Course Overview

The Diploma in Scientific Studies (Earth & Ocean Sciences) aims to provide students with a broad introduction to the study of the Earth’s solid geology and its coastal ocean, with hands-on, practical experience of the techniques employed within the fields of geology, oceanography, and Earth observation.

The course will appeal to those with an interest in our natural environment and the outdoors. It may be professionally beneficial for geography teachers, environmental scientists, engineers, and archaeologists.

Mode of Study: This course will be delivered online in semester 1. There will be a blended learning delivery in semester 2.

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 by continuous assessment (practical exercises) and assignments.

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 this course.

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



Diploma in Scientific Studies (Earth & Ocean Sciences)


Course code

Course Outline

The course will be delivered in a blended learning format, with 3 weekend workshops and/or fieldtrips every semester (either Saturday or Saturday + Sunday) accompanying the online/remote lecture material and exercises. The modules will study the Earth’s origins, materials and processes at all scales from the atomic to the planetary level; internal and external; and locally, nationally, and internationally.

One module will deal with our coastal ocean, examining the interaction of geology, ground- and surface water, and the marine environment. Another will focus on Earth observation and remote sensing, and how these are used to help understand the physical, chemical, and biological processes acting on the Earth’s surface.

A common theme throughout will be the interaction of people with the planet we inhabit. Fieldtrips (within Ireland) are an integral part of the course.

Course Content – Year 1

  • Planet Earth
  • Earth Materials
  • Our Coastal Ocean

Course Content – Year 2

  • Geology of Ireland
  • The Peopled Planet
  • Observing Earth

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Several graduates from an earlier version of this diploma (in Geology) have since gone on to study full time for a Degree in Earth & Ocean Sciences, for more information visit: Others have used it to enhance their professional life (e.g. as archaeologists, teachers), or their enjoyment of the outdoors. Many of the graduates are actively involved in the Galway Geological Association, which was set up by them to enable their continuation of the study of earth sciences with lectures and field trips.  

Who’s Suited to This Course

You will choose this course if you have an interest in learning more about the planet we inhabit, and about the techniques earth scientists use to identify events, processes and products deep in time and space. The course will also look at the challenges life on earth is facing (e.g. climate change, resource depletion) and how earth scientists are working towards understanding how to mitigate the risks associated with these challenges.   

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. Sadhbh Baxter
Department of Earth & Ocean Sciences
Tel: 091 495962

What Our Students Say



Paula Gleeson |   Past Student

As a mature student, I enrolled in the Adult and Continuing Education diploma course in Geology, and I can honestly say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The lectures are interesting and stimulating, and the friendly staff couldn’t be more helpful. The course has opened up a whole new understanding of earth dynamics and geological time., and, within the class–a group of like-minded people-the common bonds of mutual interest have created new, lasting friendships. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who has a questioning mind about earth science.