Learn by doing. 8 hours a day. 2 days a week.

Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise.
(18 week course in multiple locations.)

71% of graduates from this programme have created or gained employment.

“After five months looking for jobs I started getting called to interviews when I added that I was undertaking the Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Postgraduate Certificate to my CV. I got 4 job offers in one week, and 3 employers specifically said that studying at The Innovation Academy made me a stand out candidate”Alannah Goggins
Graduate of the Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise programme.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise will enable you to explore and develop your career in new directions, potentially as an entrepreneur at the head of a new venture, or someone who is self-employed, or perhaps you simply want to develop the creative and entrepreneurial mindset that is increasingly sought by today’s employers.

Download an information pack >


How it works

This programme offers an intense learning experience that prepares adult students for their next major career leap.

You will join a class of 30 or so students of all ages and backgrounds in a cross-disciplinary, multi-national and vibrant community. Teaching staff at the Academy, are practitioners and thinkers, including leading entrepreneurs from business and social sectors as well as academics. Read about our team>

Over 18 weeks you will work on a series of challenges and projects – large and small, addressing real-world problems and opportunities, while learning to apply creative and entrepreneurial tools including Design Thinking, Business Model Canvas and Customer Discovery. You will design and test new ideas and meet experienced entrepreneurs and leaders from all sectors to hear their advice and insights.

Have any questions you would like to ask before applying? See FAQ here >

You do not need to have an idea for a new business or venture to apply for this course.

Course description 

  • Idea generation
  • Creative thinking
  • See example activity >
  • Design Thinking
  • Team dynamics
  • Innovation sprint with a client

  • Planning for execution
  • Strategy for early stage growth
  • Validation and customer discovery
  • Pitching to win customers/funding
  • Career goals – plan for the next year
  • CV, Interview and Pitching Skills
  •  Mapping the way forward for your idea / product/ venture


“The UCD Innovation Academy course was an excellent opportunity to learn about business.
It provided me with creativity skills which I never knew I had.
Most of all its an opportunity to meet with new people and build networks.”Michael Fennelly, GAA All-Star, Hurler of the Year 2011, and co-founder of Pivot

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for this course under the HEA Springboard+ Programme, you must have a previous history of employment, be currently unemployed, and satisfy the following criteria:Be actively seeking employment; and
Be in receipt of one of the following payments from the Department of Social Protection: Jobseekers Benefit, Jobseekers Allowance, One Parent Family, Disability Allowance, Qualified Adults of Working Age, Carers Allowance, Farm Assist/Fish Assist, Widow(er)s Contributory or Non-contributory Pension, Blind Pension, Deserted Wives Allowance.
(note) Or be signing for social insurance contribution credits.
Or be previously self-employed.In addition, people participating in the Community Employment Scheme; the Rural Social Scheme; Tús; JobBridge or in receipt of the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance or the Short Term Enterprise Allowance may apply for Springboard and, with the approval of a Department of Social Protection Case Officer, take up a Springboard course.Note for recent graduates, to participate in a NFQ Level 9 (Post Graduate) course, a period of at least one year must have elapsed since completing a full time undergraduate degree course leading to a major award at level 8 on the NFQ.For more information on eligibility for free admission to this course under the Springboard Programme see the Springboard+ website >

“It opened my eyes to what being an entrepreneur really is”Dr Elaine Kenny
Graduate of this course, now CEO and founder of Elda Biotech

Talk to Our Team

If you need to ask a question that is not in the FAQ (see FAQ here), direct contacts are below.

The Innovation Academy’s Springboard course is supported by the Springboard Programme and The Government of Ireland,
Department of Welfare and Social Protection, and Higher Education Authority, and delivered at locations across Ireland in association with the GAA

Springboard+ Logo Jpeg    The Government of Ireland and the GAA

David NevinAdult learning. Springboard course, fully funded UCD entrepreneurship & innovation Postgraduate Certificate