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Global Change...be the change you wish to see in the world!

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever.

Mahatma Gandhi

Frequently Asked Questions

 Questions/answers about this study programme 

Is the MSc in Global Change the right degree for me?

What are the career opportunities?

What is the background of the students who take this course?

What is the structure of the course?

How is a module run?

When can I apply?

Do I have to pay the application fee?

How do I qualify?

How can I apply?

-->International information about UCD and JLU

Is it really full-time?

What is the ‘internship’ or ‘work placement’?

Where can I do my independent research project?

Where can I get funding to support me ? 

Can I talk to past graduates? 


(opens in a new window)Q1: Is the MSc in Global Change the right degree for me?

The MSc in Global Change: Ecosystem Science and Policy degree is aimed at individuals who intend to pursue a career in the wide field of ‘Environmental issues’ with the skills to understand the science as well as communicating policy-relevant evidence to diverse audience.

(opens in a new window)Q2: What are the career opportunities?

Graduates may pursue roles as policy adviser, scientific analyst or researcher, be it in government, international organisations, NGOs, research institutes or consulting companies. There are also many opportunities for further studies. The skills you acquire, particularly through the completion of the Minor Thesis provides a strong foundation for PhD research.

Prospective Employers could be for example: Environmental Protection Agency, Governmental Departments and authorities, European Commission; European Environment Agency, International organisations (e.g. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; United Nations Environment Programme; International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Food and Agriculture Organisation, International Atomic Energy Agency).

(opens in a new window)Q3: What is the background of the students who take this course?

The majority of the students who took this course so far have a life sciences as well as other science, engineering, agriculture and geography degrees. This course is first of all a science course and therefore a minimum knowledge of science is required. However, other degrees can be considered by the Admission committee.

(opens in a new window)Q4a: What is the structure of the course?

The 16 month long 120 ECTS or credit points course entails taught modules with field components and practicals, seminars, group work and critical discussions as well as a mandatory work placement and an independent research project. The first semester is based at UCD, followed by the 6 weeks minimum contact-time work placement. The second taught semester is based at JLU and the third semester is comprised of the individual research project which can be undertaken in either UCD or JLU.


(opens in a new window)Q4b: How is a module run?

In UCD, modules are delivered either in one or two hour lecture sessions every week for 12 weeks or several times during a week for a block period of 4 weeks. All lectures take place between 9:00 and 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday. The timetable is available to the students as soon as they have registered.

In JLU, modules are delivered also either in a week-long block or during the semester. Lectures take place between 8.00 and 5:00. 

 Click below the link to download a presentation on the core (compulsory) and optional modules available at each institution. 

Overview of modules

(opens in a new window)Q5: When can I apply?

You can apply any time through UCD on-line system (click here). You are advised to apply as early as possible (starts in November for the following September). UCD operates a rolling admissions policy which means that all applications are reviewed on a rolling case-by-case basis, with every effort made to inform applicants whether they have been accepted, rejected, or placed on a waiting list within two weeks of the receipt of a complete application.

There is no particular deadline for submission of applications. We will accept applications on a rolling case-by-case basis. However, if you wish to benefit from our special scholarship awards, some deadlines will apply. For example, the deadline for North American applicants for the Global Excellence award is 1st January (for Sept start of that year). 

For more information check here

(opens in a new window)Q6: Do I have to pay the application fee?

The application fees is necessary for your application to be reviewed. This is the case for all programmes in UCD. 

(opens in a new window)Q7: How do I qualify?

Entrance to the programme requires a recognised Bachelor honours degree (that is with 180 ECTS credit points) or equivalent, with a GPA of 2.48 or higher, in an appropriate life sciences discipline, such as biology, agriculture or environmental science (including zoology, ecology, geology, biochemistry) as well engineering and physics. Geography and political science degrees are also considered but will be reviewed by the Global Change Committee separately.  

If English is not your native language, proof of your proficiency in English will be required, unless you took your primary degree through English in an English speaking country. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL Internet Based Test is 100, on the IELTS system it is 6.5. Applicants who obtained a previous degree from an English-speaking university may be exempted from this requirement.

(opens in a new window)Q8: How can I apply?

To apply online please go to www.ucd.ie/apply and create a user account; select “Graduate Taught Courses” as your application type from the drop down list and then select “MSc Global Change: Ecosystem Science and Policy (F038)”. Applicants who experience technical difficulties applying online should contact the Online Applications Team at www.ucd.ie/apply/help.html for further advice.

We also require the following documents to be submitted:

  1. Official transcripts of prior university results with a breakdown of all module grades*
  2. A copy of birth certificate or passport
  3. Proof of English language competence. (For non-native English speakers only. On English competence, see details below.)

* Applicants who completed a bachelor's degree at UCD do not have to submit a transcript.

These documents should be uploaded online. Should you encounter technical difficulties, they can be submitted by post to Online Applications, Admissions Office, Tierney Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.

(opens in a new window)Click here for international information about UCD and (opens in a new window)JLU including cost of living etc. 

You will be provided with (relatively cheap) international student accommodation in JLU Giessen for the summer semester and if necessary during your work placement and research thesis. 

(opens in a new window)Q9: Is it really full-time?

Yes. We do not allow for part-time students and we really mean full-time!

(opens in a new window)Q10: What is the ‘internship’ or ‘work placement’?

This Masters programme is distinctive in that it offers students the opportunity to spend 6 to 8 weeks on a work placement. You will be placed in a setting that reflects your own interests. You can also ask the programme co-ordinator to review a particular internship (e.g. a company of your choice that you might be interested in working for). The work placement can be carried in any country of your choice. Placements may vary considerably but students will normally be placed in industry, government, non-government or research agencies where they will obtain a breadth of practical experience to complement their degree programme. Through this work placement, you will acquire transferable skills which will make you a sought after and effective employee. 

A Programme Internship Manager is dedicated to helping the students securing a work placement and helping them with their applications, CVs, cover letters as well as giving them mock interviews and advise on work ethics.

See more here. 

(opens in a new window)Q11: Where can I do my research project thesis?

The independent research project is carried out either in UCD, JLU or another university. In certain cases, the student may be working from another institution but he/she will be assigned a supervisor from either university as well as an external supervisor in the host institution. 

See more here. 

(opens in a new window)Q12: Where can I get funding to support me ? 

Non-EU students are advised to contact the UCD International Office at www.ucd.ie/international to avail of a range of scholarships. 

There is a range of scholarships depending on your country and your achievements so far (e.g. honours in your Bachelor Degree).

For German students, you can benefit from several sources of funding and you contact the JLU International Office at http://www.uni-giessen.de/international-pages. 

For European students in general, ERASMUS mobility grants are available for your work placement, semester outside your country (Germany if you are Irish for example) as well as for your research project if you wish to carry it outside your country of residence. 

(opens in a new window)Q13: Can I talk to past graduates? 

Join us on (opens in a new window)Twitter, or (opens in a new window)Linkedin group for discussion with past and current Global Changers! 

Go to our Testimonials to hear from Global Changer graduates!

If you have more question please email: (opens in a new window)globalchange@ucd.ie

MSc Global Change

School of Biology & Environmental Science University College Dublin Dublin, Ireland Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen Heinrich-Buff-Ring 17 35392 Gießen Germany
T: +353 (0) 17162253 | E: globalchange@ucd.ie