise the principles of communication as they pertain to empirical research findings and to evaluate how respective research might best be communicated.
  5. Demonstrate ability to apply appropriate communication methods relative to different audiences.
  6. Appraise the merit and value of science and research communication activities to help improve communication practices
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module EV5102: "Communicating Science and Research" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional EV6101: The Environment and Human Health


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This module explores the relationships between environment, biodiversity and health. Students become competent in assessing key aspects of environmental quality. Students evaluate linkages between emerging research, policy makers and practitioners at international and European levels to inform evidence based policy and practice in relation to health and environment.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Assess the key aspects of environmental quality and interactions between environment, health and wellbeing
  2. Critically appraise existing evidence in relation to benefits to health from the environment
  3. Evaluate the provision of green spaces and benefits to health
  4. Critique the effectiveness of governmental policies and legislation to benefit human health and wellbeing in relation to the environment.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Forests, Tree and Human Health." by Editors: Nilsson, K., Sangster, M., Gallis, C., Hartig, T., de Vries, S., Seeland, K., Schipperijn, J. (Eds.)
    ISBN: ISBN 978-90-4.
    Publisher: Springer
The above information outlines module EV6101: "The Environment and Human Health" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional TI701: Conceptualising Environment, Society & Development


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module TI701: "Conceptualising Environment, Society & Development" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional EOS6101: Global Change


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically discuss the basic science behind the natural processes that impact global climate
  2. Recognize and interprete geological and chemical indicators of present and past global change in the environment (atmosphere, water, sediment/mineral).
  3. Evaluate and appraise how human activities can be drivers of global change
  4. Explain the role of the IPCC and how it works
  5. Develop knowledge of current climate change adaptation strategies
  6. Compile scientific information from multiple sources and prepare a briefing document for a general audience.
  7. Present scientific perspectives on global change to both a specific scientific audience and to the general public
Assessments
  • Written Assessment (70%)
  • Continuous Assessment (30%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module EOS6101: "Global Change" and is valid from 2015 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional 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.

Optional TI6102: Marine Spatial Planning and Policy


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module critically reviews how society has viewed and used the marine environment through history, examines evolving views on how these systems have been valued, evaluates various policies and practices employed in its management, and explores current and future issues that threaten marine system functionality. Students will be introduced to a range of tools used in managing the marine environment, investigate policy and practice suitability at multiple scales, and gain theoretical insights on the emergence of Marine Spatial Planning policies in Ireland and abroad.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critique and apply a range of geographical concepts and discourse to marine spatial planning debates
  2. Apply and critique the use of planning tools such as Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment in marine spatial planning
  3. Critically analyse and evaluate geographical scales, processes, debates, theories and policies
  4. Write in a way that explores, synthesises, and critiques academic material while relating it to advancements in the field of marine spatial planning
  5. Demonstrate independent thinking and critically assess the relationship between human geography, marine spatial planning, society, and the environment
  6. Demonstrate the ability to apply the knowledge and understanding gained throughout the course to contemporary marine management issues
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Ocean Zoning: Making Marine Management More Effective" by Agardy, T.
    ISBN: 1844078221.
    Publisher: Earthscan
The above information outlines module TI6102: "Marine Spatial Planning and Policy" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional TI714.II: Introduction to Practical GIS


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This intensive module will provide students with an introduction to the practical application of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software and data. This classroom-based course involves both supervised tuition and self-paced learning. Class numbers are kept to ≤ 8 attendees to ensure that each student receives sufficient individual support. The module will provide students with the opportunity to use the latest release of ArcGIS 10 software.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. operate GIS software at a proficiency level that allows the student to independently use GIS in their own research
  2. display, analyse and edit geospatial data in ArcGIS
  3. be familiar with different types of geospatial data and how these are used in GIS
  4. source freely available geospatial data on the Internet
  5. design and present their data in a graphically-informative digital map
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Managing Geographic Information Systems, Second Edition" by Nancy J. Obermeyer, Jeffrey K. Pinto
    ISBN: 1-59385-635-0.
    Publisher: The Guilford Press
  2. "Spatial Data Analysis" by Christopher Lloyd
    ISBN: 0-19-955432-3.
    Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
The above information outlines module TI714.II: "Introduction to Practical GIS" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional 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.

Optional 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.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The course will produce well-rounded, motivated, mobile and dynamic problem-solvers and leaders who can work in any area related to environment, marine and energy. The subject knowledge, transferable skills and thesis elements of the course are designed to provide graduates with the opportunity to carry out further research, work in the public or private sector, or create their own employment.

Graduates will acquire transversal and multidisciplinary skills in governance, communication and management, enabling them to take on roles within an industrial setting, or within a regulatory body or private consultancy firm. Careers such as project managers, consultants and advisors exist within public and private sectors in Ireland and elsewhere. In addition, the course will provide opportunities for some students to move into PhD programmes or other research roles.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

 

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,815 p.a. 2017/18

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

€13,750 p.a. 2017/18

Find out More

Dr Gesche Kindermann
T: +353 91 493863
E: gesche.kindermann@nuigalway.ie

Dr Caitriona Carlin
T: +353 91 493863
E: caitriona.carlin@nuigalway.ie