This FdSc in Energy, Environment and Sustainability is taught at South West College in Omagh. The rural sector is currently undergoing a rapid change with the decline in importance and profitability of traditional industries, environmental pressures and new opportunities in diversification activities and technologies such as application of renewable energy, production of energy crops and industrial or business applications.

This programme aims to provide students with technological and business skills required to meet these challenges, supporting the move towards environmental and financial sustainability within the rural economy.

Energy, Environment and Sustainability Degree highlights

This FdSc in Energy, Environment and Sustainability is taught at South West College in Omagh.

Career Development

  • Full-time students taking the foundation degree in Energy, Environment and Sustainability undertake a work-placement in the second semester of year 2. Past students have gained work placement with organisations such as Armagh District Council, Cavan County Council, Terex Finlay Ltd, SynErgy NI Ltd, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Future Renewables Ltd.
“The Foundation degree allowed me time to think about my future while keeping myself in employment. Flexible enough to allow me to work and study, when I graduate next year I will decide whether to go straight into employment or progress to a full Honours degree in Queen’s.” Louise McGrinder, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2nd Year, FdSc Energy, Environment and Sustainability

Course content

Course Structure

This degree is suitable for those who are interested in increasing their knowledge of renewable energies, diversification or rural business development and the integral work placement ensures that students are able to fully apply their knowledge gained on the programme.
Stage 1
• Biomass and Biofuel Technology
• Business and Management
• Engineering Principles
• Environment and Sustainability
• Renewable Energy Applications
• Waste Management
• Wind Turbine Technology
Stage 2
• Business Improvement Techniques
• Economics of Renewable Energy Technology
• Energy Assessment
• Environmental Business Planning
• Environmental Science
• Work Placement

The Foundation Degree in Energy, Environment and Sustainability meets all these attributes through the provision of work placement, real-life case studies, an articulation route to the BSc Environmental Management degree within Queen’s and partnership with South West College, Omagh Campus, where the programme is delivered.

Learning and Teaching

On the Foundation Degree in Energy, Environment and Sustainability we provide a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:

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E-Learning technologies

Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Blackboard, on the South West College website. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example: interactive group projects in a flexible learning space; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design such as CAD, Solid Works etc. in practicals and project- based work etc.


Introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments. Teaching on this foundation degree is carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students). These provide significant opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. The opportunity to listen to and question visiting subject experts will further enhance student experience.


Students will have opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts. Practical sessions in Engineering Principles and Biofuels will provide an opportunity to put theoretical knowledge in context.

Self-directed study

This is an essential part of life as a student of Queen’s, and South West College, when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.


Weekly tutorials will provide students with an opportunity to assess progress and revisit areas of study in more detail. Students will have the opportunity to develop essential study skills and contribute to group activities. They should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.

Tutor Support

Students on this foundation degree will have the opportunity to regularly meet with their tutors and course co-ordinator to discuss their academic progress. Small class sizes mean that all students will have ample opportunity for dedicated tutor support, should this be required. Student support information and further advice are highlighted in the Student Handbook provided to all students.

Work placements

Full-time students taking the foundation degree in Energy, Environment and Sustainability undertake a work-placement in the second semester of year 2. This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity. Past students have gained work placement with organisations such as Armagh District Council, Cavan County Council, Terex Finlay Ltd, SynErgy NI Ltd, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Future Renewables Ltd. Students will undertake an individual work-based project and will be mentored by their course co-ordinator and an industrial supervisor. They will be expected to make a presentation of their project outcomes to classmates and a panel of lecturers and industry guests on completion of the unit.

Work-Related learning/Field Trips/Study Tours

As an integral part of most modules, particularly in Waste Management, Renewable Energy Applications and Sustainability and the Environment, students are taken on supervised visits to a range of industrial, academic and Government sites, including the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI). During this time, they will be introduced to industrial applications of key topics. These visits will form the basis of a number of group based tasks and case-study development opportunities for students.


The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning outcomes of each module. Details of who each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.

