Prospective Students

M.Sc. in Management for Sustainable Development (PAC Codes - September intake: DC913; January intake: DC914)


Fact File

Contact: Open Education Office
Fee informationClick Here
Indicative Timetable(Weeks 1-12)

Degree Information:

The overarching aim of the programme is to provide a Masters programme for graduates who wish to develop their professional skills from a sustainable management perspective through part time study and at a distance. This programme is a Level 9 programme on the NFQ framework. The programme's main philosophy is that for business to be sustainable in the long-term, a successful manager must effectively manage the whole of the business' resources, including environmental, economic and social resources, from a sustainable, global perspective.

Individual modules may be undertaken for CPD (Continuing Professional Development).

Aims and Objectives:

To provide students with an understanding of the theoretical, practical and legal aspects of modern environmental practices.

To develop in students an understanding of the key management functions required in business, including strategic management, project management and risk assessment. To enable students carry out research on a range of focused topics, involving data collection, critical analysis, interpretation and to present them in a report format.

About You:

The programme will be of particular relevance to those working or aspiring to work as environmental/sustainable development managers in a business, industry or service in both the public and private sectors and is particularly suited to those who wish to develop and implement best practice and sustainable strategies in both the public and private sectors.

How the course is delivered:

Open Education's post graduate programmes are provided through distance learning, which means that a working professional can achieve a deeper understanding in a specialist area and provide a sound basis for their long-term career, without disruption to their career or other commitments. For each module you undertake, you are given access to a specially written module text. While some modules have none, most modules require that you acquire one (and sometimes two) textbooks. You also get access to the vast range of academic journals and other resources provided by DCU Library and increasing use is being made of these resources on the course.

Tutorial support on this programme is provided online through the use of discussion forums in a virtual learning environment called Loop. In addition, tutorials will be provided using a web-based tutorial system. Students can partake in web based tutorials at home, work or anywhere with a reasonable internet connection. Additionally, because the tutorial sessions are recorded, for those who are unable to attend the live tutorial session, they can be viewed later, at a more convenient time for you, the student.

IT Equipment and Skills required:

You should have regular access to a computer (with Microsoft Office), a broadband Internet connection, a printer and a basic headset and a webcam. Specifically, you will need access to Microsoft Word, Excel and Access.

You should also be familiar with using email, browsing the Internet, and using word processing packages like Microsoft Word.

You can find detailed information on the IT skills and equipment required for this programme under the section 'Technology Requirements'.

How the course is assessed:

All modules are assessed via continuous assessment. There are no end of year examinations. For the taught modules, the continuous assessment normally takes the form of three assignments per module which have to be submitted at pre-defined points during the academic year. For the dissertation element, you are required to submit a 20,000 word document which is largely self directed, but with the guidance of a research supervisor.

Programme Structure:

The building block of each programme is the module. Two modules (30 credits) are studied in year 1. You will register for your programme of choice at the start of year 1. However, as the first year modules are common to all programmes, you may switch to another programme at the start of year 2 if you wish.

If you wish to terminate your studies on completion of year 1, you will receive a Graduate Certificate.

In year 2, the first 15 credits are essential to the MSc in Management for Sustainable Development programme. This module should be completed by the end of December of year 2. You will also complete a research proposal on a topic of relevance to the Management for Sustainable Development for submission by the end of October of year 2. Once the research proposal is approved, a dissertation supervisor will be appointed to you. It is envisaged that you will complete the Research Methods and Case Study module by end of April of year 2. This module is a combination of common research methods sub module, a Management for Sustainable Development specific case study and one elective from a range of modules currently on offer within the specific programmes. It is anticipated that while you can choose any of the electives, it is recommended that you choose the elective that best fits with the Management for Sustainable Development programme. You will receive advice in relation to this at the appropriate time.

To conclude your studies for the MSc award, you must complete a dissertation of about 20,000 words in a topic compatible with the aims of the Management for Sustainable Development programme. The purpose of the dissertation is to enable you to develop your investigative and analytical skills and to plan, organise and carry out independent research under supervision. The dissertation is also an opportunity for you to investigate a problem or issue of importance to your organisation or of professional relevance to yourself. You will be required to demonstrate competence in the critical study of your chosen topic and lucidity in the presentation and communication of the results. You will already have completed two research methods modules as part of your Post Graduate diploma studies, which will provide you with the tools required to undertake this major piece of research. The final dissertation must be submitted for examination by the end of July of year 2. You may also postpone registration for the dissertation module until year 3 if you wish and only take the two taught modules in year 2.

If you decide not to complete the dissertation, and have already completed the taught modules (60 credits), you may elect to graduate with the award of Graduate Diploma.

