As we learn more about the impact of modern development and industry on the world around us, the need for better thought out environmental management becomes clear. With government and EU regulations and legislation increasing, businesses and organisations are increasingly requiring qualified people with environmental training. A number of third level and postgraduate courses have emerged to cater for this demand. Environmental control is a relatively new discipline and requires the amalgamation of a variety of new and existing technical skills.
Institute of Technology Sligo was the first third level institution in Ireland to offer courses in the environmental area. The three-year undergraduate National Diploma in Environmental Science has been running since 1975 and now has a one-year add-on post certificate course. IT Sligo has developed its expertise and leadership in this area, and now runs a host of other related postgraduate courses including research and taught options.
One such course at IT Sligo is the Graduate Diploma / MSc in Environmental Protection. Graduates with qualifications falling broadly within the science and physical resources area are welcome to submit applications. Candidates with relevant professional experience and qualifications are also considered. This is a two or three year programme with flexible learning options available.
Course Modules include Water Pollution Control, Air Pollution Control, Hazardous Waste Control, Noise and Vibration, Environmental Systems and Environmental Management. Graduate Diploma (Environmental Protection) comprises all the above subjects, plus a dissertation relating to the subject area chosen.
Successful students can move on and conduct research into their area of interest for a further year, which should lead to the awarding of an MSc. For those who cannot study on a full-time basis, there is some flexibility in course structure available. Single subject certificates in each module discipline are awarded and there is provision for distance learning. All courses are supplemented by workshops, seminars and site visits at a range of locations throughout Ireland.
Other postgraduate options in this area at IT Sligo include a one-year add-on degree in Environmental Chemistry to holders of relevant Diplomas in Applied Science, a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Protection by distance learning, an MSc in Environmental Biology, Environmental Impact and Environmental, Health and Safety Management.
Many other institutions around the country run postgraduate courses in the area of environmental management. DIT has a taught MSc in Environmental Health & Safety Management. The Environmental Institute in UCD runs a variety of masters and PhD courses. Interested students can also consider the University of Ulster’s Postgraduate Diploma and MSc programmes in Environmental Management. A full list of courses available in the area can be found on the following pages.
The programmes are designed to provide graduates and technologists in industry and state bodies with useful and valuable technological and managerial skills - so those with postgraduate qualifications in environmental management and related areas shouldn’t be short of job options.
Environmental management degree holders often work as specialists in public health, waste disposal, recycling, and pollution control. Some environmental management experts work for government and regulatory authorities that investigate and prosecute companies that skirt environmental preservation regulations. A growing number of graduates actually work for companies that wish to prevent costly government actions by making sure they don’t break the rules.
With concerns over pollution, global warming and corporate responsibility growing, and with EU and Irish government regulations becoming more stringent, environmental management looks set to continue as a growth area. One that is well worth considering for those interested in pursuing further study within the Agriculture, Environment, Food and Physical Resources sector.