UCD Professional Certificate/Diploma in Creativity & Innovation for Education

Register your interest

Key facts


Level 9 Professional Certificate (15 ECTS)
with the option to continue on to a Level 9 Professional Diploma (25 ECTS in total)

How it's delivered

Part-time | ONLINE


This course will be delivered across 3 modules from October 2023 to March 2024.

Module 1 Online: Creativity & Innovation –  Tues 31st Oct – Friday 3rd Nov 2023

Module 2 Online: The Entrepreneurial Mindset –  Wed 3rd-Fri 5th Jan, Thurs 15th-Fri 16th Feb 2024.

Module 3 Online: Leadership Development – Sat 23rd, Mon 25th-Thurs 28th March 2024.

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

Information Session

If you didn’t manage to make our recent information session, do not worry. You can watch it via Zoom here (Passcode: U%aAY51*)

Fees and Funding

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

*This is the final year the course will be available at this price. Price will increase in 2024.

Full bursaries are available for UCD Academic and Teaching Staff.

There are a limited number of 90% and 50% bursary places available for the Professional Certificate for educators all around the world who want to apply. Please see the bursaries’ T&Cs in the ‘How To Apply’ section below.

*Deadline for applications: 12 noon, October 24th, 2023


Educational institutions are invited to partner with the programme for a minimum of two years and will benefit from:

  • Assigned places at a reduced cost.
  • A workshop in the relevant educational institution each year for all interested educators. 
  • Evaluation work with the participants to understand the programme’s impact within their educational institution. 

Please contact Eleanor.Kelly@ucd.ie for further information.

Hear about the success of one of our partner schools below.

What Our Students Say

The three weeks I spent doing the Professional Certificate in Creativity and Innovation for Education were among the best three weeks in my 25-year career.” Dr Linda Dowling Hetherington, Lecturer

“I think there can be a misconception that what’s interesting can’t be useful and vice versa. This programme is both.” Ailish O’Halloran, Deputy Provost

I was keen to push myself, to get out of my comfort zone and to be more future looking in how I approached my work as an educator.” Sean Gallagher, Referee Development Manager

Hear more from our students in the video below.


Frequently Asked Questions.


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?  

This course is prolific in nature, dynamic in force and a well from which I draw daily water.

Grace 0"Sullivan Professional Certificate in Creativity and Innovation for Education Read more

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

I think there can be a misconception that what’s interesting can’t be useful and vice versa. This programme is both.

Ailish O'Halloran Professional Certificate in Creativity and Innovation for Education Read more

The programme was exactly what I needed to reenergise and reinvigorate my teaching.

Seán Gallagher Professional Diploma in Creativity and Innovation for Education Read more

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

The Innovation Academy was the most re-energising and re-invigorating professional programme I’ve ever done.

Dr Linda Dowling-Hetherington Professional Certificate in Creativity and Innovation for Education Read more

…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 in person and online through a combination of live online  and in person 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 typically runs over 5 full days, spread throughout the duration of the course. 

Classes run from 9.30–16.30 each day. Mornings will be live in person or 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.

  • 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

Deadline for applications: 12 noon, October 24th, 2023.

For bursary deadlines & T&Cs please see further below.

If you have any further questions regarding the application process please email sarah.westvik@ucd.ie

Applications will be reviewed, and places offered on a rolling basis until the course is full.

Bursaries T&Cs

  • Please note that any bursary can only  be applied towards the Professional Certificate fee (€1,000).
  • There are x10 places available for the 90% bursary.
  • There are x10 places available for the 50% bursary.
  • Bursaries are reserved for applicants without access to institutional or other funding.
  • A limit of x2 bursaries per institution can be allocated.
  • Applicants must indicate in their motivation letter if they wish to apply for a bursary.
  • Deadline for 90% bursary places: Monday 2nd October, 2023.
  • Deadline for 50% bursary places: Tuesday 10th October, 2023.

How to Apply: 

1. You will need to apply for a place on this course on the UCD system:

2. Click here and  create a new UCD account OR log in using your old UCD student number if you are a former student. If you do not remember your previous student number, get in touch with Student Desk as having two numbers can cause issues moving forward.

If you are a member of the UCD Academic and Teaching Staff, you must log out of your staff account first. 

3. Log into SISWeb and go into Applications > Course Finder and “Select a Course”.

4. Filter and search for F221

5. Click “Apply”

6. Complete and submit the application and upload the required documents (listed below). Please ensure all personal details and general questions are completed before trying to submit.

For UCD Academic and Teaching Staff:

A nomination from your Head of School.

This should be on headed paper or from an official email address including the nominees name, role and email address.


A Letter of Motivation outlining:

  • Why you want to do this course at this time?
  • What you can contribute to the course?
  • What you would like to achieve from the course?

For All Other Applicants: 

1. A CV that outlines your experience as an educator.

2. A Letter of Motivation outlining:

  • Why you want to do this course at this time?
  • What you can contribute to the course?
  • What you would like to achieve from the course?
  • If you are applying for a 90% or 50% bursary, please state this in your letter of motivation.

Bursaries are reserved for applicants without access to institutional or other funding.

3. A copy of your academic transcript to show that you have a level 8 qualification. (If you are a graduate of UCD, please include a Word document or PDF with your name and UCD student number). Alternatively, you can apply through Recognition of Prior Learning. Please note that a parchment will not meet the requirements.

4. If English is not your first language, an English language qualification is required for admission to our courses. Click here for English Language Requirements for UCD.

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

IA40480: (Optional Diploma Module)

  • 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.