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UCC CPD courses

Freshwater Quality Monitoring with Biota and Particulate Matter

Course Fact File
Duration12 weeks
Teaching ModePart-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.
QualificationsCPD Module
FeesThe fee for this module is €400. Applicants from low-income countries that are part of the GEMS/Water programme should contact for information about fee concessions. See Fees and Costs for full details. See Fees and Costs for full details.
Closing Date31st July 2023
Non-EU Closing Date31st July 2023
Course Delivery MethodOnline
Start DateSeptember 2023 Semester 1


Water quality has traditionally been assessed on the basis of physical and chemical measurements but numerous alternative approaches based on the flora and fauna of surface waters have also been proposed. The main approaches used in biological and ecological monitoring are described and the scientific basis behind such methods is considered in order to identify the key criteria for their successful implementation in water quality monitoring programmes. The key biogeochemical processes in rivers and lakes, emphasising the critical information required to interpret water quality monitoring data, are also presented.

Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Identify the influences of human activities on biological communities in surface waters
  • Propose, with reasons, suitable indicator organisms in rivers and lakes
  • Distinguish between biological communities and individual species as approaches for water quality monitoring
  • Identify the influences of human activities on composition and behaviour of particulate matter in rivers and lakes
  • Select examples of use of particulate matter to monitor contamination in rivers and lakes

Select the advantages and disadvantages of using particulate matter for monitoring contamination in surface waters.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

36hr(s) Directed Study (Online self-directed learning); 12hr(s) Directed Study (Online moderated activities); 12 x 1hr(s) Directed Study (Reading).


Total Marks 100: Continuous Assessment 100 marks (2MCQ tests 50 marks each (100 marks))


A BSc in Environmental Science or similar subject; or a relevant professional qualification; or a portfolio of work and experience in the area of water quality monitoring. Candidates who do not hold a BSc will be judged on a case-by-case basis as to their suitability for the programme, subject to the approval of the college of Science, Engineering and Food Science. Candidates, for whom English is not their primary language, should possess an IELTS of 6.5 (or TOEFL equivalent) with no less than 6.0 in each individual category.

*where modules are part of an existing programme and are to be offered as CPD Modules, the applicant will be expected to meet the entry requirements of the programme.

Fees and Costs

The fee for this module is €400. Applicants from low income countries that are part of the GEMS/Water programme should contact  for information about fee concessions. The fee for Non-EU applicants is €800

How To Apply

To apply for this module please download and complete the application form below and submit with the relevant documents to:

CPD Coordinator, GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre, Environmental Research Institute, Cork

OR via email at 

CPD GEMS EV6017 Module - Application Form can be accessed in the link below:

CPD EV Modules Application Form 2023

Forward this form along with the:

  • Application fee,
  • A passport sized photograph and
  • Any other documentation requested on the form.

 Applications are open for Semester 1

Similar Courses

All Modules Under UNEP/GEMS Water Capacity Development Centre

EV6012 Freshwater Monitoring Programme Design

EV6013 Quality Assurance for Freshwater Quality Monitoring

EV6014 Data Handling, Assessment & Prestat. Freshwater Quality Monitoring

EV6015 Water Quality Monitoring & Assessment in Rivers, Lakes & Reservoirs

EV6016 Water Quality Monitoring & Assessment of Groundwater

EV6017 Freshwater Quality Monitoring with Biota and Particulate Matter