UCD Professional Certificate/Diploma in Creativity & Innovation for Education

Register your interest


Bursaries: For teachers in DEIS schools, a limited number of bursaries are available to cover 40% of course fees.

UCD staff: For 2021/22, UCD University Performance Related Fund is supporting UCD Innovation Academy to offer full bursaries, covering 100% of course fees for UCD Academic and Teaching Staff (including Post Doctoral Fellows with a current or future teaching load).

Key facts


Level 9 Professional Certificate (15 ECTS)
Level 9 Professional Diploma (25 ECTS in total)

How it's delivered

Live online full-time or part-time


Professional Certificate runs part-time (with 15 days in class) from October 2021 or December 2021
3 weeks full-time (with 15 days in class) – June 2022

See Course Structure below for more details.

Fees and Funding

Certificate: €1,000 (EU) or €2,000 (Non-EU)
Diploma: an additional €1,000 (EU) or €2,000 (Non-EU)

Bursaries: For teachers in DEIS schools, a limited number of bursaries are available to cover 40% of course fees.

UCD staff: For 2021/22, UCD University Performance Related Fund is supporting UCD Innovation Academy to offer full bursaries, covering 100% of course fees for UCD Academic and Teaching Staff .

Course dates

October 2021 – April 2022 (Part-time)

December 2021 – April 2022 (Part-time)

June 2022 – 6–24 June 2022 (Full-time)

See Course Structure below for more details.


As educators, we must keep pace with our rapidly changing world, and adapt to what we now understand about the neuroscience of learning. By developing our own creative and entrepreneurial mindsets we can help our students to fully realise their capacity for innovation, for the good of society. 

Through this course, you’ll experience new approaches to education – all underpinned by academic rigour – from the perspective of a student. By stepping outside your comfort zone you can update your knowledge, build empathy with your students, and reignite your passion for teaching.

The course is highly flexible, allowing your cohort to co-create the learning experience based on the needs and experiences of each group. You’ll learn a more practical, action-based approach to learning, including the chance to lead some parts of the course yourself.

By the end, you’ll be part of a pioneering community of educators who are promoting these experiential learning approaches. You’ll be ready to influence and inspire your colleagues, your institution, and the broader educational community. 

The diploma module gives you a further chance to develop your professional practice as an Entrepreneurial Educator. 


Who is it for?

We welcome educators from all backgrounds, disciplines and levels of experience here at the Innovation Academy. Anyone who designs and delivers learning experiences can benefit from this course.

This course is for:

  • Passionate educators wanting to enhance your teaching practice. 
  • Educators ready to take a step up in your career.
  • Anyone feeling stuck as an educator, keen to reignite your passion.
  • Anyone new in their post – or new to Ireland – looking for a supportive network and new approaches.
  • Teachers, Lecturers, Program Managers, Education Technologists, Teaching and Learning professionals… to name a few.

So what are you waiting for?  

Register your interest

Everyone in my school can see the benefits of my having done the course. It’s a great opportunity to be re-inspired...

Ann O’Reilly Assistant Principal at St. Raphaela’s Secondary School, Dublin

When you have done this course, you will never look at your classroom in the same way.

Peter Lyndon Head of Geography, Wesley College Dublin and Founder, Gifted & Talented Network Ireland

…a fantastic experience that reinvigorated my teaching practice. The programme pushed my teaching well beyond its comfort zone...

Dr. Conor Buggy Assistant Professor in Occupational and Environmental Studies at UCD
Read all stories

Course structure

You’ll learn from Innovation Academy’s inspiring educators and engage with leaders and influencers in education from across Ireland and beyond.
This fully immersive, experiential learning experience is delivered online through a combination of live online sessions, self-directed learning, and collaborative group activities.

The course is split into 3 core modules, totalling 15 ECTS:

For the Professional Diploma, you’ll also complete:

Course delivery and timings

Each of the 3 core modules runs over 5 full days, spread throughout the course in blocks. 

Classes run from 9.30–16.30 each day. Mornings will be live online sessions. Afternoons will be a mixture of self-directed learning, reflective learning, and group or individual work. 

As the programme involves continuous assessment, students must attend all class sessions. 

For students completing the diploma, the Professional Practice module consists of a real-world Diploma Project. This runs over the 5-6 months of the course, with no classes, facilitated through one-to-one mentoring sessions.

Alternatively our June 2022 course allows you to complete the Certificate over an intensive 3-week period, full-time. 

Course dates: 

October 2021 – April 2022 

  • Module 1: 26-30 October 2021
  • Module 2: 4-5 January 2022 and  24-26 February 2022
  • Module 3: 19-23 April 2022

December 2021 – March 2022 

  • Module 1: 6-10 December 2021
  • Module 2: 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 January 2022
  • Module 3: 7-11 March 2022

June 2022 

6-24 June 2022 (Mon-Fri)

  • 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 Professional Certificate/Diploma in Creativity & Innovation for Education course, students will:

  • Explore creativity, innovation, and approaches to lead change in education.
  • Discover new approaches in education from around the world.
  • Build a peer network of friends, contacts and collaborators.
  • Learned from a faculty of educators who have ‘walked the walk’.
  • Gain a UCD Professional Certificate (15 ECTS) or Diploma (25 ECTS).
  • Be ready to improve the learning outcomes for your students.
  • Be ready to accelerate your career

Application deadlines

For October start, apply by 26 September.

For December or June start, apply by 4 November.

All applicants, please email mary.saunders@ucd.ie with the following.

For UCD Academic and Teaching Staff:

Enclose a nomination from your Head of School 


Your Letter of Motivation (see below). 

For All Other Applicants: 

Please email mary.saunders@ucd.ie enclosing: 

  • A CV that outlines your experience as an educator.
  • A Letter of Motivation (see below).
  • A copy of your academic transcripts (or student number if you are a graduate of UCD).

Letters of Motivation 

This should include:

  • An overview of your experience as an educator.
  • Why are you applying for this course and why now?
  • What do you hope to gain from the course?
  • If you are applying for a 40% bursary, please state your case in your letter of motivation.

Active participation and engagement are essential, so attendance counts towards a Pass for the course. 

You’ll be continually assessed throughout the course, as well as delivering various individual and team assignments, presentations, and reports.


  • 40% Attendance
  • 30% Reflection report
  • 30% Continuous assessment task, activities and exercises


  • 20% Action-learning project
  • 30% Attendance
  • 30% Personal reflections and realisations essay
  • 20% Action-Learning Project Presentation


  • 30% Reflection Report
  • 70% Project report and presentation

(Optional Diploma Module) IA40480:

  • 30% Reflection Report
  • 70% Project report and presentation

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.

You’ll also hear from key influencers in education from around the world, who share their thoughts on innovation in education. 

Read more about the people behind this course.

This course will put you at the forefront of the teaching profession. You’ll be perfectly placed to step up into more senior roles and become a pioneer for best practice within your institution. 

And by developing your own creative and entrepreneurial mindset, you’ll be ready to nurture these mindsets in your students, leading to a stronger economy and society.

The course will give you the chance to engage with leaders and influencers across education in Ireland and around the world. 

You’ll also cultivate a network of friends, peers, contacts, and collaborators, who you can call on for ongoing support.