Global Change: Ecosystem Science and Policy (MSc)
Global change refers to planetary-scale changes occurring in complex socio-ecological systems. Understanding the intricate changes in our land, air and water requires advanced scientific knowledge in measurement, modelling and prediction. This joint international MSc course between the University College Dublin (UCD) and the Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) is a response to these global change challenges.
- The course starts in September at UCD in Ireland. This first semester is followed by a 6 week work placement in a company or institution of your choice (January to February).
- The second semester continues in March at JLU in Giessen, Germany.
- The third semester comprises the individual research project which can be undertaken in working groups, either at UCD or JLU. On completion of the research project students will produce a minor thesis in the form of a scientific paper.
Tuition fees: The MSc Course is a fee-paying programme.
Composition of the Study Programme
- Composition of the Study Programme (new modules)
Master of Science (MSc)
Jointly awarded by Justus Liebig University Giessen and University College Dublin
Duration of studies
3 semesters (16 months) – 120 credit points (cp)
Composition of degree programme
Graduates will be equipped with three generic skill sets:
- Global change science (climate change, ecosystem research, biodiversity, land use change, resource management etc.),
- Policy and communication (policy and law, regulation and governance, stakeholder involvement, policy advice etc.),
- Data management, analysis and reporting (research methods, data collection, data analysis and evaluation, modelling etc.)
The Master’s course comprises 12 core modules and two optional modules:
UCD modules, 35 credit points:
Core modules cp Quantitative Methods for Engineers 5 Plant-Atmosphere Climate Interaction 5 Global Change Ecology – Introduction 5 Science and Policy 5 Environmental Impact Assessment 5 Environmental Law and Policy 5 Optional module (5 cp), e.g.: cp
b. Peatland and Environmental Change
JLU modules, 35 credit points:
Core modules cp Global Change: Modelling and Advanced Techniques 5 Designing and Managing Global Research Projects 3 Political Consulting - Environmental Policy and Development Cooperation 6 Resource Economics and Environmental Management 6 Biodiversity Informatics 3 Climate-relevance and Resource Efficiency of Sustainable Farming Systems 6 Optional module(s) (6 cp), e.g.: cp
a. Field Methods in Global Change Research
b. Human Health Impacts of Climate Change: the International Dimension
c. Adaption to Global Change
d. Stress Ecology
e. Into the Footsteps of a Researcher
f. Man in Past Climates and Climate Change Impacts
Module Work Placement (20 cp)
Module Research Project / Thesis (30 cp)
- Application: Commencement of studies
Commencement of studies
Only possible in the winter semester
The course starts in September (September - December) at University College Dublin (UCD). The first semester is followed by a 6 week work placement (January - February). Students continue their studies at Justus Liebig University Giessen (second semester; March - July). The third semester (August - December) is comprised of the Master's thesis which can either be written at UCD or at JLU.
- Application: admission and registration
Application for admission and registration
Application and enrolment for the course take place at University College Dublin.
To apply online go to, create a user account, select "Postgraduate Programmes" and select "MSc Global Change: Ecosystems and Policy".
- Application: Entrance requirements
Applicants must hold a Bachelor's degree with at least 180 ECTS-points and an average grade of 2.48 (UCD grade points, see special regulation § 26 of the table comparing JLU/ UCD grade points) or better in one of the following scientific fields:
- Agricultural Studies
- Natural or Environmental Sciences
On an individual basis, the Examination Board may accept other study programmes as equivalent and may also subject them to specific requirements.
- Application: Language requirements
As the entire degree course is taught in English, applicants must provide proof of sufficient knowledge of written and spoken English if the first degree was not obtained in English. The following test results will be accepted as proof of sufficient language proficiency:
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) paper-based: 600 points
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) internet-based: 100 points
- IELTS Academic Test (International English Language Testing System): 6.5 points
Seefor required results in other approved English competency tests.
- Contact: Study Advisor
Programme Co-ordinator (UCD)
Dr. Florence Renou-Wilson
Phone +358 87 2836078
Programme Co-ordinator (JLU)
Phone +49 641 99 35003
Head of Degree Programme (JLU):
Prof. Dr. Christoph Müller
Justus-Liebig Universität Gießen
Institut für Pflanzenökologie, IFZ
Phone +49 641 99 35301 (Secr.)
- Contact: Central Study Advisor (JLU)
University College Dublin