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At University of Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
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.
Applications and Selections
Applications open from 1st April 2023.
Applications are made online via the University of Galway Applications System. This course is listed under Adult Learning & CPD Courses Application.
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.
Entry requirements for part-time students can be found in our FAQs section (i.e. age, english language requirements etc.).
There are no specific entry requirements for the Diploma in Gemmology.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
2 years, part-time
Next start date
A Level Grades ()
QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes
Mode of study
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
- Fashioning of Gemstones
- Synthetic Gemstones (Enhancements and Imitations)
- Systematic Recording of the Physical and Optical
- Properties of Gemstones
Why Choose This Course?
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.
Transferable Skills Employers Value
Related Student Organisations
Fees: Student levy
Fees: Non EU
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 2023_24 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.