UCD Graduate Certificate in Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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Key facts


Level 9 Graduate Certificate (35 ECTS)

Course Dates

Start date Jan 18th 2023

This course is delivered live online, four mornings per week, from 18th Jan-8th May

Time: 9.30am – 1.30pm

  • IA40110: Creative Thinking and Innovation (10 ECTS) 18th Jan-9th Feb
    Learn more 

  • IA40260: Entrepreneurial Thinking and Innovation (15 ECTS) 20th Feb-28th March
    Learn more

  • IA40500: Entrepreneurial Career Plan (10 ECTS) 17th April-8th May
    Learn more

How it's delivered

Combination of live online classes and self-guided project work.

This course is delivered live online four mornings (Mon-Thurs) per week (9.30-13.30).

An average of 20 additional hours per week is required for self-directed learning, reflective learning and group or individual work.

See Course Structure below for more details.

Fees and Funding

€4,000 (EU) or €4,000 (Non-EU)
This fee is 100% or 90% funded for eligible applicants through the HEA Springboard+ Initiative
See How to Apply for eligibility criteria.

What Our Students Say

The Innovation Academy gave me the tools to unlock this idea and launch my social enterprise.” Shane Cogan

The Innovation Academy provided me with the tools and techniques to pursue my business ideas, but also allowed me to learn about myself and what I am capable of.” Sharon Keegan

The four and a half months at the Academy fundamentally changed my mindset in terms of my career goals and gave me confidence.” Shane Reilly

Hear more from our students by clicking here.


Applications are now open on Springboard+.

Completed applications are being reviewed, and places offered on a rolling basis until the course is full.

Deadline for applications Thursday Jan 12th 12pm.


The world needs people who think differently. 

More and more, organisations around the globe have to embrace new ways of working. This course will help you to develop the skills employers are looking for in these turbulent times: creative problem solving, innovation, and entrepreneurial thinking. 

Through the Academy’s high-energy, immersive online learning environment, you’ll learn to disrupt and innovate what you see around you, recognise emerging opportunities, and communicate your vision. 

You’ll hear what it’s really like to run your own venture, and discover how to make the most of your unique skills. Our educators will challenge you, nurture you, guide and inspire you. And we’ll help you to relaunch your career by exploring the entrepreneurial mindset, so that you can embark on the next stage of your journey with a sense of purpose. 

You’ll leave feeling confident and with a new way of looking at the world, with the skills to grab the opportunities on offer – or create your own.

Our funders

Springboard Logo Springboard is co founded by the government of ireland and the european union
Government of Ireland Logo EU Logo HEA Logo

Who is it for?

Perfect for lifelong learners if you are keen to change direction and reinvent yourself and your career.

You might be;

  • unemployed or formerly self-employed,
  • a carer or returner to work, a career changer,
  • an aspiring entrepreneur or intrapreneur or,
  • someone keen to take a more innovative approach to the workplace.

Keen to start seeing the world differently? 

See How to Apply for a summary of the application procedures and funding eligibility for this course.

These are subject to change.


The four and a half months at the Academy fundamentally changed my mindset in terms of my career goals and gave me confidence...

Shane Reilly Co-Founder, Moyee Fairchain Coffee Ireland

This course unlocks the student’s creativity and delivers the most relevant and disruptive innovation process...

Grad Cert 2020 Graduate

Balance stimulating online learning with home and work demands.

2020 Course Graduate
Read all stories

Course structure

You’ll learn from the Innovation Academy’s inspiring educators and leading industry guest speakers. 

This course is entirely online, allowing you to learn from the comfort of your home or office. Nevertheless, this is a very social course, and you’ll collaborate with your fellow innovators on practical team challenges and projects. 

Course delivery and timings

This course is delivered online, Monday-Thursday (9.30-13.30) for approximately 3 months with breaks during school holidays.

An average of 20 additional hours per week is required for self-directed learning, reflective learning, and group or individual work.

The course is split into 3 core modules, totalling 35 ECTS. 

  • IA40110: Creative Thinking and Innovation (10 ECTS)
    Learn more 
  • IA40260: Entrepreneurial Thinking and Innovation (15 ECTS)
    Learn more
  • IA40500: Entrepreneurial Career Plan (10 ECTS)
    Learn more 
  • Why choose us?
  • Learning outcomes
  • How to apply
  • Assessment
  • Who leads this course?
  • Career opportunities

UCD Innovation Academy sits at the cutting-edge of education in Ireland, and the world. 

We’ve been challenging students to see the world differently since 2010, when we became one of the first universities to offer experiential learning experiences. 

Our team has been innovating ever since, shaping and refining our courses with input from some of the world’s best. Thousands of students have passed through the Academy, and each one has played their part in making our courses better and better. We have countless examples of our alumni accelerating their careers and changing the world from within organisations or as entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs. 

