MSc, Graduate Diploma & Certificate in Environmental Sustainability

Award: 10 credits at level 4
Duration: 12 weeks
Start Date: September (Semester 1)

BSEN 40480 Sustainable Energy & Environment


This module is for students in Semester 1 of the MSc, Graduate Diploma or Certificate in Environmental Sustainability (Negotiated Learning) course

What will I study?

This module introduces students to the issues of sustainable energy use and assessment of energy systems in terms of their impacts and sustainability.

The module deals initially with historical and current energy use:

  • The concept and application of energy systems is introduced as well as fossil fuel energy systems
  • The estimation and evaluation of energy resources will be examined
  • Sustainable energy will be discussed in the context of energy systems and sustainability metrics; this will include an introduction to systems analysis approaches and measures of sustainability
  • The module then gives an overview of the principal types of renewable energy-including solar, thermal photovoltaics, bioenergy, hydro, tidal, wind, and wave

In addition the underlying physical and technological principles of renewable energy systems and the future prospects of different energy sources will be examined. Finally the module focuses on an overview of energy efficiency analysis including energy balances, cost-benefit analysis and cost-efficiency analysis of various energy scenarios and renewable energy choices.

How will I study?

The Energy Systems and Sustainable Environment module will include:

  • Videos and demonstrations by the lecturers including interactive online learning material
  • Interactive learning reinforcement quizzes
  • Online assignments

Expected Commitment

Students are not required to attend any lectures at the UCD campus as part of the module. However, Students are expected to attend the final semester exam and spend a total 220 hours workload during the semester consisting of:
Lectures, videos and other online learning materials (throughout the semester): 24 hours
Assessments, project and quizzes (throughout the semester): 52 hours
Student Autonomous Learning: 144 hours

How will I be assessed?

In-semester assessment: 30%

2 hour end of semester written exam: 70%

On successful completion of this module I will be able to

At the end of the course students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of historical and current energy use as well as fossil fuel energy systems;
  • Discuss the issue of sustainable energy and assess energy systems in terms of their sustainability
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamentals of renewable energy systems.
  • Discuss the current and future prospects of renewable energy systems including their potential to contribute to a sustainable energy future

Am I eligible?

Students should have a minimum of 2.2 honours in a science or technology degree qualification. Otherwise, there are no pre-requisites for this module.