Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Protection (Online)

  • NFQ Level 9
  • Credits 60*
  • Course Code SG_SENVP_O09
  • Award Post Graduate Diploma
  • Duration 2 years

Course Summary

Environmental protection is one of the disciplines where there is a steady demand for skilled professionals. It is an excellent area to pursue in further education and you can start now.

The distance learning Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Protection

  • gives you the framework and tools needed to operate effectively
  • will strongly position you within the marketplace
  • will help you to realise your career and educational aspirations.

This flexible programme in the theory and practice of environmental protection is designed for those who have, or who aspire to have, environmental responsibilities but who may lack sufficient formal training in the area. A broad range of environmental topics is addressed and integrated to provide current environmental management, technical and legislative skills to participants covering a range of areas including water quality and supply, ecology, geology, biology, water and waste management and sustainability.

There are six subjects; Waste Management and Resource Efficiency,  Energy Systems and Management, Environmental Management, Water Resource Management, Air and Noise Management and Environmental Systems 


The subjects Waste Management and Resource Efficiency,  Energy Systems and Management,  Water Resource Management, Air and Noise Management are examined by continuous assessment and by a final written examination which account for 50% and 50% respectively. Continuous assessment comprises online Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs), coursework and other assignment work.

The subjects Environmental Management  and Environmental Systems  are assessed 100% by coursework; there is no end-of-subject examination.


Examinations take place in January and May and are generally held on a Saturday. 

Each of the six subjects on the Postgraduate Diploma is a stand-alone 10 credit unit. A participant may choose to opt out of the course and gain single subject certificates for those subjects that have been successfully completed. More often, participants will complete the six subjects on the course and gain the award of Postgraduate Diploma.

Outline of the course operation

As mentioned already, there are six 10-credit subjects on the Postgraduate Diploma. Each subject runs for a period of 3 months. The six subjects run consecutively over two academic years.

There is one (occasionally two) workshop per subject. The workshops take place on a Friday and Saturday.

A Course Coordinator oversees the entire course to offer support and advice throughout the two years.

Students who successfully complete the Postgraduate Diploma at merit or greater are eligible to continue on to the MSc, a further 1 year of study. The MSc enables students to specialise in an area of their choice.

Key Course Information

Application Closing Date : 16th August 2024

Entry Requirements

Participants must have one of the following academic qualifications:

1) Hold an honours degree (L8) in science or engineering or  other relevant cognate area awarded by a recognised degree awarding body or ,

2) Hold a relevant ordinary degree (L7) in science or engineering other relevant cognate area and have obtained a minimum of three years relevant post-qualification experience.

Career Opportunities

You will be qualified to work in a very wide range of areas such as environmental management, enforcement, waste management, energy management, wastewater treatment, noise and air quality and research and development. The career opportunities in this field are varied and include working in industry, environmental consultancy, education and regulatory authorities.

Further Study

Upon achieving honours in the Postgraduate Diploma you may continue onto the Masters in Environmental Protection which is a dissertation and takes one academic year.

Did you know?

This is the longest running distance learning course in the University.  It has been running continually since 1989 and graduates from the course work all over Ireland.  Many of our participants hear about the course from previous graduates who recommend it. 

Programme Fees

Academic Year 2024/25 Fees

Total Programme Fee: €4,800

To help make the payment of fees more manageable for students who are self-funding their studies, tuition fees can be paid through payment instalment plans at ATU Sligo. For further information on instalment plans, please visit our Fees and Funding webpage

If you apply and are approved for an online course at ATU Sligo, you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of €250 to secure your place. Your deposit will then be credited against the course fees once you are registered as a student. Students at ATU Sligo are also eligible to claim tax relief at the standard rate for tuition fees.

For further information and guidance about Fees and Funding for online and part-time courses at ATU Sligo, click here.

If you are seeking to take your exams online, and you meet the eligibility criteria (overseas students and those with extenuating circumstances), an additional examinations fee will apply. For further information, please visit our Examinations webpage

Course Format

Year A
Period Subject
Sept – Nov Water Resource Management 
Dec – Feb Air and Noise Management  
Mar – May Environmental Systems
Summer Break Year B
Sept - Nov Waste Management and Resource Efficiency 
Dec - Feb Energy Systems and Management 
Mar - May Environmental Management