Module Syllabi - Subject Outlines:

Project and Change Management (15 credits) OSC1

Project Management
Managing Change

Business Support Systems (15 credits) OSC2

Research Methods 1
Business and the Environment
Legal Frameworks

MSD (15 credits) OSC14

Sustainable Procurement
Sustainable Waste and Enviroment Management
Sustainable Energy and Water Management

Research Methods and Case Study (15 credits) OSC3

Research Methods II
Case Study
Strategic Management

DISSERTATION (30 credits) OSC20

Figure 1: M.Sc. in Management of Sustainable Development Programme Structure

Project and Change Management - OSC1
This module consists of three elements with one assignment per element. In Project Management and Risk Assessment you are introduced to how key project management principles are applied to project planning, project scheduling, project generation, project feasibility selection and initiation and project scheduling techniques. In the Second element, Managing Change the different models of change are describes and how these assist in understanding and managing resistance to change, building readiness for change and sustaining change is outlined. Finally an elective where you can choose one element from four options, which currently include Enterprise Systems, Value Chain Management, Business Analysis and Social Context of Information and Internet Systems is completed.

Business Support Systems - OSC2
This module consists of three elements with one assignment per element. In Legal Frameworks, you are introduced to Irish Law, court procedure and litigation, remedies and enforcement and will be equipped to understand European Environmental legislation and how this relates to Irish law. In Research Methods 1 you are introduced to Qualitative and Quantitative research methods, while in Business and the Environment you are provided with an understanding of the essential elements of environmental management, including environmental management systems within an organisation and its link to business management.

Research Methods and Case Study - OSC3
This module consists of three elements with one assignment per element. Research Methods II develops the concepts covered in Research Methods 1 by describing the specific research methods in more detail. This element is followed with a programme specific case study which requires assessment of all aspects of a particular situation relevant to the core programme. The Final element of this module Strategic Management, provides an overview of the development of strategy and strategy making processes and sets it in context.

Management for Sustainable Development - OSC14
This is the core module of the MSc in Management for Sustainable Development programme. The overall aim of this module is to provide you with an understanding of the challenges involved in current best practices for the delivery of sustainable management practices across a range of operational issues specifically, waste and environmental management, energy and water management and procurement management.

Dissertation - OSC20
The Dissertation is a major piece of independent work of 20,000 words in length and gives you the opportunity to bring to bear the techniques and perspectives covered in the taught modules upon a specific issue of interest. An independent and critical appraisal of an issue is essential in order to successfully complete the dissertation.

View the subjects currently taught on this course (2016 - 2017)

Why DCU:

Dublin City University has been offering postgraduate level education at a distance since 1990. Our programmes are targeted at working professionals, who wish to achieve a deeper understanding in a specialist area and to provide a sound basis for their long-term career, without disruption to their career or other commitments. As a graduate from our programmes, you will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to reach senior managerial positions in your chosen specialist area.

The Masters of Science programme, awarded by DCU, is at level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

There is no compulsory attendance on these programmes. All modules are taught on line in a virtual classroom, Loop, where you can interact with your fellow students and tutors through email, chat, skype, at whatever time suits you.

Assessment is continuous with no terminal examinations. This greatly increases the flexibility of the programme.

Career Prospects:

The blend of skills developed in this programme ensures graduates are suitable for any role in which Sustainable Development is important, which today is almost every sector of the economy. As a graduate of this programme you will have a thorough understanding of best practice in the rapidly growing area of Sustainable Development and will have the knowledge and skills to develop and implements best practice and sustainable strategies in both the public and private sectors.

As Sustainable Development becomes increasingly important to all organisations, this degree will add long term value to your career, regardless of your existing role.

Entry Requirements:

There are five entry routes to the programme:

  • A Level 8 or higher degree in a relevant discipline (Engineering, Science, Business or Information Technology) from a recognised higher education institution.
  • Chartered membership of an engineering institution such as the Institute of Engineers of Ireland or a professional accounting body such as the Institute of Chartered Accountant.
  • A Level 7 qualification in a subject in a relevant discipline or non-chartered membership of a professional body, along with at least three years relevant work experience.
  • A level 8 qualification in a non-relevant discipline along with at least three years relevant work experience.
  • Evidence of substantial relevant work experience. Such applicants will be required to submit a CV in support of their application and may be required to attend for interview.

In the case of all applicants to Dublin City University evidence must be provided of competence in the English language. The English Language requirements of DCU can be found here.

How to Apply:

To apply for a postgraduate programme, please go to the following website: and click on Taught Postgraduate Listing and then enter the PAC course code for the programme you wish to apply. (The PAC course code for this programme is given at the top of this webpage.) You need to first register with PAC in order to make an application.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Please see the list of Frequently Asked Questions we have prepared for all applicants.

You can also email us with any questions to: or telephone us directly on 01 700 5481 for further assistance.

Important Dates:

Study Period:

Year 1: Monday 19th September 2016 to mid-May 2017.

Year 2: From mid-September 2017 to end July 2018

Closing date for applications is early September (for late September start) or early December (for a January start).

Fee information