Course Overview

This Diploma in Scientific Studies (Gemmology) provides an introduction to the science of gemmology for people with a general interest in gemstones, as well as for those working in the jewellery and related trades. The course aims to provide the student with a broad introduction to the study of gemstones. It teaches a range of laboratory–based techniques used to identify gemstones and provides the student with hands-on experience in identification protocols using a comprehensive collection of gemstones. The course also includes studies of typical geological settings of gemstones during lectures.

NB: The next intake for this course is September 2025

Applications and Selections

NB: The next intake for this course is September 2025

Applications are made online via the University of Galway Applications System. This course is listed under Adult Learning Undergraduate\Postgraduate, CPD, Micro-credentials & Summer School Applications.

Please visit our How to Apply page for Application tips and Supporting Documents information.





Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

All modules in the Diploma are individually assessed. Assessment is by examination (written and practical) at the end of each semester and by continuous assessment. This is a two-year, part-time course. Classes and learning material will be delivered online with practical workshops to be carried out at University of Galway on a monthly basis.

As this course is delivered via Blended learning most of the material is delivered online, please visit to our Online Learning webpage for further details on what is required to participate in a blended learning course.




Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for part-time students can be found here (i.e. age, english language requirements etc.). 

There are no specific entry requirements for the Diploma in Gemmology.


Additional Requirements

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


2 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2025

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date
NFQ level


Mode of study

Blended Learning

ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline

The course consists of lectures, laboratory demonstrations and practicals including tuition on good practice in the identification of gemstones from the course’s teaching collection which comprises in excess of 1000 cut stones. The course also focuses on the examination of these gemstones using a range of laboratory instruments including binocular microscope, refractometer, spectroscope, polariscope and conoscope. The option of attending a 1-day Diamond Grading course at the headquarters of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain in London will also be available to 2nd year students.

The course includes the following topics:

  • The Dynamic Earth
  • Earth History
  • Earth Materials
  • The Formation and Geological Settings of Gemstones
  • Global Distribution of Gemstones
  • The Crystallography and Mineralogy of Gemstones
  • The Optical Properties of Crystals Gemstone
  • Properties and Instrumentation
  • Recording Gemstone Properties/Identification
  • Protocols
  • Fashioning of Gemstones
  • Synthetic Gemstones (Enhancements and Imitations)
  • Systematic Recording of the Physical and Optical
  • Properties of Gemstones

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Students of this course find employment in gemmological work (quality control, authentification) and jewellery (retail and design) trades. Students may also find work as valuators for the insurance industry.

Who’s Suited to This Course

The course is open to everyone and is designed for those with no previous training in gemmology. It is suitable as an introductory course for people with a general interest in gemstones, as well as for those working in the jewellery and related trades.

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€985 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Tuition

€950 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Student levy

€35 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Non EU

€1,485 p.a. 2023/24


A fee scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment. For more information download the 2024_25 Fees Scholarship Form


Find out More

Dr. Alessandra Costanzo
Earth and Ocean Sciences
School of Natural Sciences
University of Galway
Tel: 091 492087
Fax: 091 494533




What Our Students Say


Josquin San Luis |   Current Student

I had always appreciated the goldsmith heritage in my father’s family and wished that I could join the “circle of jewellers” in my home country. Life sent me on a different career path but I maintained a keen parallel interest in jewellery design and manufacture. In buying semi-precious stones and designing them for commercial purposes, I felt that something of significance was yet lacking in my knowledge of the world of precious and semi-precious stones. The leap of faith involved in deciding to apply for a place on this course at NUI Galway in 2021 has proven to be hugely rewarding. The understanding, appreciation and insights into the grading and valuation of these magnificent gems I have now gained has provided me with the “missing piece of the puzzle.” Despite the long commute from my home each week to attend lectures, I am truly grateful for the opportunity to gain and apply my newly acquired knowledge in a potential new career in the future. I’m also very grateful to the lecturers who put a lot of time and effort in making the learning process interesting.