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Sustainable Development / Forbairt Inbhuanaithe

DT118 FT


Please note due to the great demand for our programmes early applications are assessed when received and dealt with promptly. Therefore it is advisable to make early applications for an early response. If you do not yet have your final degree results this will not hinder your application as we are happy to issue conditional offer letters in such circumstances.

Sustainable Development is at the heart of environmental, social and economic policies being developed and enacted by business, state and NGOs. This course, which includes a work placement, provides a broad knowledge and understanding of sustainable development including the issues, techniques, management and applications relevant to the living and working environment. 


The programme aims to provide graduates with the skills and ability to interpret principles of sustainable development and translate these into policy responses.

Each course entrant brings an expertise based on prior learning and or work experience. The MSc Sustainable Development is structured to build on and deepen your knowledge and allow you apply the principles and practices of sustainable development in your own field of expertise or employment. The course also offers you the chance to deepen your knowledge in chosen areas of energy, environment, community development or planning.

Information Handbook

An information handbook is available to download here MSc Sustainable Development Information HandbookMSc in Sustainable Development DT118.  This is provided to give you an overview of the DT118 programme and contains most of the information displayed on these WebPages.

Entry Requirements:

Honours Bachelor Degree in any relevant discipline at 2.2 grade or higher, or equivalent. Eligible candidates may be interviewed where work/career experience is being considered in lieu of academic qualifications.

Applications will be assessed based on your academic grades and may also take into account your work/life experience.

Career Opportunities

Graduates are eligible for a wide range of posts in Irish and International enterprises, both public and private, in both the manufacturing and service sectors. Generally students tend to seek or get employment with the skills they developed in their primary degree but with the added advantage of having an in depth understanding of the process and application of sustainable development to environmental, economic or social sectors. With work placement and a suitable research dissertation you could develop the skills needed to help focus your career in a sector that is of particular interest to you.

  • Boltz Sustainability Founder Dublin                 
  • Green Schools, Green Travel Education Officer                 
  • Sustainability Consultant, Paris Community Liaison Officer, EirGrid                       
  • Greenlight Training, Sustainability Manager     
  • Green Schools, Green Campus Education Officer Meinhardt Group,
  • Environmental Engineer PWC,Sustainability Manager                
  • Greenstreets, Environmental Sustainability Manager        
  • Danske Bank, Consultant             
  • Programme Manager at An Taisce                 
  • Project Manager, DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship  
  • Marketing Officer at Codema - Dublin's Energy Agency     
  • Corporate Responsibility Consultant, Business in the Community
  • Sustainable Urban Mobility Specialist at UN Habitat           
  • EU Energy Policy Advisor at Greenpeace, Bruss els           
  • Client Manager at The Carbon Trust

Course Content

General Structure

The MSc Sustainable Development is a full time course that runs over 15 months at the DIT. Lectures take place on Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays in semesters 1 and 2. Mondays and Tuesdays are allocated to work placement.

You take 10 core 5credit modules, a 25 credit dissertation in semester 1 and 2 and choose three optional modules in semester 2.

The Programme is structured to provide a first semester of modules which gives all candidates the most current thinking about the core topics of sustainable development – in the areas of Environment, Society and Economy. Students select a research topic for their dissertation in semester 1 and do a module on research techniques.

A European study tour (Public policy in a European Context (semester 2)) – provides opportunities to visit and experience examples of best practice within Europe. The itinerary for the tour is prepared by the students and a limited amount of funding is available to meet travel costs.

Work Placement is an integral part of the course. All students are assisted in identifying an approved and monitored work placement. For information on some of the host organisations who have participated in the work placement programme please click DT118 Sample List of Work Placements. Placements change from year to year to reflect the student's interests.

The second semester consists almost entirely of optional modules that will help you develop an expertise in a particular aspect of sustainable development. You select 3 modules worth 5 credits from the suite of modules available to the programme (See Optional modules for DT118 for module summaries.)

CORE MODULES DT118 MSc in Sustainable Development

These modules run in the first semester unless indicated otherwise. A link to the module descriptor on DIT Coursewise pages is provided with each module outline below.


Climate Change  and Policy Analysis                   

Society and Sustainable Development               

Economy and Sustainable Development             

Spatial Planning and Sustainable Communities 

Transport and Urban Development          

Environmental Law and Institutions II              

Sust. Devel. & Public Policy in a European Context

Research Techniques                                          


Progress and Placement                                      


Elective Modules in Sustainable Development 

You select 3 of these modules for semester 2; details of optional/elective modules are at

Environmental Management Plans 2

Environmental Design & Management

EU Policy

Law and Local Development

Local Governance, Dev. & Innovation

Management Studies


Renewable Energy Technologies

Spatial Data Assessment/GIS

Sustainable Construction

Sustainable Tour-Policy & Practice 

Urban Regeneration & Public Policy


Course assessment is by a combination of written examinations and assignments. Each module is subject to separate assessment.

Timetable / Hours

15 months: 3rd week in September to mid October

Structure: Lecture programme 30% of total annual hours allocation.

Work Experience: 20% of total annual hours allocation.

Study hours: 50% of total annual hours allocation.

For Further Information

Dr Ken Boyle
School of Spatial Planning 
College of Engineering & Built Environment
Dept of Environment & Planning DIT Bolton Street Dublin 1 

T: 01 402 3814 
F: 01 402 3999 


EU Fees for 2016/2017*

*The fees outlined for each course are provisional and are subject to change

For information on full time postgraduate fees please click here.

For information on funding please see the following link: Fees and Funding

Non EU Fees click here


What our Students say

“I was working in the sustainability area so the MSc. provided me with a real bedrock for furthering my career in the area. The course has helped me work in a very strategic way as it provided top down views across a number of areas.” 

Rahim O’Neill, graduated 2007, currently working with PWC in Abu Dhabi


“DIT’s MSc in Sustainable Development was an excellent launch board for my ca­reer in sustainability. The wide-ranging nature of the challenges of sustainability was captured in the variety of modules on offer. The high calibre lecturers to­gether with a focused work placement scheme ensured that I was well equipped for future career opportunities.”   

Tara Connolly  EU Energy Policy Advisor at Greenpeace, Brussels