Academic Director: Prof. Michael Gormally

Field Director: Elaine O'Riordan

Course Overview 

This new and exciting summer school course offers students practical experience of the natural environment in the west of Ireland. It provides students with survey skills to identify natural resources, and develops their skills to evaluate the  sustainableuse and conservation of Ireland’s ecological resources.

County Galway, on Ireland’s Atlantic West Coast is a land of contrasts. Influenced by its oceanic climate, glacial history, hydrology, geology and human habitation, it has developed a variety of beautiful landscapes with unique and fascinating habitats and species. From the fertile rocks of the Burren karst limestone, to the raised bogs of the midlands, the sheer cliffs of the Aran Islands to the salt marshes of Galway Bay, there is a wealth of natural history to explore.

The summer school is an intensive three-week course. It is largely field-based, and students will visit a variety of landscapes to learn about the environment, habitats and species of the region. Focal points for learning are the Burren region,  Connemara and Lough Corrib.

The course adopts a multi-disciplinary approach to studying ecology so the learners engage with all aspects of how these ecosystems are created and maintained through natural processes and anthropogenic activity.  It will also consider conservation and sustainability issues and how a sound understanding of these ecological processes is used to combat the challenges facing the environment.

Course Module and Credits

This course carries 6 Semester Credits/12 ECTS Credits at graduate level with the following thematic areas and credit allocation:

  • Living Landscapes of Connemara and Joyce​​ – 3 semester credits
  • Living Landscapes of The Burren, and East County Galway​​ – 3 semester credits

Course Dates

  • Arrival: Sunday 16 June 2024
  • Orientation, introductory classes and campus tours: Monday 17 June 2024
  • Closing of summer school: Monday 08 July 2024
  • Departure: Tuesday 09 July 2024

Tuition & Accommodation Costs

Tuition:  €2,835.00

Accommodation:   Student Residences (without breakfast - single occupancy) - €1.012.00


Apply Online

Please refer to our step-by-step guide & tips for applications on our dedicated How to Apply page. If you have any questions on the application process, please contact the course administrator at:

Undergraduate students should have completed at least one full year at university or college level before being admitted to the programme and are undertaking any Ecology, Environmental Science, Geography, Botany, Zoology, Natural History or Natural Heritage course. Students should also have attained a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent).

Postgraduate students with an interest in the subject area are also welcome to apply. They will have an extra assignment to complete to obtain the course credits.

Students should have a reasonable level of fitness and be prepared for field trips most days on the course. This may involve short hikes over trails and uneven surfaces.

Required documentation 

  • A copy of your birth certificate or passport
  • A digital image/passport photo for your student identity card (headshot)
  • An official transcript of examination results

Closing date for applications is 30 April 2024.  No late applications will be considered.

Further Information

Elaine O'Riordan
Tel: +353 91 493572


Course Administrator
International Summer School
NUI Galway, Galway, Ireland
Tel: +353 91 495442