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 humans have caused to our world and environment in the past 100 years is so significant that we now threaten our own very existence. Issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss are having extensive environmental, economic and social impacts worldwide. These issues affect us now and will have significant implications for future generations.

Through the lens of geographical sciences, this innovative programme will prepare you to work in climate and environment-related fields. Organisations increasingly rely 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. You’ll also engage with topics such as:

  • climates and climate change
  • biodiversity and marine conservation
  • the evolution of Ireland’s physical landscape
  • sustainable environments and policy.

Furthermore, you may study for a year abroad or you can also opt to apply for a year-long INTRA work placement in Year 3, which will give you excellent experience and a valuable professional network while still in university.

During the programme, you’ll gain analytical, research, teamwork and problem-solving skills, all highly attractive to employers. You’ll study climate science, geography, environmental policy, geographical information systems and remote sensing. You’ll also tackle innovative modules such as Sustainable Food Security, Environmental Ethics, Natural Ecosystem Responses and complementary modules drawn from the Geography offering on other programmes. 

As an integral part of this programme, you’ll complete a residential field module during which you’ll collect real environmental data and engage with environmental and climate issues at a local scale, learning from real-life challenges. You’ll also visit case study sites where environmental change is occurring and examine the main challenges facing Ireland. You’ll explore and address issues such as 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 (for example, Geography, Earth Science, Political Science, Business, Economics, Sociology, Biology and Physics). 

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

Year 1

  • Introduction to Physical Geography
  • Introduction to Human Geography
  • Introduction to Environmental Spatial Analysis
  • Introduction to Sustainability
  • Introduction to Biogeography and Ecology
  • Sustainable Cities
  • Sustainability Journey E-Portfolio
  • Geographical Interpretation and Communication skills
  • Geographical Fieldwork and Observation skills

Year 2

  • Evolution of Ireland’s Physical Landscape
  • Climate Change: Causes and Consequences
  • Environmental Economics
  • Environmental Data Analysis
  • Introduction to Oceans and the Marine Environment
  • Residential Field Trip
  • Sustainability Journey E-Portfolio
  • Sustainable Food Security
  • Politics of Climate Change

Optional Year Abroad / INTRA

Final year

  • Advanced Environmental Geography
  • Water Resources of Ireland
  • Advanced Environmental GIS
  • Research Skills for Water Catchments
  • Climate and Environmental Sustainability Research Project
  • Sustainability Journey E-Portfolio
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Natural Ecosystems Responses


Why DCU?

  • Classes will be smaller than is typical and only 20 ambitious students will be admitted in Year 1
  • This programme emphasises collaborative work in class and for assessment
  • You’ll get to learn about and help to address challenges in the public, private, and non-profit sectors
  • You’ll engage with environmental and climate issues at a local scale, and learn from visiting and engaging with case study locations where real-life environmental challenges happen
  • You’ll enhance your employability 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.

Climate challenges and environmental sustainability are central concerns in 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 policymakers today.

Employers are already demanding technology-savvy lifelong learners, and this programme will produce the fit-for-the-future people required. 

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

  • Climate Scientist
  • Sustainability Manager
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Data Analyst
  • Environmental Resource Manager
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Manager
  • Strategic Change Manager
  • Conservation 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