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Course Overview

This is a new practice-based course developed by University of Galway and Next Level Skillnet. This course provides an overview of the evolution of environmental planning and management and its relationship to society and industry today. Drawing on contemporary examples, this course will explore the roots and principles of environmental planning and management in practice, introducing students to a range of conceptual and practical approaches. It will prepare students with the knowledge and skills to be leaders and decision makers in developing solutions for contemporary environmental issues in industrial and commercial environments. It will also provide students with an understanding of waste legislation, the key issues and practical implications in relation to waste management and focus on lean processes and waste prevention.
This specialist diploma award is particularly suitable for students requiring medium-term upskilling for career advancement in the area of environmental policy and leadership to strengthen their capacities as efficient environmental managers and effective environmental leaders in their organisations.

The content and learning outcomes of this course focus on the following SDGs: 4, 7, 11, 13 & 15. You can find out more about SDGs at University of Galway here

Mode of Study: Online Learning

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This course has been approved by both Next Level Skillnet and Galway Executive Skillnet for a fees subsidy of up to 40% for students whose company is a member of their networks. For more information, contact:
Next Level Skillnet – Sue Davies at: sue@nextlevel.ie
Galway Executive Skillnet – Eamonn Molloy at: info@galwayexecutiveskillnet.com

This course is also available through Springboard, find out more here.

Applications and Selections

Applications open from 1st April 2024. 

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.

NB: Applicants should have a Diploma at NFQ Level 7 of 90 ECTS minimum, in a Science, Engineering or Technical area, or otherwise prove that they satisfy the prerequisites of each of the modules as listed in the course outline section.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

The course is delivered online on a part-time basis, through learning activities, eBooks and other digital resources and online module guides. Each module is individually assessed by assignments completed throughout the semester. The major assignment for each module will be the development of a plan for the participant’s workplace. The course requires attendance online for approximately 10 hours per module, mainly on Saturdays.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have a Diploma at NFQ Level 7 of 90 ECTS minimum, in a Science, Engineering or Technical area, or otherwise prove that they satisfy the prerequisites of each of the modules as listed in the course outline section. 

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

Additional Requirements

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


1-year, part-time

Next start date

September 2024

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date
NFQ level


Mode of study

Online Learning

ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline

The Corporate Environmental Planning (Specialist Diploma) consists of 6 inter-related taught modules giving a total of 30 ECTS, to allow individuals to up-skill in a highly focused area of interest. See module descriptions below:

Environmental Science
This module aims to enhance the learner's understanding and appreciation of environment-related disciplines. It covers facts and attitudes that help the learner to understand and evaluate current environmental issues critically, evaluate technological advances, and put environmental issues into a legal perspective.

Energy Management
Improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon footprints and energy costs is a priority for many organisations. An Energy Management System (EnMS) can play a lead role in achieving these aims. An EnMS is a process for continually improving energy performance. Suitable for all organisations, whatever the size or sector, it is particularly beneficial in organisations operating energy intensive processes. This module will provide the student with a general introduction to energy, its generation, distribution and usage in industrial and commercial environments and provide a conceptual and technical foundation in energy management. The module will focus on conducting energy audits, creating energy budgets and assessing ISO 50001 requirements.

The Lean Organisation and Technology
The concept of Lean is to provide increased value to the organisation and the customer through eliminating waste in production and operations. Lean can be applied in every commercial and industrial environment as a way of thinking and acting for an entire organisation. This module will provide students with an overview of Lean principles and the 8 wastes or lean defects it deals with: excess processing, overproduction, waiting, inventory, movement, motion and non-utilised talent. This module will focus on contemporary Lean practice, tools for Lean and emerging technologies, and how they can assist in the modern Lean organisation. The module will include the practical application of knowledge and skills through the development of a Lean strategy for the students’ organisations or departments.

Environmental Leadership in Organisations
While environmental protection is a global issue, environmental activities occur at all levels with industrial and commercial environments playing a lead role. This module will explore local and global sustainability issues and their implications for industrial and commercial environments and examine case studies of environmental leadership in practice. The module will provide students with a conceptual and practical foundation in methods of fostering teamwork, leadership and communication for effective environmental leadership in their organisations.

Environmental Compliance
Knowledge of current minimum legal expectations for environmental compliance is fundamental to achieving good environmental management in industrial and commercial environments. This module is aimed at professionals and will provide students with a practical foundation in the principles of compliance and risk management for compliance in Ireland. Topics will include the structure of environmental law in Ireland (EU directives, regulations, licensing etc.), current and future environmental legislative requirements, and how to ensure legal compliance for their organisations.

Environmental Management for Organisations
Drawing on contemporary examples, Environmental Management for Organisations will explore the roots and principles of environmental planning and management in practice, introducing students to a range of conceptual and practical approaches. The module will focus on processes, scale and case studies in environmental management and planning in industrial and commercial organisations and lays a solid foundation for the other modules. Environmental planning and management will be explored in an interdisciplinary context applicable to a variety of backgrounds, such as manufacturing, operations and environmental engineering, environmental and quality science, health and safety, social geography, business and management, regulations and compliance.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

This course is aimed at technicians, operatives, engineers, middle or senior managers who wish to move into specialist environmental and resource management roles, develop organisational systems, and advise senior management.

The course would also suit those who are interested in environmental entrepreneurship, new service or product development, emerging models, consulting roles etc.

Who’s Suited to This Course

The specialist diplomas are primarily intended for students who already have a Science or Engineering related diploma or degree and are working in an operations, design, lean or regulatory compliance role in their companies.

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€2,500 p.a. (including levy) * 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€2,430 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student levy

€70 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€3,000 p.a. (€3,070 p.a. including levy) 2024/25

EU Fees are comprised of Tuition + Student Levy.

*Next Level Skillnet and Galway Executive Skillnet funding (40% fee subsidy) is available for this course. You also may be eligible for the Adult Learning Tuition Scholarship, find out more here.

Find out More

For academic information and application details contact:
Centre for Adult Learning & Professional Development, University of Galway
 091 494060
Email: sciencetech@universityofgalway.ie