Students at the Academy also have access to the latest technology to support their creativity. The IA MakerSpace provides a playground for innovation, testing, and prototyping to bring your ideas to life. 

As if that wasn’t enough, we’re a part of UCD, ranked among the top 1% of higher education institutions in the world. We’re Ireland’s global university and ranked Ireland’s best for graduate employability. And we currently have Professor Sir Mark Welland​, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge acting as our External Examiner. 

Here at the Innovation Academy we have everything you need for a learning experience you’ll never forget.

By the end of the Graduate Certificate in Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, you will:

  • Be inspired.
  • Acquire a toolkit that helps you to validate and execute new ideas using key frameworks and methodologies.
  • Cultivate a personal brand identity and build your creative confidence. 
  • Develop and understand the entrepreneurial mindset that enables you to realise your career aspirations.
  • Use prototyping and pitching skills to solve real-world problems.
  • Apply learning to be able to develop business models for new ventures.
  • Build a peer network of friends, contacts and collaborators who have the skills to lead change in organisations and start new ones.
  • Develop a skill set that entrepreneurs need and employers value including creative thinking, collaborative problem solving, communication & presentation skills, team working & networking skills.
  • Collaborate effectively and gain exposure to new perspectives and alternative skill sets.
  • Gain knowledge through informative online fireside chats with external speakers.
  • Leave with a clear action plan to reimagine and relaunch your career.
  • Gain a joint Level 9 qualification awarded by University College Dublin.

This course is open for applications.

Below is a summary of the application procedures and funding eligibility for this course. These are subject to change. 

The full document requirements are on Springboard+. Please read them carefully. 

Initial supporting documents

You will need to upload some supporting documents as part of your application:

  1. Current CV and Letter of Motivation. 
  2. Your academic transcript or parchment to show you have a level 8 qualification (or higher). Alternatively, you can apply through Recognition of Prior Learning. See ‘Entry Requirements’ for full details.
  3. If English is not your first language an English language qualification is required. Click HERE for full English Language Requirements for UCD.

Concluding steps

Following provisional offers, UCD Innovation Academy will request evidence of eligibility in respect of holding a valid PPSN; Nationality; Current Residency; 3 of 5 Years EU/EEA residency; and current Employment Status between six weeks and two weeks from the stated course start date. It is only at this point that eligibility for funding through the HEA Springboard initiative can be ascertained. 


FREE for eligible jobseekers: those who are currently receiving eligible DEASP Payments. 

FREE for returners to work and carers. 

90% subsidised (student pays €400) for recent graduates, eligible individuals in employment or self-employment, and the formerly self-employed. 

For full or part-funded places, we will need to see proof of your relevant employment status as outlined in Springboard+ Eligibility Guidelines.

In order to pass the course, you must participate and engage actively throughout. Attendance counts for 40% of the total mark, with a minimum of 80% attendance required for a Pass. 

The rest of the course is assessed through a combination of individual and team assignments, project reports and presentations.

IA40110: Creative Thinking and Innovation (10 ECTS)

  • 20% Innovation sprint team report and poster
  • 20% Innovation sprint team pitch
  • 20% End of module reflection report

IA40260: Entrepreneurial Thinking and Innovation

  • 20% Project report
  • 20% Project presentation 
  • 20% End of module reflection report

IA40500: Entrepreneurial Career Plan (10 ECTS)

  • 30% Presentation of demonstrated actions and plan
  • 30% End of module reflection report

All courses at the Innovation Academy are developed and facilitated by our exceptional team of educators. 

The team boasts a wealth of experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. They are international entrepreneurs, doctors (both medical and academic), robotics experts, storytellers, conservationists, campaigners, and creatives. 

What they all have in common is their love of the innovative, learning-by-doing approach to learning and their devotion to delivering a world-class student experience. 

People with soft skills in creative problem solving, innovation, and entrepreneurial thinking are in high demand right now. 

Whether you see yourself as an entrepreneur at the head of a new venture, or bringing more creative ways of working to an existing employer, you’ll develop serious skills in a creative way. 

You’ll leave the course feeling inspired and perfectly positioned to grab emerging opportunities, or create your own.

We’ve developed this course in collaboration with employers, to address emerging trends in industry and support job creation and expansion. 

Graduates of this course have gone on to establish exciting new business ventures like Fiid and Peachy Lean. Others have launched award-winning social enterprises like Buddy Bench, Streetsmart Ireland, and The Upcycle Movement. 

As one of our exclusive club of graduates you’ll have the qualities employers are looking for. Our graduates have applied what they’ve learned to change careers, working with organisations from Accenture to The Department of An Taoiseach, and even here at the Innovation Academy.

The Innovation Academy Experience
Meet our team
The IA MakerSpace