MSc Environmental Policy

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

Download the course brochure (pdf)

This one year Masters is designed to equip students with essential knowledge about environmental sustainability, and policy and governance frameworks for environmental action, while also developing key professional tools to enable graduates to apply new skills creatively in their future careers.

The programme takes an international perspective on environmental issues and explores the increasingly complex environmental challenges that societies and governments face across the globe, addressing contemporary environmental debates such as Climate Change, Water Policy, Energy Security and Sustainability, and Urban Resilience. 

During the one year degree you will have the opportunity to study both core and specialised modules in environmental policy. Teaching is focused on areas and skills within environmental policy-making, such as: 

  • Environmental Economics 
  • Climate Policy
  • Energy Transitions
  • Urban Risk and Resilience 
  • GIS 
  • Policy Design and Analysis 
  • European Environmental Policy and Politics 
  • Research Methods Training. 

You also have the opportunity to choose specialist option modules from a broad, interdisciplinary range. 

Students also undertake an integrated group project (Professional Tools for Sustainable Development) to provide practice-based insights into environmental policy-making. Finally, you will have the opportunity to further enhance your specialist interests during the completion of a thesis in the third semester. 

For more details please click here

Careers & Employability

The MSc in Environmental Policy is designed to provide you with the key knowledge, skills and professional tools to work in environment-related careers. These employment areas include:

  • Policymaking and Public Sector
  • Policy and Environmental Consultancy
  • Management (e.g. corpoarte environmental responsilbility)
  • Media and Communications
  • Research and Teaching
  • Environmental NGOs and Lobby Groups
  • Environmental Regulatory Bodies

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

As the MSc provides both introductory and specialised modules in Environmental Policy, we welcome applications from students with a background in a diverse range of academic subjects including social sciences and arts, environmental sciences, law and business studies, engineering, humanities and cultural/media studies.

The environment poses some of the most complex and pressing challenges facing societies, policy-makers and planners across the globe. These challenges range from global to local scale as policy-makers grapple with building more sustainable and resilient societies, while balancing environmental goals with economic and social objectives. The aim of the MSc Environmental Policy is to produce graduates with the professional knowledge, skills and tools necessary to address these pressing issues and to pursue careers in the environmental field where they will contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future.  We want to create critical thinkers and evidence-based policy practitioners that are instilled with a strong theoretical understanding and research capability.  The interdisciplinary nature of the MSc Environmental Policy programme fosters these values.  While having a core focus on environmental policy, it also includes a solid foundation in technical skills and an understanding of sustainable development.  The program balances all of these branches of education by including modules on core skills (e.g. GIS and Environmental Assessment), core knowledge (e.g. Environmental Economics and European Environmental Policy) and sustainable development tools.  The programme fosters a learning environment that draws on the research and expertise of our academic staff, combined with insights from innovative practitioners in the environmental field. The primary teaching space for this programme is the existing facilities in the Planning and Environmental Policy Buildings in UCD Richview, including lecturing and studio facilities, and GIS laboratories.  The program provides a blended-learning experience, including traditional lectures but also interactive studio based learning. Assessment includes continuous assessment, unseen exams and evaluation of non-traditional student work (e.g. presentations).

  • On successful completion of the programme students should be able to: Appreciate environmental policy research, develop skills as autonomous researchers, and recognize the value of research as an input into improved policy making and policy implementation.
  • Understand how environmental policy is operationalised within the wider political, institutional and legal frameworks, and understand the social, economic and political context that informs approaches to achieve sustainable development.
  • Apply their professional knowledge using tools and transferable skills to generate integrated and evidence-based responses to environmental challenges, including climate change, to achieve a more resilient and sustainable future.
  • Demonstrate effective research, policy analysis tools and evaluation skills and the ability to develop evidence-based policy proposals.
  • Communicate effectively verbally, graphically and through written documents and to communicate concepts, knowledge and conclusions to peers, specialist and non-specialist audiences within an interdisciplinary environment.
  • Work effectively both on their own and as part of a team in an interdisciplinary context.
  • Understand the challenges and responsibilities of assessing tradeoffs in their response to environmental challenges and be open to critically assessing, debating and reflecting on these, and acting in the interests of the common good.
  • Acknowledge the spatial consequences of policy approaches, and recognize the importance of fairness in environmental policy processes and outcomes.

MSc Environmental Policy (W269) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 7455
nonEU    fee per year - € 18700

MSc Environmental Policy (W271) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 8495
nonEU    fee per year - € 24200

***Fees are subject to change
Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

This programme is intended for applicants with a degree in any discipline such as social sciences and arts, environmental sciences, law and business studies, or engineering.

  • At least lower second class honours, or international equivalent is required.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.

Shikha Ranjha, India, Student​

The Environmental Policy programme with its intensive lecture regime, group work and assignments helped me to develop practical and transferable skills. The programme offers a multi-disciplinary approach which allows a person to effectively question and expand upon the theories of environmental management and understand the development of society in harmony with its environment. Internationally recognised and experienced faculty provide you with opportunities for outstanding graduate study in all areas of policy and environmental management and you can expect to be in regular contact with them in case of any questions or help needed. The course is challenging, but is extremely rewarding in the end.


The following entry routes are available:

MSc Environmental Policy FT (W269)
1 Years
Full Time
Rolling *

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised