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UCD Professional Diploma in Creativity, Innovation and Leadership

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Key facts

Qualification & Course Explainer

Level 9 Professional Diploma (20 ECTS)

This course is open for applications. You can begin your application on Springboard+ here.

Hear from Programme Director Maurice Knightly about this course below.

Course dates

Module 1 – Creative Thinking and Innovation

Mon 21 – Fri 25 Oct 2024
9:30am to 1:30pm classes, with self-directed individual or team project work in the afternoons.

Module 2 – Leadership for Innovation and Creativity 

Mon 25 – Fri 29 Nov 2024
9:30am to 1:30pm classes, with self-directed individual or team project work in the afternoons.

Module 3 – Professional Practice (Action Learning Project – Innovation in the Workplace or Your Community)

Combining; external project work (students undertake a project related to their own context approved by their facilitator titled an ‘Action Learning Project’), milestone classes, meetings and mentoring sessions, and finally, the module culminates in the Action Learning Project, student presentations.

Dates:
Thurs 23 Jan 2025
Thurs 20 Feb 2025
Thurs 27 Mar 2025
Wed 16 April 2025
Thurs 17 April 2025

As the programme involves continuous assessment, students must attend all class sessions. See ‘Course Structure’ for further detail on modules.

How it's delivered

In Person at UCD or Online

Fees and Funding

€2,600 (EU) or €2,600 (Non-EU)

100% or 90% funded for eligible applicants through the HEA Springboard+ Initiative. See https://springboardcourses.ie/eligibility for eligibility criteria.

FREE for eligible jobseekers: those who have received eligible DEASP Payments.

FREE for returners to work and carers.

90% subsidised (student pays €260) eligible individuals in employment or self-employment, and formerly self-employed.

What Our Students Say

“The diploma course gave me the courage to be a leader. It helped me climb over the huge barriers I had created against myself.” – Lisa Finlay, Senior Learning & Development and Innovation Specialist, William Fry, Programme Alumna.

“I love design thinking. It’s that simple. And for this, I am so pleased I was able to persuade my senior leadership to make it part of what I do. That was the leadership influencing I learned on this Prof. Dip. coming into play – to be able to sell my vision of what bringing design thinking and innovation frameworks into the organization could be.” – Tracy Mooney, Senior Manger LinkedIn, Programme Alumna.

“The programme provided me with the mindset shift I needed at just the right moment in my career.” Vinny Lanigan, Irish Defence Forces and Former Public Sector Innovation Network, Programme Alumni.

Hear more from our students by clicking here.

Deadline

Applications close 10 October 2024. You can begin your application on Springboard+ here.

Places are offered on a rolling basis. We encourage you to apply early to secure your place on the programme.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Overview

This exceptional learning experience will open your mind to a more creative and innovative way of thinking. By the end, you’ll be ready to take the lead for intrapreneurship within your organisation, in your current role or the next.

The most successful leaders are those who adapt and respond well to change. With advancing technology and shifting challenges such as the war in Ukraine, automation and continued disruption, organisations are looking for talented people to drive creative innovation.

This course will help you master the mindset, skills, and tools to cultivate an innovative environment within your organisation. You’ll develop the skills to influence others and harness the energy of a team to solve challenges together. And you’ll apply these skills to a real innovation project – for your organisation or a community project of your own – for an outstanding upgrade to your CV.

Wherever you are in your career, this diploma course will reignite your spark and give you the confidence to present your ideas and lead from the front.

Our funders

Springboard Logo
Government of Ireland Logo HEA Logo

Who is it for?

This course is perfect for anyone looking for their next step in their career. You’ll learn the skills and confidence to become an innovation champion and take your career to the next level.

You might be:

  • Unemployed or formerly self-employed
  • A carer or returner to work
  • A career changer
  • Working in a large corporate or an SME
  • Making the leap into leadership

You’ll need a minimum honours degree (Level 8) qualification.
OR applicants with 5+ years of relevant employment history can apply under UCD’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy.
Springboard+ eligibility requirements.
English language requirements.

Keen to start seeing the world differently?

One of the key benefits of the course for me included [a] strong focus on creating a community of practice with student peers...

Healthcare Innovation Manager

I have found new ways of working since this course, I am more confident in taking risks, asking out of the box questions...

Course Graduate working as Director of Revenue Strategy in a 5* Hotel

I had the confidence to be more open and honest about what I could bring to the organisation, and what I expected from my employer

2018/19 Graduate who was appointed to a CEO role shortly following completion of the programme

Participating in this course was perhaps the single most rewarding thing I’ve done in my professional career.

