Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about any of our courses, this is the place to find the answers!


Through UCD accredited modules and short courses in innovation, creativityleadershipentrepreneurship and design thinking, we can help you discover creative ways to unlock your true potential, and maybe even change the world. In our high-energy environment you’ll discover new ways of looking at the world.

Have a question?


Q: Is there funding available for Innovation Academy programmes?

Yes, we are delighted to receive funding for a number of our courses.

Springboard funds 90% or 100% of the fees for the following programmes; the Professional Diploma in Innovation for Sustainability, the Grad Certificate in Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Grad Certificate in Creativity, Innovation and Leadership and the Grad Certificate in Digital Technology, Transformation and Resilience. Details on if you are eligible for funding, and what category of funding are here on the Springboard website.

Please note, preference will be given to unemployed persons and returners. 


Our Grad Diploma in Design Thinking for Sustainability is funded by the government’s Human Capital Initiative. For further detail on eligibility and categories for funding, visit the Springboard website here.


There are a number of bursaries available for our Professional Certificate/Diploma in Creativity and Innovation for Education, with full bursaries available for UCD academic and teaching staff. There are also a limited number of 90% and 50% bursary places available for those who wish to apply. More information can be found on the course page linked above.


Q: What happens if I am not eligible for funding?

If you do not meet eligibility requirements for funding, you can fund the course yourself or your employer may contribute to funding.


Q: When and what do I need to upload to the Springboard website for the Proof of Eligibility for Springboard funding?

In summary, we need proof of:

Holding a valid PPSN 

Nationality (Not required if unemployed)

Current Residency in Ireland (Not required if unemployed or a returner)

3 of 5 Years EU/EEA residency (Not required if unemployed or a returner)

Current Employment Status – please note for any HCI conversion courses you need to have been unemployed for 9 of the previous 12 months in order to secure 100% Springboard funding.


There are specific dates within which the employment status documents need to be dated;

If you are unemployed, the documentation must be dated no earlier than 2 weeks prior to the course start date.. 

If you are employed, self employed, formerly self employed or a returner, the documentation must be dated no earlier than 6 weeks prior to the course start date.


The specific dates relating to each course will be communicated to you by the Innovation Academy.

Application Process

Q: What happens when I apply on Springboard?

After you have created your Springboard account and logged on, you can submit your application to whichever course you choose. At this first stage of the process, you will be asked to upload:

Current CV & Letter of Motivation Saved and uploaded as one document. Please ensure your CV is up-to-date and includes dates and countries of employment. 

A copy of your academic transcript to show you have a level 8 qualification. Applicants who do not have a level 8 qualification can apply through Recognition of Prior Learning. Please take a look at the ‘Entry Requirements’ section of the course information on Springboard+ for complete details.

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.


Q: What happens next?

Your application will be reviewed by our recruitment team to check that you are a good fit for the course. They may reach out to you for additional information if required. If you are accepted onto the course, you will be issued a provisional offer from Springboard. You need to accept this offer. 

Once this has been accepted you will need to make an application to UCD, details of how to do this will be sent to you by the Innovation Academy.


Q: How do I apply for a course that is not funded by Springboard?

Some programmes, like the Professional Certificate in Creativity & Innovation for Education are funded differently. We offer a limited number of bursaries for our Professional Certificate in Creativity & Innovation for Education. Details on how to apply for a bursary are in the course page listed above. Bursaries are only available for the Professional Certificate, however one may continue to do the Professional Diploma upon completing further modules.

To apply for courses that are not funded by Springboard, applications can be submitted to the UCD website and will follow the same review process.


Q: Do I need to get my transcripts and/or references translated?

Yes, if you have completed a level 8 qualification in another country where English is not the primary language, you must have your university transcript translated into English. This must be completed and stamped by a registered translating agency.


Q: Can I send my documents to you by email?

No, all documentation needs to be uploaded to either the Springboard website or the UCD website, we cannot upload documents on your behalf.


Q: I am having technical issues uploading documents to the Springboard site.

You need to contact Springboard technical support at support@vidatum.com OR support@springboardcourses.ie. You can also call Springboard at (01) 5253692.


Q: I am having technical issues uploading documents to the UCD site.

You will need to contact the UCD Student Desk here.


Q: If I don’t have a NFQ level 8 qualification can I still apply?

Yes. You can apply under UCD’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy (RPL) Under UCD’s RPL policy, consideration will be given on a case by case basis to applicants who do not hold a primary degree but who can demonstrate extensive professional experience. Typically, such applicants would have five years or more experience where their role includes managing teams, leading projects, programmes or business units.

If you are applying under RPL, please review your CV to ensure that it clearly demonstrates the following:

Any experience of leadership and self-direction
Any experience of management or entrepreneurship
A description of employee, budget and client responsibilities

RPL applicants should also upload two recently dated professional/employment references. These should be on headed paper or from an official email address and including the referees name, role and email address.



Q: How much do Springboard courses cost if you are in employment?

For those in employment or self-employment the course fee is 10%. Springboard will fund the other 90% if eligibility criteria is met.


Q: How much do Springboard courses cost for returners or those who are unemployed?

Springboard will fund 100% of fees for those that meet eligibility requirements for these categories.


Q: How do I pay my fees?

Students fees will be displayed in UCD SISweb student account in full and Springboard/HCI funding will be allocated during the trimester.

When you are a fully registered student with UCD you will see the full course fees as outstanding on your account. Please do not be concerned, UCD Innovation Academy will apply the Springboard funding as soon as it is received from them If you are required to pay a portion of your fee you can do it by following this link.

The Student Centre Levy (currently €254) can be ignored as it will be removed from your account.

During & After the Course

Q: What happens if I can’t attend all of the sessions (is there a minimum level of participation)?

As the programme involves continuous assessment, participants must attend all class sessions, and it is not possible to catch up in your own time.


Q: When will I receive my parchment?

This is dependent on when you finish your programme and when the exam board meets to give final sign-off on grades. After this, it will take approximately 3 months for parchments to be printed by the Conferring Unit. Secondly, receiving your parchment is dependent on successful completion of all coursework and payment of fees.


Q: Will I receive any digital credentials upon completing the course?

UCD Innovation Academy is delighted to partner with Accredible in the provision of digital credentials across all of our programmes.

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.


Q: Can I apply to another Springboard+ course once I have finished this one?

You can, however you will need to have fully completed any Springboard+ course you enrolled on in the past – i.e. have completed all assignments, paid any outstanding fees, received a final grade, and had your status updated to “Complete” by the course provider. Until then you will not be able to apply for another Springboard+ course.


From the Springboard site:

You can take a maximum of three Springboard+ courses in any five-year period. After that, you will need to wait 2 years before enrolling on another Springboard+ course.
If you have failed to successfully complete two Springboard+ courses in the past, you are ineligible to apply again for a period of 2 years.
If you have taken two courses in the past but were unsuccessful in the second, you are ineligible to apply again for a period of 2 years.


Q: Can I do other programmes with you?

Under Springboards requirements, students can only receive funding for one Springboard course per 12 months. However, you can apply directly to UCD if you wish to take part in another programme within this time and self-fund the course.


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