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Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.

Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and of semester examinations.


As students progress through the FdSc in Biological Sciences they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. Students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work.

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Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including: formal written comments, face to face comments, placement employer comments or references, online or emailed feedback, pre-submission advice, feedback and outcomes from practical classes, and others.

Entry Requirements

Entrance requirements

A level requirements
CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C
CD including Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Mathematics or Physics + GCSE Mathematics grade C.

Irish leaving certificate requirements
H3H3H4H4 + Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics
H3H4H4H4 including at least one from Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Mathematics or Physics + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics.

A minimum of 5 subjects will be required in the Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) at least 4 of which should be at Higher Level.

Access/Foundation Course
Successful completion of relevant Access Course (normally Science based) with an average of 55% in relevant course. GCSE Mathematics grade C or equivalent in Access Course.
Successful completion of any Access Course with an average of 60%. GCSE Mathematics grade C or equivalent in Access Course.

Selection Criteria

In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance notes on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.

How we choose our students

Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by the School of Biological Sciences. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.

Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by the Selector for the Foundation Degree in Energy, Environment and Sustainability along with a member of administrative staff from the Admissions and Access Service. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.

For entry last year, applicants for the Foundation Degree in Energy, Environment and Sustainability must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C or better (to include English Language and Mathematics), though this profile may change from year to year depending on the demand for places. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.

Offers are normally made on the basis of two A-levels. The offer for repeat candidates is the same standard as for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.

Applicants offering other qualifications, such as Edexcel National and Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, the International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate or an Access course, will also be considered. The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those candidates offering other qualifications.

Candidates offering Access/Certificate in Foundation Studies courses will be considered individually on their own merits.

The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of the Foundation Degree in Energy, Environment and Sustainability, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.

A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered. However, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.

Candidates are not normally asked to attend for interview.

If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a School Visit Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.

If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions and Access Service (admissions@qub.ac.uk), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.


For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • English for University Study: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.


INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.

INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)


Career Prospects

Studying for an FdSc Energy, Environment and Sustainability degree at Queen’s and South West College will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including Energy, Environment and Sustainability.

Although the majority of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in renewable energy applications and environmental management significant numbers develop careers in a wide range of other sectors. The following is a list of the major career sectors that have attracted our graduates in recent years:

Management consultancy
Environmental consultancies
Education sector
Civil Service


Further study is also an option open to FdSc Energy Environment and Sustainability graduates. Subject to achieving specific academic standards in the FdSc, students may articulate to Stage 2 of the BSc Environmental Management programme at Queen’s University, Belfast or the Part time BSc in Energy, Environment and Sustainability at Omagh campus, South West College.

Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plus initiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer.

Employment Links
We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, Camphill Communities NI, Rural Generation Ltd, ReCyCo Ltd, Omagh and Fermanagh District Councils who are members of the employer liaison panel for the course. The Technology Department has unique employer interface through the South West College InnoTech Centre and Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies.


Our past students have also gained work placement with organisations such as:

• Armagh District Council
• Cavan County Council
• Terex Finlay Ltd
• SynErgy NI Ltd
• Future Renewables Ltd

Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

The tuition fee rates for undergraduate students who first enrol at the University in the academic year 2018-19 have not been agreed. Tuition fees for 2018-19 will be based on 2017-18 levels, normally increased by inflation and these are set out below.

Northern Ireland (NI) £4,160
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250
Other (non-UK) EU £4,160
International £15,550

Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

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Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.

If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.  

Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.  

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

How do I fund my study?

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.

Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.


Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.

* information shown is for 2017-18 and should be used as a guide until 2018-19 scholarships are confirmed.

How and When to Apply

How to Apply

Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).  Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.

When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2018 from 1 September 2017.

Advisory closing date: 15 January 2018 (18:00).

Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

The Institution code for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.

Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/

Apply via UCAS
After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions (www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions) which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.

Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students

  1. Applying through UCAS
    Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2018.
  2. Applying direct
    The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
  3. Applying through agents and partners
    The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.

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