APPLICATIONS INVITED FOR 2022 NATURE ANIMATION COURSE JOINTLY SPONSORED BY The National Parks and Wildlife Service, Munster Technological University and Leave No Trace Ireland


Applications are now open for a unique Special Purpose Award, Certificate in Nature Animation Course aimed at those interested in pursuing a career in outdoor pursuits, conservation, ecology and wildlife biology.

The course design, development and delivery is a product of a collaboration between The National Parks and Wildlife Service at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Munster Technological University and Leave No Trace Ireland. This is the second year of the course which proved hugely popular with participants in 2021, some of whom have since gone on to full time employment.

The Certificate in Nature Animation has been developed to provide a foundation knowledge of the key roles and responsibilities of a Conservation Ranger.

The 2022  course,  beginning in March and running until December,  is a free NFQ level 6 accredited course and is available to anyone with a level 5 qualification or above. The programme will be delivered part-time through blended learning at MTU. The programme will include guest speakers, site visits, online discussion forums, practical projects and three months of paid work experience.

The course modules will include;

  1. Nature wildlife and habitats in Ireland
  2. Work-based learning
  3. Sustainable handling of our wildlife & habitats
  4. Practising nature interpretation
  5. Communications and visitor experience

On completion of the course graduates will acquired skills for roles including: ;

  • A communicator of knowledge of Irish nature and natural processes.
  • An effective interpreter of nature and its protection to a range of stakeholder groups.
  • A practitioner of national park experience design and provision.
  • A demonstrator of responsible use of national parks.
  • An accredited Leave No Trace Trainer.

Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan TD has welcomed the return of the course. “Last year, I had the pleasure of launching this course and meeting the students. I was very impressed by their commitment to Ireland’s natural heritage, and was particularly delighted to hear that students undertook work-based learning at our National Parks, Nature Reserves and on some of our LIFE projects, working alongside some of our finest NPWS staff. They are among the most dedicated, hard-working people you could ever meet. It is not an easy job by any means – they have the responsibility for the protection and conservation of Ireland’s natural heritage, including species protection and biodiversity at a regional and national level. Not one day in the field is the same. The opportunity to learn from some of our best, through blended learning and out in the field, is something few students ever get to do. I’d like to wish this year’s new recruits all the very best in their studies and I look forward to meeting them.”

Mary Rose Stafford, Executive Head of School for Business, Computing & Humanities at MTU, discussed how “the Certificate in Nature Animation provides students with a unique opportunity to develop their passion for the environment and explore opportunities to work in Ireland’s most valuable assets our National Parks and Wildlife centres.  MTU are delighted to continue to collaborate with NPWS and LNTI on this exciting initiative”.

Maura Kiely, CEO of Leave No Trace Ireland, encouraged those interested in a career in environmental conservation to apply. “This is a fantastic opportunity to learn from both an excellent educational institution and from experienced National Park Veterans. The blending of subjects will give graduates a highly versatile skill set for future employment”.

Applications for the course can be downloaded here or visit for more information. Completed applications must be returned to [email protected] by 5:00pm Monday the 21st of February. Applications submitted after the date will not be considered. Due to the expected high demand and limited space, applications will then be shortlisted. Interviews will be held in early March to ensure the most suitable candidates are selected.


The National Parks and Wildlife Service

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) plays a vital role in protecting, preserving, and promoting Ireland’s natural heritage. It owns over 87,000 hectares of land including 6 National Parks and 78 Nature Reserves. It is a line division of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and is the primary unit in Ireland with responsibility for safeguarding our natural heritage.

In the context of the intern course, for more information on NPWS contact

Dr. Conor O’Malley, Strategy and Operations: [email protected]

Munster Technological University

On the 1st of January 2021 Institute of Technology Tralee and Cork Institute of Technology came together to form Munster Technological University – a multi-campus technological university, contributing to the region through the provision of academic programmes that support student development and opportunities, education, and research. MTU has an extensive and impressive regional footprint with six campuses across the South-West region in Cork and Kerry, and a student body of 18,000.

Leave No Trace Ireland

Leave No Trace Ireland is an environmental non-profit organisation developed around an Outdoor Ethics Education Programme. It is designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research, and partnerships. Techniques designed to minimise the environmental and social impacts on natural environments are incorporated in and promoted by the national Leave No Trace education programme.

For more information on Leave No Trace Ireland, please contact:

Dr Noel Doyle, Project Coordinator, Leave No Trace Ireland 085 1222 184