School of History and Geography

Climate and Environmental Sustainability*

climate environmental sustainability
CAO Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
Delivery Modes
Minimum Points
New Course, points determined August 2021
Three/Four Years
+353 (0) 1

Are you passionate about the environment, and interested in climate change? Then the BA in Climate and Environmental Sustainability is for you!

The scale and pace of change caused by humans to all aspects of the environment globally in the last 100 years is so significant that we now threaten our very own existence. Issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss are having extensive environmental, economic and social impacts worldwide. These are issues that already affect current generations and are set to have significant implications for future generations.

Through the lens of geographical sciences, this innovative programme will prepare students for work in climate and environment-related fields. Organisations are increasingly relying on location intelligence to make decisions and students on this programme will gain invaluable skills in Geographical Information Systems (GIS), to learn how to gather and analyse spatial and climate data. Students will also engage with such topics as climates and climate change, environmental history, the evolution of Ireland’s physical landscape and sustainable environments and policy.

Furthermore, students have the possibility of studying for a year abroad after Year 2, and can also opt to apply for a year-long INTRA work placement in Year Three. This opportunity provides students with excellent experience and a valuable professional network while still in university.

*New course, entry 2021 - accreditation near complete.

Students will study modules in climate science, geography, environmental policy and Geographical Information Systems and remote sensing. During the programme, you will gain analytical, research, teamwork and problem-solving skills that will be attractive to a range of employers. You will be studying innovative modules such as Sustainable Food Security, Environmental Change and Human Health, Natural Ecosystem Solutions and complementary modules that are drawn from the Geography offering on other programmes. 

You will also engage in a residential field module as an integral part of this programme, which provides an opportunity to collect environmental data and engage with environmental and climate issues at a local scale, as well as encouraging learning from seeing real-life challenges. This includes visiting case study sites where environmental change is occurring and examining the main challenges facing Ireland. Some of the issues you can expect to engage with here relate to improving water quality, managing biodiversity, and dealing with climate change from both physical and human geography perspectives.

The course structure is designed to enhance learning related to climate change and environmental sustainability across multiple disciplines (e.g. Geography, Earth Science, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Biology and Physics). Specifically, students will be studying innovative modules such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Biogeography, Historical Climates, Sustainable Food Security, Environmental Change and Human Health, Natural Ecosystem Solutions and complementary modules that are drawn from the Geography offering on other programmes. The uniqueness of the BA in Climate and Environmental Sustainability is that modules in all years will comprise a largely balanced approach to both natural and social science modules related to geography, climate and environmental sustainability.

Indicative content

While content of the programme may change over time, these modules are indicative of what you might be studying in each year

Year 1

  • Fundamentals of Geographical Information Systems
  • Introduction to Sustainable Development 
  • Introduction to Biogeography and Ecology 
  • Sustainable Environments and Policy
  • Introduction to Human Geography
  • Introduction to Physical Geography
  • Geographical Interpretation and Communication
  • Geographical Fieldwork and Observation Skills

Year 2

  • Evolution of Ireland's Physical Landscape
  • Climate Change: Causes and Consequences
  • Politics of Climate Change
  • Palaeoclimates
  • Introduction to Oceans and Marine Environment
  • Natural Ecosystem Solutions
  • Sustainable Food Security
  • Quantitative Environmental Data Analysis 
  • Skills for Physical Geography 
  • Global Urbanism
  • Residential Field Trip

Optional Year Abroad / INTRA

Final year

  • Advanced Environmental Geography
  • Water Resources of Ireland 
  • Research Skills for Catchments
  • Citizens as Environmental Collaborators
  • Dissertation
  • Urban Sustainability
  • Environmental Remote Sensing
  • Oceans and Marine Environments Sustainability
  • Environmental Change and Human Health


Why DCU?

  • Classes will be smaller than is typical and only twenty ambitious students will be admitted in Year 1
  • Collaborative work in class and for assessment purposes will be emphasised 
  • Adapt challenges within our networks in the public, private, and non-profit sectors
  • Engage with environmental and climate issues at a local scale and learn from visiting and engaging with case studies where real-life environmental challenges happen
  • Enhance employability skills by developing knowledge across multiple areas related to two of the most important societal issues this century - climate change and environmental sustainability 

Exceptional Facilities

DCU students enjoy exceptional teaching and learning facilities across our 3 academic campuses. These include modern learning theatres, research centres, television and sound studios, classrooms, computer suites and advanced laboratories in the areas of languages, engineering, physics, chemistry and biotechnology, as well as a sports performance centre and a virtual hospital ward.

A Vibrant, Dynamic Social Environment

Student facilities include a superb sports complex with a 25 metre pool, two libraries and The Helix, our renowned performing arts centre. DCU has invested over €230m in developing new, world-class facilities across our three academic campuses. The U building is home to the more than one hundred and twenty student clubs and societies. This commitment to student facilities means that our world-class learning experiences are complemented by a vibrant, dynamic social environment.

We have a unique and vibrant culture on our modern campus close to Dublin city centre. We provide state-of-the-art study facilities for all our courses and everything else you need for a healthy, fun and active student life.

The area of climate and environmental sustainability has become central in the conversations of many industries. This programme will equip you with a unique set of skills in spatial data analytics and visualisation, and the knowledge to understand the challenges facing industry and policy makers today.

Employers are already demanding technology-savvy people who grow with challenges, and this programme will produce the sort of fit-for-the-future people required. 

Among the potential future career opportunities for graduates from this programme are:

  • Environmental Consultant
  • Sustainability Manager
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Manager
  • Strategic Change Manager
  • Climate Scientist
  • Conservation Manager
  • GIS Manager
  • Health Geographer
  • Environmental Resource Manager


Leaving Cert

There are no additional entry requirements for this programme apart from the general entry requirements for admission to the university.

GCE A Level

There are no additional entry requirements for this programme apart from the general entry requirements for admission to the university.

FET Level 5

FET Level 5

For details of QQI requirements and relevant codes please click here. Simply enter the DC code for the programme you are interested in or if you are not sure of the code enter DC in the Select by Institution option, then click on Go. 

EU Transfer Applications

Transfers are not permitted at present

International Applications

International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. For further information on international applications click here.

Next Steps

Mature Applicants

All mature applicants apply through the CAO by 1st February. For further information and for special application procedures for mature students, please click here

Applicants presenting EU school Leaving Examinations

Applicants presenting EU School Leaving/QQI FET examinations: Apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1st February or 1st May

Applicants presenting examinations from outside the EU

Candidates should apply directly to DCU. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis up to 1st July. All Non-EU candidates are advised to apply early, as places are limited.

EU Transfer Applicants

Transfers are not permitted at present

Make an Application

Candidates required to apply through the CAO can apply online at
Candidates required to apply directly to DCU can download, print and complete a direct application form R10 by clicking here