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UCC Postgraduate courses

Sustainability in Enterprise (Online)

80% Funding for Eligible HCI Pillar 3 Year 1 (PG Cert) Applicants Connect on LinkedIn See all Funded Sustainable Futures Options
Course Fact File
Duration2 Years Part-time; PG Cert (Year 1); MSc (Year 2)
Teaching ModePart-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.
QualificationsPGCert / MSc
NFQ LevelLevel 9
FeesSee Fees and Costs for full details.
Closing DateRolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.
Non-EU Closing DateOpen until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.
Course Delivery MethodOnline
Start Date9 September 2024

Course Outline

Are you concerned about sustainability and climate action? Are you someone who is interested in achieving real systems change across enterprise and industry? Do you want to know how business can play a part in the transition to a sustainable society? If so, then the Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) and Masters in Sustainability in Enterprise (MSc) online programmes could be for you... 

Under the Sustainable Futures theme, University College Cork, Maynooth University, and the Atlantic Technological University in Sligo, have developed a joint PG Certificate and MSc in Sustainability in Enterprise, in recognition of the growing national and international market for graduates in sustainability. These part-time and online programmes are open to graduates from Engineering, Science, Business, Management, Economics, Sustainability, and related disciplines. They are open to both recent graduates and those currently in employment.

We have designed this suite of programmes so that you can proceed to a Master's level qualification on successful completion of the Postgraduate Certificate. The online PG Certificate is delivered on a part-time basis over 1 year and the MSc degree is delivered on a part-time basis over 2 years.

Year 1 - PG Certificate in Sustainability in Enterprise (NFQ Level 9, Minor Award)

In Year 1, you will register for the PG Certificate in Sustainability in Enterprise and take modules to the value of 30 credits. Following successful completion of Year 1, you can exit with a PG Certificate or progress to the MSc programme in Year 2.

Year 2 - For completion of the MSc in Sustainability in Enterprise (NFQ Level 9, Major Award)

To complete the MSc, you will take an additional 60 credits to make up 90 credits in total. This includes taught modules to the value of 30 credits and a Dissertation in Sustainability in Enterprise to the value of 30 credits, which is completed over the summer months. The modules for both years are listed below:

Year 1Postgraduate Certificate Sustainability in Enterprise 30 credits
CE6045  Introduction to Sustainability & the Natural Environment  10 
CE6046 Introduction to Sustainable Enterprise  10 
CE6047 Systems Thinking in Environmental Sustainability  10  
Year 2MSc Sustainability in Enterprise (90 credits total)60 credits
CE6048 Responsible Management for Sustainable Enterprise  10
CE6049 Sustainable Resource Management and Decarbonisation 10
CE6050 Applied Research Methods in Sustainability in Enterprise  10
CE6051 Dissertation in Sustainability in Enterprise  30

Additional Teaching Mode Information

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

All students apply and register for the PG Certificate in Sustainability in Enterprise in the first instance. On successful completion and award of the Postgraduate Certificate, students have the option of continuing on to complete the MSc programme.
The PG Certificate in Sustainability in Enterprise is a part-time online programme completed over one year whereas the MSc in Sustainability in Enterprise is a part-time online programme completed over two years. Students will study modules and will participate in live online lectures (2 or 3 hours) one evening per week during each academic year. There will also be self-directed online study (2 hours) and pre-recorded lectures each week. There will be six online seminars (1 to 2 hours each) each year. There will be four 1-day-long online workshops during each academic year. These will take place on Fridays on dates specified at the beginning of each academic year. There will be an online induction at the beginning of the programme.

Students who pass the PG Certificate in Sustainability in Enterprise in the first year will be eligible to progress to the MSc in Sustainability in Enterprise in the following year.

Students wishing to complete the MSc must pass each taught module in Year 2 (30 credits), and achieve a 50% aggregate mark and 50% in CE6050 at the first attempt.

Academic Contact Details for this Course

Why Choose This Course

It has been a rich, rewarding experience...

Claire O’Rourke, Graduate, MSc Sustainability in Enterprise

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... it has opened my eyes to the numerous challenges, but also significant opportunities, for organisations transitioning to a sustainable business model.

Cliona Moore O’Halloran, Student

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This new part-time online Postgraduate Certificate and MSc in Sustainability in Enterprise programmes is delivered by leading academic experts in sustainability from University College Cork, Maynooth University, Atlantic Technological University, Sligo.

UCC is a national and global leader in Sustainability and was ranked 8th in the world in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings in 2021 for its work related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Postgraduate Certificate and MSc in Sustainability in Enterprise programmes leverage UCC’s Sustainability Strategy and the interdisciplinary strengths and capacity developed over 20 years within the Environmental Research Institute and its reach across 20 disciplines at UCC. It also draws on the strength of UCC’s commitment and success in its Green Campus initiative. The programme aims to build on this success to support the transformation to a low carbon economy across a range of industry sectors using a flexible programme design that is responsive to emerging skills needs.

The Atlantic Technological University (ATU) in Sligo has recognised expertise in Environmental Science and Management and is the leading Irish HEI in the delivery of online/blended learning programmes in partnership with the industry. ATU has more than 16 years of experience in online/blended education and has been the recipient of the ‘Taoiseach’s Public Service Excellence Award’ for its achievements in promoting online/blended learning for full-time and part-time students. The third-level educational programmes at ATU are informed by research at their Centre for Environmental Research Innovation and Sustainability.

The School of Business at Maynooth University (MU) is a management education research leader whose expertise includes contributions in the field of sustainability in management education and whose teaching is supported by the Irish Climate Analysis and Research Unit (ICARUS).

This unique joint programme will also include industry and enterprise guest lectures. By design, the programmes offer great flexibility for students, especially those who are also working.

Skills and Careers Information

The PG Certificate and MSc in Sustainability in Enterprise will develop highly competitive graduates with expertise in environmental sustainability, sustainability in business and management, and systems thinking. These combined skills ensure that graduates will be able to solve complex multi-faceted sustainability challenges both now and in the future. Graduates will be employed in sustainability roles in business, industry, enterprise, and large organisations across a variety of sectors.

Following completion of the Postgraduate Certificate in Year 1, students can further enhance their qualifications and expertise by progressing to the MSc in Sustainability in Enterprise in Year 2.


Applicants must have a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) with at least a Second Class Honours Grade 2 in any of the following:

  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Business
  • Management
  • Economics
  • Sustainability
  • A related discipline (e.g. Finance, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Science, Computer Science or Medicine)

Candidates who have completed the Higher Diploma in Sustainability in Enterprise (NFQ, Level 8) are also eligible to apply to the programme. Although in most cases interviews will not be required to assess suitability for the programme, please note that an interview may be required in some instances. Applicants who do not meet the minimum entry requirements for this course may wish to consider applying for the Higher Diploma in Sustainability in Enterprise (NFQ, Level 8).

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 3

Year 1 (PG Cert) is subsidised (under the Human Capital Initiative Pillar 3) and is 80% funded.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants) 

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
  • Please upload your CV here.
  • Please enter the name and email address of two referees. 

The closing date for non-EU applications is Open until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.

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For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact