Sustainability is the great challenge of our time. It is enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals and achieving it will require an integrated approach to the protection of the Earth and its inhabitants. This unique programme combines the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainability, enabling specialisation in one of those dimensions complemented by knowledge and skills from the others. Core modules provide a global perspective on sustainability and include interdisciplinary research, a professional placement, field work in Ireland and Europe and guest lectures from leading researchers, advocates and practitioners.

Graduates will enjoy careers as consultants, managers and advisers in large organisations and private businesses. An interdisciplinary education in sustainability theory, policy and practise will equip you to work in areas such as renewables, clean technology management and energy efficiency, or advise industries on social and environmental strategies. Many opportunities also exist in international organisations such as the UN, the European Environment Agency and the European Commission, government departments and state agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Parks and Wildlife Service and in local authorities and Non-Governmental Organisations.

How old do I have to be?

If you are at least 23 years of age on 1 January of the year you want to enter, you can apply on grounds of mature years.

To enter in September 2022, you must have been born on or before 1 January 1999.

What is the closing date?

Apply by 1 February 2022.

Late applications will not be considered on the grounds of mature years.

How do I apply?

Apply* via the Central Applications Office (CAO) for:

DN240 Sustainability.

In addition you must successfully complete and present one of the following:

  1. MSAP Ireland score (separate MSAP Ireland registration required)


      2. UCD Open Learning Module(s)

What documents do I need to send to CAO?

You must post the following documentation to CAO, Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway:

  1. Results, Certificates or other evidence of any qualifications that you have mentioned in your online CAO application.
  2. Any additional information you wish to supply to support your application. You may find this template helpful in recording this additional information.

Remember to include your CAO application number on all supporting documents that you send to CAO.

Please note that documents should be with CAO no later than 15 February. Documents received after this date may not be available to us in time for assessment.

 What is MSAP Ireland?

The MSAP Ireland assessment is designed to allow you to demonstrate your skills in written English (Module 1) and your capacity for critical reasoning in the area of Sciences, Mathematics and Social Sciences (Module 3). You must register for MSAP Ireland by 30 January 2022.

    Main Online Test Window:  Saturday 5 March 2022 - Wednesday 09 March 2022

The cost of applying to the MSAP-Ireland assessment in 2022 is €97 per candidate for those who apply by 30 January. An additional charge of €35 will apply for late registrations up to 24 February.

This fee will cover online registration for the test, delivery of the test, provision of test results to the candidate and the transfer of results to the CAO.


 What is UCD Open Learning?

UCD Open Learning gives you the opportunity to study a range of undergraduate modules in UCD. There are no formal entry requirements and the Open Learning modules are open to everyone.

N.B. Module(s) must be taken for credit in order to avail of this entry route.

How will my application be assessed?

Your application will be assessed initially on the basis of your written application under the following headings:

Academic Ability: i) MSAP Ireland score – minimum score required: N/A - all scores will be considered.
ii) UCD Open Learning Module(s) GPA – minimum GPA required: 2.0

Note: MSAP Ireland score and Open Learning module results are valid for two years only i.e. results from this year are valid for entry in this year and next year only.

Mathematics Ability: You must show academic ability in Mathematics. For school leavers, with a Leaving Certificate, at least a grade O2/H6 (OB1/HD3) in Mathematics is required.

You will need an equivalent level to be able to cope with some of the modules in the Sustainability degree programme. N.B. Evidence of ability must be provided.

If you have not achieved the O2/H6 grade or an equivalent level, UCD offers Open Learning modules which will meet the requirement:

MATH00030 or MATH0040

The following modules are also accepted to meet the Maths requirement:

Please note previous ability in Maths, at min O2/H6 level is recommended to be successful on these modules

MATH00010 or

MATH10310 or


Work Experience, Personal &
Professional Development:
Provide a brief CV detailing all relevant experience gained through employment and/or volunteer work which indicates readiness for the degree programme.

Motivation and Interest: Personal Statement should be included, explaining why you want to study Sustainability and how the degree would contribute to your plans for your future career.

Is there an interview?

In general interviews are not held. In some cases an interview may be required to facilitate a decision on an application.

When will I know the decision on my application?

Offers for mature applicants will issue via CAO in Round A (early July) and must be accepted within a week.

Successful applicants will receive notification of an offer from CAO when the round issues.


If the decision of the Assessment Board is a Conditional Offer, UCD Admissions will contact the applicant by email, in advance of round A, to explain the conditions which must be fulfilled to receive an official CAO offer.


If places remain when Round A closes, these will be offered in the following CAO offer rounds to applicants on the waiting list*. As above, CAO will notify applicants if an offer has issued.

*Please note that the Assessment Board may have decided to offer all eligible applicants in Round A and therefore there may not be a waiting list for your chosen degree.

You may also be interested in the QQI-FET entry pathway.

Where can I find out more?

Applying as a Mature Student   Access Routes   Supports for Mature Students
Graduate Entry Routes   News for Mature Applicants   Finance
Personal Statement Template   Frequently Asked Questions   Contacts
Important Dates        

* Non-EU applicants apply via

If you are unsure if you are EU or Non-EU please see