Graduate 2018/19
Read all stories

Course structure

Course delivery and timings

This fully immersive learning experience is classroom based, delivered on campus in the UCD Innovation Academy, Belfield, Dublin 4. As the programme involves continuous assessment, participants must attend all class sessions.

You’ll learn from UCD Innovation Academy’s inspiring educators, leading industry guest speakers and collaborate with your fellow innovators on practical team challenges and projects. You’ll forge strong networks with your class through online connection that will endure long after the programme.

The course is split into 3 core modules, totalling 20 ECTS.

The first two modules of this course are delivered over 5 days each in October and November 2024.

Mornings will be delivered from 9.30am – 1.30pm. Afternoons will be a mixture of self-directed learning, reflective learning and group or individual work.

Module 1: IA40310 Creative Thinking & Innovation

Mon 21 – Fri 25 Oct 2024
9:30am to 1:30pm live in-person classes, with self-directed individual or team project work in the afternoons.

Module 2: IA40340 Leadership for Innovation and Creativity

Mon 25 – Fri 29 Nov 2024
9:30am to 1:30pm live in-person classes, with self-directed individual or team project work in the afternoons.

Module 3: IA40210 Professional Practice (Action Learning Project – Innovation in the Workplace or Your Community)

Delivered over 4 months across 5 days, combining; external project work (students undertake a project related to their own context approved by their facilitator titled an ‘Action Learning Project’), milestone classes, meetings and mentoring sessions, and finally, the module culminates in the Action Learning Project, student presentations.

Dates:
Thurs 23 Jan 2025
Thurs 20 Feb 2025
Thurs 27 Mar 2025
Wed 16 April 2025
Thurs 17 April 2025

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

UCD is 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 Diploma in Creativity, Innovation and Leadership, you will:

  • Be inspired
  • Gain an innovator’s mindset.
  • Build creative confidence via practical challenges.
  • Build your CV with a substantial innovation project module.
  • Develop your leadership skills to engage others.
  • Build a peer network of friends, contacts and collaborators.
  • Leave ready to apply your new skills to progress your career.
  • Have a Level 9 qualification from UCD.

Deadline for applications: 12pm 10th October 2024.

This course is open for applications through the HEA Springboard+ website and you can begin your application here. If you require more information, please register your interest and we will be in contact with you shortly.

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

Below is a summary of the application procedures and funding eligibility.

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
  2. Letter of Motivation of one page, addressing the following:
    • Why you want to do the course at this time
    • What you hope to achieve from doing this course
    • What you can contribute to this course
  3. A copy of your academic transcript to show that you have a Level 8 Honours undegraduate 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. 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.

Funding

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

FREE for returners to work and carers.

90% subsidised (student pays €260) 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.

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

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

IA40110:

  • 30% Participation in challenges and exercises
  • 40% Active participation and engagement
  • 30% End of module reflection report

IA40260:

  • 20% Presentation pitching your action learning project
  • 40% Active participation and engagement
  • 40% End of module reflection report

IA40500:

  • 70% Project report and presentation
  • 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. 

Read more about the people behind this course.

In an IBM study of 1,500 CEOs, creativity came out as the most important leadership quality.

This course will teach you the skills you need to become your organisation’s champion for creativity and innovation.

 

ACCREDIBLE

UCD Innovation Academy is delighted to partner with Accredible in the provision of digital credentials across all of our programmes. We believe lifelong learning should be encouraged and celebrated, and digital credentials will allow you to share your accomplishments on LinkedIn and other online platforms to promote among your network. 

 

Students who successfully complete and pass this programme will receive a digital certificate of completion. The certificate is issued online once the UCD Exam Board sits and approves your grade. UCD Exam Board sits three times a year (Autumn, Spring, Summer trimester) and approval times vary depending on the Exam Board calendar. The certificate of completion is separate to the official parchment, which arrives in hard copy at a later date.

You’ll explore how innovation can solve some of the most challenging issues facing Irish businesses – Covid-19, automation, disruption – and equip you to face whatever’s next.

Employers are looking for people who can think their way around these problems. If you’re looking for your next job, having this Diploma on your CV will be sure to make you stand out from the crowd.

If you’re already in work, you’ll be primed to take on new responsibilities and step into more senior roles. Expect your employer to get you working more closely with senior management, running business-critical projects, and to put you top of the list for promotion.

Stories
The Innovation Academy experience
Alumni